Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Islas Baleares.

After escaping from the exorbitant prices of Italy we sought refuge in the Baleares Islands which are part of Spain and considered as the most expensive place in the Mediterranean. Told like this that choice of a place might sound a bit awkward but it is important to know that unlike Italy there are many spots in the Baleares to anchor hence reducing the expense to a humanly bearable level. It is then with our wallet under high surveillance that we were able to loll here at La Cala de la Calobra known as one of the most beautiful place in Mallorca Island. By the way, in Spanish the word “Cala” only means “bay”. It has nothing special but it seems that it sounds nicer when we say “La Cala de la Calobra” then to say Calobra bay. Of course, it is important to give it the Spanish accent when we say it otherwise it loses all its charm ;-)

Since we ran nonstop for the past few months from one place to another while trying to survive through the European pecuniary gauntlet we were long due for some vacations which was our goal when we arrived here. And free time we had. Karly and Roger our friend on board La Palapa were coming in the same area than us to meet their friend Frank visiting them for a few days from California. The beauty of having visiting friends is the fact they can carry boat parts in their luggage and in this case two watermaker pumps for their good friends on Chocobo to replace the old ones used to make water over three quarters of the world and were now spilling more water through the way too many leaks than through the membrane! So it is here in Puerto de Andratx that we waited a few days for Frank and his 12 kilos (25lbs) of extra luggage while repairing the boat but mostly fully relaxing in this Spanish village.

Andratx being a popular destination for European tourists it was easy to find all kind of restaurants. Our quick race in Italian waters didn’t satisfy our appetite for the dishes from the big boot. For that reason the first thing we did on arrival in Andratx was to drag our stomach into an …. Italian restaurant! Yep the proximity with the roman kingdom makes available in abundance and quality the unique cuisine of this country in these small Spanish Islands and we made the most of this fact telling ourselves that dishes from the old conquistadores’ descent could wait a bit. Hence the white wine matched wonderfully the large flat pizza, the adente pastas and deli on this pretty terrace with a Hispanic charm.

In the end the crew of La Palapa was unable to come over the island of Mallorca to meet us due to a headwind and Frank had to take another small plane to join them on the next island Ibiza. We did the same but in our case we use the maritime way and it was then on the small island of Espalmador, located between Ibiza and Formentera, that we rendezvous with our friends and our two watermaker pumps. We really had no idea of this place before coming and it was with some surprise that we discovered probably the most crowded place in Baleares. Pleasure boats by the hundreds laid their anchor here and there along this long beach where white sand rimes with monokini. In fact, for many the place rimed instead with zerokini! We’ve already been a few times in places where ladies found superfluous to wear the top of their minikini but the fact that this activity was mainly practiced by people generously affected by the work of time reduced significantly the interest in mentioning it. Here things were different. People were young and they were gorgeous; men as much as women. Thus it was surrounded by these young angels of Eros with their clothing made to drive to bankruptcy the entire world fabric production that we waited for over a week for a proper weather window to allow us to cross to continental Spain. With La Palapa moored nearby we spend a very nice week relaxing with them and lounging under the vapors of the excellent Spanish wine which is very likely the most popular beverage in the country based on the shelf space dedicated to it in the supermarkets.