To Palma - The Seven Year Itch - CycleBlaze

March 9, 2024

To Palma

The day starts out with putting Rachael through the steps of the Epley maneuver, a set of movements intended to realign the particles in the inner ear.  It’s something we’ve done periodically when she starts having dizziness episodes, something she’s occasionally experienced ever since her concussion years ago.

For myself, I’m physically feeling quite good - probably the best I have since we arrived.  I suspect there’s another relapse ahead, but I feel encouraged - I’m definitely getting my health back, slowly but surely.

We really avoid situations like today’s where your plan depends on others or on situations you can’t control.  Taxis, planes, ferries, trains, buses - they’re all a risk to one degree or another, and so several times during the night I wake up wondering if the taxi will arrive, and thinking through what we need to do in the morning to prepare for it.  The one good thing in this case is if there’s a no-show we’ve got options.  Palma is only fifteen miles anway, and we’ve got all day to procure a different ride; or even bike and suffer, if it comes to that.

We do our part and are down in the lobby checked out and waiting a half hour before arrival.  It’s a comfortable spot - better than our too small room, really - so we’re happy to wait there.  About ten minutes early I step outside so I can watch for our cab.  It’s not a well marked hotel, and I don’t want him to just drive off.  It’s raining and windy, but there’s just enough cover in the doorway to shelter me.

Waiting, hoping we won’t get stood up this time.
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It’s just turning eleven and he hasn’t shown up yet so I open the door and ask Rachael to text him; but then he rounds the corner, precisely on time to the minute.  There’s a scramble now, with Rachael shuttling out our baggage (while still feeling a little unstable from her dizziness issue) while I rush to the back door of the hotel to wheel out the bikes one at a time.

I’m a little uncertain that the bikes will fit - he’s only got a slot on the left half of the car, where the back seat is folded down; but he knows what he’s doing and fits them both in unfolded, and then packs them in snugly by wedging the panniers around them - all while toting his small dog in a pouch in front of him.

And we’re off, driving the fifteen miles to our hotel in the pouring rain, feeling wonderful about the fact that we’re inside and dry.  And we get delivered right to the door of our hotel as promised, and we’re quickly inside.  Before we go though we wait just long enough to take a photo so we won’t forget this guy and his mascot.  We love it when a plan works out to perfection like this!

We love this guy and his dog that sat in his lap for the whole ride. If you’re in Alaró and need a cab, look up Taxi Alaró.
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Scott FenwickYour looking good Scott. Keep your hand on that wallet! Once again the Anderson's show they are they are the best, amongst many things, at cycle tour problem solving. Nice pivot.
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2 months ago
Eva WaltersDitto...
and Scott, you're wearing long pants!
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2 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Eva WaltersYup. I always carry a pair for the occasional cold evening, but it’s pretty rare that I break them out. Definitely a nasty day.
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2 months ago

We’re staying in an elite resort hotel, just an half mile uphill from the port.  It’s not our usual style, but it’s perfect for the situation.  We have to be at the port by 7 in the morning, so we’ll be biking down in the predawn.

It’s a nice place alright, but it doesn’t really cater to bikes - unusual on this island.  The desk agent has to call someone to find out where to stuff them, and they end up in a small closet crowded in against some mattresses.  Other than that though, the place works out great for us.  We have a spacious, comfortable room, and the bar serves us up an excellent lunch that we eat looking across toward the bay, hardly visible through the clouds and rain.

Afterwards, we retire to the room for the day, largely filling the time by completing our new plan for the next month.  And then we just relax, with me starting to fret about the issues in the morning - will it be dry, and light enough yet to safely bike to the port?  What if we have a flat or mechanical?  Will we have any trouble finding where to board?  Are our boarding vouchers readily available?  Another day, another risky transaction to stew over.

High and dry, watching it pour.
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Our lunchtime view. We suggested to the barman that we’d like an outside table but he recommended against it.
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Still coming down. It won’t let up until mid-evening.
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The new plan

OK, we’re done now except for some fine-tuning.  After multiple iterations and a slew of cancellations, date changes and new bookings, we’re quite happy with where we’ve ended up.  We’ve biked most of the original itinerary in the past anyway, and this will let us reach some different spots and of course stay longer in some of them.  In four weeks we’ll drive from Alicante to Badajoz in a very roundabout way:

  • Pick up the car in Alicante on March 16th
  • 3 days in Aguilas
  • 5 days in San Jose
  • 3 days in Berja
  • 2 days in Cómpeta
  • 3 days in Baeza
  • 2 days in Zuheros
  • 2 days in Villanueva de la Concepcion
  • 2 days in Zahara de la Sierra
  • 4 days in Zafra
  • Return the car in Badajoz on April 12th, and then back on the bikes!
Red: by bicycle, from Dénia to Alicante; blue: by car, from Alicante to Badajoz; red: by bicycle, from Badajoz to Merida.
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Jacquie GaudetWhere are you staying in Berja? When we were there in 2021, the hotel you had stayed at in 2019 appeared to be permanently closed. The one we stayed at, Hotel Restaurante Casa Palaciega XIX, was lovely but booking ahead didn’t seem possible then.
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2 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Jacquie GaudetHotel Don Miguel, the same place we stayed last time. They’ve reopened, presumably under new management. Timing is everything.
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2 months ago
Jacquie GaudetTo Scott AndersonGood to hear! We enjoyed the Palacio but it was a small splurge!
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2 months ago
David MathersHi Scott and Rachael, I enjoyed seeing your photo journal of Mallorca's laneways, mountains and great food...brings back fond memories! Looking forward to your journey through Murcia...we'll be there in May/June. Get well soon and take care!
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2 months ago
Scott AndersonTo David MathersSorry (for you and ourselves both) that we didn’t show you more of Mallorca, but then you did get a pretty fair look already. I’m doing better now - quite well really, and all but back to normal - and ready to start enjoying the show finally.
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2 months ago