Majorca - March 2003 Training Camp

Alcudia, Majorca Spain - March 24th - 31st

Friday 28th

It is snowing lightly as I write this - not much and it won't settle, but the contrast to the weather we had in Majorca seems heightened by the few flakes.  

Anyway, as predicted, Friday dawned overcast and, upon closer examination, we. It was raining quite steadily in fact. 

Breakfast was laid-back affair, people seemed to take a bit longer than usual. Plans were made to review the weather later and groups decided upon a variety of short rides they would like to do.  

Many of the planned rides, it must be noted, involved Sineu - that hard-to-find square being a favourite with many.

The car was still on hire and so we went on a trip to the caves at Arta. Caverns full of stalagmites growing at the rate of 0.5cm per year to meet stalactites descending towards them at a similar rate. Entry was possible only via guided tour at 8euro each. It was quite a good tour - the caves are constantly at 70'F - 80'F and so peaceful. The guide spoke in three languages o provide commentary in each 'room' of the tour - Spanish, German and English. There was also a light and sound show in one 'room'. The whole thing was worth the 8euro.  

Caves at Arta

Arta Caves

Lunch in Portocristo and then a dander around the shops and marina finished the trip. The souvenir shops were just getting ready for the summer season. It was difficult to imagine Portocristo and indeed, the whole island being invaded by holiday-makers for the next few months. It was like a calm before the storm. 

The weather had improved steadily during the morning and the various planned trips took place. Davy, Michael and Deb went out to....... Sineu - apparently partaking of coffee, then another then a cake from the shop on the square and then more coffee. They made their way home slowly and finished the rest day with a beer at the 'German' hotel about a kilometre up the road. Actually, we were later to find out it was mainly Swiss cyclists there, but for the purposes of this trip and its successors too, no doubt, it will always be known as the "German Hotel".

The balcony debrief was becoming more popular. Debs left her room door ajar whilst we were there and people dandered past, saw the crowd and joined us. All our rooms were concentrated upon the same section of the 4th floor, so it was not difficult to find the meeting.

We had dinner, earnestly discussing the weather and the likelihood that the weather would be good on Saturday. Some of the faster group still waned to catch up and do the mountain ride which had been planned for Friday. If there was any dampness at all, though, it would be changed again - for safety's sake - not wishing to lose anyone to a crash on a descent, which would be like riding on ice if wet.

As we left dinner, a group was forming in the reception area of the hotel. Some of the party were going down to the Irish bar at the end of the street - open invitation to all. The last bus was at 8pm, so we needed to hurry. People scuttled around, getting jumpers and coats from their rooms. We were duly standing at the bus stop at 7:55pm. We were still there at 8:00=pm and at 8:05pm and 8:10pm. People started to discuss walking - it was probably a mile or a mile and a half to the bar. We started to walk - it did not cause the expected effect - the buss did not pass us immediately. In fact it did not pass us in the next few minus as we walked down the road looking over our shoulders at intervals as we went. About half way there - so about 8:30pm, the bus went past. It must have only go to 'our' stop at 8:25pm.......

Wait? Or walk?

Bus Stop

We got to the bar and joined the other 4 people there.

There were flyers on the tables, announcing that 'the guv'nor', Mick would be singing that evening. Until then, the music system pumped out traditional Irish tune after tune. We made ourselves at home - next to the pool table. Games between pairs were quickly established and most people played. Toby displayed a talent, so did Adam. 

English John & Mervyn Toby, Drew & Dennis Tuza & Mervyn Deb
John+Mervyn Toby+Drew+Dennis Tuza Mervyn Hat Deb+Hat

Mervyn seemed to think than the Guinness was not too bad, although the others were drinking bottled beer - "Sammy Mitchell" - even the beer had a nickname on this trip.

The evening progressed and the Guv'nor started his turn. He was.. well, not bad . That's about all I can say. All the music aroused memories of a previous cycling holiday with Deb. There had been a pool party on the last night and that had culminated in a "Team Dance" being performed. Deb got up to do it and, as I was making my way to follow her, was joined by Mervyn. Thank goodness - I was not going to have to show of my complete lack of coordination - Mervyn had saved me. Now, Mervyn and his wife go dancing regularly, so it didn't' take him long to learn the steps and dance alongside Deb.

 At the end of the song, the Guv'nor made a fuss of the dancers and provided them with (leftover from St Patrick's Day) hats. They were green, white and black and looked like jester's hats. (Lovely!)

It wasn't long after that we left. It was getting on late and as we knew, it was going to be a fair walk back. The boys stayed.

 Apparently, there was a bit of a karaoke after we left. The boys sang "I tumble for you" to Watsy and generally had a good time. More hats were given out. This was not be the last seen  of them!.......