March 12, 2010

My bike arrived & I stayed out after curfew- Mallorca Day 2

My bike arrived this morning; in a black suitcase.  The man who delivered it had no idea of its value; a ticket to freedom and discovery.  (Unfortunately, the man delivered only two black suitcases, Ben’s and mine, not three.  Don’s bike was still missing, only to be delivered after dinner.)

After breakfast, the putting together of bikes, the fixing of an exploded housing (which required 3 separate trips to the bike shop), and the dressing for the unpredictable Mallorcan weather; Barb, Lou, Ben and I stuffed our pockets with dates, apricots and chocolate and rolled out of Pollensa. 

We decided on a flat ride for our first outing, nothing spectacular… or so they said.  As soon as we turned out of the last round-about of town, the landscape and scenery completely changed.  The modern world ceased to exist and we were transported back in time.  Stone fences, fields of sheep (complete with bells), olive trees, iron gates, and pastures of green; brilliant, breathtaking green.  With the highest hills on Mallorca cloaked with snow, the backdrop was fairytale-like.  I was riding my bike in Mallorca - WOW!

We spent the better part of the afternoon taking our time, pedaling from town to town on two-lane roads no wider that the typical American parking space.  We passed more cyclists than cars and the clouds parted often to give us some sun.  Our “destination” for the day was Petra. (The quotes here are to bring attention to the new definition of the word destination: Read The best coffee and fresh squeezed orange juice on the day’s route, thus requiring a stop).

Sitting in a café, we enjoyed coffee and orange juice and baguette sandwiches and frites fried in olive oil.  It was only then that we glanced at our watches. 

At 5:45pm we paid our bill, asked for directions and snapped on our helmets.  We were over 40 kilometers from home.  It gets dark on the island of Mallorca at 7pm. 

And so were put our heads down and rode; along the sea, with the wind carrying the spray and the scent of eucalyptus pushing us forward.  We are arrived at the hotel in the dark, small blinking lights carrying out the job for which they were intended.  

I made Ben pose for a photo in from of the hotel; not because it made for a great photo, but because it was dark and I had such a great time navigating through an unknown place after sunset. 

Today was not a day of epic climbs or huge miles; it was a day of fun and laugher and good friends (Don, we missed you), and of course, staying out after curfew.