The air is always what gets me. The moment when I step out of an airport. That first breath of the local air. This time, it was unexpectantly warm. I loved it. I just arrived in Malaga carrying a big carton with my bike inside. On my back: a string bag with bare essentials like a tooth brush, some warm clothes and an extra tube. That was all I had with me.
My goal? To ride back home – to Mallorca. Over 600km to Denia and then the ferry to Mallorca.
Picture below: A carton that I trashed at the airport.
My belongings for the trip. A few clothes, mostly cycling, chargers, passport, toothbrush and a powerbank
I had nothing planned along the way. I did not plan the route nor any hotel stays or anything that requires me to be at a certain spot at a certain time, not even the ferry ticket. It is an amazing feeling of having no commitment.
Picture below: My bike: Berria gravel frame with DT Swiss PR 1600 wheels and Shimano Dura Ace/Ultegra components.
I assembled my bike at the airport and I started riding. I was a bit nervous, anxious but also full of excitement for this ride. What will happen along the road? Will I make it? I have done these type of adventure rides before. All by myself, unsupported and with nothing else than the bare essentials. But every time, I am asking myself the same questions. Before, I always tried to find answers but now, I know these are rhetoric ones that I just need to leave unanswered. The future will give me the answers. It makes no sense to predict what´s ahead. The purpose of this trip is exactly the opposite, to deal with the moments as they come. That makes this trip such an incredible adventure and so exciting. I just have no idea what´s going to be happening!
Picture below: View from Malaga
The first day was easy. It was an easy route to follow and it was just about riding as many kilometers as possible. (The next day would be the complete opposite). As I was going solo, I am especially aware of my surroundings and make sure I don’t find myself in a questionable situation. One of my rules were not to ride in the dark so I wanted to be checked into a hotel before 6:30pm. As the hours passed, I got a good grasp of where my destination for today could be. Unless there were not a lot of hotel choices around, I usually decide last minute where I want to stop. After 130km, I made my first stop in a tiny village, La Mamola, at the Costa Tropical.
Picture below: Sunset near Mamola where I stopped after the first day.
This village literally consisted of one hotel and one restaurant which happen to belong to each other. I checked in and started the post-ride routine. As I was riding with as little stuff as possible, it requires some work after riding. Washing my stuff was priority, then taking a shower followed by grabbing dinner at that one and only restaurant around the block. My dinner, although I was alone, was never boring. I had to prepare for the next day. Although I might not create an exact route which roads to take but I tried to remember town names that would guide me in the right direction. I also just love looking at maps. 9:30pm I fell asleep.
I did not know yet that I better get a good night sleep because tomorrow would require a lot of patience, persistence and creativity as things would not be as smooth as today.
Part 2 follows.
The day summarized in a short video: