The Selva loop - The Seven Year Itch - CycleBlaze

March 6, 2024

The Selva loop

We both slept well last night and awake feeling clear, the best we’ve felt since leaving home.  We’re under no illusions that we’re suddenly well, but we’re well enough that we’re going out to see the world.  Rachael finds a route on Kormoot that she likes that heads northwest toward the mountains, so that’s her plan for the morning.  For myself, I draw out a bike route that follows the frontline of the mountains as far as Selva.  We each leave around ten after breakfast in our room, with the agreement that we’ll be back in time for lunch at two.

Rachael enjoys her easy six mile hike - she finds a nice trail, gets closer views of the mountains, and even sees a peacock - but she’d have enjoyed it even more and have continued on if she hadn’t come to an impassible gate blocking the path.

She went this way.
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Peacock!
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Puig de s’Alcadena.
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Puig d’Alaró
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Foop! Even svelte Rocky can’t squeeze through here.
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Before we go on to my little bike ride, for context let’s include this article Bob shared with us in the comments, explaining the geology behind the twin peaks of Alaró that rise up so dramatically behind the village.  It’s nice to know their names!

After surviving yesterday’s ride here from Sineu and seemingly feeling stronger this morning, I’m optimistic when I start cycling out of town.  A relaxed twenty mile ride on an unloaded bike should be no problem at all.  And it does start out that way.  Within a half mile I’m out of town biking on narrow lanes hemmed in by crumbling limestone walls and ancient olive trees.  Cars are few, cyclists are many - by the time I return to town I’ll see at least a hundred bikers, and more probably double that.  I’m probably passed by four or five bikers for ever car, except for the short stretches when I’m passing through a village.

Typical.
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A view up a side road gives me a nice, open view of Puig de s’Alcadena. It and Puig d’Alaró are both such eye-catching peaks, I can’t stop taking photos of them.
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#155: Eurasian blackbird
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A common sight. I must have passed one or two dozen riding groups like this.
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Puig d’Alaró again.
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#156: Red kite
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Sadly, this is undoubtedly the only col I’ll bike across on our two weeks here in Mallorca; and from this direction it’s really insignificant - 200’ in a bit over a mile. It’s more of a challenge going the other way, which is why I’ve drawn the route the direction I did.
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Another angle on Puig d’Alaró.
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Bruce LellmanA pretty impressive hunk of rock!!
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2 months ago
#157: European stonechat
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If you read the linked article Bob shared with us you’ll recognize that white slash on the face of Puig de s’Alcadena. It’s an enormous rockfall that occurred about fifteen years ago.
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Here’s some excitement - a flock of sheep bursts out of a field as soon as the gate is opened, and rushes a few hundred yards down the road to another pasture.
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Bob KoreisA situation calling for full fenders.
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2 months ago
We’re content to wait and enjoy the show.
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North of the twin peaks, the next formation in the chain comes into view. Puig de Massanella?
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Such a colorful region.
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Nearing Selva, I get a clear view across to the eastern edge of the island, which is rimmed by another minor range. In between is the flat central basin. On the far left in the distance you can just make out the sea.
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I’m surprised by how substantial Selva looks when it comes into view. It looks interesting, and large enough that you could use it as a base for exploring the mountains.
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Looking back on the entrance to Selva.
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I’m still feeling fine when I round the outer edge of Selva and head back toward our town.  In a couple of miles though I suddenly experience a series of hacking spasms - my congestion is still with me, obviously.  The eight remaining miles back to town are easy enough, but once again it feels like I’ve overdone it.  Very discouraging, but we’ll see what tomorrow brings.

This part of the island is really interesting, with intriguing villages dotting the hillsides and tucked up against the hills. This is Caimari, another place that would fit nicely into a day ride.
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One last view of the twin peaks before returning to town.
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 Fortunately for me, I’m back in time for lunch.  I rest up for a few minutes and then we walk a few blocks to a genuine Italian place, La Bufala.  We enjoy an excellent meal, starting with a shared goat cheese salad.  Our mains are both creative and appealing: Rachael has shrimp-filled crepes and I have the pasta special of the day, a dish I have a hard time describing that’s not like any pasta I’ve seen before.  It’s a long, flat lasagna-like pasta, stuffed with guanciale and onions, and rolled more or less in the shape of a flower - and then drenched in a tomato sauce.  I’m instructed to eat it from the outside in, letting the inside preserve its heat until the perimeter has disappeared.  Excellent, just my kind of meal.  I apologize for not taking photos of either of the mains though.

An excellent start.
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Today's ride: 21 miles (34 km)
Total: 88 miles (142 km)

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Karen PoretGlad you are getting better and enjoying the scenery along your way!
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2 months ago