Thursday, September 17, 2009

Day 11 - Discovering the Mallorcan Coastline

Today started with a lovely breakfast at our hotel. Lots of coffee, delightful bread, eggs, fruit, meat, cheeses - too yummy really. We needed to be all ready to head out on our adventure by 10:30 as that was when the rental car would arrive.

Not really sure why they would be close to punctual but by 11:15 we were disappointed that they hadn't arrived yet. Jimmy called to find out their new ETA and by 12:30 we were on our way to discover some of what the island has to offer.

Our first stop was Genova. Apparently it has some of the most beautiful caves on the island. But not so beautiful that they need any signs for tourists. However, after a few wrong turns we stumbled upon a sign pointing us to the parking lot. We ponied up the 8 euro each and we were ready. The little man arrives with his little flashlight after a few minutes of waiting. He queries 'Dutch' to which Jimmy replies 'Canada, English' and this is where our adventures begin.

Other than knowing enough English to cover his basic script following every two or three word phrase by 'okay' the tour involved a lot of flashlights, fantasies and back lighting. He would repeat himself over and over again if we didn't approriatley respond when he would look to us for validation with his 'Okay' punctuation mark. Telling us to shut it while he played fantasy music and showed us fantasy cauliflower. We think this man has spent far too many hours in the cave as he sees images in all the stalactites and stalagmites. But in all honesty, the caves were beyond stunning and a neat island adventure.

Next stop was the beach. We wanted to time the stop so that we could take full advantage of the sun. After much driving along the coast through resort town after resort town we caught a glimpse of some beautiful spots. We headed off the main road to see what we could find and drove into a dead end. Upon further investigation (and validation by another couple who were doing the same thing) we headed down the steep rocky embankment to a little cove down below for a refreshing swim and some sun! It was absolutely gorgeous there.

It looked like some weather was rolling in so we headed out to finish the loop around. The road opened up into another beautiful fishing village with a little tourist strip so we stopped to check out the action and grab a bite. The fishing boats were trawlers and had much sharper bows (I pointed that out to Jimmy . . . ha ha ha . . . just kidding . . . i still don't know if the bow is the right or left side . . . ha ha ha. . . ;-)!!) but the fishermen looked the same. Weathered from many sunny days on the sea and glad to be home with money in their boat.

From this port we wound around for a couple of hours and came upon the mountain ridge that we had been hearing about. Crazy as the forest looks tropical but the rocks still have the jagged edges and layers like home. The road became much more narrow with hairpin turns and very few spots to pull over for pictures. And as such, we weren't able to capture much of the beauty to share with you. But I can say it is among the most beautiful sights I have ever seen.

Since we were driving along the west coast, we were able to watch the sunset over the sea with the cliffs below. And this is when Jimmy's real adventure began. The roads are well maintained but they barely fit two cars, have crazy sharp edges, no shoulders, treacherous cliffs and turns that are amazingly sharp. At times it felt like we were doing a 270 degree blind turn. We laughed over the fact that the speed limit was posted as 50 and yet we were clinging to the side handles barely going 40 km/h. It was incredible and truly stunning!!!

Towns built right into the side of the cliff that have been there since the island has been inhabited. The road markers indicating where to turn have been faded by many years in the sun. We enjoyed every minute of it but were extra glad to arrive back safe and sound. Ha . . . whose kidding who . . . Jimmy was glad the car was back safe and sound as there were more than a couple of times when you wouldn't be able to fit a hair between the side mirror and the mountain. I was just a secondary thought. He barely wanted to pay for the insurance on me . . . I reminded him how much he likes my chocolate chip cookies . . . he soon forked over the extra 10 euros!!!

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