Tuesday 4 November 2014

A Mallorcan Mountain Picnic

I can't distinguish where the sea ends and the skies begin. Perched upon the flattest rock I can find, we sit in scattered positions at the foot of Puig d'en Galileu (1,181M), below one of the highest peaks in Mallorca. Having descended from our climb, we reach into our rucksacks and pull out an array of Mallorcan produce ranging from a  loaf of freshly baked, unsalted bread to a jar of green olives. 
Sea and Sky...
Everything we have is laid out on a picnic rug and the food selection is a patchwork of contrasting colour. Tomatoes, larger then tennis balls, gleam a healthy red. The long green peppers are sliced and the quarter of cheese is cut into manageable chunks. We prise open a tin of pate and the salty parma ham is unwrapped. Plastic plates and serviettes are passed around and we gather round in anticipation of our feast of local produce in the mountains. 

Mountain Picnics

"PA AMB OLI! IT'S AMAZING!"  announces our tour guide, Eduardo enthusiastically. He demonstrates the art of creating a typical Mallorcan lunch. Grabbing a halved tomato, he rubs the flesh of the fruit directly onto the bread, leaving a pink tinge and a few tomato seeds on the bread's surface. 
He grabs his hiking knife and exclaims "now you must take out the meat of the tomato". The fruit is defleshed in front of us and the soft inner core is placed onto the bread. Thin slices of parma ham are placed on top, along with a few slices of roughly cut Mallorcan cheese. He grabs a handful of olives, capers and green peppers and scatters the sides onto the plate. A final light drizzle of olive oil finishes off the lunch. "It is the best, I eat it everyday!" Eduardo says cheerfully. 

Pa Amb Oli 

 A little weary after our hike, we follow Eduardo's directions and create a Mallorcan lunch. I balance the plate on my lap. There is a gentle caress of the mountain's breeze. I take in the magnificent backdrop of the Tramuntana mountains unfolding beneath us. Deep green forests of Olm Oak contrasts the coastal blue waters and the cerulean sky. Vultures encircle the crumpled rock face and wild flowers bloom through the mountain range. It is incredibly tranquil and a far cry from the assumed image of Mallorca as a party island. 

I thoroughly enjoy my picnic lunch. The airy, unsalted bread provides an excellent base for the crisp peppers, dried meats and mellow cheese. Pickled jalapenos add a touch of heat and the lunch is rounded off with fruit and chocolate topped biscuits. 

I spent a week Walking in Mallorca. It was a beautiful insight into the island as a emerging premier walking destination. From coastal walks to steep scrambles, Mallorca offers a choice of routes for anyone with a interest in exploring the island by foot. I've wiped away all my previous misconceptions of Mallorca as a tourist destination and I look forward to returning to the island for further exploration. 

Puig d'en Galileu [1,181m]
Exodus Travels Walking in Mallorca Group - 26.10.2014