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Megalithing in Menorca (Part 2 now I kind of know what I'm doing ...)

No, we'd not had enough. When you've enjoyed the first few days so much, why change the plan?

Sunday 15th

Stick a pin in the map and that's where we'll go today. Time to check out the north east. There's something about roads with big PRIVATE signs and then gates across them that makes you think an irate farmer will appear and shout "get offa my land!" (except in Catalan or Castillian and I won't understand it). We'd already worked out that Sa Torreta wasn't marked in the correct place on our map - but then Binissafullet hadn't been either, my map reading isn't that bad! - so British guilt about being caught in the wrong place got the better of us - OK me, but I was driving and had already put the hire car through a few assault courses - and we gave up. Later in the bar, the ex-pat who offered us an aerial archaeological tour in his plane (150 euros for up to three people, in Sa Musculera (sp?) in Binibeca, if anyone's interested - he owns the place I think but doesn't work there) confirmed had we just followed the standard "if the gate's closed, close it again" rules, no one would have minded. Beardy tried to persuade me to look again on the way to the airport at the end of the trip ....
So it became the day of the naveta.
We turned off the main road at the signpost to Biniac l'Argentina Occidental and followed it round, and round, and twisty, and narrow, and ended up back at the main road but at Biniac l'Argentina Oriental. Huh!? How did that happen? Never mind!

and climbed on in!

This is the better preserved of these two sites, carefully walled off in the middle of some development.

Then back to retrace our route, narrow twisty round and round. We pulled up opposite the last (or first if you're coming in) posh villa on the road, and Beardy leapt out and followed the path between the houses. Meanwhile, I pulled TME out of the boot, seeing as the map wasn't specific (one blob for Biniacs, so no, it's not really that excessive to have taken TME with us) and double checked - 400m from the junction. I walked back up a little way, and saw two gates, one of which had a blue menorca monumental bin just behind it - ah, that's where it's hiding!

The theme of the day continued with navetas d'enterrament do Rafal Rubi.

Indeed, sponsored by Spar!

and then Sud or Meridional

with its fabulous interior.

Monday 16th

What shall we do today? Stay local? Why not! The majority of the day was in fact spent scrambling round the rocks and remains of who knows what at the very pretty village of Sant Esteve. On the way there, we checked out the Talaiot de Trebalugeret, one of the oldest on the island according to its sign, and built on the remains of a pre-talaiotic construction.

One of the easiest to climb, there are the remains of the walls and pillars of a house at the top, though these are thought to have been added at a later date. The site has been enclosed by a modern wall, and houses are creeping up along one side.

Then on to the fabulous Talaiot de Trepuco with that taula

There's a shed on the car park, impying that when it's not siesta time, an entrance fee may be payable and information, ice creams and a range of jewellery may be available. I've got a thing about red poppies; in fact, if Beardy and I hadn't managed to arrange getting wed where we did (Castlerigg!) I'd requested a cornfield with red poppies just taller than the crop; I kind a like this place.

Tuesday 17th

Where have these last few days gone? Can it really be the last full day of the holiday? Time to reacquaint ourselves with the roads round the airport and off to the Talaiot de Torellonet Vell.

This site has 3 elements:
Torello 1 - the main talaiot

Torello 2 - a second ruinous talaiot in the adjoining field

Two fields away, there's the Circle of Torello - listed in TME as a possible taula sanctuary but more likely to be the remains of a house with pillars around a central courtyard.

We did try to ask permission to cross the fields to this last one, but a lack of basic Spanish lead to much giggling and gesticulating with a wonderfully weather beaten elderly lady at the nearby farm - it seems the one word we had in common was Torellonet!

From there, onto the Taliti de Dalt, under the care of Arqueomenorca in the drizzle (see, not a beach day at all!) a fabulous site with 2 caves, a spectacular taula sanctuary, a central talaiot and at least 2 if not more surrounding it, covered rooms .....

On the way there, Beardy had spotted something else, so we went back to investigate. Some guessing of which road to take and a thirteen point turn later (still no scratches on the hire car!), we found two unloved unlabelled off-map talaiots at Curnia. If you don't get to them by road, get a window seat in the plane - they are under the flight path north east of the runway.

The better preserved one:

and its ruinous companion

And there endeth the megalithing for this trip!

We could easily have spent longer - we missed so many places we've found out about since - a week well spent and somewhere to return to in the future.

sals Posted by sals
5th June 2005ce
Edited 5th June 2005ce

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