The Ups and Downs in Spain

October 9, 2021

Porto Cristo

We left Porto Cristo at sea level for another climb into the foothills of the Pyrenees mountains. It was a challenging start to our day with zero warm up time before hitting the steep, eight kilometer climb to around 800 meters (app 2500 feet) above sea level. Along the way was a monastery that appeared to still be active. I met another cyclist who offered a description of what the brothers were up to.

The Famous Monetary

He said the monastery was known as El Mondesto de Crispo and it was in charge of Friar Patata. He went on to explain that they were famous across Europe for their ultra thin and salty potato crisps that the brothers produce and sell across the continent. In fact, they are know across Europe as the Fritas Monje. I asked him what that was in English and he grinned and said, Chip Monks. As he rode away I hit him in the head with a large rock. He made a spectacular sight as he tumbled down the mountainside.

A Valley in Catalonia
Yes, this is an apple orchard!

Coming down out of the foothills we entered a wide valley where at first, I thought they were growing more grapes. However, upon closer inspection they were apple orchards grown in vine like fashion and heavy with fruit ripe to pick. After the previous paragraph you may not accept my word for this but take a close look at the photograph. They are indeed apples and it seems to be a very efficient way to grow and harvest them. There is also a system of aqueducts that run along the roadway to irrigate the farmland in this area. They appear to be made of concrete and they were not made recently. Never the less, they function well and the farm lands serviced by they seem quite productive.

Aqueduct in Catalonia

Our day finished with a scenic cliff side ride along the coast that required numerous climbs and glides. Fortunately, the climbs, while numerous, were gradual and easily managed by our well tuned climbing muscles. The views were great and even though we had seen similar views before, it was candy to our eyes and it made the task of getting over the hills far more pleasant.