Everything was ready: Covid-19 tests done and a pretty decent weather window . We were convinced we were going to cross the Gulf of Lyon to get to Alghero (Sardinia) on Sunday but, some hours before setting sails, we were informed that the Covid-19 situation in Sardinia has worsened and the island was going to be locked down for a few weeks. We immediately decided to change our plans and will stay in Menorca for a bit longer than originally expected.
Staying in Menorca, ain’t that bad!
Back in March, when we decided to start this adventure, we knew that very much likely Covid-19 would have have had some sort of impact on our plans: we assumed that we’d have had to be flexible and adapt to the changing environment.
As a matter of fact, one of the reasons why we had decided to go to Sardinia was the apparently good Covid-19 figures: in March Sardinia was in the unique position of being in a Covid “white” safe area. Only a few weeks have passed and the situation has drastically changed: Sardinia starting from Monday 12th April is classified as “red” region, as the situation has worsened locally on the island. What does it mean? Well, that all non-essential shops are closed there, bars and restaurants can only do takeaway services and trips outside home are only allowed for work or health reasons or other situations of need.
All in all, it makes little sense for us to go a region that is facing a tough health situation, were the number of Intensive Care Units is reduced. What do we do then? Well, the answer is easy when you are in Menorca and are surrounded by unique natural spots: we’ll stay here and will be exploring the North side of Menorca.
Surprised by Port d’Addaia
On Saturday 10th, instead of setting course to Alghero (Sardinia) we decided to find a good place to stay and we chose Port d’Addaia on the north side of the island. At the beginning we were only considering Mahon and Ciutadella as safe and well protected ports, but then after some more reading we decided that Addaia would have guaranteed excellent shelter. We called the port and not only they reassured us that they had available berths, but they let us know that they had a special offer for April: for our boat length, we will be paying €11/day, water and electricity included.
In the pontoon where we are currently moored, there are at least 2 more families living on their sailboats. They all share the same story: some were planning to go to Greece, others to Sardinia, but then because of Covid-19 related restrictions, they preferred to stay in Menorca and fell in love with Addaia. Some of them have been here for four months now…my first thought, when I heard their story, was “let’s make sure we don’t feel too comfortable here before we fall in love with this place…“.
There is indeed a very nice and relaxed atmosphere here which makes you feel at home even if you are a complete stranger. The port is at the bottom of a long a narrow cove (described by the Pilot Book as “a hurricane hole”, as it’s protected from any wind direction): it’s surrounded by green hills and some well-integrated white villas. It’s extremely quiet, especially at night, and the silence is only interrupted by the melody of the hoot of an owl, who must be sitting in some tree nearby, as he contemplates this magic place.
The day after we got here, we were very kindly invited by our neighbors to join their BBQ! We spent the night with them, hearing their adventures as we were eating German meat, Spanish cervezas and finishing with a delicious homemade panna cotta.
The ancient path of Camí de Cavalls
As we plan to stay some more days, we are going to make sure we get the most of Menorca. We want to walk as much of the Camí de Cavalls: an ancient path of 186 km that encircles the island of Menorca. It was created in the 13th century and used by horse-riding guards to defend the island from a sea attack. The trail was unused for many years and it would have probably faded away completely if some local residents wouldn’t have decided to protect it in the 1990s. After some long negotiations with private landowners, the Cami de Cavalls was officially opened to the public in 2010. Today, the trail is broken up into 20 different stages (each of 5 – 15 kilometres in length).
We are going to rent a car for some days, so that we can explore a bit further. Thanks to our neighbor advice, we found a rental car for €5,50/day: I guess we’ll keep it for as long as we stay here!
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