If you want to get away from it all , there is no surer way than strapping on your boots, shouldering your backpack, and embarking on a long distance path; and there are few long distance paths more beguiling and more crammed with adventure than Mallorca s GR221, La Ruta de Pedra en Sec or The Dry Stone Way. Anybody who has visited Mallorca will appreciate the justice of the GR221 s title. Following ancient bridleways along the length of the Tramuntana range, from Port d Andratx in the southwest to Pollença in the northeast, the GR221 touches on dry stone in its every manifestation, from the raw rock of the peaks and sweeping fields of karst to the tailored stones that have always been the island's building material of choice. In some cases, we use immaculately paved trails, at other times we walk on bare rock below looming cliffs, and everywhere we cross the rocky passes that have always been the portals between the Mallorca's otherwise isolated communities. En route, we see dry-stone huts, dry-stone springs, dry-stone threshing circles, dry-stone snowpits, dry-stone walls, dry-stone limekilns, dry-stone byres, dry-stone stiles, dry-stone bread ovens, dry-stone wells . . . basically, anything you can prefix with 'dry-stone', we get it. Moreover, there is enough variety packed into this trail to fill an itinerary twice as long, the dry stone being broken up by plains of citrus groves, terraces of olive trees, forests of Holm Oak, exquisite pastoral enclaves, and spectacular valleys laced with glittering threads of mountain torrents, all of it backed by the broad blue palette of the Mediterranean. In the course of its 115 kilometres, the Ruta de Pedra en Sec takes walkers into places most tourists never see and offers us a bird's eye view of this magnificent landscape, giving visitors a complete picture of the Tramuntana range in a single holiday, freeing one from constraints of time and transport, and lending a coherence to the experience that day walks can only achieve over the course of a far longer and more costly trip. Features of Walk! GR221 Full details concerning the state of the route and accommodation options Specific advice and comprehensive practical information to help you plan your trip Detailed walking descriptions for each stage of the itinerary, including frequent timings to aid navigation and check your progress GPS waypoints for every key point on the route Full colour 1:40,000 scale maps drawn from our own surveys Coloured photos illustrating each stage and dedicated photo pages so you can see at a glance what to look forward to each day Walking route summaries including ratings for Effort, Time, Distance, Ascents/Descents, Refreshments and Vertigo risk Altitude profiles drawn from our own GPS records Alternative itineraries Links to other walks Town sketches describing the settlements en route Gobbets giving background information about the island's history and culture.
Charles gives an overview of the book:
Charles Davis was born and educated, and has travelled and worked. He now lives and writes. That has always seemed to me to be enough biography for any writer, but being an avid reader, too, I appreciate that curiosity demands a bit more, so . . . .