Ibiza, magical island. Unbridled destination. Unconditional permissiveness. Summer Carnival. Everyone, at some point, plays at being someone who she/he is not. Fallacy! And that is the way one finds and loves Ibiza. And the tourist masked in black-rimmed glasses and a scarecrow hat misses the island’s magic and gets tipsy on artificial beans and mechanically piped sounds. Welcome to the chimeric Eivissa.
And while those other tourists keep on dancing , Carles Costa aims his camera at Stefan Rohner and me, country fauns, fighters for the recognition of the most important things of the island, away from the noise and moving around the diameter of the bigger of the Pitiusas.
The day is ours. Relinquished of burdens and concerns. Peaceful paths caressing the coast. Coast with short, powerful and a bit hellish hills. But hell is a bit more pleasant when the sea breeze blows it. Salt scent, Mediterranean perfume. Facing the sun, a journey in parallel with my German fellow traveler. A stop when we reach the sacred breakfast time. At Port de Sant Antoni we ask for “ Mitja de Pà torrat amb oli, café amb llet en got i flaó.” A whisper of local Ibiza’s language inside. Just about 30 minutes is enough to charge and to keep on moving with our purpose.
Soon we view the careless urban development destruction. We try to retrieve what is impossible to recover. Our determination is fixed on the unattainable skyline. The 50’s bay remains far away. Although sometimes it is good to bump into the horror so we don’t forget it. It makes us have a crystal clear idea of where we don’t want to go. Luckily, Eivissa, an island of contrasts shows us again its most captivating south- west face. Where your gaze analyzes and settles on every single detail. Where you cast your eyes from left to right and all over the place. Speed disappears in ramps that punch as if we were barefoot on a wire carpet that once shaken throws us as fleas heading towards the abyss. Fun down its tarmac slides.
And after cycling up and down the hills, we head to the only flat miles: Ses Salines road. A return ticket, a pilgrimage for all the local cyclists, a mental torture when you know you are going to return. We stop and we have a laugh. Carlos our photographer leaves us for a while to go to have lunch. We’ll see him later. We stay on our own. Stefan and me. With strength in our legs and sound foundations in our brains. We finish the first tour and we start what is left before the end. From now on everything is less than before, the mileage, the will, the strength, the effort, the determination. There is still a hard work to do. Lunch time gives us a shot of amusement. We meet with our families at Can Aneta. “Truita de patata i ceba, spaghettis, dues clares per cap i un bon tros de greixonera”.
It is a difficult job to go up la Cala when your local culture whispers you “now is the best time for a siesta”. And at a nursery rhyme speed, we reach the top of the pass and we continue. Through the bushes appears again the barrel of a Canon firing. This makes you think about a future moment which will come to bring back our adventure on a pixel book [laptop or equivalent]. An adventure that we can’t neither pass up nor ratify with a failure. The light goes out slowly and our legs aren’t dynamos. My tireless friend becomes tired and he feels sorry about it and he apologizes for that.
“Stefan, don’t worry, my friend. I know pretty well the island. Go and have a rest. I will continue fighting even I am worn out. I will add three feet a minute and I will keep thinking how to arrive safely.”
As the daylight faints it comes the time when I have to welcome the shadows and disrupt their gentle atmosphere with the spark of my front lights. My head is down. My eyes fixed on the ground. A lost and ashamed look. I get back to the one way path of Ses Salines. Even I am not far away, the distance is not measured anymore in miles. The long hours weight me down. Stefan meets up with me. He cheers me up, encourages me and cries out: “I’ve got an Ibérico sandwich. Stop!” But if I stop I won’t get up. I am dying to sink my teeth into the “jabugo” (Spanish Parma ham). My dreamt reward is about to come true. I reach Santa Eulalia after 206 miles and a bit more than 13 hours. I give Stefan an emotional hug. He is the driving force behind the adventure. The next day at Cas Pagés we celebrate it. Ariel, Carina, Stefan and Gala decorate the table. Stories and wine flow. Happiness isn’t so complicated.
EQUIPMENT USED ON THE RIDE
• Pro team base layer
• Rapha Brevet Jersey
• Rapha Gilet
• Rapha Condor Sharp Team Issue Bib Shorts
• Pro Team Socks
• Rapha Cap
• Colnago C59 – Wheels: Lightweight Standard III
• Merino base layer
• Rapha Country Jersey
• Rapha Gilet
• Classic Bib Shorts
• Merino Socks
• Rapha Cap
• Passoni Top Evolution – Wheels: Lightweight Standard III