I walk in the mountains and it feels as if I were in a beautiful garden modelled over time …
In intimate union of Earth and man,
a harmony that reigned for centuries in which the earth provided everything
I cross the valley, a white carpet created by the almond trees in blossom and I enter the mountains, following the path that swings across it. Heather, rockroses and mastics are flowering at the sides. Bushes of rosemary, thyme and fennel mix with them, creating a perfume in the air with the aroma, mixed with the flavour of the sea, that penetrates deep inside.
Aromatic plants that have always been used as seasoning, as medicine or to make the liqueur of the island: Hierbas Ibicencas.
Vast pinewoods cover the mountains, turning them dark green. Pine trees that give these islands the name of Pitiusas and whose wood was burned during decades to produce charcoal that was even used for export. In the shade of the pine trees the brushwood with the juniper trees, the first trees that populated the island, thousands of years ago. Many of their ancient trunks decorate and support the roofs of churches and country homes Their wood was so much appreciated they had to forbid felling them as they became an endangered tree.
I keep walking on the path that now passes next to fig trees with bare and dry branches but within a few months they will offer their sweet fruits. Further away olive trees with crooked trunks grow, old olive trees grafted upon wild olive trees that seem to be part of the landscape, as if from a fairy tale. Agaves, from whose leaves they took the fibres to make “espardenyas”, the typical Ibiza espadrilles, grow abundantly next to the stone walls.
My steps take me as well along the footprints of this rural past: terraces with abandoned cultivations, unused cisterns, a well once the witness of folklore and country dancing, lime kilns and cement works…Footprints of an Ibiza that doesn’t want to die.
From the cliff, the end of the road, I behold the sea and the mountain. A little further away man has left his worst and most recent footprint, the one of uncontrolled cement.