Would we make it to our destination, Port de Sóller, by sunset? We hadn’t even reached the top of the mountain yet. When last I left you, my husband and I had taken a long walk from Sóller to Biniaraix to Binibassí and Fornalutx and were on our way to the mountain viewpoint, Mirador de Ses Barques. This is the road portion to Ses Barques (looking back the way we’d just come), not to be confused with the dirt paths and rocky ascents over which we also traveled.
Look at how far we’d come since morning and how very high up we were. Contrary to common sense, as we hiked higher, we became increasingly warmer. The sun was out and the mist had burned off (although haze remained), plus the mountain blocked any breeze that might have been blowing off the sea. So from heavy winter coat, to sweater, and then down to shirt, we’d felt as though early summer was fast approaching in February.
For a while there we weren’t sure that we’d make it. After following the wooden signs pointing the way, our last fork in the path had no sign. What to do? We made an educated guess…take the right branch of the “Y” and continue hiking up. Worst case would be an easier hike down, which sounded much better than the alternative. Thankfully, we’d calculated correctly and were richly rewarded.
Looking down the mountainside, we could see our dinner destination, Port de Sóller. That’s a long way to walk before sundown. Even though we knew we had a long walk ahead of us, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to have an incredibly delicious cup of hot chocolate while we enjoyed the view.
As it turned out, we did end up traveling down the other branch of the “Y” when we began our decent down the mountain towards Port de Sóller. The path left untraveled remained untraveled no more.
And this elegant olive tree.
And this towering cactus (or are they cacti?). Not long after passing this cactus, we came to another unmarked fork in the road, but this time both paths led down the mountain. Choosing the correct path was not so straightforward this time, so we did as we did the last time and took the path leading to the right.
The road down the mountain seemed endless; we did not know how far we were from Port de Sóller. Without a map and no real idea of where we were (had we chosen the correct branch at the fork in the road?), we thought it best to pick up the pace because it was starting to get dark. Would the port be around the very next corner? No, but a man traveling up hill was, and he reassured us that we were almost there…only about 10 minutes more. Yay! Well, 10 minutes passed, then 15, and finally 20. With no sign of the port, we were really starting to worry. It would have been disappointing if we’d missed the sunset, but truly scary to be on an apparently seldom-traveled mountain road in the dark with no idea where we were or exactly where we were headed.
And then utter and complete relief. The darkness of the mountain pass gave way to fading sunlight over the sea. Not only had we made it, but the light show was just about to begin, and Port de Sóller’s beach would provide an ideal view. This photo of Port de Sóller was taken facing south.
This is the north-facing view.
We enjoyed the show until all the credits had rolled, but could not find a suitable place for dinner; the tourist season had yet to begin, so almost nothing was open. Instead, after a walk from one end of town to the other, we took the tram back to Sóller for a well-deserved dinner. We would head for Palma the following day, but for that evening we were happy to be living in the moment.