Sunday, 15 August 2010

Wot I Did On My Holidayz VII: Dustbath

It was now close to 7.00am and already the heat of the day was mounting. I had a long way to thrash through the spiny spiky thorny undergrowth if I was to get to the coast footpath of the Cami de Cavalls and with constant back tracking to find an easier way through the bush it was looking likely that the easier, and least painful route, was to go back the way I came and use the rough road to get back out. I never like giving up on a walk, no matter how much of a pain it becomes, but I was never going to see anything with the noise of pushing and squeezing through the winnies so I turned round and looked for an easy way back up the hill I had just came down.
Some time later I arrived at the road, running roughly parallel with the coast about a kilometer inland. The sun was rising high, early morning sailors were on the sea and in the distance I could hear the first cars on the road to Sant Lluis. Using the dirt road to walk out rather than the Cami de Cavalls would not bring me to the sea but it would save time and my battered and scratched legs. As I crested one of the rises heading westwards with the sun on my back towards Punta Prima I found a hoopoe, maybe even the same individual I had disturbed roosting on the wooden gate, taking a dustbath in the middle of the road. I had the chance to take a picture, a poor one though it is, before the bird flew off into the bushes. Arriving at the site I was also able to take a nice picture of the dustbath site, not a very inspiring holiday snap for the normal tourist but for somebody interested in sign and track a very nice end to a rewarding walk. The place where the bird had been dusting itself was marked with deep linear markings from its wing tips and was approximately 30cm in length by 20 cm in width.
I would love to spend more time in these coastal forests and gorges on Menorca. The place is a paradise for birds and wildlife, and with most visitors to the island confining themselves to their sun-loungers and swimming pools they are agreeably empty of people. I am still not sure what the law of trespass entails in Spain but as in England you need to get caught first. One of the best couple of hours I’ve ever spent on a family holiday!

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