26 Nov Chapel with a view
Today it was time to head back to the South of Ibiza again. Sant Josep to be precisely as there were still a few trails I spotted during previous hikes that required exploring! The areas around Sant Josep are very nice and rural and therefore I was looking forward to a good day hiking. The weather was looking great as well. After a few days of rain the sun came back with occasionally some clouds. Most important it remained dry and there was little to no wind. Just perfect!
After driving to the south for about an hour we started at the church in Sant Josep. The hike would be around 15 kilometres and the first 5-6 kilometres would go over sleepy asphalt roads before we were going into thick forrest where I expected to be treated with some good views. An ancient chapel that was build in 1919 on the top of mount d’en Serra was close by as well over there so I intended to visit that place too.
As we were heading over asphalt for the first stretch of our hike I took op opportunity to do some good lead-training with Duc and Raf. As we are preparing for long hikes in the coming months it is important to have a good lead-game ready. Although they both walk absolutely fine on the lead it remains good practice to freshen up their memory! I’m using a split lead which means that the lead is connecting Duc and Raf together. As of this I only have one lead and thats more practical for me.
Duc, being a true pointer is always challenging the situation a bit. Although he never pulls on the lead he is moving forward a few centimeters every few minutes and before you know it he is walking with his head about half a meter in front of me. My policy is that my legs are in front. My reasoning for this is that if I need to make a quick move to the side i’m not being interfered by Duc or Raf. Also, I have a better way of leading them from this position as they will constantly see what I’m doing or where I’m going.
As mentioned earlier it is my little pointer who’s seeking the bounderies. Raf just follows quietly and is enjoying the scenery is his own peaceful way. After a few moments of raising my voice, Duc was starting to remember the trick as well and slowly, very slowly, moved backwards.
After about an hour of hiking over sleepy lanes, the asphalt made room for dirt road and soon we were hiking through a dense pine forrest. The amount of houses became more and more scarce as we progressed up the mountains around Sant Josep and a quiet atmosphere took over. At this time of the year, Ibiza is incredibly green and frequently I feel like being in France instead of the small island Ibiza. I always love that feeling of losing track of where I am when I’m hiking in remote areas. I call it vitamin forest and I seem to need a lot of it all the time! As the trail continued up the mountain we were getting close to a little chapel that was build 1919 on top of a 388 meter peak by Vicent Serra. The story goes that he participated in the colonial war in North Africa and that before he left he made a vow that he would build a chapel on this mountain peak if he would return safely. He did return safely and kept his word. Unfortunately he died of a heart attach on age 74 just 5 days before the official consecration of the chapel on the 29th of may 1919. Nonetheless the chapel is build on an incredible location with amazing views. Just thinking about how they must have got those materials there to build this chapel in the beginning of the 19th century strikes my mind and I admire the effort. Although I’m not a christian I do consider myself spiritual and this place had that special tranquility to it which you sometimes find at special places.
After enjoying the views and a moment of peace we started on our descent to hike the final stretch back to Sant Josep again. Duc was happily running in front and Raf decided to join this time as well. Here I was, hiking on my own while witnessing two happy dogs running in front from left to right in a dense forrest. Those moment I particularly cherish and when we got back at the car I felt satisfied after a good day hiking. What started of a little bit boring ended with incredible views and special places. Its these surprises that I like about hiking.