To Sineu and back via Llubi: too much market! - Mallorca in April - CycleBlaze

April 17, 2013

To Sineu and back via Llubi: too much market!

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Climbed 271 metres, 889 feet

Weather: sunny and warm, high 25 C

Today we cycled inland into Es Pla, the fertile central plain, and to the town of Sineu at the geographical centre of the island. Until the 20th century the majority of the island's inhabitants lived in the Es Pla region and it produced enough food to meet almost all the domestic requirements. Sineu was built on a hill giving it a strategic advantage for the kings of 14th century Mallorca, and it boasts one of the largest and oldest produce and livestock markets on the island, started in 1306. Wednesday is market day, so we expected to see a fair number of people there. We had no idea that the Sineu market is a major tourist attraction.

We slathered on the sunscreen once again, and took off for another lovely ride on small lanes through the farming country. This time we passed several functioning windmills turning slowly to irrigate the fields. Several workers were picking onions and two men were washing great stacks of them in a high stone cistern. There were also vineyards and olive groves on our route. We went through the tiny village of Llubi, where cyclists were drinking coffee at a bar in the town square, and then gently but steadily uphill the last few kilometres into Sineu.

All through the interior of Mallorca there are windmills, mostly no longer used, that provided irrigation water for a variety of crops
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A few of the windmills are still usable, and also quite colourful
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As we made our way toward the centre of town, we were shocked to see tourist buses and cars parked anywhere they could possibly find a space, and hordes of people crowding the streets. The market was spread out all through the town over several squares and the narrow lanes connecting them. The sun was beating down, there was no breeze, and there were so many people that it was hard to get close enough to the booths and tables even to see what was for sale. All the restaurant and bar terraces were jam-packed and there were lines out the doors of many places. We could barely push our bicycles through the crowds—it was really unpleasant--and we couldn't imagine what it would be like here in the real heat of the summer during high season.

We had planned to eat lunch in Sineu, but no way, and we high-tailed down the hill back to sleepy Llubi. We gratefully sank into seats at the bar in the shady square and ordered the only food they served--pa amb oli with cheese and serrano ham—delicious! We pricked up our ears when we heard a nearby cyclist couple speaking English—very unusual. They were from England and were staying in a nearby villa and looking for a holiday property to buy. It was quite a novelty to chat with native English-speakers.

The quiet, shady square in the small village of Llubi, where we returned for lunch - so different from the overcrowded squares and streets of Sineu on market day
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After lunch we continued back the way we had come along the quiet lanes—the wildflowers were blooming and the windmills were still going round.

This windmill was actually spinning while the fellow was climbing around on it.
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Poppies were common along the edges of the roads and lanes, but this field was particularly densely covered
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We encountered very few vehicles on lanes like this, and even on some of the wider roads we travelled
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In the late afternoon we sat out on our shady balcony watching sailboats and the ferry to Menorca going by. Suddenly we glimpsed colourful kite surfer sails flying back and forth and looking like giant smiles.

Kite surfers along the shore in front of the hotel
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Today's ride: 61 km (38 miles)
Total: 535 km (332 miles)

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