Our Guests Stories... Our final day in Mallorca
So the party from Maine's time in Mallorca has come to an end and they finish with what we call our favourite ride on the island from Port de Soller along the spectacular SouthWest coast and the beautiful and idyllic villages of Deia, Valldemossa, Banyalbufar and Estellencs, all the way to Sant Elm for a great final lunch at Es Moli. Time to reflect... Time for some stories. . . . .😀
When we first saw Fonzie’s bike, we thought WOW. It is fancy. Colorful. Unique. We wondered. . . . So - as it turns out - there was another group of seven cyclists coming to Mallorca the same time as we were coming. Only they were only spending a week here rather than two. Meaning, we would have to share Fonzie . . . 😜. This was a group from California. They had been planning their trip for about a year and were in the throws of training - when one of the cyclists was out on a training ride in wine country. He pulled off on the shoulder of the road to check his cell phone and was hit by a driver, without a license and speeding. He was killed instantly and they canceled their trip. Fortunately this was five weeks out and Fonzie was able to get all their money back from the hotels. Very tragic. Makes you think a bit about the possible dangers of riding your bicycle. 😖. Makes you take a second look at safety. Helps you consider every day as a treasure and not take your opportunities for granted. This guy was a lawyer, only 57 years old. This experience shook Fonzie to the core and he decided to get himself a new and very colorful bicycle and to buy bright lights so that he would be very visible. Thus - the colorful bike . . .
So today was our last day on the bikes . . . Sad to have this wonderful vacation come to a close . . . Mallorca is a special place - one we’d love to return to . . . We split up today. John, Tom, and Fonzie took off from the hotel for a very long ride - 5000 feet of elevation gain and about 44 miles. The rest of us took a van ride for the first 12 miles and then started our day. So we rode 32 miles with plenty of hills along the way. It was a beautiful ride, along the coast for the first half. We stopped at a cafe for coffee about half way through our ride. Soon, the boys caught up and joined us at this great spot overlooking the ocean!
Nearby, were these two folks from SURRY, England. We mentioned that our family has a place in SURRY, Maine. And they chuckled, saying that we had taken several names of cities from them. And the one thing they were not interested in taking from us is Trump! 😀. We all laughed. And then, we got into a political discussion. They say that the Brexit vote was all about immigration and not so much about splitting off from the Europe zone . . People who were making 10 pounds an hour were being displaced by Immigrants who were willing to work for 7 pounds an hour . . . John has reached the point where he just spits it out from the get go. Some fellow at lunch wanted to know where he was from and he said. “I’m from the United States and I didn’t vote for him!” Everybody over here has an opinion about Trump and none of these opinions are positive. .. 😝
And then we took off for the rest of our ride . . This time, heading for the mountains An amazing ride, through very rugged terrain. Hilly - but what’s knew?! We reached our lunch spot around 1:30. Fonzie and Fernando took our saddles and pedals off our bikes, readying them for their return to the bike shop. We loved these bikes. As good as our own back home! We had a wonderful lunch and then we vanned to Palma.
Now - I must tell you about Fernando. He is from Venezuela, as is Fonzie. Fonzie used to crew on Fernando's boat. They are very good friends. So - things are not good in Venezuela. Really not good! Fonzie has brought his parents here to Mallorca and they are working at getting citizenship. Fernando decided, about a year ago, to bring his wife and two sons here to Mallorca. He told them that this was just a trial move. The family left behind a nice home and a big sailboat. They cannot go back. Fernando, at the age of 50, has had to start all over again. The house won’t sell because no one wants to live in Venezuela. The boat might sell if he lists it in dollars. The Venezuelan currency is no good anywhere else. The two boys, ages 14 and 16, have to learn the Catalan language here because all the exams are administered in Catalan. Learning this language is really an annoyance because it is not spoken anywhere else but in Catalonia. And it’s a weird language. So the entire family has to sacrifice to make this work. His wife went back to Venezuela three months ago to visit family and found everyone thinner. There is just not enough food . . .
So - when we start to feel angry about the direction our country is going, I guess we have to take another look at our country. We have freedom and opportunity. We don’t have to resettle somewhere just to have enough food on the table. We can hope that with elections happening every two years, maybe we'll have a chance to make a change from the current direction we are heading. Maybe . . .
Lots of political conversation. One of the current issues here on Mallorca is the number of tourists that are coming here - not so many cyclists but lots of cruise ships and people looking for a lovely place to vacation. There are hundreds (THOUSANDS really) of rental cars and so many huge buses on the road. The Mallorcan government has not figured out a way to control tourism but still keep the industry strong. Fonzie says (allowing so many rental cars and putting those huge buses in those fantastic small roads) would be like taking Anna's amazing ravioli and smothering it with mayonnaise . . . Anna's ravioli was amazing! 😀
Anyway . . . We dine tonight here in Palma and then we leave early tomorrow morning for the airport. Such a great trip this has been. Come here if you can! #mallorca