Castle of la Punta de Amber. Mallorca.

The Castle of la Punta de Amer is a 17th century fortification located in Sant Lorenzo des Cardessar on the island of Mallorca. The sandstone structure was built in the late 17th century, and is now a protected site.

A great walk through the coastal nature reserve to get there. A small castle fortress with a local cafe for refreshments after the walk. Lots of feral cats and kittens around!

Cala Millor Sand Dunes.

Today I walked the Nature reserve between Sa Coma and Cala Millor – and found a different landscape of sand dunes- something I wasn’t expecting.

I thought the day was chilly, so changed shorts and T-shirt for trousers and sweatshirt. Found it was hot and went and changed. Half way along the route it went black and rained heavily!

The area was interesting. It is a breeding area for the loggerhead turtle, a protected species that lives in the Balearic Sea They come from different nesting areas in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. In recent years they have increased nesting on the Spanish coast. Climate change is causing a natural dispersion of sea
turtles that are leaving their usual nesting areas in search of other cooler ones.

The Dunes are in the process of being regenerated and there were lots of wild flowers.

The walk followed the coastline and passed through a farm. The walk showed a different Cala Millor to the beach, hotels and restaurants. I was uplifted following the tracks and listening to the bird song.

Groovin in the Ghost Village. (Cheeky Walks in Brighton & Sussex).

Another walk today from the Cheeky Walks in Brighton and Sussex book- this time across rolling downland around Woodingdean, ‘crossing the abandoned ghost village of Balsdean, evacuated and destroyed by Canadian artillery training practice during World War Two’.

Abandoned farm buildings, sheep and the Amex Stadium (home of Brighton and Hove Albion FC) made up the landscape. It was a grey November day, but a good trek across the chalk land all the same. According to the book you needed to walk it to the sound track of Brighton musical duo Grasscut’s album 1 inch/ 1/2 mile- apparently a ‘musical romp through the Sussex landscape’. Incidentally Grasscut also designed the route.

Isle of Wight. Hampshire.

We spent a windy Halloween on the Isle of Wight. We took the ferry from Portsmouth over to Fishbourne £60 return- a 40 minute choppy crossing across the Solent.

The Island is dog friendly and we started on Ryde Beach.

Ryde Beach looking across the Solent to Portsmouth.
Chaos and Mayhem

Back in the car to make our way across the Island to The Needles, the Isle of Wight’s famous landmark.

The Needles.

The Needles is a row of three stacks of chalk that rise about 30m out of the sea off the western extremity of the Isle of Wight in the English Channel.

Last stop of the day was the seaside resort of Shanklin for a late fish and chip lunch.

The island is easy to drive around and has beautiful coastal scenery and landscapes.

Sadly it was time for the return ferry. However there was lots more we want to do and see- so many more trips to this beautiful little gem of an island.

Matchmaking Festivals and Tidy Towns.

These were two events I was intrigued by when I was in Southern Ireland.

Starting with the Matchmaking Festival: Apparently if you want to find love, all you have to do is visit Ireland, in particular , Lisdoonvarna, a tiny, rural town in County Clare. Every fall, this little town is home to a huge matchmaking festival, where thousands of people flock to find “The One.” The festival mostly targets rural farmers who don’t have great access to singles bars or Tinder — but it’s been a local tradition for 150 years.

Then there is the Tidy Town competition: this national initiative was launched in 1958 by the Irish Tourist Board: Bord Fáilte (now Fáilte Ireland). It was originally part of ‘Tostal’, a nationwide festival celebrating all things Irish.

From the start, the primary focus of TidyTowns was to encourage communities to improve their local environment and make their area a better place to live, work and visit. The competition aspect was an important element in developing friendly rivalry that would help boost standards across the country. However, the emphasis was always on participating rather than winning as the very act of taking part brought benefits to the community- a focus on long-term results.

So this finishes my series of posts detailing my road trip across the West Coast and the Ring Of Kerry. The West of Ireland is all about the stunning, awe inspiring and breathtaking landscapes and it certainly didn’t disappoint. Apparently the East is all about the myths and legends, so that will be my next Irish trip.

https://www.newmarketholidays.co.uk/holidays/europe/ring-of-kerry-and-wonderful-western-ireland