Magical Mallorca, Mid September 2020

 

We left to head off to Mallorca and had a rolly night at anchor just along the north coast, followed by a fantastic sail across to Porto Pollensa anchorage.  We anchored up in familiar territory again.  Five seasons ago we set off from here to go to Sardinia for the first time.

Josh was particularly happy as he used to spend his summer holidays here as a child and teenager and so he was keen to see some old haunts and meet up with people he knew.

We went ashore and wandered along the front, reminiscing.  We had a fine meal at one of the restaurants and then Josh took us to meet his old tennis coach who runs a bar nearby.  Rafa was a delight and invited us to come and play tennis the next day.  We duly met him and I had my first lesson and knock up for about 20 years!

It was great fun.  I loved how Rafa would say, ‘Good shop’ whenever you hit the ball sweetly.

The following day we headed by bus up into the town as there was a market on.  There was a bit more hustle and bustle up in Pollenca but it was still much quieter than normal for this time of year.  We had some incredible empanadas from the bakery stall.  I have to say that they truly did rival Weatherhead’s pork pies!  Totally delicious.

Ian found a bar along the sea front in which to watch the Tour De France so he was happy and Josh and Erin topped up their tans on the beach.  We ordered Pimientos de Padron to keep the hunger pangs at bay.

We decided to hike over to a bay on the north coast. It was impressive scenery. Towering rock faces and boulders, wild rosemary and juniper growing all around and paths unevenly forged by torrential downpours in winter.

Unfortunately, when we arrived and were preparing for a welcome dip we noticed that the centre of the bay was a veritable soup of plastic debris. Of course, we had no bags to put anything into but the sea provided four perfect bags and we spent the next hour scooping partially decomposed plastic bags, lolly sticks, tampon applicators, fishing nets, fishing lines, ropes and plastic cups and containers out of the water and off the beach. Others around us joined in and we lugged our plastic hoard back over the hills to town to dispose of it in a bin. Gone are the days of beach combing for shells.

After a few fab days in Pollenca we filled up with fuel and water and sailed round the headland to the north to go back to our beloved Soller.

We anchored in a good spot opposite the Esplendido Hotel and soon met up with friends Nikki and Mark on Freda who live here during the summer.  It was extremely quiet ashore.  N and M invited us round for drinks with some fellow yachties from Cartagena and we had a fantastic evening finally rolling into the tender after midnight!

Soller.

We took the bus into Palma the following day and had a lovely time aimlessly wandering around the streets.  It, too, was practically deserted.  A good number of shops, cafes and restaurants were closed up and graffiti was visible everywhere.  We marvelled at the stunning cathedral without crowds of tourists around – such a beautiful city.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next day we met up with the yachtie friends in Soller town.  We walked to Fornalutx and back to Soller taking a few scenic beers en route. 

We had a fantastic meal (good value) at Bar Molino and then we went to the cooperative to stock up on wine supplies. 

 

We bought four litres of their best rose at 2 Euros a litre!  They sell vegetables, fruit, olive oil and other produce made and grown by locals in Soller and district.  Such a great idea.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Saturday afternoon Erin and I went up to Soller to attend a workshop to teach us how to make lavender oil.  We met Joaquim and Rose of Jabon de Mallorca, (www.jabondemallorca.es) and fellow tutee Barbara from Argentina, and had an interesting hour and a half learning all about the process.

We came away with our own ‘home made’ oil, lavender perfume and lavender floral water as well as some wonderful almond oil, shampoo bar and an ingenious soap holder.  It was a interesting experience courtesy of Erin for my Christmas present.

Checking the weather we realised that we had a good opportunity to cross to Ibiza soon.  Erin and Josh decided they wanted to fly home to the UK and so we planned to drop them in Andratx on Monday morning and they could easily fly home from Palma airport.

We motored from Soller, sadly saying farewell to N and M, and made good, if very lumpy progress.  We all felt particularly bilious.  Clearly the fuel had been getting a good mix up too, being sloshed about in the tank from side to side and up and down, because, just as we came into the harbour of Andratx, the engine stalled.  By now, there was a little wind behind us.  Ian put the headsail out and we sailed in.  Luckily, we were able to call the marina and request assistance on to the mooring buoy that we had booked.

Ian changed the fuel filters, and pumped out some gunk from the fuel pipes, using a handy bicycle tyre pump, and managed to get the engine going again.  So, that was a huge relief!  We are so practiced at this now my heart rate hardly went up at all!  I think that is the 6th time we have had to moor under sail! No problem!

Early on Monday morning we bid a sad farewell to Erin and Josh.  We shall miss them dearly.  We needed to set off for Ibiza.  But not until we had sorted out the ropes and pulleys on the dinghy davits which had decided to play silly buggers.  Half an hour and a good bit of swearing later we were on our way waving madly at Josh and Erin’s drone as it hovered overhead.  (See The Travel Tapes video on Erin’s You tube channel for some amazing drone footage of Linea leaving Andratx port.)

Next, we bounce to the Spanish mainland via Ibiza.

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