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Mallorca day: 5

Mallorca day: 5

  • Todays mileage: 8.1
  • Total mileage: 113.2
  • Disasters: Just the bloody weather again 😭😭😭

Well today did start with wordle. We didn’t need a weather app to tell us it was miserable outside. So we had a lazy morning. The weather improved through the morning so about 11am we set off for a ride to meet Nicola & David in Port de Pollenca.

We didn’t get far before wind and rain made us reconsider our plan. We diverted to Alcudia old town for lunch. We just chose the first cafe that we could 1. Sit inside 2. See the bikes. This turned out to be a specialist ham cafe which didn’t give the best choice for us (well Sarah really) veggies. Anyway there was a nice dish and good coffee.

Quality Ham, cheese, olives and tomato 😋

From here it was a quick (and cold) cycle back to the hotel where Sarah hogged the walming shower for what seemed years… After a short rest we started to pack the bikes – we’d finally given up on cycling in this wet & cold country !

As we were packing the bikes outside we noticed today must be arrival day for chavs – families streamed passed us with kids that probably should have been in school. One family of haggis munchers with a room near ours had particularly loud and badly behaved kids. We ignored them & got on with bike packing. Then in ear shot of Sarah they comment “when one bunch of cycle wankers leave another bunch turn up” about a couple of cyclists arriving. Nice – so we’re officially “cycle wankers” now 😁

Anyway bikes were packed and the last of the cooking white consumed – all with a few rays of sunshine at last 😬

Then a group of Spanish girls started singing along to what must be the Spanish equivalent of Radio 1. They were quite tuneful but it doesn’t bode well for sleep tonight 🤨

Having finished all our food (and wine) we headed out to a local restaurant. We chose S’Amfora for two reasons 1. It was near to us. 2. It had reasonable google reviews. This turned out to be a good choice.

Best piece of pork I’ve had in a long time 👍

We chatted with the owner who was a lovely guy & were given some Mallorcan spirit as a digestive. Served ice cold it was very tasty 😋

…and so to bed before an early start

Mallorca day: 4

Mallorca day: 4

  • Todays mileage: 38.6
  • Total mileage: 105.1
  • Disasters: Just the bloody weather again 😭😭😭

The day started looking at our phones – not Wordle but the weather app and rain radar. We were trying to work out a plan for the day. Heavy rain was forcast so the debate was hire a car or go out a little later & hope to miss the showers.

Then out the blue Sarah shouts “Dave and Nicola are in Port de Polensa” So a phone call was made and a plan for tonight made…

Car hire looked expensive so we opted for a cycle to the east – out towards Arta. It started dry and we made it to Can Picafort. Just after that we came across a Neolithic burial site at Son Real. A Lovely 2km ride through woodlands to the coast.

2km cycle through woodland to the beach…
Son Real – Neolithic site and beautiful beach…

From Son Real we went to Son Serra before heading inland to Santa Margalida for a coke. After this it rained heavily on our route home making the journey a cold one ! By the time we made it back to the hotel the sun made a brief appearance. We managed one beer at the bar before heading in to get warm.

After a warming shower we headed out to meet Dave and Nicola in Porta de Pollenca. We had a fine meal at Tolos.

Lovely meal – Tollos is a great spot.

Summary of our route

Mallorca day: 3

Mallorca day: 3

  • Todays mileage: 18.8
  • Total mileage: 66.5
  • Disasters: just the bloody weather…

Not much to say about today really. Bad weather’s come in and it rained for most of the day. We went for a circular cycle – Pollenca, Port de Pollenca, Alcudia old town & home.

We got drizzel before reaching Pollenca. During our coffee stop the rain started with a vengence. The route to Port de Pollenca was no joy so we just headed along the sea front towards Alcudia old town. The only consolation was the wind was behind us.

At Alcudia old town we had food & Sarah did shopping in one of the many tat shops for tourists. From there it was a short drizzly ride back to the hotel to dry out.

Sarah wouldn’t buy this for our house ☹

The rain stopped so we had a walk around & got some food. On our walk we both got the feeling it was like walking in one of those Zombie apocalypse films. So many hotels were closed and for sale. It really felt spooky. The pandemic has really had an affect on the economy here.

Just one of the many closed Hotels…

A fine chic pea curry & a €2 bottle of red finished the day.

€2 a bottle – you gotta love the Spanish ?

Mallorca Day 2:

Mallorca Day 2:

  • Todays mileage: 37
  • Total mileage: 43.7
  • Disasters: zero ?

Opening the curtains found a gray day – not what we’re used to in Spain but it’s dry so all’s good.

Todays plan was cycle to the lighthouse at Cap Formentor. It’s a beautiful route and a classic for all cyclists who visit Mallorca. I won’t bore you with a description of the route but here are some photos…

The lighthouse at Cap Formentor. The last section of road to the lighthouse was closed for road repairs so we didn’t quite get there.
Just pretty scenery….
It’s a windy day…
6% for 3.5km is what I read… ?
Stopped for a beer at Tolo’s the cycling cafe with Wiggo memorabilia
Wiggo’s Pinarello. Note the chains stopping me putting to to better use. …also the price of a pint is a little steep ?
Summary of our ride…

A meal in the hotel and a few glasses of vino tinto ended the day ? Sadly there’s a low sitting over Mallorca so its not looking promising for tomorrow.

The low over Mallorca ☹

Mallorca 2022. Day 1:

Mallorca 2022. Day 1:

Today started with an early start – 3am alarm for 6am flight. This may be a little early but security is always a lottery & we have bikes to get checked as well.

The drive to the airport was stress free without traffic & checking/security quite quick. This gave time for…

Breakfast & a pint ?

Smooth flight, immigration and transfer made getting from plane to the hotel stress free. I must say I like Jet2, the staff are always helpful. The only bit of stress was having to wait an hour and a half for the room to be ready.

The view from our balcony while we waited for the room !

We then built the bikes up & went shopping for a couple of days food. Shopping packed away and half a bag of Lays demolished we set out for a little explore on the bikes to see they’re working.

Exploring Alcudia…

I cooked chic pea and anchovie risotto for dinner – not my best but we were very hungry so it got eaten. Couple of beers & early to bed.

Oh should have mentioned how cheap the wine is – a 1 litre carton of cooking white was 1.6€ and a decent red was less than €3. I love Spain ?

Day 13: Last day in Malaga before the flight home ☹

Day 13: Last day in Malaga before the flight home ☹

  • Todays mileage: 10
  • Total mileage: 316
  • Disasters: zero…

Today we change from our nice but small Hobbit hut in the old town to a shit hotel near the airport bus.

It’s the worst day of weather we’ve had in two weeks – a little overcast and windy, very windy. Windy app said up to 50mph gusts.

We decided to risk a ride so after leaving the hobbit hut we headed east along the coast. We were cycling directly into the wind which made it hard going.

Windy.com was right – the sea was wild with surges up the beach and waves spraying the roads. Don’t think this cafe will be opening today…

Flooded beach cafe…
This will take some cleaning up…

After a pleasent lunch at one of the beach restaurant that wasn’t flooded we headed back to the shit hotel – Hostal la Hispanidad. When I say it’s shit I mean the rooms aren’t great. The staff are lovely though and sorted us with an “out the way” area to pack the bikes away.

With bikes packed we went to the bus station to check out bus times to the airport. It’s “Line A” bus to the airport all for the princely sum of €4

Simply scan a QR code at the bus stop & the timetable appears ?

We then went for some food in the restaurant next to our hotel. It was devoid of customers which is normally a bad thing. The manager/waiter/chef (same guy) was lovely. Just as we were leaving we heard marching band music – there was a religious parade with the baby Jesus carried by a group of men.

Jesus being carried past the shopping centre…

Feeling full of god it was time for bed – big day of travel tomorrow. I think praying for a first class upgrade on a Jet2 flight may be more than god can deliver…

Days 11 & 12:  Exploring Malaga…

Days 11 & 12:  Exploring Malaga…

  • Todays mileage: 0
  • Total mileage:     306
  • Disasters:              zero – apart from a sherry hangover…

If you’d mentioned Malaga to me a few weeks ago I’d have thought chav holiday resort – rows of tat hotels, irish sports bars offering fried breakfasts and lobster red brits behaving badly.

How different to that Malaga town is – it’s lovely.    Beautiful architecture, cafe culture, lovely locals and very few brits.

Not going to bang on about how nice it is but I’ll just add a few photos showing the “flavour” of Malaga.

Roman theatre in the centre of town…
Tapas in the sun…
Gay pride event…
The streets…
Street art on buildings in Soho…
Pompidou centre…
The beach in November – still shorts weather.
Fresh seafood cooked on wood…
Chorros – had to try them. Bit like long donuts without sugar or filling – disappointing really ☹
…and too much sherry ?

In summary would we come back to Malaga – Yes…

Day 11: Alhaurin to Malaga…

Day 11: Alhaurin to Malaga…

  • Todays mileage:  33
  • Total mileage:      306
  • Disasters:   One – another rear puncture !

The day started with the best breakfast we’ve had so far.  A buffet of everything – we ate and drank well for our €7 ?

The climb out of Alhaurin was a brutal wakeup with our full bellies.  The road then undulated through countryside the 11km till Mijas.

First sighting of the sea…
Mijas…

We stopped in Mijas for a drink before descending steep roads to Fuengarola where traffic got busy. 

Made it to the coast at Fuengarola…

The plan (Sarahs) was to pick up the Eurovelo 8 cycle path to Malaga.   I’d got the gpx files from my favorite site http://www.waymarkedtrails.org and loaded them into my mapping apps.  So should make navigation as simple as following the line !

In the past all the Eurovelo routes have been great.  Well thought out and as traffic free as possible.  This part of the EV8 is an exception.   Busy roads, one way streets (wrong way) and off road sections didn’t make for fun riding ☹

We stopped at a beach bar for a coke & on leaving I found I’d got another rear puncture.  The cause looked like the tub tape had rubbed a cut in the tube !  Never had that before ! Anyway second fix of the holiday before continuing to Malaga. 

We were now running late and started getting calls from the apartment owner wondering when we’d turn up. We were only 6km away but it took for ever to find our way through the outskirts of Malaga.

The owner needed to return to his office so came to meet us on his motorbike with the keys about one km from the property. WhatsApp live location is great ?

We got into our apartment about 5:30pm tired and hungry. All we had was some sweaty cheese that was surplus from last nights meal. (Sarah’s starter was just one huge plate of cheese).

We showered and went out for a lovely meal with real veg. The streets and cafes were busy with a nice vibe. After an ice cream & a short walk home it was time for bed. Weve christened our apartment the Hobbit hut…

Out Hobbit hut for a couple of days…

Cycling summary:

  • 8 days of cycling.
  • 306 miles.
  • 21,457 ft of ascent.
  • 2 punctures – both rear.
  • Zero mechanicals.
  • Zero falls.
Day 10: Rhonda to Alhaurin.

Day 10: Rhonda to Alhaurin.

  • Todays mileage: 44
  • Total mileage: 273
  • Disasters: zero (unless you count mile long hills at 8% a disaster. If so then there were loads)

The day started badly with my pigeon spanish letting me down again. My breakfast order came back as plain toast (no butter) with a pot of tomato puree. Not exactly what I’d ordered – toast, butter and jam ! At least I got coffee right.

Plain toast no butter or jam ☹

In reality a plain breakfast was required as I’ve had a bad stomach for days now. So following breakfast we had a trip to the chemist for some Bisto tablets.

Getting out of Rhonda was easy & we soon hit the open country on quiet roads.

Perfect cycling ?

The road climbed and then descended all the way to Yunquera. Long uphill & long descents never greater than 10%.

Now Sarah was loving the route I’d chosen. Apparently…

I’ve not fucked up yet – but have potential !”

Flushed with success I routed us on a quiet back road from Alozaina. This quiet road took us nearly to Coin before we had to join the main road.

Navigating through coin was a sense of humour test. It’s a rats nest of very hilly streets and was quiet busy as well. Also Windy Maps routing let us down – well my version did anyway.

After we cleared Coin it was a slog to Alhaurin el Grande where I had my emergency gel. To this point we’d only had breakfast, a can of coke and a bag of crisps all day.

There’s not much accommodation round Coin but the Alhaurin Golf hotel were offering rooms for €50 on Booking.com

The hotels lovely but in the middle of nowhere ! Chilling out before food Sarah worked out we’d climbed 20,004 ft in total. Not bad ?

After chilling we decided to eat at a local resturant. The thought being that the hotel would be a ripoff.

So off we walked the 250 yards to a group of 4 resturants, picked one & went for food.

Big mistake. Poor quality “chips with everything” food & pricy. Oh and frozen mixed veg. Grrrr. Such a contrast to what the spanish eat. Suppose its to be expected in an area where the Brits come. Anyway we needed carbs before bed.

Day 9: A day in Rhonda…

Day 9: A day in Rhonda…

  • Todays mileage:    zero.
  • Total mileage:        229
  • Disasters:                zero…

Lazy start and a breakfast at a local cafe.   Todays breakfast broke tradition –  eggs on toast.   Not because my spanish took a leap forward but because it’s on the menu in English.

Then a lazy walk round town to see the sights.

Really quite pretty !

Then we found a lovely terrace bar for drinks and Tapas.  A little more expensive than the tourist tat in town but worth it ?

An attempt at an arty photograph to show our terrace and the scenery beyond – bit of a failure really ☹

A bit more walking and then more beer and Tapas.

Then back to the room for a siesta…  Now I thought I’d been smart and set the air con to “dry” but it seemed not to work. Looks like im cycling in wet kecks tomorrow ☹

Out for evening food – after 8pm as resturants dont open till then.

Tonight I thought my Spanish had reached rock bottom – it seemed I couldn’t even get a waiter to understand me when I’m using Google Translate FFS…

But I didn’t fail & my large glass of local spirit turned up…

Anis dulce – a nice night cap…