This is my original blog for all our non-caravanning trips since 2009 and more recently posts about coming to terms with being single again having been widowed in 2018. And anything else too really!

My caravanning blog is (Get Your) Legs Down and all our trips in the caravan are there. My grog blog is The Ale Archive where I list every beer I’ve ever tried.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Ibiza - Pt 1

What is it with going away these days? It used to be so simple - shorts, t-shirts, Speedos, sun cream, money, tickets and passport and you were sorted. Not any more.

I'd started laying out stuff to take on the spare bed at the beginning of last week and by the weekend the bed was covered with all the seemingly necessary accoutrements for a holiday. And there wasn't one item of clothing on it; laptop & charger, camera & charger, mobile & charger, USB leads to attach all, books, sunnies, razor, laptop speakers (& adaptor), travel plugs, honestly it just went on and on. With the clothes added the bag weighed in at 18 kilos thanks to one of those mini scales bought off flea-bay a while back, a little under the 20 kilo limit imposed by the sales prevention officers at sleazyjet.

Anyhow, whingeing over - at least for now! It was an early start to the airport - 02:30 to be exact, having positively leaped out of bed half an hour earlier after managing at least an hour of unbroken sleep! The journey to Gatwick was swift and painless (and so it bloody should be at that time of the morning!) and within an hour or so we were parked, checked in, scanned, frisked and in search of caffeine. Ok so we weren’t frisked but one can live in hope.

McDonalds was the unimaginative outlet of choice mainly because no where else was open. Two coffees quickly became sausage & bacon muffins and the lad behind the counter talked us into a couple of hash browns as well. It was a meal deal you see and in this age of fiscal prudence it would have been foolish not to. The waistband of my shorts might think otherwise though. Anyhow, I always reckon there should be a secret agent type character: "The names Prudence, Fiscal Prudence; licenced to save money". No? Ok.

Anyway, so here we are in sunny Ibiza. We didn't bother renting a car this time and instead pre-booked a bus transfer to the apartments. The gods were mercifully looking after us when the family from hell, with what seemed like two dozen screaming rampaging kids in tow got off the stop before us. The apartment was in a small block with a nice spacious balcony overlooking the bay of Es Cana, which what seems at first glance like a pleasant little place just up from the town of Ibiza and away from the more riotous San Antonio over to the west. At the time of typing the promised Wi-Fi signal is playing hide and seek so it looks like we'll have to amble over to the bar across the road later to get this sent - what hardship one must endure!

Well, it's now nearly 8pm and to be honest we're both starting to wilt. Managed a kip this afternoon though after a sortie to the nearest supermarket for all the essentials - milk for the tea, gin for the tonic and tonic for the gin.

Earlier on had a wander round the locality picking up maps and bus timetables before sitting down to a very acceptable three course 'meal of the day' washed down with a couple of ice cold Estrellas - all for less than €25 as well. That’s the other thing - it's very quiet here - ok it's still early in the season but judging by the number of 'for sale' and 'to let' signs in windows the recession is starting to bite quite hard.

So, gonna head over the road to the bar in a minute to get this sent and check the emails. Then an early night beckons. We do however have a couple of bottles of red wine crying out to be opened however. Now, where's the corkscrew....

Wednesday 2nd June

Today has been declared Abstinence Day in Ibiza, or to give it it's correct title: We drank too bloody much last night so today we're gonna take it easy day". Honestly, far too much on the first night when we were already exhausted too.

However it wasn't our fault. I blame the Welsh! Before hackles start rising in certain quarters let me explain. We'd gone across to the bar to send the first days diary - and to have a drink - it would have been rude not to, then some couples from northern Wales came in and we started chatting. Well actually Trevor started chatting, they started listening at least at first, and we had a really good time.

We lurched across the road back to the apartment deciding that a nightcap (or two) may be in order. Trev done his bit for the UK's gin export figures, whilst I worked on shrinking the Spanish Rioja lake. We'll never learn it seems.

We'd improved Britain's exports of erm, Danish bacon too by freezing a load down and bringing it with us. And with Chef Trev on form we soon sat down to a hangover busting plate full of bacon, eggs and toast.

The kitchen of the apartment is quite well equipped but not without it's little oddities. The microwave sits on the worktop in between the kitchen and living room. However there is not a socket within reaching distance. It seems that a European extension lead might be added to the list of holiday essentials! The other thing, which is a great idea, is a draining cupboard. A rack in the cupboard to put your recently washed plates and a tray below to catch the water all neatly hidden away. I've seen this a couple of times before and think it's a good idea. See the photo below.

Did very little else today. Relaxed read, snoozed and even avoided the grog until the evening. Picking a bar here is not easy - that is if you want to avoid British TV in general and Britain's Got Talent in particular. It used to be football they used to drag people in and extract cash from - now it's reality and game shows. Now, I'm not against BGT as such - it's usually on at home and I have one eye on it while I'm sitting on the computer doing something far more intellectually rewarding like looking at porn. But I've no desire to waste an evening or two watching it when away. Oh gawd, that reminds me, no sooner than will BGT finish than it will be six months of X-bloody-Factor. If the great and the good of this world are worried about one man becoming to powerful than they need look no further than one Simon 'cash machine' Cowell. Still at least he is good to his Mum, as HRH keeps pointedly reminding Trevor.

So a much more sedate tonight as befits my age (and Trevor's!) Did have a stroll up to the hippy market this evening and will come back when it's in full swing next week.

Thursday 3rd June

Right, first off we would like to congratulate our great friend Roy on reaching his 50th birthday today. Those of you that know Roy will also know that he is very seriously ill and that this is a very special milestone for him. All the best mate.

Much better behaved last night and a better nights sleep as a result although a slightly cloudy start today.

With this in mind we decided on a trip to Ibiza town. The bus service is cheap and regular but there is a ferry service which although considerably more expensive does offer some fantastic views of the coastline and a more leisurely and comfortable journey. Or so we thought.

The wind and rain arrived soon after we left the quayside. The optimists among us had scrambled for the top sun deck as in true British style; "we weren’t gonna let a few drops of rain spoil our holiday". Well within five minutes we had all scurried down below to the dry miraculously avoiding being tossed overboard (ahem!) by the increasingly lively sea.

The engines thundered, the turbos screamed and eventually we reached our first stop; Santa Eulalia. Here we had to change boats. We were herded aboard some old crate that really should have been retired years ago and continued south to Ibiza town. We stopped on the way at Cala Llonga, disgorging a number of people including a Quentin Crisp lookalike who, by the colour of them, were planning to get the bus back rather than risk the mercy of a very lively sea not to mention a shortage of sick bags.

Fortunately, by the time we reached Ibiza town normal service had been resumed, the sun was out and the wind had dropped. The view of the old town from the boat was terrific, however the tentacles of capitalism (or progress as its often called) reach every corner of the universe for at the front of the quay where the local ferries dock could be seen that all to familiar big yellow 'M', yes McDonalds were here accompanied further along by Burger King. What joy.

We started our walk at the base of the old town and ambled, well puffed and panted actually, up to the cathedral at the top of Dalt Vila - Trevor's heart surgeon clearly new his stuff. The streets are narrow and very pretty with lots of little shops and bars hidden away. We may well come back here for a beer or two over the weekend. Interesting to note too was the different demographic here. The average age and waist size is most definitely smaller than where we are. And there's nothing wrong with having more nice things to look at is there?

We descended a lot quicker than we had risen (time marches on in more ways than one doesn’t it!) and were soon at sea level. The usual shops abounded here with one notable exception - El Cortes Ingles was conspicuous by it's absence. Lunch was well overdue so, showing true independence of spirit, we headed to Burger King.

The boat ride home was much quicker and more enjoyable thanks to the much improved weather. Some late sun was taken on the balcony then a very delicious meal was consumed at the bar across the road. It is with some regret though that I have to report that a stable though weak wi-fi signal has been restored at the apartments so we no longer need to head over to the bar. Yeah. Right.

One last thing, which we need someone's help on. You will see from one of the photos we have procured a couple of candles to decorate the table and help keep the bugs away. One is red and one is green in true nautical style however neither of us can remember which colour goes on portside and which one on starboard. And I'm gonna save the planet by not Googling it. A big thank you but no prizes for anyone that has the answer.

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