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Driving is fun!

Hope my brakes work.

sunny 74 °F

May 27th, 2014

What a memorable day! Let me tell you what went down on the Isle of Mallorca.

I woke up with apprehension in my soul. Today is the day that we are renting a car, in a foreign country, to drive all over in a foreign country and figure out how to get around, in a foreign country. We had to get up early enough to make it to Port Adriano for our pick up time. We decided to walk instead of figuring out transportation. Port Adriano is about an hour up over the hill and down to the other side. It was such a beautiful morning and it felt good to stretch our legs and get some good exercise. The whole time we were walking I kept self soothing and thinking,"At least I'm not driving right now. I know where I am going right now and I am okay, right now. I'm not driving yet, enjoy the freedom." I know it's sad, but its kind of freaky okay? We made it without any hitches to the port. Yet another beautiful little beach with yachts worth more than the city of Post Falls moored at the docks. The company we are using is called Sixt. We were met by a really nice lady to help us get our car. I listened to her talk to see if I could figure out where she was from. At first I guessed Australia, but that didn't seem right. Then I thought maybe she was english, but couldn't quite tell. I didn't bother guessing. That seems as bad as asking, "When is that BABY due?" You just don't guess. She told us about the history of the company. I didn't realize it was a German company, but it made sense. Really cool history too! The company is 100 years old. They started renting out Model T's way back in the day! What a forward thinking company. They were hit hard by World War II. Apparently they had to hide cars from the Nazis and all sorts of stuff. It is neat they have rebuilt. The Germans seem to be very professional and top of it. I even told her so. Then I asked her where she was from. Germany! I never would have guessed. She confessed her boyfriend is British and rubs off on her. That explained my confusion. Good thing I complimented the Germans before I knew she was a German! She took us to our brand new VW Polo. Nicole calls it cute. I think she meant to say ugly. The lady handed me the keys, and we were set to explore the island and....drive in a foreign country.

Nicole gets the award for navigator of the year. She was completely on it. I will say right now, that for the whole day, she got us everywhere we needed to go without any problems. That really helped. I really like the way the Europeans drive. The fast lane is for fast people and the slow lane is for everyone else. I found the drivers to be aggressive but respectful, especially of the fast lane. We certainly could use that courtesy in the States. Seriously. We headed straight for the mountains and began to climb. Our first stop was a little town called Soller. Quaint but very uneventful. The streets were a trip though. They kept getting smaller and more crowded by buildings the further we got into town. At one point it was one car wide, with buildings on either side and about 2 feet of room to either side of our ugly little car. We couldn't stop laughing as the roads continued to get smaller and crazier! We stopped and walked around for a bit, but decided to continue on. The craziest roads were yet to come. The mountains we were driving in we're incredibly rocky. Not ugly rocky, but more like Ireland and Glacier National park rocky, without the pine trees. There were little black goats everywhere too. We started toward a little hidden beach, the name escapes me, but little did we know what would be required to get there.

This road, this crazy road, was like nothing I have ever seen. If you have ever been on the Going to the Sun Road in Glacier National Park, you might think you have been on a crazy narrow road. The Sun Ride is like a straight 6 lane freeway compared to the insanity we began to drive on. The road was BARELY the width of two of these tiny little ugly European cars. Barely. And that was at only some parts. Some parts of the road were only 1 car wide. By now i had driven enough that I was up for the challenge. We started heading up to the top of the mountain. Up switch backs and snaky roads. We were doing really well. Then came the tour bus. Are you kidding me? They let tour busses on this road?!? We slowly made our way past the bus, and let me tell you, insta-pit sweat. We cleared by maybe 3 inches, and we had not even seen the craziest sections of road yet. We get to the top of the mountain and look down. This road, going down to the coast, was like....it was like a cartoon or something. You look down the hill and the thing snakes and twists along cliff edges like someone had thrown a rope on the ground and said, "Let's make the road look like that." I say that to mean there was no rhyme or reason. The road would snake abnormally to the right, then disappear. Then reappear in switch backs of varying sizes only to snake like a drunken clown off the other direction! It was the single most interesting, peculiar and scary road I've seen in both real life and pictures. Throw on top of that oncoming traffic and a few more tour busses and it was a memory I will never forget. I have had the itch to go back and drive it again ever since.

When we arrived at the bottom, we are treated by the beautiful blue sea. A trail along the edge led us through two cave tunnels and out to one of the coolest things I've ever seen. The last cave led us to a huge bowl in the mountains. The ground is all smooth round rock, the kind you would never build a driveway out of, but would decorate with. Off to the right is what looks like a river coming down from the mountain and to the left, cut out of the rock is a little hidden beach. Pictures don't do it justice at all. It is so secluded, so secret, and I would bet that less than 1% of everyone on the planet will ever visit it. That is part of the charm. To get there you must brave the crazy roads and hike in. This has also been the biggest regret of the trip. We did not bring swim suits. How could we not bring swim suits? It was a perfect day for swimming, which many others there were taking advantage of. We sufficed to sit and soak in the awe inspiring natural beauty while avoiding the topless older women. Yes, I have not mentioned this yet, but topless sun bathing is a very real thing here. It wasn't super common though, so it is easy to maintain a decency with where you look.

The drive out was easier than the drive down. I'm not sure why, but thats that. We took off for the last stop of the day. There is a famous lighthouse at the very northernmost tip of the island. The roads were still nuts, but nothing compared to what we had already seen. The lighthouse actually turned out to be somewhat of a let down. Really not that cool and we didn't stay long. However, a few miles before the lighthouse we stopped at a breathtaking overlook and took some of the best pictures of the trip so far. From there it was back to Santa Ponca for a late dinner. The drive took a few hours, but really not bad. Nicole was running on reserves. It had been an exciting and exerting day. She was hilarious. She would nod off, only to jerk her head up and tell me to stay in my lane, only to fall right back asleep. It was endearing. We made it home, parked the car and headed out to dinner. What a fantastic day!

Posted by hangtime41 10:58 Archived in Spain

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