We'll keep sailing southeast, around the Island. Today we should
reach "Ses Salines," but every time I sail by this coast and look
at the shore, I think about the real threat that is still there for the whole
The destruction doesn't stop and new buildings appear here
and there, most of the time where they shouldn't be. When I see all that, I
have to stop, denounce the situation and pray for help.
For whatever reason, San José Town Hall, the Mayor, and all
the rest of the councillors of his political party (Partido Popular) don't respect
the orders from the local government or the new laws about the regulations and
the moratorium on new constructions, nor the limits of the areas.
Tribunals are full up, stuffed with papers, complaints from
both sides, with several new ones being lodged every week. This is the tactic
they use now: collapse the system with tons of paper. They have time on their
side, plenty of money and good lawyers. As a matter of fact, they have everything
but the support of the People, of the Majority - not to mention a glaring lack
of Ethics, Morality, Intelligence and Common Sense.
Meanwhile, building goes on - only for some, of course. The
rest of the citizens, the great majority, don't seem to count at all. I should
say that we do count a lot... but only when it comes to paying. I hate bloody
So, whenever I am nearby, I have to stop, just one more time,
before it is too late, while we still can, while we still can dream of a Better
We'll carry on tomorrow, after stopping in Cala D'Hort or Cala
Carbó for a very tasty and nutritious lunch, "Guisat de peix", a stew
of assorted fish with a few potatoes which is one of the specialities of the
restaurants of the area. This dish deserves more then just a few words: it deserves
to be eaten!
It gives me the chance to introduce some more of our fish that
swim around these waters and are often found in this dish.
The grouper "Serranus gigas" is for us the real king
of the sea. Its head, fins and part of its tail can be enough for a lovely meal;
the rest will be sliced and grilled.
If there is no grouper, the Scorpion fish "Scorpaena scrofa"
("Roxa" on the menu), Stargazer, "Uranoscopus scaber" (Rata),
Angler-fish "Lophius" (Rap), Weevers "Trachinus draco" and
"Trachinus araneus" (Araña), Amberjack "Seriola dumerili"
(Sirviola), Meagre "Argyrosomus regius" (Corba), John Dory "Zeus
faber" (Gall), Breams "Dentex dentex" (Denton), Banded-bream
"Diplodus sargus" (Sarc).
Ideally at least four or five of these fish should be in the
stew for a traditional feast.
One kilo of fresh fish per head and you can't fail! (That's
according to the recipe of my old friend Mariano Mestre - one of the best chefs
on the Island, especially for local food). We'll go to one of the restaurants
in Cala Carbó and start with handmade "Ai y oli," rich, garlicky mayonnaise,
with fresh bread and green olives on the side and they won't have forgotten
to chill the wine.
Local fishing men brings all these fish and a lot of others
to shore. They sally forth each morning in their little fishing boats with all
their nets and the rest of their fishing equipment. After the day's catch has
been hauled into land, the fishermen stash their gear in small houses built
for this purpose down and inside the cliff along the beach, wherever the coastline
provides a sheltered niche. So all the activity is done on the spot, a world
by itself: fishing, repairing the boat and the equipment, selling, cooking and
eating the catch.
Beautiful mermaids from all the seas always come ashore and
appear, moving around the table when the meal is ready, saying: "Mmm...That
looks really good! May I join you?"
What else do you need for the hot summer days? Even the "siesta"
on this clean, white sand is somehow exclusive and luxurious.
These activities have been going on for a long time and were
a tradition just for our own people long before the tourists discovered them.
There were no restaurants then. They date from the times when coal from the
ancient pine forests nearby was brought to be sold at Cala Carbó, the closest
port to the mainland, and from there sent to Spain on small boats that came
to fetch it. (Carbó means coal, which gives the name to "Cala" - Little
Fishing in the waters around "Es Vedra" has always
been very important for the local economy. For generations, families from San
José or Es Cubells, ten or twelve kilometres away - there were no cars in those
days - kept their boats down the beach in Cala D'Hort to go for the big banks
of fish that swim along this coast (especially Amberjack, Dentex, Tuna "Tunnus
thynnus", Gilt-head bream "Chrysophrys aurata" and Bonito "Sarda
It is surprising to see the number of one-handed men there
are in these families, a reminder from the old days - but not that long ago
- when all these big banks of fish were caught with dynamite. Very effective,
but very risky. Some say that is probably why so many sharks were also caught
around this area. Lots of dead fish (and some human fingers) often remained
in the water.
We wake up from a two-hour siesta, the Sun is going down and
there is nobody left on the beach. The beautiful mermaid has disappeared. (Did
she say she comes from Copenhagen, or was it Berlin? When did this happen? Earlier
today? Or was it thirty years ago?).
Maybe it was just the Sun and the wine. Or the magic of the
place. Who cares! Thanks anyway!
Now it is not too hot, the proper time for a walk. We'll go
uphill, to the "Pirates tower" right in front of "Es Vedra",
on top of the cliff two hundred metres above the sea from where we can observe
one of the best Sunsets on the whole Planet Earth.
For the next hour or so, we'll watch the Sun disappearing behind
the Spanish coastline, far away over the Western horizon.
What a good Artist's hand! What a brief yet eternal and so
colourful a masterpiece!
My eyes are full of light, but I can hear the darkness growing.
A nice fresh breeze rises up and... it's time to go!
The Good News
The good news for this week comes from Brussels.
The European Government has approved seventeen of the Spanish
projects for the Environment. The money is in hand to go ahead with them.
Among them at least three are exclusive for the Balearic Islands.
Out of 621.000 Euros (Pesetas 103 million), more or less fifty
percent goes to protect and help to increase the number of autochthonous "Voltor":
the vultures of Mallorca. Without these plans, the vulture has no chance of
a future, just a few decades at the most. Let's hope that we are still in time.
The rest is to be spent on the protection of the autochthonous
Flora in Menorca.
The most important one is 3 million Euros (Pesetas 481million)
for the conservation of "Posidonia"… the famed sea grass.
The Balearic prairies of Posidonia were declared "Patrimonio
de la Humanidad" in the late 1990s because of the enormous importance of
this plant for the ecological equilibrium of our seabed and its Fauna.