San Salvador Monastery: 5 hrs 54 mins, 1150 metres of climbing, 143km
Day 3 was definitely a day for the sprinting big boys. We headed south with a huge tailwind, starting with busy roads that pretty much subsided into quiet, open, country lanes. Flat as a pancake, but with one peak in front of us. The 500m climb to the Sant Salvador monastery was absolutely wonderful. Sweeping vistas and nice hairpins. The only downside was when we got to the top, only to find coachloads of school kids, who decided to have their school sports day at the top (why?!) Anyhow, we dived back down, back through the lanes, to the village of Porreres for a lunch. Driven by thoughts of al fresco pizza in another church square, we were left confused by the waiting staff who said “yes we do pizza” only to declare, once we had collapsed into our seats that they did not. Too tired to go anywhere else, we endured a lunch Basil Fawlty could only have dreamt about.
Once sorted, we were back on the road, heading north. This time faced with a headwind. No matter, the group chain-ganged back thru the countryside, reaching speeds we would not have imagined possible a few years back. Well, ok, some chain-ganged, others (eg me) were fired out of the back and could only watch the orange dots disappearing into the distance….
Worth also highlighting my tour low point here: morning coffee in the quiet, pretty village of Petra. Quiet, with the exception of the local pharmacy, where all of the villagers seemed to have congregated, presumably to come and see me ask the chemist in animated Spanglish whether “she had anything for a very sore a**e”. Thankfully she did.
Appropriately we celebrated our long day in the saddle with more refreshment in Tolos, before heading back to the hotel for another rather splendid dinner. We seemed to also have wangled our own private dining room on most nights too. I can imagine that was “chapeau” to our day’s riding from the maître de.
The final night was equally as splendid…. I have vague recollections of high-fiving an ancient-looking Steve Strange non-look-alike, after his harrowing rendition of “Fade to Grey”. Andrew’s booming version (matched only by his snoring) of “Don’t look back in anger” will live long in the memory too. (Is it me, or does Andrew have exceptionally long arms? Is that a factor in his stealth-like smooth destruction of everyone on the climbs?)