Mallorca Blog.

Mallorca – May 2017

It was Wednesday morning and I was woken by my dad at 4:30 am. I asked him why because I had forgotten that we were going to Mallorca with my dad’s friends, Chris, George, Scott, John and Michael for a cycling trip.

We all met at Glasgow airport at 5 am – but no Michael – booked in and went for breakfast. I had bacon and egg on toast with a coffee. After that we got on the plane at 7:10. During the flight, I read my book and played on my phone and after a 3 hour flight we arrived at Palma Airport. As we had trouble getting a bus to our hotel in Porta Pollenca, we got a taxi which was much quicker.

As we were staying at the same hotel as last year, we knew our way around. It has a separate room for bike storage with tools, drinking water and a washing machine that the guests can use.

Once we arrived at the hotel we checked in then went to pick up the bikes that we had hired from the shop, followed by lunch.

At about 4 o’clock we went out for a short ride around the back road towards Pollenca then on to Cala De Sant Vincent. It was an interesting place. As we entered the town there was a house with a large glass window showing off its collection of classic cars and motor bikes. John also mentioned his parents stayed there on their honeymoon. From there we headed back towards the hotel. We were out for about 2 hours and it was good to get some fresh air after travelling all day. I knew the cycling would be at least 3 times longer than this in the coming days.

When we got back to the hotel we got changed and showered then went out for dinner. We went to a place we ate in last year called Simbad. We had mixed paella which was delicious and a couple of drinks then went to the hotel for a few more. Later that night Michel arrived – he had been delayed with work and had to fly via London.

Day 1 – The Mountains

I was woken at 8:30 the following morning as we had arranged to meet at 9.00 for breakfast. When I got down the others were already there and nearly finished. As my dad had purchased cycling tops for everyone, we decided to wear them that day. We looked like a proper cycling club out on the road!

We decided this would be the day to visit the Mountains and set off at 10:20 on the quiet roads towards Pollenca then headed towards Campanet. On the way there we saw and passed other road cyclists, including some people training on TT bikes. After Campanet we headed towards Selva. By the time we were near Selva it was hot and we decided to stop for a break and headed into town to a café for a rest and a drink.

Straight after Selva we headed into the mountains following the signs for Lluc and cycled up the 12 km climb to the top of Coll de Batalla. I felt really good on the climb riding away from everyone else and passing a number of other cyclists, including the riders on the TT bikes that we passed earlier. The climb took about 42 minutes, with some of the others taking 15 minutes longer.

I waited at the top of the climb for John and we had a drink while the others arrived. They didn’t stop and we headed to a small restaurant by Lluc called, Es Guix for lunch. www.esguix.com

It was a stunning setting and we had to cycle down a steep narrow road to the restaurant. In its garden it had a small lagoon that you could swim in.

I like my food but I’ve not seen such a selection as was on that menu. It had suckling pig, baby goat, langoustines, shoulder of lamb etc, probably meals too big to eat if we were going to keep on cycling.

After a long and lazy lunch we headed back towards Pollenca. The road dipped down for a few kilometers then it climbed back up crossing the Coll de Fermenia. After that it was all down hill for 14 km to Pollenca. During the descent my top speed was 63 kph. It was quite windy and I was starting to get blown about. The roads are twisty with lots of switchback corners and low fences with large drops at the side, so I decided that was fast enough, and slowed down.

At Pollenca we regrouped and headed back to our hotel via the quiet back roads, but managed to split up, so I wasn’t there to see Michael ride his bike off the road, managing not to fall off. Luckily someone recorded it for me!

We got back to the hotel, cleaned, stored and locked our bikes away for the evening, showered and changed

In no time at all we were getting into a taxi taking us out to dinner in Pollenca.

When we arrived in Pollenca, Chris asked me what I fancied for dinner. I was still quite full and remembered that last year we ate in a small Tapas restaurant. I suggested we have tapas and off we headed through the square into the backstreets of Pollenca where we found the restaurant.

No one could agree on what they wanted so we just ordered 2 of everything on the menu and then some more afterwards. It was beginning to feel more like an eating holiday than a cycling training camp. The food was great; my favourites were the squid, garlic prawns, the sardines and the potato croquettes.

After dinner it was quite dark and we walked back through Pollenca stopping for an ice cream in the square before phoning home and jumping in a taxi back to the Hotel.

After that it was straight to bed as we agreed the next day would be our long cycle and the weather looked warm and we decided to meet for breakfast at 8.30.

Day 2 – 100 km

I was woken at 8:00 the following morning although we had arranged to meet at 8.00 for breakfast! When I got down the others were already there and were finished – this was becoming a theme.

We finished breakfast and arranged to meet at 8.45 as we knew it was going to be hot. We left the hotel at 9.35 and cycled towards Alcudia. We then turned South/East along the coast road towards Arta and after 30 km we headed inland towards Petra.

On the way to Petra the road was really quiet and had quite a steady gradient. I cycled with John away from the others again. I felt good as all this food was keeping my strength up and, although it was warm, I was drinking plenty of water. Before I knew it I was being passed by two local cyclists who cycled so smoothly it looked as if there were hardly trying. I managed to accelerate and sit behind them for a few kilometres before the climb kicked up and I blew. I finished the rest of the climb on my own before the descent into Petra where I waited for John at the entrance to the town.

We stopped at Petra last year and had lunch. Petra has a nice big square with a fountain and is full of cafes and cyclists. This year we were too early for lunch but stopped and the café owners gave us plates of fresh oranges to revive us and we had a drink and cake. There was a nice bike shop there that my dad looked in. As we left Petra we refilled our water bottles and I did some Endo Turns and Wheelies, showing off in front of some of the other cyclists.

From Petra we headed as a group chatting, along the flat roads passing orange groves towards Sineu. It is an old town with a sharp climb in the centre of it and after the climb we stopped at a restaurant that we planned to use for lunch. Unfortunately it is only open for lunch on Wednesday, Market day. We continued our journey towards Llubi but could not find anywhere that we liked for lunch so then decided to head to Buger. The roads remained smooth and rolling and we kept together until we met a steep climb into Buger. I rode the climb in October when I was there on holiday. It is steep and after 3 hours of cycling we were all glad to stop for lunch.

In the café we had lunch and we all thought the waiter that served us was Fabergas, the Chelsea player, but it was his double – maybe it was the sun. We sat at the café for a while recovering, talked about football and bats and bees as Michael, Chris and John all keep bees. That was interesting.

After lunch we then headed to Campanet which also sits on a hill so we had two hard climbs before we headed back towards Porta Pollenca. We were on the road we cycled the other way the day before.

By now I had shown I was the fastest so every so often the guys would pretend to box me in then someone would sprint for an imaginary finish line. This was good fun and helped pass the time as we headed back home.

When we arrived outside Porta Pollenca with only a few hundred meters to go, our bike computers showed only 97km. Scott had never cycled 100 km before so we rode up and down the promenade until it reached 100 km.

After parking the bikes and a shower, we headed out to the The Square in Porta Pollenca for dinner. We went to a restaurant where we had eaten before and we sat outside as it was a nice night.

I had Thai green curry which was delicious then we headed home stopped at a bar near the hotel for an ice lolly and a few drinks.

Dinner

Day 3 – The Lighthouse

I woke at 8.30 the following morning and we had arranged to meet at 9.00 for breakfast. When I got down about 9.15, the others were already finished.

Today we were going to cycle to The Lighthouse at Cap De Formentor. It is 19 km each way and you can see the road from the hotel, so we didn’t need to start too early so met at 10.35. It doesn’t look too difficult a ride as it is so close to the town and the sea. Again this is a route I know from riding it last October and I knew in the heat it would be a tough ride. At least there was a café in the Lighthouse where we could stop and rest.

The route is quite busy with cars and motor bikes. First you climb over Coll de la Creueta, then back down some steep descents with off camber switchbacks to sea level before climbing up part of Cases de Cala Marta before going through a tunnel at El Fumat, under the area’s highs mountain, which has no lights so it’s quite scary. The views down to the coves and out to sea are fantastic. Again, John and I were first to arrive at the café.

After a quick drink, we headed back. I decided to race my dad back to a viewpoint at Coll de la Creueta which was fun. I won, although a number of cyclists still passed me.

We all met up at the bottom of the climb and we returned our bikes to the bike shop. It had been a great 4 days.

We spent the rest of the day sun bathing by the pool.

For our last night, we headed back to the Square in Porta Pollenca. We went to the Italian Restaurant, again we had been there before, the meal was fantastic. For starters we had bruschetta and a selection of cheese and meats. After the starter, I had pasta with prawns – it was amazing. Then I had a tarte tatin which was very nice

After a long dinner, we headed home and stopped at our local bar for another ice lolly before we headed back to the hotel to go to bed as we had to get up early for the flight tomorrow

A View from the Café at the Lighthouse

The Viewpoint at Coll de la Creueta

Final Day

We had an early flight home on Sunday so we were up at 7.30 for breakfast at 8. Because of the taxi problem on the way to the hotel, we hired a small bus for the 7 of us to take us to the airport.

I slept most of the way home in the plane.

I had a great time, with good company, cycling and food and hope to return to Mallorca again.

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