Wednesday, April 08, 2009

mallorca


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easter holidays seem to be a perfecrt post cold weather long weekend trip. sun has been out for a month, then hiding for the last 2 weeks but teasing... the day before leaving madrid on the way to the islands, the weather was still unclear. some people said rain while others placed their bets on the sunny option maybe out of optimism rather than realism. however, after all, weather was pretty ok. no rain, sunny but cold. some times a few clouds threatened but never executed.

the way there was simple. again (i have done this quite a few times now) i headed east on the A-3 towards valencia... you can take the AP-36 for which youll have to pay, so i preffer the low budjet tour (note this is a weekend trip, otherwise highways would be AVOIDED). just before hitting valencia, i headed south on the AP-7 towards denia where i boarded the ferry to palma de mallorca. the ferry is 5 hours in total including a 1 or 1.5 hours stopover in ibiza. this is the fast ferry and if you smoke, you can only go out on deck to smoke while arriving at the port and while the boat has stopped. the long one allows you to go out on deck but takes 11 hours. You can board a ferry to palma de mallorca from denia, valencia or barcelona, denia being the shortest ride.

the strech from valencia to denia has great landscapes and well... i just love it when you start seeing and smelling the sea after a long road trip.

if i have any advise for the ferry, earphones or earplugs woud be it. unless you get yourself a first class ticket you are going to be sorrounded by people from the rural and not so rural areas of spain that think that there is absolutely no one else on the boat apart from them.

once you are through with the ferry, the real story starts.

mallorca is the biggest of the balearic islands and this time, i went to meet up with a bunch of friends from the spanish sportster portal.

as soon as i got to palma, 2 very nice friends picked me up from the port to bring me to have dinner at lo de seba. this was followed by leaving the luggage in the hotel and drinks at the flinstones which was near the hotel and allowed us to get our fair share of drinks without having to think of "how much can i drink before im unable to ride back?"

i was the last one to arrive to the island so friday was my first real riding day in the island.

friday 10.04.2009


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our starting point was the hotel. we were picked up by a motorcycle group called "angeles guardianes" formed by police and military bikers who would serve as our tour guides for the next 2 days. the route went roughly from portals towards inca and alcudia before heading to cabo formentor.

image taken by quim carrascosa
photo by "lemon"


narrow roads with old stone walls on the sides separating the road from the farmers´ fields made it quite a unique landscape. the backdrop slowly changed as we went north, cloudy rocky mountains gradualy turned into a beautiful coastal postcard with breathtaking views from the island´s cliffs.

cabo formentor

the problem of being such a big group is that i would have loved to stop over in more places, but having everything organised and being a group of about 50 bikes made this extremely dificult. we did stop somewhere around inca at a bar called la guarida, where more bikers from the area joined us.

lunch was in alcudia where i would have liked to spend some more time to walk around the port and explore the area, but i could only add it to my to do list. I need to come back to the island on my own or with a much smaller group of people.

after lunch we all headed to the "arenal" where we wraped up the day at a bar right by the beach. this area looks like the perfect place to have an early dinner, not far from palma. if you like to walk by the beach, this is one place you will enjoy for sure.

s'arenal

dinner on friday was something i should recommend. "las terrazas beach club" is not too far from palma in the town of illetas. it is a little pricey, but worth every single penny and the service is effective and friendly. we were there just for dinner, but i bet its a perfect place to have a few drinks and maybe chill by the sea at their lounge.

we chose to head down to palma for drinks after dinner and ended at motown at the "paseo marítimo". if you like 50´s, 60´s and 70´s rock... this is your place. we were lucky enough to be there for a great concert by a local band playing hits by elvis and artists alike. great atmosphere at a small sized venue with a friendly staff. i must mention the very good looking waitresses that ended up dancing on the bar, "coyote ugly style"!

saturday 11.04.2009


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saturday is by far, the day that made me want to go back to mallorca for more. the road around the south of the island and "costa de los pinos" was something i need to do with more time. one morning is definitely not enough. one day does not seem like it would be enough.

the landscapes are much more arid looking, lacking in mountains but rich in tranquility. we did stop somewhere on the way to port colom just by the road and looked over a massive cliff on the coast. not like cabo formentor, but still, breathtaking.

photo by "salva"

porto colom was our next stop. this is a beautiful small town. very quiet and a very nice little port. we had only a few minutes to grab a drink before we continued our way to lunch, which in my opinion was our biggest mistake this weekend. i wanted to stay here, for lunch, dinner and overnight had i known!

portocolom


lunch was in a town called petra just next to manacor (birthplace of worlds number 1 tennis player, rafael nadal). i´m not sure if it was out of frustration that i was not impressed at all. i kept thinking of how much of the island we had toured and how little we had seen. so i expressed myself, told a bunch of guys i wanted to go somewhere and take my time to take some pics and maybe walk around. some wanted to join, in fact, i was surprised because the group ended up being bigger than i thought. the initial idea was 2, maybe 4 bikes, and a total of 9 bikes ended up joining.

we headed towards soller, another small port with great views and sorrounded by mountains. there we were threatened by a dark cloud but we ended not seeing the rain. we chilled by the sea for some time before heading back to the hotel before dinner, and that really helped my mood (note to self, travel in small groups when possible).

soller

saturday evening was looked at with caution. we had scheduled dinner at Es3 in palma, and i had to board my ferry back to denia at 7:00am. i knew that i would risk missing the ferry if i went to bed late, and spanish dinners finish late almost always. so i went for dinner, then drinks near the hotel again and decided to go straight to the ferry with no sleep so i could sleep through the whole trip all the way to denia and be rested for the hardest part back to madrid.


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the way back from denia to madrid i did with 2 good friends. we decided to avoid the A3 to stay away from heavy traffic caused by people returning from their holy week holidays.

we rode to xátiva which was nice enough and then to albacete and la roda. if you have a chance you should try the typical cakes in la roda (miguelitos). here we got on the AP36 which i avoided on the way to denia which for just over 13€ took us all the way to ocaña. then we were in madrid in a heartbeat.

overall, i loved this trip. i would have loved more time to myself and less organization. however i need to say thank you to olga, salva, pepe and edgar for organising and the rest of the guys and girls that joined the trip, we did have a blast and are all looking forward to repeat next year.

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