Then there are some areas where the terrain could not be conquered, divided and sub-divided, utilized or downright plundered despite the islanders’ best efforts (and we do try hard...)
These are the places where one can walk in solitude and silence, where rambling becomes a spiritual exercise - food for the eyes and the soul.
To my mind there are three special places which fall into this category and I try to visit each one at least once a year on my solitary walks.
The foremost place to walk in silence and feast the soul and eyes is by far the cliffs of Manikata – an extensive area which now forms part of the Majjistral Nature Park and so is theoretically an area saved for posterity. I have already written extensively about this place in a previous post http://www.stevebonellocartoons.com/2/post/2011/10/recharging-batteries.html so I will not bother you with repetition here. I will just place a panoramic image of the area here and let it speak for itself...
But again, like Majjistral, for the real sense of wilderness one has to go beneath the cliffs and ramble and meander amongst a mighty array of huge boulders which over hundreds and thousands of years have come unhinged from the cliffs above and tumbled their way onto the scree below. This is one tough bastard of a place to walk but there is one huge reward at the extreme end – a lovely rock shelf of a beach backed by white stone cliffs. The sense of space and aloneness here is quite frankly awesome. As I said it’s a tough walk and getting lost in places is almost to be expected....having walked this area a dozen times or so I still manage to end up in rocky cul de sacs way too frequently for my liking... The only blot in this walk (one normally needs three hours minimum for it) is that for some parts of it the garish pink slab which is the Paradise Bay Hotel remains a visible reminder that civilisation is too uncomfortably close for comfort...
Though most of this area is basically untainted by human hands, a very brave attempt was in fact made to harness this smooth rock platform in times gone by as there is a stretch of salt pens carved in the soft rock. There is also a sort of open well-head leading directly to the sea below (one thing you really need to look out for- it's unmarked and therefore quite dangerous if you're unaware of it) – where probably salt water used to be drawn to fill the pens, and there is a carved stairwell leading directly to the sea, probably to provide easy access to the area by boat – much easier than acccess on foot actually.
Today these salt pens look abandoned but it is not uncommon to come across a fisherman or two in what arguably is the quietest and most remote place to pursue this activity.