16 March 2019 to 5 April 2019
Cumulative km count: 15760.12km
Catching the ferry into Spain made for a huge contrast compared to Morocco. I guess the the thing we noticed most was not the scantily clad beachgoers but rather the comparatively gargantuan investment in public grounds and infrastructure. There was literally a road quality cycle lane running through Almería which we followed all the way to Marc’s place (a coach surfing local who hosted us for 2 nights).
The time spent in the beach side town of Almería was a real chill out and a chance to reset before following the Eurovelo 8 along the Spanish Mediterranean coastline.
The next few days saw us clocking some fast kms along the coast with our first tailwind in what seemed like a long time but like most weather patterns eventually it shifted and we found ourselves then battling often fierce at times head and cross winds.
Along the way we met and stayed with some Spaniards who demonstrated the often heard about Southern Spanish hospitality. Thanks Eduardo, Ernesto and Nity
from Warm Showers who housed us in some pretty wet or windy conditions 🙂
The trip through Southern Spain was scenic for the most part with some crappy highway riding towards the end near Denia. For us the ride through this part of the country was about getting from A to B as quick as possible so we could maximise time spent in the Baeleric islands 🙂 For the most part it was a nice ride but after our really awesome 6 week stint in Morocco we both agree that this part of our trip will soon be lost in the subconscious of our minds…luckily we had the Baeleric islands to reawaken our sense of adventure upcoming!!!
We caught the ferry to Mallorca stopping briefly in at Ibiza (to show Avicci we are cool 😎) before finally making it to Mallorca – arguably Europe’s road cycling Mecca. Over the course of the next few days we road some incredible rides and due to the generosity of some Warm Showers legends (Sandra and Eloi) we were able to ride most of the epic rides without touring weight. We actually felt like road riders again and really appreciated the rides for rides and not for transport.
After we left the pair we decided to head north along the Tramuntana mountains to tick off some of the other epic rides well known in Mallorca.
It was during a ride that Beau first noticed his rear wheel dragging and after inspection found that the free hub body bearings had all but disintegrated. In addition Beau had snapped the pannier rack support but insisted it was not a result of too much ensaymada 😂.
Luckily we had organised a stay with a really warm and welcoming Warm Showers family Sebastian, Esperança and Aina.
Sebastian was really helpful
and arranged to have the wheel repaired at the local bike shop and even loaned Beau a mountain bike on an off day so he could still ride the epic Cala Sa Calobra climb 😍.
We really wanted to tick off all of Mallorca so we decided to head to the east of the island. This part is flat and more farmland and as a result
wayyyy less touristy. However, despite the lack of hills we still enjoyed a few good days of exploring the beautiful coastline and had a really relaxing stay with Eusebio and Samantha at their Cottage like home.
We also tried a tandem bicycle which provided A LOT of laughter:
The final part of the trip saw us finally do some wild camping and we can say despite being difficult it is definitely possible in Mallorca. There
are some really good spots that were recommended to us from our hosts and ones we chanced upon ourselves so if you ever find yourself in need of a place to pitch just send us a pm 😉
Overall, the riding was phenomenal in Mallorca. The Tramuntana mountains are definitely the highlight due to the dramatic landscape they provide.
However, we feel that Mallorca is definitely geared more towards road cycling rather than touring. Don’t get me wrong it was great going through on the tourers but we both feel it would have been even funner if we had road bikes and an Air Bnb sorted for a week. Perhaps one for the future…
After canvassing most of the island we then caught the ferry to Menorca which would see us tick off all 3 of the Baeleric islands. Menorca is atiny island measuring only around 60km in length and after visiting the highest point (around 350m) and visiting several ancient ruins (much to emm’s sheer excitement :0) we decided it was time to say good to the Baeleric islands.
Menorca itself was a bit of a sedative after riding through Mallorca.
On a touring bike you are really confined to the 1 main road running through the guts of the island and the small feeder roads that service the towns along the way. There is an old ancient horse track that runs the perimeter of the island and would make for an amazing bikepacking adventure we are sure… however for road cycling or touring it is not a place we would recommend. But that’s the nature of travel . It can’t always be great otherwise great would just be ordinary….
We eventually caught the ferry back to mainland and arrived in Barcelona to spend time at our friends, Aina’s place. We had a great time with the crew in Barcelona which allowed us to reset for our #climbinglife to begin in the Pyrenees 😍🚲
#TheCasualtyList…Items worth counting on this epic…
Pesto jar count (our new sweet hit replacement): 28
Peanut butter jars: 6
Hazelnut spread jar count: 14
Pistachio spread jar count: 2
Jam jar count: 22 (2 jars from berries we picked ourselves)
Fake jam jar count: 2
Pineapple jam: 1 in Azores amazing
Honey jar count: 5
Tires Worn Away: 2
Brake pads cooked: 11
Gear cables: 7
Handlebar tape: 2 rolls (1 roll equals 1 handlebar)
# fuel bottles: 3 litres of denatured alcohol, 2x 250g gas bottle, 2.2 litres gasoline (.59 litres diesel by accident)
# Sporks broken: 1
# knives broken: 1
# knicks destroyed/used beyond use: 1 men’s Nero, 1 Rapha women’s core, 1 rapha women’s souplesse
# shoes broken: 1 pair sandals
# 2 pairs of runners
# novelty sunnies from Kurt: 1
# novelty straw hats from Kurt: 2 (lost somewhere in the Mediterranean ☹️)
# silicon phone holder (noooo this was essential gonna be hard to navigate now)
# iPhone screen
# iPhone cables: 3
# micro USB cables: 2
# Emma’s shoulder
# Oakley jawbreaker lens
# rear light lost