Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Mallorca - We are still here!

Dan left and we had a day of domestics, always want to get out and about when in a marina as you know the boat is safe but it is a balance as we also want to make sure we get to use the washing machine, hose (as much water as we like) and use this opportunity to get the boat all cleaned up.

We then headed out into Pollensa Bay for a 3 nights at anchor and relaxing.  We found a lovely spot that over looked a point with the most spectacular house – not even sure it could be called a house as was huge estate with a castle, out houses and ruins – ohhhh I would love to know who lives there! On day 2 at anchor we did here a passing tourist boat saying you could buy the house for 120million, a touch outside of our budget!

Even though this time was supposed to be about relaxing we also managed a few jobs on the boat and Mark had a great view from up the mast when the “flying boat” was taking off about half a mile away.

We had a couple of nice swims but it is quite odd being in the water when there is a plane also in the water! Rather loud under the water.

We headed the couple of miles back across the bay to Puerto Bonaire once my mum and dad had arrived to make it easier to get to see them.  Felt funny to be settled in one place for more than a couple of days. We were even able to get our bikes out and cycled over to Alcudia Port to meet mum and dad, it had been 5 months since seeing them but obviously it was like yesterday! Particularly as I usually get an email update from my dad on a daily basis. 

It was like Christmas on seeing them as they had so many requests for us, I was loving all the girly magazines (only asked for one but had 5, hurrah!), we had new DVDs, stacks of sweets and a huge variety of useful bit and pieces for the boat!

The next day whilst dad sorted out a car mum and I had a pottered around the shops in Alcudia old town, all very quaint, in the afternoon we headed off around the island.  First stop was Cap Formentor, spectacular views over the north of the island, it was also a chance to see where all the tourists had been hiding! Mark and I were also very envious of all the cyclists, the climbs would have been a challenge but great roads and stunning scenery!  Not sure my mum was too keen on the twisty turny roads but worth it to get out to some remote locations.

On the way back we stopped in Puerto Pollensa, funny that more than 25 years ago we holidayed there and I have great memories of horse riding, tennis, swimming, it was a fantastic place as a very lucky child!

Mark and I took advantage of having the car in the evening and headed out for a drive up over the bay to watch the sunset, very romantic!

Next day we were back on the tourist trail and followed the mountain road all around the north of the island and through the Serra Tramuntana.  The road wined through mountains full of trees – pines, fruit, olives and you occasionally see a heard of mountain goats or sheep wandering around.  We first visited Sollar, a lovely old town with beautiful tree lined squares and narrow old streets which were beautifully maintain with pot plants – these would have stolen or vandalised in the UK!

Sollar is famous of an old fashion train that runs from both the Port and Palma into the town.  We enjoyed watching the world go by and the headed to Port Sollar, we had not had a chance to sail this side of the island as had headed to the north of the island up the east coast (Sollar is on west).  Very picturesque and sleepy little port which would definitely worth a visit but we know there is not much room to anchor so we may never get the chance.

Back onto the twiddley road and into Deia, lovely old village up in the hills, we never manage to stop but admired all the beautiful houses as we passed through.  We carried on to our final stop of the day at Valldemossa, another very quaint little town, nice gardens and some lovely little shops for me and my mum to have a look around but we both resisted.  Dropped the parents back at their hotel, another long day over and knackered!

3rd day with the car and decided to explore the other side of the island, first we went to Capdepera castle, it dates back to 1300 and was actually a fortified town at that time. The castle also contained additional info on the history of Mallorca back to the Phoenicians, the Greeks, the Romans and onto the Christians, interesting to know a bit more about the history but also we found out more about the lookout towers which we had been seeing around the coast - fires were lit on the roofs of the towers when the islands were under attack and the number of fires related to the number of ships being used by the enemy.  There was also an interesting display of palm weaving which had been a major industry in Mallorca up until recently – I could do with one of those nice palm bags but just not enough room for anything else on the boat.

Walking round the castle walls

Church in castle walls

View of town from castle

The highlight of the day for both Mark and I was that there were a number of birds of prey which were used for a falconry display and we stroked a Spanish owl, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh it was lovely.

From here we headed a few miles onto Cala Rajada, we had been to this resort with Dan but my parents had never been so we went to café to watch the world go by and indulge in coffee and cake – this was all my fault for baking cakes earlier in the week now they were on the agenda every day!

It was another baking hot day so we headed to the beach for a quick dip, we had not visited Cala Mesquide on the boat but was nice sandy beach and good opportunity to cool off, my dad was disappointed that he did not bring his swimming trunks.

Evening activity is normally quite limited for us with my lack of energy but with a fiesta in Alcudia we had to make an effort.  We met with my mum and dad after dinner and had a nice look around all the stalls – crafts, local produce (lots of smelly cheeses and pig legs!), it was a bit like the New Forest show on a smaller scale and free!

The final day with the car we started of with a trip to Coves Arta, spectacular caves where we had a guided tour, they were huge and took about an hour to look around. 

View when leaving caves
We visited another beach Costa de Pins, nice and remote but with a lovely café for more coffee but today we had brought our own cakes (mum & I resisted!).  A bit further down the coast we stopped at Porto Cristo just time for a walk around the town and Mark and I to have a swim to cool off.  The final stop of the day was Can Picafort, funny that this was the first place my parents ever holidayed in Mallorca, probably close to 30 years ago, it had changed a bit since then! Nice promenade to walk along but the beach was packed! Only a thin strip of sand to accommodate far too many tourists.

The next day it was time to move out of the marina, so another busy day catching up with cleaning and washing and then a very slow sail around to Alcudia Bay, 12 miles in no wind seemed to take most of the day. 

After a day of relaxing in Alcudia port and the prospect of strong winds on there way we needed to think about moving on.  We had one final chance to get my mum and dad out on the boat, mum had not been sailing before as she is really not keen on the water.  A fantastic day was had by all, we had some light winds and as there was no specific destination we were just able to bob around Alcudia Bay letting the wind dictate where we went but great to get the sail up.  Mum even had a go at steering!

We found a nice spot to anchor and went in for a dip, it is a while since my dad went in the sea but he didn’t miss the opportunity.  We then had a leisurely sail back to Alcudia marina to drop off our newest crew recruits and I think mum was pleasantly surprised.