When I decided to take a tour of the Island of Menorca in a kayak, I never imagined how rewarding it would be. What fun we're having! What amazing places, and how great it feels to enjoy the beauty of nature in a sustainable way!
A few days before coming here, I read the following on the Twitter of @WWFEspana: "We are a part of nature, and not ‘apart' from nature". I assure you that that's exactly how I'm feeling these days - in complete harmony with my surroundings, and more and more convinced by my obligations as a sportsman and as member of "team planeta".
The actual adventure is developing well. We departed from Ciutadella for Cala Pilar on Monday 1st June under optimal weather conditions: almost no wind and an absolutely calm sea. We took advantage of this to focus initially on the northern zone of the island, which is the most dangerous and difficult area when the weather is bad. We navigated through totally unpopulated areas, and our self-sufficiency skills were consequently put to the test (a test which we passed, by the way).
The second stage of our adventure began on 2nd June in Cala Pilar, followed by Fornells, the beach of Arenal de Son Saura and finally Cala Prudent, where we set up our second camp. This was a pleasant experience because the conditions had been excellent and it meant that we had overcome the complicated northern part of our tour.
At this point of the adventure, were having fun and were excited to know that we had gone 3 days without putting our shoes on, without sitting on a chair, and without being separated from the sea by more than 10 metres.
During stage 3, in which we drew closer to Mahón, we passed close to the National Park of S'Albufuera d'es Grau and we slept in Cala Mesquida, where we awoke to a spectacular sunrise.
To cross the Marine Reserve on the north coast of Menorca knowing that conservation work is being carried out here to protect the fish and to limit sailing and construction is a real incentive to enjoy the scenery even more.
Stage 4 connected us with man's voracity for occupying the sea front. Before arriving at Cales Coves, where we set up camp under an impressive moon, we visited the fantastic Isla Del Aire. Its iconic lighthouse, set in a landscape which hosts an interesting biodiversity with a high ecological value, is only inhabited by its famous black lizards.
When one dreams of a trip around an island in a kayak, one dreams of exactly the same circumstances which we are experiencing: perfect weather, a sea as level as a lake, very few people, and, above all, almost no ships or boats.
Can you imagine how many launches, sailing boats, yachts visit these beaches in summer? This represents lots of emissions, motor oil in the sea, noise, fixed moorings and buoys, etc.
I acknowledge the efforts being made by the island's authorities; for example, the implementation of environmentally-friendly buoys, the treatment of waste, boats to collect solid waste from the sea, declaration of this area as a Site of Community Interest (SCI), but ... is it enough? I don't think so, because the balance can only shift towards sustainability once all those of us who wish to spend our holidays here accept the conditions imposed on us. The price of a lovely holiday in Menorca is not directly in proportion to the cost of a flight and hotel.
Today, 5th June, is World Environment Day, and, from a lost cove in Menorca, I invite you to reflect on a new way of spending our free time and holidays without putting nature at risk, given that our children may not be able to do so in the future.
Let's leave the anchors at home and take the oars for a ride, or the surfboard, windsurf or paddle board. If you can't, or if you're scared to change your chip, at least make up for it whenever you can by using boats and vessels which are more sustainable. Alternatively, you could collaborate with organisations which can help you to do so; I myself make up for the emissions resulting from transfers by boat and car for this adventure through the KILOMETROSVERDES programme.
Nature is not at our service; we are to blame for the impact that our actions are having on nature. We have to re-learn to enjoy the wonders of this planet of ours.
Follow the tour via #VueltaAMenorca on #kayak in real time via #racetracker