Saturday, 2 October 2010

Cami De Cavalls

The 'Cami De Cavalls' (route GR223) is the recently re-opened medieval coastal 'Path of the Horses' around Menorca and when we spent our holidays there in early August it was an ideal opportunity to go and explore some of it.

Being marked all along its 140 or so miles by posts such as these it's easy to follow, my first run was South-East to the next resort down the coast at dawn. I took this picture after the climb up onto the small cliffs behind the hotel we were staying in:

The best routes were North-West of where we stayed, heading past Binigaus (leaving at dawn meant I didn't have to avert my eyes at this secluded nudist spot). Not wanting to cover the same ground twice I stuck to the coast one day then headed inland on the main GR223 route another. The coastal path was very rocky in places with many hidden coves and I didn't see another soul apart from those just waking up on their yachts by this lovely hidden beach at the northern-most point I reached. On the way back I saw a bunch of people who were still asleep under the trees who I hadn't noticed on the way out and I was a bit jealous, it looked a cracking place to spend a night in the open. There are some pictures of the walk here that give you an good idea of the terrain.

The GR223 route was hillier, though remember this is Menorca so there were no big climbs to contend with. You head inland up a small wooded valley where there was plenty shade in the trees...

Just South of the hotel, half hidden slightly off the path there was a large entrance to a staircase that seemed to head underground. Just over the other side of the hill I noticed some steps cut into the rocks...

I couldn't resist exploring so headed down into the darkness being really careful since it was a tunnel built through the rock with lots of loose boulders on the ground and I couldn't see anything apart from the room at the other end. It lead to this small room:

You can see the entrance/exit on the left where I came from then the other hole in the back wall that seemed to have been added sometime after the original construction. This led to a 20ft drop to a cave...
this cave led out to sea by the steps I mentioned earlier. I never found out what the purpose of this construction was but I can only assume it was used during some of the many military campaigns the island has seen over the centuries. In the next picture, taken from the main beach you can see the two slits cut out through the rock that afforded a view from the room a long way up the coastline (just to the left of the car at the same level as the boat on its roof). It really did seem a very well chosen defensive position.

I had a great stay on the island, being so flat it was hardly the best preparation for Ben Nevis but there was still plenty of good running to be had though I will think twice before going and doing hill reps up the few hundred foot climb up the ridge behind the hotel again in the midday heat.