Cycling round Formentara
Peter and Avril Brookes
Sun 31 Jul 2011 18:52
Having no pressing commitments in the diary, we decided to spend the day cycling round the island. As ever, we awoke to clear blue skies and pleasantly warm temperatures. The anchorage is superb for shelter and is very peaceful at night which is a great incentive to stay another day.
We dug the bikes out, gave them a quick service and loaded them into the dinghy to get ashore. There is just room in the dinghy for two adults, two bikes and a small packed lunch. Leaving the dinghy tied to the dock we assembled the bikes and were off. Formentera is great for cycling. It is quite small, around 10 miles at it’s widest and is quite flat. It also has cycle paths on all the main roads and some tracks just for bikes and pedestrians. It does have one hill, and irrespective of where you’re going you have to climb it as it has the roundabout at the very top with roads to everywhere else.
Ibiza in the background behind the beautiful bay we found for lunch.
Our problem was we didn’t know where we wanted to go and we didn’t have a map. We knew the rough shape of the island from the 1:440000 planning chart which shows Formentera about the size of a matchbox. We climbed the hill and guessed at which road to take on the roundabout. It led into the heart of the island, which was gently rolling farmland with grapes, figs and sweetcorn being just a few of the crops being grown in small holdings. It was also extremely hot as there was no breeze inland so we decided to head for the coast, reclimbing the hill to the roundabout. We saw quite a few lizards and many birds including Hoopoes. Back at the roundabout we took another guess, this time only to end up in a dead end by the island’s waterworks. This gave us no option but to climb the hill a third time and take the remaining road out, which did, after another scenic ride, take us to the coast.
We came across a small bay with white sands, a sheltered turquoise deep water lagoon and more importantly some palm trees to give us shade. After a quick swim to cool off we had lunch and dozed on the beach before following the coastal road and cycle track back to Savina, the town we had started off from, this time avoiding the roundabout and the dreaded hill!
Unexplained mystery no2
Not our boat thankfully, but a dire reminder that the sea is not always tame.