by Anna Idler
All GPSes were faulty.
The small one attached to our rental car’s dashboard kept showing us going off the designated route and struggling to “recalculate”; our two phone maps showed us being close to the road we needed to get on, but provided no direct way to get there.
“There” being Talaia d’Albercutx, an amazing lookout in Mallorca, Spain where our Airbnb hosts had recommended we watch the sunset. Rachel and I planned our whole day around getting there in time.
We pulled over, careful not to juggle our maps while navigating the very narrow cliffside switchback roads that make up Mallorca’s highway system.
From where we were parked we could see people climbing up to Mirador Sa Foradada, another amazing lookout spot we knew of from the guidebooks; it was supposed to be close to Talaia d’Albercutx, but we had no idea how close. The sun was going down.
We put our hazards on and leaped out.
We ran to where the mountainside met the highway, praying a Vespa wasn’t about to come whipping around the bend. We made it to the top and hiked to a good viewpoint, took pictures and looked around.
In the distance, we finally saw it – the watchtower that stands at the top of Talaia d’Albercutx, the spot we were trying to get to in the first place until our GPSes failed us. I looked at my watch, turned to Rachel.
“We still have time.”
We ran down the side of the mountain, no trail, just rocks, screaming at the other to not twist an ankle between hysterics. Two crazed girls on a vertical incline, still in our wet bathing suits, sandy from the day, an abandoned car parked diagonally on the sidewinding highway below us. Must have been a sight.
We got into our car and gunned it up a narrow dirt road we’d seen half an hour before but didn’t think was the right one to Talaia. Rule 1 of traveling we’ve learned: trust your gut, it’s always right.
Rule 2: when dealing with treacherous roads combined with being in a rush, Rachel should always drive.
We made it to the top with two minutes and still had to climb higher, but couldn’t take the car because the road was too small. We ran with our backpacks banging behind us, up the rest of the road then onto the mountaintop.
The sun’s last rays cut the sky like a bright knife.
Spectacular, as my grandpop would say.
The sky stayed pink even after the sun went down. All of us, strangers on this mountaintop, applauded.
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26 year-old Anna Idler lives in Montgomery County, PA and is a freelance writer for Montco Happening. To learn more about her travels, check out her website Outlaw Summer.