Our guests stories... Sa Calobra, the big one!
On today's stories, the Maine gang go all in for the most famous and iconic climb in Mallorca, Sa Calobra... or as they call it, Sa Calabra ;-p (cheeky)
Great job guys and thanks Jo for the text and pictures:
“Sa Calabra is the big climb in Mallorca! It’s the one you simply have to do. Like all classic climbs, it’s a long, sinuous beast that overlays its coils on top of one another, and slides gracefully down the valley!”
So - does this make you all want to rush to Mallorca to do this classic climb? 😀. To be honest, we were a little scared about doing this ride. Because, from our hotel, you have to ride to the town of Caimari (not very far) and then climb up to the Col de Sa Bataia. This is another classic Mallorcan climb -7.8 kilometers at 6 percent gradient. From this point, it’s about five miles undulating terrain (literally nothing flat). Then, there’s a three kilometer, steep climb to the top of Sa Calabra. And then, you go down, down, down, twisting and turning around the mountainside - for 9.5 kilometers at 7 percent gradient. All the way to the ocean. A spectacular descent! However, at that point, you must turn around and bike all the way back up Sa Calabra (rather steep), bike up and down the five undulating miles, head down over the Col de Sa Bataia, through the village of Caimari and back to the hotel! How’s that for a days work?! 😀. 66 kilometers with 5500 feet of elevation gain!
So we debated and debated as to how we would work this day. Tom and John were all in from the get go! Dave wanted to go part way down Sa Calabra to see this amazing road and at least experience it. The girls were undecided . . There was another appealing ride that went up the first big hill and then meandered to the town of Pollensa, which is a very cool, old, town, right on the ocean. Pretty appealing. Last night, the four ladies decided to do that route.
Finished the first big climb! All smiles . . .
Then - at breakfast Laurie said she was going to do Dave’s route (get part of the Sa Calabra experience) and the rest of us fell into line . . 😀. So we all headed up the first big climb .. We left early and it was nice and cool! We all did amazingly well! Getting stronger by the day! We stopped at a petrol station to wait for everyone to arrive. And then Laurie announced that she was done with major climbing and was heading for Pollensa. Colette and Cyndy jumped onto her route. So Dave and Jo, Tom and John headed off for Sa Calabra . . . The scenery here is absolutely spectacular. Really hard to describe. Totally remote. Huge mountains all around you. Occasional views of the ocean off to the right. A very narrow road that you had to share with cyclists going both ways, cars, trucks, and huge buses. When you saw a bus coming, you’d better not be cycling around a corner. There is not room for anything on the corners but the buses. I had to get off my bike two times for buses. That was scary because the road was steep!
Fonzie’s undulating terrain . . . editor's note: :-)
An amazing road . .
Jojo is not setting any speed records!
And - my legs still hurt from our major hike - so getting on and off the bike on a steep hill presents some challenges! 😜. Amazing how many people were on that difficult ride on this day. Hard to imagine! At one point, as I was slowly pedaling up to the top of Sa Calabra, three very fit and youngish men rode by me and cheered for my efforts! Pretty cool. I was surly not one of the speediest folks on that hill. Probably one of the oldest ones as well! 😀.
Some wildlife to keep us company along the ride
So finally Dave and I decided we had had enough descending (and we knew what was facing us on the way back . . .) and we turned around our bikes and headed back up the hill. Then across the five miles connecting the two climbs - and then back down the first big hill. Of course, stopping for pictures along the way. We enjoyed a nice cold cervesa at the bottom of the hill, devoured some yummy spaghetti for lunch and then bought some olive oil we had tasted with our lunch. The olive oil business is in full production mode here in Mallorca.
This gnarly old tree is still bearing olives!
Back through Caimari
Now back at the ranch. Everyone has returned and we’re just hanging for a bit! Which is a good thing! 😀
Dave’s bike - taking a break on our lovely patio!