I like a slow-and-steady pace when I’m travelling, but I don’t like being too idle. I like to indulge in new foods while I’m on the road too, so I often look for a good exercise/food balance. Hiking for 20 kilometres totally gives me permission to stuff my gob.
My week in Pollensa, Mallorca with the girls was particularly lazy. We didn’t have access to a car, and our villa was pretty isolated. Our days were spent lounging by the pool, working, and eating.
Not a bad way to spend a week in Spain, really.
But one day the Internet went down, and never came back. I had deadlines due, and the stress really got to me.
I haven’t had a gym membership since leaving St. John’s. This is a big deal considering I used to work-out at least 3-5 times a week, and hardcore. So when my nerves starting fraying and I started taking out my anger on the girls, I knew exercise was the answer.
I had been eyeing the Puig de Maria monastery for days. It’s located 330 metres on a hill overlooking Pollensa, and despite its beautiful viewpoint, it doesn’t seem to get much love from tourists. I dashed through Pollensa’s narrow streets and made my way toward the trail.
It’s not an easy walk. The hill is steep, but there’s a cobbled pathway for walkers (which also kinda makes walking difficult…I kind of hate cobblestones). Keep in mind I hadn’t worked out in over a month at that point.
I huffed and puffed my way up the hill while hardly meeting another soul. I passed a family, some elderly couples, and a jogger or two. But that’s about it.
The Puig de Maria is a Gothic-style fortified monastery, originally occupied by nuns in 1371. It has been abandoned for many years, though, but has since been restored. You actually can even rent a room up there for a modest price, but amenities aren’t exactly luxurious. (No WiFi. Curse Spain’s WiFi.) I’m not even sure where you’d park your vehicle, to be honest. The road is quite narrow.
At the top, you’ll see the remains of the walled monastery. There’s a picnic area, and a small shop. And you’ll have some insanely beautiful views over the Bay of Pollensa, including the Serra de Tramuntana mountain range.
I felt the tension drain off of me as I neared the top. The sun was out in full glory; the mountains sprawled across a stunning setting. I sat down on one of the ancient walls just to enjoy the quiet at the top. The only disturbance was a curious goat. Yes, a goat.
Sometimes putting aside that workload is important, even vital. I suppose that’s the curse of a travel writer — I always take my work with me.
There’s not much to do while you’re up there, but it doesn’t matter. A change in perspective is all you need.