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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Touring Mallorca On A Montague MX

Day 4 - From Alaro to Alcudia
by Will Wattles

Sunshine ruled the morning as I left Alaro, headed northeast and found wonderful cycling roads. I got a great view of the molars as I rode by and it was fun to think I had been all the way to the top just yesterday. I stopped to take off some clothes after a while and a couple of older men (probably my age) passed me on very expensive road bikes and wearing official road bike gear including tights. They returned my wave but generally ignored me. That seems to be the way most people here react to me. They are very willing to help when I ask directions but generally ignore me. No one has been rude, not even a motorist. Surprisingly, I later passed the cyclists in my baggy clothes and heavily loaded panniers.

The road had some gentle hills and lots of flat. Most of the time it was a narrow two-lane road with no shoulder and no need for one because cars were rare. Sometimes it became a lane and a half or less. At times it was barely possible to pass a car coming the other way. It made me glad I wasn't in a car. At one point I was riding along a place with a sheer drop off, it wasn't far maybe 6 or 8 feet but there was absolutely no protection. A vehicle passed me from behind and it was a weird feeling: I couldn't get too close the edge but, I had to move over enough for the car to get by.

Red sheep in a field - MallorcaI saw and heard lots of sheep and their bells. Many of them had red stuff on their back I assume it is like a flea powder or something. I saw several of them rubbing on trees as if the powder woke up the fleas. With the bright sun and endless row of mountains, the world felt expansive. I passed through fertile valleys full of olive, almond, carob and orange trees.

Helpful signs led me through towns including Lloseta, Binimar, Selva (shining in the sun on a hill side), Campanet and Pollenca. At Pollenca I tried to enter the Piccolo Horno (little oven) at 12:35 but they weren't open yet. I went back at 1 and was the first customer but by the time I finished the place was packed. I was relieved to see a no smoking sign but soon noticed a young woman smoking. I had the menu of the day for 12 euros which included a big salad with tuna, spaghetti, desert, bottled water and wine (they let me substitute tea). That was a pretty reasonable dinner. Too bad the exchange rate is about $1.50 per euro now.

Porta del Moll - Alcudia, MallorcaRain threatened as I pedaled the six miles to Alcudia. I found myself a little less cocky about the rain after Sunday. I rolled into the walled city where cars are limited and bikes welcome. I found my way through the Porta del Moll Gate to the bar-restaurant-hostal Llabres where I had tried to make an internet reservation but received no confirmation. They had rooms and I got a pretty little, newly-remodeled room with bath and heat for 36 euros a night. I had a window looking out at Constitution Plaza full of tables and chairs from the restaurants that circle the square. I checked out restaurants for wi-fi and then found it in my room.

Mileage for the day: 31
Total trip miles: 119

Day 5 - Alcudia to Port de Pollenca & Back

More about Will Wattles... Will truly enjoys bicycle touring. Over the last decade, he's toured places such as Greece, Costa Rica, Malta, Chile and Venezuela. For more stories and photos from Will's previous bike trips, visit WillBike.com.

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