Formentor Revisited

10/10/2014 20:40

The distance from the Catalan coast to Palma, in Mallorca, is the time a dream needs, or the time spent in dozing on a deck chair awaiting the arrival of the first light of dawn, or before these, on the horizon that slowly approaches, the city lights that project as a reflection of a lighthouse lamp in the distance.

But the path that separates Formentor in memory is even greater, is not measurable in a gaze directed towards the wristwatch or backward to a page on a calendar. The distance between Formentor and the present time is like the dizziness that accompanies an empty space, an impressive void where unwillingly exists the desire to fall down. To be back is travel in time accompanied by memories of adolescence, as evanescent and intangible as spirits who accompany the landscape. And Formentor is just an excuse.

Tonia were waiting for us in the harbour, her smile was gentle as the first, only for the sincerity and odd for its freshness. She led us up her vehicle, which was wilfully taking us to our destination. Xesca, Luis and Marta drop in as much as they could accommodate five people in a Simca 1000 car. The following vision was the city ring roads passing through the window. The memory, a succession of indefinite movements, some close to that of the aged photographs where a dominant colour usually prevail on others. Then memories are only stained in magenta, sometimes in dull green.

The ring roads and the city were left behind as it does who leaves some unimportant thing, a crumpled note bouncing on the edge of a paperbasket, the stub of a cigarette even lit dying in moisture at the base of a tree surrounded by the sidewalk. And as something that born from the skyline sprang the bell tower of Santa Maria del Cami. Hostals square welcomed its market day; women were comparing fruit and vegetables, weighed some potatoes or asked for the price of some vegetables. A man who, following the natural order of things in life and the time going by, years ago he read his obituary, light a cigarette while he was watching carefully some oranges.

Santa Maria elongates, it becomes another town left behind and passing again through the window, now Bernat de Santa Eugenia, a long name for a long street. Until the Simca faints. Decides that five passengers are too for its tired wheels and one of the tires lightens its air off near to the indicators of the pathways leading to Inca, Alcudia or Pollença.

Can Picafort had not yet grown to the British and German visitors’ demand, those who today spend the summertime burning their skin to the sun that warms the sand in the bay of Alcudia. It was a mere quarter of Santa Margalida, with a small port which harboured some small fishing boats. The houses, like the one which belonged Xesca’s family, one floor building, shared a repeated pattern in its indoors: an entrance leading to a small bedroom , always placed to the left, no matter if it was one or an other dwelling. On the front the living room, the main one with a faded polychrome tiled floor giving access to another room and to the kitchen. A double wooden door, painted in such a brown tone than only occurs me to define it with the word old, with shutters that closed the windows, opened to a nice yard with an accessory work shed with stairs to the roof. The winter litter, falling near plane trees, covered almost entirely providing a suitable setting for the season. There, as at the beach and despite the cold, Marta had no qualms about sounding her guitar that had travelled with all aboard the Simca. Now I see again the scene in its fading magenta hues that seem run away the limits of the photograph.

Again thanks to the Simca we went to discover the surrounding landscapes that close the bay in Port d' Alcudi, and even before we wander along the banks of Siurana and Siquia de s’Aigua Bona channel draining joined and flanked by two jetties leading into the Mediterranean waters. There, in the same channel, protected from the east winds, some boats moored, other, scrapping, piled on a promontory on Muro beach sand, as if each other wanted to catch a glimpse of the near waves.

Beyond begins Formentor, the granite peninsula that extends the Sierra de Tramontana covering northern Mallorca like a fencing wall in an open courtyard. Past the town of Pollença, forced entry as if it were a toll; the winding road step on the first hills before reaching Pi de la Posada creek, where in front, a small island populated just by pine trees has been given the same name as the cape. Following towards the end of the peninsula there are several small coves topped with white sand tiny beaches. Northwards, Cala de les Barques and Cala Molins looks like to correspond to the faded pictures. The horizon seems to match and a pink mansion that poses the look of its plain windows on the turquoise waters of the bay, on that day breaking tackles against the shore transmuting its delicate blue-green tones in the volatile white foam before returning violently down back to the water.

At the end, where there is no more limit than rush over the waters, there is usually a lighthouse. A reference to the vessels as the colours transmuted of the old pictures are a reference to recall the memories from a trip in the company of school photography classmates on a cold and warm January 1979.

© J.L.Nicolas


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