No Biking, No Sun, But Lots of Playing House

Trip Start May 04, 2011
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Trip End Oct 08, 2012


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Where I stayed
Miquel's House

Flag of Spain  , Balearic Islands,
Sunday, May 29, 2011

The original plan to head to Mallorca was based on doing a four day road cycling camp with Trek Travel. However, due to the following factors I decided against it, which ultimately was the right choice:

1.    Totally unconditioned, other than a few runs and one bike ride over the last three weeks.

2.    Suffering from a terrible cough, turns out it is a sinus infection

3.    It has officially rained more than it has been sunny

If you recall I mentioned that I would be utilizing a website called Couchsurfing (CS) wherever possible. CS is a free social networking website used all over the world designed to provide travelers with either a free place to stay and/or an opportunity to meet locals for a coffee or  drink.  As it turns out the site was created by this guy in New York who just happens to be my friend Faye's uncle. Brilliant idea Juan.  

Mallorca was my first experience with actually utilizing the site as a place to stay. I contacted Miquel a week prior to my arrival. Miquel lives in Colonia Sant Jordi, 50km away from Palma center in a lovely quite beach town predominately frequented by Germans. Miquel provided me with very clear directions on how to arrive at his modern apartment, just 20 feet from where the bus from Palma drops off. He greeted me as soon as I arrived, handed off the key from the other CS visitors that were just leaving and left me with free reign of his home where he graciously hosted me for the next five days.

Anxious to run, I managed a six mile out and back along the coast, weaving on and off the fine white sand beaches with the mesmerizing crystal aquamarine water on my right and green forest to my left once I reached the port. It is a good thing I got out that afternoon to get a taste of the island beauty, because unfortunately that was practically the last day that the sun peaked in Mallorca.

The remaining week was on and off rain, which gave me the excuse to take advantage of having access to a modern kitchen, American television shows and internet access. It was exactly what the Dr. ordered since my persistent cough gradually got worse.  It was actually a pleasure to cook my meals, prepare a real salad and hot soup, and not have to eat another bocadillo. I quickly learned that food in Spain on a budget gets old.

The one other day that I awoke to sunshine, I set out on a field trip to the small island of Cabrera. I took the 10:00 speedboat or should I say E ticket over to the archipelago. I was amazed that I kept my breakfast down after feeling my stomach reach my eyes during the 20 minute ride over.

I spent a solitary day strolling up to the castle and later to the lighthouse after a catnap on a private beach. That was the first and last time I had on my bathing suit. On the return boat ride I planted myself behind the captain where I avoided the nausea, but not the downpour of rain as we sped into the black clouds back to Colonia. Upon arriving back to the mainland, I entered the attractive stone aquarium. It was as close to snorkeling as I got on this trip. Along with the little German kids, I was fascinated by the enormous crab cohabitating with the sting rays and sharks.

I’m sure the windy boat ride didn’t help my cold, if anything caused the cough to worsen, until I finally went to the doctor. The perfect host that he is Miquel accompanied me to the island doctor, who after assessing that my chest was clear sent me home with a regimen of antibiotics, cough syrup and airborne type effervescent to treat the sinus infection.

That afternoon I had the pleasure of joining Miquel and his family for lunch. They own a modern designed café called Café y Sal, and apartments above. I made myself like one of the family and attempted to help his mom in the kitchen cooking some fried beef steaks, fries and some soup.  I was no match to her 30 years of peeling potatoes. It was moments like these, engaging with the natives, who grand-parents and great-grandparents were raised on Mallorca. They are a tight family, mom, dad and the two sons only one year apart, who love their job of serving the tourists and building relationships with many regular foreigners, who are happy to return year after year.  Thank you Miquel and family!
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