It’s been a while since I left the UK and I was starting to get itchy feet, pining for a holiday. In July I didn’t even leave London! So when my dad suggested I join him in Mallorca to visit my sister I jumped at the opportunity.
It’s a bit ridiculous that I’ve never been to Mallorca before. I love Spain, I love beautiful places, I love being outdoors. Oh and my sister has lived there (on and off) for over 2 years! She works on yachts and although she travels around quite a bit, Mallorca tends to be her base. In addition, my dad has a small yacht that he keeps there and he spends loads of time there in the summer. So I really had no excuse.
I finished up work very early on Friday and made my way to Stanstead Airport via the Stanstead Express. Slight concerns when the line was suspended but in the end all went smoothly and I made it to the airport with just enough time to buy my dinner and walk straight through security and onto my plane.
I landed at about 9.30, stepping off the plane into the hot humid air and spotting my little sister waiting for me next to a tiny classic mini named Mattie. I jumped in and off we went, heading through the dark to Andratx where Dad’s boat was in the marina. A bottle of rosé shared on the deck later – it was time for bed!
It was wonderful to wake up on Saturday morning to clear blue skies, warm airs, blue sea and craggy rock faces towering above us. We untied the boat and motored about 5 minutes from the marina to a small sheltered bay with a little beach, inaccessible except by boat. We anchored and jumped straight into the incredibly clear water, the shock of the cold at first and then just a lovely temperature. We swam around watching the fish and then Jilli’s boyfriend, Miles, showed us to a spot where there was an underwater tunnel through the rock. We went through one by one – it was slightly longer than I’d thought and with that slight concern of “ohh I don’t know if I can keep holding my breath…!” I came up into a quiet, still cove, a cloud of blue fish swimming in front of me as I came up to surface.
Next up pre-breakfast was stand-up paddle boarding (SUPing), something I’d never done before. I felt fine on my knees so tried to get to my feet. Immediately my legs started wobbling and I very quickly fell comically into the water! I tried once more and managed to stand up for quite a bit longer but no actual paddling occurred!
Back on board around 10am it was time for breakfast and then to lift anchor and motor around the western coast of Mallorca, all high, towering rock faces and hidden stony beaches. We made our way in to one such beach, anchoring and going for another swim.
I tried a proper “training” swim this time, swimming all the way to the shore and back again. Swimming in was easy, swimming out was horrible as the waves had picked up and were rolling straight at me. I hadn’t swum in the sea for years and had never tried proper front crawl into waves so I just swallowed bucket loads of water and retched. It was not going well so I gave up on the idea of another few lengths and got back on the boat to continue reading my book.
We were in a bay with a restaurant featured in the Night Manager, famous for its stunning views and simple, fresh seafood. We went along about 3pm for a Spanish lunch and were seated right at the front, overlooking the waves rolling into the rocks beneath. It seemed impossible to get a waiter to take our order, waving at them and being acknowledged but then ignored for 30 minutes or so. Eventually we managed it, and the food when it came was delicious – a ginormous sea bass and, for me, a bowl of prawns simmering in a garlicky oil with home-cut chips to soak up the oils. So good!
I spent a year living on a boat (see all my posts about it here) and did so much sailing as a kid but hadn’t been on a boat for almost five years so it was so good to get out there and get a few splashes of salt water again!