There was a tinge of madness in how she approached tourists who walked casuallly on the first part of the trail toward Atlantis, a secluded cove in the Southwest coast of Ibiza., Spain.
She especially targeted visitors sporting flip flops and carrying no packs.
Are you going to Atlantis? she’d ask, out of the blue.
Well, yes… they’d answer, with puzzled looks on their faces.
You know? You’d do well to reconsider. You need sturdy walking shoes, a hat….and plenty of drinking water. The walk to Atlantis is no stroll to buy bread, it’s……a trap. She looked dead serious, a present day Cassandra with a straw hat.
And yet she was not totally off. In just a few hours we witnessed scenes of heavy sweet, blood and even a heat stroke. But I’m getting ahead of my story.
Atlantis, more properly named Sa Pedrera de Cala D’Hort, offers a bizarre combination of turquoise blue water, weird rock formations and sand dunes that attracted hippies from the 1960s on.
K and I had been recommended the walk by the same person who had mentioned glorious Es Portitxol, in the North of the island, that we visited in November, so figured out that a walk there was in order.
Now you know this traveler ain’t no hippie, so we’d read up on what to expect and prepared accordingly. Put on plenty of sunscreen, covered our heads, and carried lots of water on top of the usual beach and snorkeling gear. Trail runners instead of flip flops, and the gps track downloaded to my cell phone. OK, maybe that was overkill, as the routefinding is far from challenging.
The interesting thing here is that the way there is downhill, the way back uphill. This can make it hard to gauge how tough the return will be, as the way there is peppered with glorious views that promise snorkeling and refreshment galore. Who the hell wouldn’t walk the extra mile to be down there?
However, once down, it turns out there are no obvious places to lay your towel and relax. There are some flat slabs of rock, but generally narrow and taken by early birds, keen instagrammers and/or people arriving by boat. Little shade, too. So in the end it’s more of a “get there and jump in the water” experience. And one that, in a sense, is better accessed by boat, not on foot. Especially in the heat of high Summer.
After some glorious swimming, we were changing out of our swimsuits and mentally preparing for the way back when we saw him arrive. A guy in his twenties lagging behind his friends who basically limped his way to the water. Injury? Heat stroke? Both?
The way up in unforgiving heat required physical stamina, but it was more a question of mind. Staying focused, walking from tree shade to tree shade, few and far between. We caught up with a younger couple that had passed us. The guy was bleeding from his toes. That was idiotic, not to wear proper shoes, he admitted. Too right, we nodded wisely.
It was probably then when it dawned on K that her moral duty was to issue a word of warning to any living soul who was not properly equipped for the ordeal.
Are you going to Atlantis? Kassandra asked the first couple she encountered. Strangely, they understood neither Spanish or English, and looked at us as if we had just escaped from an asylum.
Fine – that can happen in Ibiza. Next up?