Thursday 26 April 2012

A day of Culture

A day of culture started with a visit to The Tate Modern and the Damien Hurst exhibition.
I had prebooked a ticket for 12am so had time for a coffee and a look around the public galleries before going into the exhibition. I started with the diamond encrusted skull "For the Love of God". It was displayed in a specially built room in the Turbine hall and as its not part of the main exhibition free to visit. It consists of a platinum cast of a human skull encrusted with 8,601 flawless diamonds, including a pear-shaped pink diamond located in the forehead. Costing a reported £14 million to produce. Access is limited to small groups and large bags cannot be taken in. It is viewed in a darkened room in a thick glass box with a security guard on hand. The main exhibition was busy but not too crowed to enjoy. I wanted to see how the shark was held in place and if you look carefully when you are there you can see the clear nylon fishing line holding it in position the the tank.FYI Perspex was used to hold the organs in place in "Mother and child divided".
The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living
The Anatomy of an Angel
The exhibition finishes with the "Usual Shop". The exhibition poster could be purchased for under a tenner but if you wanted a nice Spot Painting limited edition print to take away the price is £4225. Frame extra. I think I will do my own. Perhaps I will try squares.
It was then a pleasant 30 minute walk along the Thames to Tate Britain and the Picasso and Migrations Exhibitions.
I enjoyed all the exhibitions but would prefer to put a Picasso rather than a Hirst on my wall. If you are visiting the Tate Modern and like modern art the Yayoi Kusama expedition with her Infinity net paintings, spot rooms and infinitely mirrored space are well worth a visit.

Sunday 15 April 2012

A Snack at the Airport

The Cafeteria Parking just outside the main teminal is a lot cheaper than inside the terminal.At 3.16 euros. Good value for money.

Puerto Pollenca Bay

Our transport for the week.

A van my not be everyones first choice but it was cheaper than a car and ideal for transporting the bikes around the island. You even had room to change in the back! We got the van from Sixt. A little more expensive than Holiday Autos but worth the extra to avoid the excesssive queues and tank of fuel rip off with Record Car.

Saturday 14 April 2012

14th April. Another Ride from Ruberts

14 th April

Decided to do another ride from Ruberts. This time we took the track in the direction of Pina. Then onto Montuiri and another coffee in the bar.Being the weekend there were lots more cyclists.We admired the view and logged onto the villages free WIFI. Porreres was the planned stop for lunch. The bar we had found previously was not doing the menu of the day. Instead we purchased 2 excellent pieces of cake from fund raising stall.We then yook a minor track in the direction of Campos. The track was marked as a green route on our map. The tarmac road soon became an unmade road then after about 5 miles the track was blocked with a gate and the sign said the Spanish "Private no Entry". A German lady cyclist was looking lost by the sign. We followed the road back and took the first turning off and eventually ended up on the road we had taken earlier in the holiday when we went to Felantix.After a quick ride and the town we we headed back on minor paths and roads via Vilfrance de Bonany, Sant Joan and Lloret de Vistalegre. We parked in town to drop the bikes off at Pro Cycle Hire Mallorca. The shop was very busy with cyclists picking up their bikes for the week. If you want to hire a good quality bike in Mallorca we can highly recommend them. An excellent choice of bikes with a friendly efficient service. Whilst we we waiting R checked the cycling map the shop sell. It would be worth getting on our next visit as it included lots of roads and tracks not marked on our 1:130 000 map of the Island. As they were really busy in the shop R borrowed the tools to remove our peddles to speed up the process.The end of an excellent 10 days of cycling. Over 420 miles completed with just one puncture.We look forward to be reunited with our bikes again next year.

Pro Cycle Hires Mallorca Shop Front

A meal in Stay

Had an excellent evenning meal in Stay. When we last visited in 2011 the evenning finished with a missing 4 hours and an unexpected excusion to the local hospitsl after I cycled over a chain blocking the entrance to the main square. I can happly report we cycled straight home in 2012 and a pleasant evenning passed without major incident.

13th April. The best Pie on the Island

The bad weather of the previous evenning continued into the morning. Rain was in the air accompanied by strong winds and the mountain backdrop was were obscured by cloud. We drove into town visited the post office and called in at Pro Cycle Hire. By midday the weather showed signs of improving so we chanced a ride. We took the back roads to Alcudia and then went onto the Parc Natural s'Alburfera. We cut though the reserve and then went on to Muro for the best pie in the Island. After a coffee pie and a cake it was on to Llubi then the back track to Campanet and the usual route via the Coves back to Port de Pollenca calling in at Pro Cycle for some essential chain lubrication. The weather improved thoughout the ride we started with cloud and the possibility of rain and ended in sunshine.The round trip was 46 miles.

Thursday 12 April 2012

12th April. 47 miles in the dry then it rained

47 miles in the dry then it rained. Awoke to clear skys but it had started to cloud over before we set off. Starting in sa Pobla we took the back roads to Inca where once we found the road we continued on to Santa Maria dei Cami. We then did the short climb up to Alaro.The pastelaria in the main square with its excellent chocolate cake was still open. But then shut before we were able to purchase any! Had a ham and cheese Pa amb oli in a small bar off the main square.We continued following minor roads to Lloseta and then Selva.
As we approached the village the clouds darkened and before we reached Campanet the roads had become wet. Climbing the hill to Buger the rain started. We made shelter outside a pasteleria before we got too wet. A cake a coffee and 40 minutes later the rain had subsided and thunder and lightening had stopped.The owners "son" had even offered us a lift back to the car if the weather did not improve! It was then a quick dash for the last 3 miles avoiding the puddles to to get back to sa Pobla. We did not get to wet apart from the line of water up our backs caused by the lack of mudguards.
Then it rained.

11th April. A short ride from Ruberts

Drove to the small village of Ruberts.The specification was an easy 40 mile ride. 4 hours into the ride we had stopped to view an ancient momument. Had a coffee and used the free WIFI in Montuiri and stopped for lunch in a bar in the square at Porieres. The later turned out to be excellent value as when we came to pay we found the 7 euro pasta with fresh tomato sauce also included a beer and a coffee. We then took the back lanes to Felanitx headed north to Vilafranca de Bonany and then headed back to Ruberts via Sant Joan and Lloret de Vistalegre. A round trip of 42 miles.  Had an excellent evening meal at Can Curassa. Its well worth a visit. The fixed price of 30 euros pp included 3 courses , wine ,coffee and a liqueur.

Viewing an ancient Monument

10th April. Alcudia and a short ride.

The BBC longterm forecast proved to be wrong. We awoke to cloud and this turned into spots of heavy rain by the time we had had breakfast. The rain looked like stopping and then started again so we put the bikes in the van and set off aroundcthe bay to Alcudia. We walked around the market. L purchased some bowls as presents and we had a couple of Mallorcan pies for lunch. After a walk around the partial walls we headed off to the nature reserve " Parc Natural de S'Albufera" . By about 4pm the weather had improved. The sun had come out and a cool 14 degrees had been replaced by a temperature in the low 20's. We drove to Muro and did a short ride following the Ecovies first towards Santa Margalida and then on to Maria de la Salut. A round trip of 18 miles. Returned to Port de Pollensa and had a paella in Pepes or tea. Greated with kisses from his partner.

Lunch in Alcudia.

Monday 9 April 2012

9th April A day in the Mountains.

A good forecast and no wind so we decided it was time for a ride in the mountains. Starting from the appartment we took the back roads to Campanet and the on to Calmari. Had a coffee in  bar in preparation for the climb up the Coll de sa Batalla. We had done the climb with Martin in 2011 so we did not have the excuse to stop for photos. Lyn made it to the top without stopping. At the top R took the opportunity to take a 12 mile detour to Sa Calobra.

The descent to the port offers some fantastic views of the swishbacks but starts with a short climb unexpected climb. A long descent with the only problem being you have to climb back up once you reach the port. 9.5km at an average gradient of 7%. A good climb. Passed a lot of cyclists climbing up as I made my way down but most had aleady set off before I started back and I only passed 3 cyclists on the climb. L waited at Lluc where she had coffee, lunch and took advantage of the good weather and a good book. R's 25 mile detour took about 2 hours 40 minutes including stopping to take photos on the descent and having a snack at the bottom. The climb to the top took around 55 minutes. From Lluc we continued to Pollensa. A small amount of climbing and a long descent to Pollensa. A well deserved ice cream in the square and then the back roads back to Port de Pollensa. A round trip of 65 miles via Sa Calobra and 40 miles if you proceed directly to Lluc. The milometer recorded the journey as 53 miles! So around 12 miles must have been completed at over 20mph!

Sunday 8 April 2012


Pie with Peas

Lyn on an earlier ride

A ride from Biniali

8th April

Drove to Biniali and parked in our "usual" spot by the roundabout. Planned a new route taking the minor road to Santa Eugenia and then on towards the airport. We could not find the track marked in the map to Sant Jordi but eventually worked out way round to it passing the end of the runway which gave a good view of the incoming planes. We then followed the track to Llucmajor. The road disappeared and a 4 km section turned out to be a very rough mountain bike track. A pie for lunch in the square at Llucmajor then it was the minior road to Algaida, followed by Pina,Costitx (again) and then the long way back to Biniali. Excellent views of the mountains as we cycled towards Inca. A trip of about 48 miles.The weather was sunny, a cooling breeze and a top temperature of about 20 degrees C.

Saturday 7 April 2012

7th April Sun and Strong Winds

7th April
Awoke to a blue sky and a good forecast. Decided to do a ride from Santa Margalida. As in previous years we parked just outside the town at the football statium. We followed a minor track to Maria de la Salut and then headed towards Petra. Managed to follow the off road path despite our map being selective about which roads and paths they included. It was a little early for lunch in Petra so we headed towards Vilafrance de Bonany. But first we climbed to Santuari de Bonany. The views from the top were worth the climb. After lunch in a bar in Vilafranca we headed to Porreres starting on the main road but a couple of miles out of town we diverted off onto a rough track. The  ciruit of approximatey 48 miles was completed by looping round via Montuiri, Sineu and Maria de La Salut. The mileometer I brought decides to stop working at any speed above 20 mph so the downhill stretch with the wind behind us was completed a 0mph! Stopped a Lidl on our way back to Port de Pollenca to restock with provisions. The sun stayed out all day with a maxium temperature of around 18 degrees centigrade but a strong cold wind meant a windproof top was the order of the day.

6th April Sun and Rain

6th April
We awoke to another forecast of sunny intervals and thunder storms. Lots of dark clouds around in the morning but no rain so we decided to drive to Sa Pobla and do a ride from there. Took the "Water Lane" in the general direction of Inca and then headed towards Costitx. As we approached the village the clouds darkened and the rain started. Fortunately we had planned to stop a bar in the main square for lunch. After a short hard climb we were in the dry in the bar. Time for a couple of coffees a beer and a sandwich. After about an hour the rain slowed so we headed off towards Muro. The black clouds started to clear and the rain finally stopped. Time for a coffee and cake in Muro before we headed back to Sa Pobla a round trip of just under 28 miles.

Friday 6 April 2012

5th April Avoiding the Rain

5th April
A mixed forecast of sunny intervals and thunder storms. Decided to cycle from the appartment taking the back roads to Campanet. We then climbed the hill to Mosari hoping to get a tapas in a bar we had discovered on a previous trip to the island.Unfortunately tapas were not being served so after a beer we cycled the 7 miles to Muro to visit a pastelaria we had visited previously. The coffee was  good as we remembered and we each had a Panada (Meat pie with peas). Just as we were finishing the rain started. Not reliashing 20 miles in the rain we opted for a cake and another coffee inside. An excellent decision as the rain was bouncing off the rain. After the best part of an hour the rain looked like stopping so we decidrd to head back to Port de Pollenca taking the back road to sa Pobla and then going back via  Campanet. Despite the black clouds the rain held off. The only part of us that got wet was our bottoms and backs caused by the lack of mudguards and the spray coming of the road. Having got we set off to the local supermarket to get something for tea to find it had shut at lunch time! Fortunately we had plenty of provisions and we able to rustle up a potato omelette for tea.

Thursday 5 April 2012

4th April

An early start and an uneventfull flight to Palma.We even had time for a hot bacon sandwich at the airport. Booked a small van as a hire car from Sixt. Cheaper than a car and better for transporting thr bikes around the island. On collecting the van found we had been given a free upgrade to a very large Volkswagon van. Good if you want to move house but too large to drive around the island. It was soon swapped for something more suitable. We stopped a Decathlon for a new pair of sunglasses for R. He had left his nrw oned in England. Next stop was Lidl in Inca for provisions. Beer ,wine and food safely stored the next stop was Port de Pollenca. We have rented the same apartment we had previously. A few more improvements this year. A new shower has been installed downstairs , a new window in the bathroom upstairs and lots of new pictures. Once we hsd unloaded it was off see Bruce at Pro Cycle Mallorca to collect our bikes. The bikes were ready and waiting for us and once our pedals had been put on we were ready for cycling. A new design of complementary water bottles this year and they include a cover over the top. Excellent for mountain biking. Had a short ride around the town before returning to the appartment fot tea.