The Herald Magazine - - TRAVEL -

SCOOTER all the way round Mal­lorca? Are you daft?” John Ar­cari splut­tered into his Glayva. “You’re even older than me and it’s 50 years since I was on a scooter. What do you think, Young ’Un?”

John McLuskey de­rives his Young ’Un moniker be­cause he was born two years be­fore me, which makes me the Auld Yin. “Well, I’m sure we could man­age that. A bit like a Top Gear spe­cial. I bags be Clark­son.”

John A, the Mid­dle ’Un, looked at us both. “Top Gear? More like Last of the Sum­mer Wine. We’re bound to come a crop­per. If you’re Clark­son I’ll be the Ham­ster. That means you’re Cap­tain Slow.” He meant me.

The day ar­rived. Our flight landed at 11pm then we took a taxi to our ho­tel in C’an Pastilla. Next morn­ing we caught the bus to Palma where of course we got off at the wrong stop. “I’ve never seen Palma be­fore,” said John A, pre­tend­ing to en­joy our un­planned walk­ing tour of the Old Town’s streets and pleas­ant pi­az­zas.

Heavy packs on our backs, we stag­gered into Vin­tage Mo­tors hire shop like we were teenagers again, oohing and aahing at the big boys’ bikes. Still, the 125cc Pi­ag­gio scoot­ers would be ex­cit­ing enough for us.

Back­packs strapped to the pil­lion seats, we wob­bled through the nar­row streets and drew deep breaths be­fore rid­ing along the mo­tor­way, coaches and su­per­bikes whizzing by on both sides, be­fore head­ing to­wards the re­sort of El Are­nal and a bar­gain B&B.

The next day, while head­ing along the coast, our wannabe Clark­son sped out of sight, then John A’s ruck­sack slid off the back of his bike. Many beeps later he fi­nally pulled over, pre­vent­ing a trail of de­signer shirts and chi­nos spread­eagling the Mal­lor­can back roads.

Af­ter that we stuck to­gether, keep­ing the Mediter­ranean to our right. We made good time and soon ar­rived in Cala d’Or, a pretty white-washed town with a bustling cen­tre.

Next morn­ing we headed for the Caves of Drach in Porto Cristo and swapped the joys of the open road for the en­chant­ment of the clas­si­cal quar­tet sail­ing across the won­der­fully deep un­der­ground lake.

Forty min­utes later we had scootered round to C’an Picafort on the Bahia Al­cu­dia where we ad­mired the sea views be­fore head­ing out to Port de Pol­lenca the fol­low­ing day. Stretch­ing our scooter­ing skills to the limit we tack­led nar­row hair­pin bends and cliff edge roads while ne­go­ti­at­ing swarms of cy­clists climb­ing the steep slopes be­fore zoom­ing down through the switch­backs. Even­tu­ally, we ar­rrived at

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