Archive for November, 2013

11 Nov 2013

Caving 101 —The Basics

2 Comments Spain

The Orient walkers (l-r) - Ignatio, Louisa, Patricia, Marian and Rich


After our disastrous attempt a few weeks back, setting out, getting lost and then finding the waves were too rough and prohibiting entry the cave, we thought we would give it another go. A different place, a different cave, a different group of people, no underwater entry. How hard could it be?

We parked the vehicle and set off on foot. The path between the old villages of Santa Maria and Orient was pretty. It was mainly shaded from the sun by a canopy of trees and the trail was an autumnal carpet of leaves. There were giant boulders to clamber over and somewhere en route there was a magnificent cave. The problem was we couldn't find it. Still we had a nice walk, a picnic lunch and stopped for a coffee in Orient. Not a bad day in all.




Then on Wednesday we were in a bar and a new and random group of friends invited us walking.

Hola little Alpaca wanna walk with us?


Bring the big guy too.

So on Saturday morning at 8:00am we set off, the five of us on an almost four hour trail between Soller and Tuent, except that it wasn't a four hour trail, it was four hours there and four hours back. It caught everyone by surprise — if you want to organise an event and have it all go swimmingly, can I suggest you don't choose a Spanish organiser. But that's half the fun. Fortunately there was no talk of caving. I doubt we would have found it anyway!

By the time we arrived back we were exhausted and depleted of water, but in true Spanish style everyone immediately perked up at the mention of food and alcohol. And we carried on until after 1:00am before finally calling it a night.

Some of us had to be up at 5:00am for the early morning flight to Madrid. Our last few days in Spain and then we head back to Perth to rest our weary bodies. Yeah!


The Sóller walkers (l-r) - Kiko, Barbara and Suzanna


Sunset over Sóller




02 Nov 2013

Bleak ‘Ol Night In Mallorca

1 Comment Spain

The bar counters were covered in cobwebs. All the picture frames too. A large black spider crawled along the wall. In the toilet, a skeleton in the closet. The establishment had a bleakness about it. Something ghoulish. All over Palma similar preparations were underway — it's Halloween in Mallorca.

In the massive multi-level costume and party supplies store, there was a long queue — all the last-minute purchasers. We scoured the aisles trying to make a decision from the myriad of choices: grim reapers, priests, vampires, blood-spattered medics, witches, devils, demon babies, before Paul finally settled on Freddy.

In the evening after two hours of preparations — making glue and with it a paper mâché face, slashing it, adding some suppurating sores, painting in the oozing blood, ringing eyes red and black — we were ready.

The festivities began at midnight (of course). First we took Coco out for a walk. He needed to pee — he always needs to pee. He looked the part in his horny ears and his devilish red tail. The five of us (Linda, Helena, Paul, Coco Loco and I) walked through the quiet streets where we live, turning the corner onto unsuspecting strangers out for their midnight stroll, and frightening them half to death. That was fun. Then with Coco in bed we headed off to the festivities.

The Mallorquinos have taken to Halloween like a certain Aussie to cava (Spanish bubbly). The streets of Palma were filled with ghosts and goblins and headless Nicks. Slashed-up schoolgirls must have been on sale this year. There were parties everywhere. In the street we asked a man with his head on a plate where to go but he seemed a little disconnected.

In a strange bar, ghoulish and green, there was a public dance-off voting competition and the Aussie Freddy won. And then in another bar, another party, and it's Hola Freddy, Heya Freddie, Fred mate. By the end of the night his face was falling off, bits of it were lying in the gutter. He looked almost human again. He made me sick.

Sob. I went as an earthworm and nobody noticed. Sob sob.