Port de Soller – the long way

We had two options walking from Soller to the Port. First was a simple, straightforward 5km, the alternative was nearer 10km taking in Refugi de Muleta and Cap Gros. We chose the more adventurous route, it was only 6 miles and Kim insisted she was capable despite hobbling down to breakfast.

We picked up provisions from the nearest supermarket and set off just after 10am. Our route notes estimated a 4 hour walk so, even with Kim limping, we’d be at the Port by mid-afternoon.

All routes start from the main Square in Soller and, as we left town, we realised we’d walked quite a loop around to the back of our hotel. There was plenty of eye rolling and we were only 15 minutes in. Soon we had left the town and were walking out through Olive, Orange and Lemon groves with the Tramuntuna mountains curving around us. They looked very high and stood between us and the Port. We consoled ourselves with the thought that estimated walking times hadn’t let us down yet. It’s worth mentioning now that, by the time we were nearer our destination,

Following GR221, Ruta de Pedro en Sec or The Dry Stone Route, which followed old cobbled paths that had once been the main communication routes between villages. It took us up through rows of Olive terraces. As we walked, the dry stone route suddenly became the dangerous wet stone route as the rain came down. Luckily it didn’t last long but it turned a challenging route into something deeply unpleasant.

As we wound up through stone terraces we started to see glimpses of the port through the trees. We also started to see signs warning us of ‘Big Game’, the subject of much speculation. The wildest creatures we had seen were a couple of donkeys lazily grazing under overhanging trees.

It had been hard work and, about 2/3rds of the way along our route on the Muleta Plain, we came across Muleta de Ca’s Hereu, an old guest house perched on the hillside serving coffee and cake. It seemed rude not to stop and the almond cake was delicious. A few hundred meters on, we came across a young girl squeezing fresh oranges and selling the juice by the side of the path. A great business opportunity and we had two thoughts – shouldn’t she be at school and how do we get by without seeming rude, we had only just drunk a cuppa. Luckily, a couple of German walkers stopped as we went past.

We met numerous people along the way, of many different ages, abilities and nationalities. These narrow paths must get difficult to negotiate as the weather warms up and the number of walkers increases.

Finally, we reached Cap Gros, having decided the extra 5 minutes to Refugi de Muleta just wasn’t worth the effort. We may have missed the most picturesque stone hostel with breathtaking views but, quite frankly, we’re no longer bothered.

The final 3km into Port de Soller was on welcome tarmac. The only problem was it was steeply downhill with a lot of hairpin bends. Kim made it this far without too much complaining, but that last stretch was probably the most difficult.

The route timings were fairly accurate, we had walked for just over 4-hours. We stopped briefly in the Port for probably the most overpriced cuppa ever before taking the tram back to Soller.

The tram is a Spanish Heritage tramway and one of only a few first generation tramways to survive in Spain. Opening in 1913, the route is nearly 5km long and a very big tourist attraction. We decided we ought to do it even though, for the cost of one tram ticket, all four or us could get back to Soller in a taxi.. it was quaint but very overcrowded. According to Wikipedia, there are 17 stations along the route, quite how anyone could elbow their way through the crowds to get off is beyond us. And why would a local use it when there’s a perfectly good, faster cheaper bus service

Dinner this evening was a recommended local tapas bar, and it was delicious. We’re not good at remembering to take food photos but the carrots were quite exceptional!

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