Saturday, 7 October 2017

Menorca Tour, The Welsh Anglo Tour Series, 7 - 14th October 2017


Organised many, many months ago and thanks to Gareth for all of the planning, a very civilised start with the flight at 0830 on the Saturday we decided to book a Travel Lodge on the Friday evening, Ok the party started early but it also insured we were there and no silly o-clock start.
Its only just over a two hour flight and the taxi to Es Grau was short and cheap, 19€, that did,nt include the tip of course.
A small village, a local shop which although the lady owner took some days to warm up met all our needs and not too expensive, 85c for a tin of beer, 13€ for the local gin, oh yes fresh bread, cheeses and meats, we were sorted.
If you have transport there is a Lidle a short distance from the airport but for ourselves a hire car would have been parked up for some time and not used.
Arrived at the accommodation around midday wondered off to the kayak hire venue which was ..............across the road.
Menorcaenkayak.com ,  great staff mainly UK kayaks, Scorpios and Wilderness boats, we booked well in advance as the day of our arrival was their annual circumnavigation of the Island.
They had around 25 on this, its for eight days and just under 700€, we saw them practise on the Saturday in the bay and they set off on the Sunday.
Three of us had Scorpios and one with the Wilderness 17.
Kit is included we payed 115€ for five days and the staff are both willing and enthusiastic regarding advice and support, highly recommend this company.
So ready for Sunday we chilled out, a walk and something to eat, self catered on this night.

The view from our beers

Unusual

The Welsh Anglo Tour Series gang, L to R, Gareth, me, Badger, and Andrew

Andrew now behaving

Sea views available

A happy Badger

The yard and the usual place for booking SOT,s and SUP

Views from our veranda


The shop, two mins away, impressed with the kit.
SUNDAY

Up and at em early, oops no we are on holiday guys.
Kayaks out of the racks, padlock given and shown how to secure them on our return, you also leave a 50 € deposit, its for the usual although not sure how we could steal them.
We had noticed that it was fairly windy on the Saturday, same today, so after setting up the boats, we decided to play it safe and see what it was like when we turned out of the harbour.
Great place to play and do rescues, sheltered and of course warm water.
Went left and continued on, nothing to concern us, I think warm water also assists in making decisions.

The land to the right is a small Island Illa der Colom and a nature reserve, the channel to the left is fairly shallow in places, not much tide difference here.

Fantastic rock formations

Does it get better, clear and warm seas

Made by the Brits 
Cap de Favourite o de Copifort, a short paddle around the corner, confused seas so a decision to head back 
Headed straight back, some swells but nothing to pick us up and assist much.
MONDAY

Another windy day and some advice from the hire centre regarding the conditions, we decided to go for a walk and see if the winds would die down later that day.



Luckily spotted this certainly a wow factor

Junipers, recommend the local gin guys

These gates are a feature of the Island. 

The local nature reserve 
Although not apparent the seas looked big, swells and seas crashing into the rocks.


Later that day three of us decided to dip our toes into the water, we once again turned left and headed clockwise around the Island.
I managed the one photo and that was before we hit the large swells.
They were by far the biggest seas I had been in.
It appeared that you had to paddle up the large swells which appeared just to the left tip.
You continually lost sight of each other within the troughs, although none were breaking.
Crashing seas on the rocky coast also focused you.
It seemed to take ages to get to the turning point.
Again big seas on the other side of the Island and we had to head out in order to avoid the breaking seas which were because of some shallow waters, very focused not much chatting and heads down.
Again I think the warmth of the water assists although you still would not wish to start doing rescue,s, no get out points at all so some physical paddling.
Anyway we did it, although relatively short in distance a great learning curve and a boost to my confidence.
One to tell the Grandkids about.
Thats the only snap, we headed right and went around clockwise, that corner took ages to get to.


TUESDAY

Another day and the winds had died down, so we decided this time to turn right, rain forecasted, still very warm although cloudy.
We decided to try and see the Island as we mentioned that yesterdays paddling conditions had not been condusive to much sight seeing

Scorpio boys

Another British Tower

Lunch spot




Clear waters
Raining but still very warm

Taking some co


Grouting

Paddle in bar, had a few in the pouring rain.


WEDNESDAY

A walk first and then the plan was to paddle later, it was very hot.
We went along the coastal path the plan was to visit some standing stones a burial ground.
Unfortunately access was restricted to Thursdays only between 0900-1300





Views from the Bay












THURSDAY

Our last day there on the water, and what a fantastic day, no winds, flat and glassy seas, so we headed towards the large lighthouse and beyond to the next village.
Just under 18 miles, very different without tidal assistance.
A great day and a lovely evening and meal at the local bar.












FRIDAY

Sadly returned the kayaks so we decided to go for a long walk, the original intention was to walk to the lighthouse, with the heat and other factors we had to cut it short, still a very long one into double figures.
End of holidays do as well, table booked and a great meal.









SATURDAY

Our last day, flight not till 2115 so some hanging around although we still had the accommodation.
It was also the return of the gang from the Island circumnavigation.
So thats it gang, hoping to return next year.
We will certainly use Menocaenkayak hire again, perhaps arrange some lifts to explore the other sections of the Island.
Might even take some camping kit and do the Island.
Till next year goodbye Menorca.
Some random snaps below together with the returning kayakers.