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Thursday, May 16, 2019

April 14th: Es Verger/Sobremunt

I was now getting up hungry every day, but today, the hotel told me to stay out of the dining area until 7:30. Fortunately, today was going to start by renting a car and driving, so we could take our time and eat. OK, I didn't mean that. We scarf'd down our food the minute the dining area opened, got our bikes out, and arrived at the rental car station at 8:00 right when they opened.
It had been a couple of years since I drove stick shift, but it was longer than that for Mike, so I was elected to drive. We drove out of Port de Soller, through the car only tunnel, and over to Esporles, something that didn't take more than 20 minutes. From there, Mike would finish the second half of the coastal loop which he didn't do the day before, while I'd try to find Es Verger. I was concerned that the entrance of the road from the south side would be tough to find, so I decided I'd do it from Esporles, descend the south side, and climb it back up again.

It took a lot of thrashing about, riding on dirt roads and so forth, before I realized that any signpost that said "Cami" is to be ignored. It was basically pointing at a private residence. This insight eventually got me to the top, whereupon any signposts disappeared. I repeatedly brought out my phone to examine Google maps, and eventually decided that the gate I was in front of must be the right one. The dirt road looked kind of rideable though it soon degenerated into rocks, but the views opened up and I had a nice view from my height. When the dirt road ended, there was a locked fence, which I proceeded to then lift my bike over, and then stepped over.
At this point, I was probably trespassing but no one was about, and I soon found pavement and descended it, observing occasional cyclists that looked like this was the steepest hill they'd ever ridden up.
At the bottom, I found the tiny sign that indicated the road, and turned around and climbed it. While it's comparable to Bohlman-On Orbit-Bohlman in Saratoga, in practice it doesn't go up as high, and so wasn't as much of a gut buster. But now that I'd found the pavement it was a simple matter to discover the summit, where I found that the signs were oriented in such a way that I couldn't see them from Esporles. It looked like one of the signs had fallen off indeed.
I rode back down and completed to loop back to Esporles, where I managed to have a bowl of Spaghetti and cake before Mike showed up. We drove back to Port de Soller, but discovered that the parking lot where the we were supposed to leave the car was full and the person who was running the rental shop had gone, leaving a sign saying he'd be back at 6:00pm. We circled around and I finally squeezed the car into a tiny spot, and then we left the keys at the dropbox and rode back to the hotel, observing that the town was now completely swamped with tourists.

While removing the bike from the car, I discovered that I'd broken a water bottle cage. It had been on one bike or another since at least 2005, so it had served a long life, but I was still a bit discouraged at having to pay the European price of 15 Euros for something you could get from Amazon for $5. Nevertheless, the bike shop in Port de Soller was easily the hardest working bike shop I'd ever seen in Europe --- opened whenever we rode out at 8:00am, and still open even at 6:00pm on a Sunday. They definitely earned their money, and replaced the bolts as well as the cage for the price.

We were both too hungry to wait for a late dinner, so found a tapas place open called El Sabor. The food was excellent, and so good that we'd return the next night.
It finally dawned on me that the next day was our last day of riding. I had several passes I wanted to check off my list: Col d' Honor, Col de sa Batalla. I decided tomorrow would be a good day to tackle them all and still have time to pack my bike. Linus tried to convince us to do Cap de Formentor, and if we'd known about it earlier that day we might have gone and done it, but as it was I didn't want to do another day of driving if I could help it!

1 comment:

Sojka's Call said...

Loved the food that day everywhere I ate! Cycling makes food so good.