We're going to Ibiza

I was in no hurry to go somewhere else, I was perfectly fine drinking beer and trying to surf on the beach of Gandia. Having cycled 600 kilometres in 6 hot days I needed time to relax and cool off, and the camping in Gandia had both a bar and a pool, in case we didn't feel like cycling to the beach one kilometre away.  

Happy camper!

I carried our tent 600 kilometres without using it while Sofia rented one at the camping.

Surf school!

The days went by quickly, as they do, but unfortunately the pandemic wouldn't go away. We still had high hopes to carry on eastwards but the few ferry routes across the Mediterranean that weren't cancelled embarked up north from Barcelona, where the virus was again starting to spread like wildfire. We decided to linger around for a while waiting for the pandemic to blow over, but we needed a change of scenery and cycled south to Denia. In Denia, a near identical camping and a near identical beach offered near identical beer.

There's a global pandemic going on.

The water is nice!

The beer is nice!

Our home, wherever we are.

As more days passed we became more restless, but the news about the pandemic wasn't very rousing. What to do?

Well, there's a ferry to Ibiza!

Booking sites for ferries never work adequately for some reason and since we needed to book with transport, our bicycles, we could only book one ticket at a time. Unfortunately, after purchasing a ticket for Sofia, the ferry turned out to be sold out. We had bought the last ticket! The next available seat was not until the next day! We didn't feel like splitting up again so we went out to the ferry terminal in Denia for a solution or maybe a refund. The girl at the ticket counter was obviously taken by my charm because she found a seat for me in no time.

Early morning in Denia.

The camping bar is nice!

Very nice.

Our home when it is pitched on Ibiza.

Ibiza turned out to be a rather lovely island. Due to the travel restrictions there were not many tourists around, and the atmosphere was relaxed and serene. Others at the camping lamented that there wasn't as much of a party as previous years, but it suited us just fine. We felt privileged, thinking not many people get to experience Ibiza without the rowdy crowds!

The water is nice!

Cycling around Ibiza is nice!

Spanish drivers are surprisingly nice!

Life was nice and slow, but we could not shake the restlessness. It felt like the world was on stand by, on pause, and there were not a lot we could do about it, but trying to entertain ourselves while waiting it out. The nearby towns of Santa Eulària des Riu and Es Canar were cozy and we sampled the bars and restaurants, the ones that were open. Ibiza is a rather small island, it takes only a few hours to cycle from one end to the other, even though there are a lot of short steep hills. We explored the island slowly and thoroughly, cycling to different beaches and villages. We spent a few days on the small neighbouring island of Formentera.

A few nights at a hotel in Sant Antoni de Portmany, the second largest town on Ibiza.

Cycling the west coast of the island, from Sant Antoni de Portmany.

While the hills aren't very high, some sections are quite steep.

Eivissa, catalan for Ibiza Town, is nice!

You gotta fight for a lot of rights these days, it feels like.

Face-mask laundry. A chore I never thought I would have to do.

Sometimes the weather is not so nice.

Ferry to Formentera.

Formentera is nice!

Punta des Far, Formentera.

The Balearic islands had been virus-free for quite some time by now and we were still waiting to leave for Barcelona and continue eastwards in the world. Suddenly, reports began to emerge of the virus spreading fast in Mallorca and strict quarantines was in effect. We felt we needed to go back to the mainland, to avoid getting stuck on an island. Again, the tickets for the ferries were sold out on their booking site. We cycled out to the remote ferry terminal, hoping to resolve the problem yet again with the help of a friendly cashier. Sadly, the girl behind the counter was not so easy to charm this time around and there were no seats available for several days. We purchased the earliest departure we could get and returned to the hotel in Eivissa, asking them if we could get a decent price for a few more nights. The girl at the hotel was much more acommodating than the girl at the ferry terminal!

The night before we were to leave the island, Eivissa was quarantined and you were not allowed to leave or enter the city. Fortunately, our hotel was located just outside the perimeter, as was the ferry terminal. By cycling a wide circle around the restricted zone we narrowly escaped the island at the last second.

Travelling back to Denia we were forced to realise that our hopes had crumbled. There was no way we were going to be able to continue east. A second wave of Covid-19 was inevitable and most routes were already closed. We had to go back. Go west.

Bikes bound towards Denia.