Author Topic: Son Real  (Read 1309 times)

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Kate1

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Son Real
« on: June 10, 2011, 15:10:46 PM »
If you want to experience rural Mallorca as it was before the tourists came, then head for Son Real. This came highly recommended by Snowy so we thought we'd check it out.

First of all, it's quite hard to find. In the UK there would be loads of those brown heritage signs telling you exactly where to go, but we sailed gaily past the gates of Son Real a couple of times before we realised we were in the right place. (It's just past Ca'n Picafort.) There were only a couple of cars in the car park; it's certainly somewhere to go if you want to escape the crowds. Having parked our car, we headed to the information office, where the guy behind the desk steadfastly insisted on speaking Mallorcan only, despite my husband's pretty decent Spanish. There were, apparently, no maps or information leaflets available. You do almost get the impression that the government - who now own the Son Real estate - don't actually want you to be there....By now husband was pretty hacked off, especially after he discovered that there was nowhere to get a cup of coffee or anything to eat, only vending machines with a fairly unenticing range of snacks and drinks.  However, we decided to press on.

There is an optional museum visit preceded by a video introduction to Son Real - which, bizarrely, has to be viewed while standing on a glass floor in the pitch dark. This is the only thing that costs any money - access to the estate itself is free. There is a choice of three walks, none of which are hilly or excessively long. We chose the route which took us down to the neolithic tombs. The surroundings are really stunning - completely unspoilt, with nothing apart from birdsong to disturb the peace. We saw literally no one. Like the visitor centre, I would not say that they had fallen over backwards to accommodate visitors; a few seats en route wouldn't have gone amiss and the signage wasn't always clear (more of this later). But I guess they want to preserve the ambience of the area; it really feels like you are in the depths of undiscovered countryside. And the tombs themselves are just extraordinary - strange, circular structures right by the edge of the sea. Weird, desolate, unbelievably atmospheric. In the UK I suspect they would be fenced off, or at least surrounded by a barrage of warning signs and health and safety notices, but here you can walk on top of them, inside them, have a picnic... Yet none of my three tourist guides to Mallorca even mentions they exist.

One word of warning: it is quite easy to get hopelessly lost at Son Real (at any rate, it was for us). I don't know whether someone had been monkeying around with the signs but at one point on the way back we took a wrong turning which took us a couple of miles out of our way. I did wonder, fleetingly, whether this was Snowy's idea of a cruel joke... Fortunately it wasn't too hot, but at that point we were really regretting not taking advantage of the bottled water in the vending machines... in fact, at one point, with Daughter No. 1 sobbing that 'she couldn't do this any more', we thought we might be heading for a Bear Grylls-type overnight survival experience. But that aside, Son Real is a really amazing place, and well worth a visit. Next time, we would come better prepared - wear proper walking shoes and bring plenty of water. And perhaps a compass.

Belladonna

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Re: Son Real
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2011, 18:12:30 PM »
Thanks for that one Kate. I think! Sounds like it should have a bit of a health warning before you start out. As you say, a good day if you are well prepared for it, maybe one that should go on the picnic thread! Will take a length of string or  shiny pebbles if we go, to mark out our way back again!  ;)

favie

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Re: Son Real
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2011, 00:00:42 AM »
What an amazing adventurous day for you all Kate, really enjoyed reading that and if I ever get round to trying it one day at least I have been forewarned and will go prepared....thanks for that! :) 

PS Lovely to see you on "Bonychat"

Kate1

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Re: Son Real
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2011, 17:48:42 PM »
I think I may have slightly misrepresented the experience - bear in mind that I am someone who refuses to go camping because I will have nowhere to plug in my hairdryer, and you will gauge my general attitude towards the great outdoors... Son Real is actually very civilised, with proper paths and everything; not a wilderness at all! I'm sure the Mallorcan speaking guy in the information centre was laughing up his sleeve when he saw the bunch of pathetic British townies struggling back, all red-faced and sweaty, from what was in all honesty no more than a pleasant stroll in the countryside... Don't let us put you off, it really is a lovely place to spend an afternoon.

Eleanor

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Re: Son Real
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2011, 18:38:20 PM »
LOL Kate! - you and me both! I would never make a good Girl Guide!  ;)

I consider roughing it when I have to lift a bottle of water for the kettle rather than turn a tap on!  ;)
Just joking - or am I?? ::)
Eleanor


Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.

Belladonna

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Re: Son Real
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2011, 21:05:24 PM »
I'm afraid I'm with you there girls. Yes, I have the infamous pair of pink walking boots, but camping to me is Centre Parcs!

snowy

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Re: Son Real
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2011, 13:20:26 PM »
Kate thanks for post Son Real we love it there as you say you can walk for miles, pleased to say we have never got lost as we lived to tell the tale.
Great place for bird watching also we got great view of nightingales.
Is my glass half full or half empty