What’s left . . .

forest fire, Mallorca, Andratx, photo by Oliver Neilson This week’s Family Matters isn’t written by me, it’s written by my husband Oliver Neilson who went up the Estellencs road on Saturday afternoon (the first day it has been open to the public since the fire). He is very familiar with this area having walked it on countless occasions with our dog, and also guided walkers through it as well. He first published this on his personal Facebook account on Saturday night, so far it has been shared a staggering 193 times. This is his account.

“I took a drive up into the mountains today to check out how much the Andratx fire had taken of the Tramuntana. I drove up the coast road from the Andratx townhall, pretty much to the seat of the fire, at about 20 kmph all the way with my chin on my chest. Around me were my fellow gawkers, some on four wheels, and some on two. All struck dumb by what we saw. The devastation is endless; it stretches from horizon to horizon. From both sides of the road, from the valley bottoms, to the mountain tops. The tarmac and the road signs are charred. Boulders dislodged from the ancient earthworks have rolled onto the road, charcoal blackened on one side. If you have lived in Mallorca for more than a year or two then you will probably have seen a fire, and some not so far from you. The helicopters or the cool yellow planes arrive and in an hour or so all that is left is steaming undergrowth and we can all get back to what we were doing.
“This one is of a different magnitude all together.
“We all felt our hearts swell with appreciation as we saw the planes dip down between the pedalos for another belly full of anti-fire ammunition and kidded ourselves that they had it under control, but a drive up the coast today put the enormity of their achievement into very sharp focus. Its charred embers look like hell today, so to have been there when it was ablaze must have been unimaginable.
“There are isolated houses and casitas that sit as tiny islands of green, in an ocean of grey ash and burnt ochre foliage. No doubt spared by a very timely dousing from a Canadair full of Portals bay, or a helicopter’s bucket full of Andratx municipal pool.

“Go take a look if you get a moment, remind yourself how beautiful this place is, and how lucky you are to be here, how very, very lucky we are that the pilots and fire fighters are….well….cool.

“…and get involved in the many operations to restore this unique place for ourselves and our kids. Ajuntament D’Andratx and GOB Mallorca are worth checking out as they are already looking for volunteers. We have lost a beautiful chunk of nature in this fire, perhaps we can gain a wider community if we all pull together in putting it back”.

Beautifully written, I think. Well done O.

Ollie is looking for bilingual Catalan/English speakers who want to get involved with GOB and help to liaise with the British (non Catalan speaking) residents who want to help. If you can help please get in touch with us, or leave a comment. Thanks! 

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