Seas the day Ready or yacht

The shower in our hotel had a seat. Weird. Was very nice though, good water pressure and easily controllable temperature and that. I know how shower reviews are an important part of my blogging.

We checked out at about 1100 and wandered back down towards Palma's old town, near the Placa España. I insisted on carrying the wheels suitcase because on the faux cobbles it was making an insane racket. Thankfully the heat was bearable in the shade, even though the display on the main road said it was 32ºc.

Everywhere was open and fairly busy, with lots of outdoor seating on streets which appeared to be pedestrianised but for the fact cars kept showing up. We plonked ourselves outside a nice looking place and ordered a bunch of tapas. I asked for a Diet Coke, he queried the size, I said large, he warned me off and suggested a medium. Turns out "medium" means "massive".

Food arrived: chicken croquettes, patatas bravas, some pork stuff, and a big fat plate of melted cheese. Everything but the pork was lovely; the sauce with the potatoes was spectacular.

Helen's mate Rich was aiming to come meet us, and after numerous forms of communication he appeared in the street with the news that his car was just round the corner, blocking something, and he couldn't leave it anyway, so we'd best finish up and join him.

Cue panic. I had pretty much a full beer left, having ordered an Estrella Damm (and been given the option of a 4% or 8% variety, I thought it wise to stick with the 4%). We asked for the bill and it was more euros than we had, so while I drank quickly Helen went to the ATM and we paid.

Rich was in his car just round the corner, having just had a bit of a ding. With google maps acting as our GPS we turned right 6 times in succession, going 1.5 times round a single block and then ending up back where we started. This was comedic but less than ideal.

Giving up on google, Rich made his way to the main road and we drove a fairly circuitous route through Palma to get down to the front. Quick, lightning tourism out of the window: there's a cathedral 'n that.

Beyond Palma we are treated to a festival of Spanish driving and catching up how's things etc conversation. Also Philip Green's big yacht.

Up and over a mountain, through Andratx - which I insist on pronouncing Anthrax (it's really And-ratch) - and to S'Arraco. We perch outside a bar with a drink, and then walk up to our hotel.

Seems quite nice this place. We're on the second floor, up some unreasonably steep steps. Out back there's a pool and a cat we suspect might be pregnant. It (she?) meows a lot without moving.

Upon opening our room door for the first time, the key snaps in the lock. Oops. The best view - of the pool, groves, and mountains beyond - is through a small window in the bathroom.

Rich comes to fetch us and we drive to Sant Elm, a beach town just a few minutes away. It's alright, I suppose.

I'm left to my own devices in a bar, earwigging first the German women then the English walking troupe, while Rich and Helen go swim in the sea. That's one box checked for her. It's so relaxing I almost fall asleep. When they get back we have another drink, then pay up and go for a bit of a wander around the coast and town.

It's pretty spectacularly nice.

The "town centre" is basically one road, with a few shops and a lot of bars and eateries. We get some inordinately nice ice cream. Rum & raisin, mmm.

Dragonera island looms ahead of us. Apparently this whole place is a bit UNESCO-y world heritage-y and you can kayak out there, or get boats over to Dragonera for scuba diving and fishing and stuff. Barracuda, we're told.

Back to the car and Rich is called by his work, what with being on call, but manages to deflect responsibility. So, he can take us on another bit of a road trip. We go to Port Anthrax, and are shown lots of expensive boats from various angles, as well as a great many ludicrously expensive properties. Occasionally we stop off to get a photo.

Some bits of cliffs are being dynamited in order to make space for yet more cliff top properties and it's all just too moneyed for words. We get a bit lost, then a bit found, and wind our way back up and down mountains to S'Arraco and it's time for a bit of a siesta.

I almost fail to wake back up. It's such an immense struggle to open my eyes, let alone keep them open, but it's 7.15pm and we're meant to be at one of the bars in the village. Eventually I make it, and we head down via an ATM which offers us the opportunity to reserve an irrigation turn.

What the ATM fails to do, though, is give me any money. I'm using my Travelex Supercard, a spot-rate card linked to a credit card and which we've already used in ATMs twice since we got off the plane. This ATM says everything in English except the reason it won't hand out cash, so we try another which says my issuer declines it. What? For gods sake. The Supercard app says I'm nowhere near the daily limit so I have no idea what's wrong, but resort to my expensive no-miles-earning debit card. Bah!

Outside Bar Guiem Nou we drink beer and chat with Rich, his parents, and their best friends who are also over for a visit. It's a lovely sociable evening and I manage to engage Rich's dad in talk of train spotting, table tennis and the scourge of franchising in football.

At 9pm Rich, Helen and I have reservations at a restaurant, so at around 9.05pm we say our goodbyes to the others and walk 10 or 12 steps to our table. Beer arrives, food takes a lot longer. The pace of life is somewhat slow here.

Helen at one point uses the word acquiesce and is so proud of herself she wants me to, er, take a photo of her saying it. Eh?

We're still sat outside when the bar closes up and I try to get one of them moody and profound shots for Instagram.

We're told there are 3 bars in the village, but for 3 days of the week only 2 are ever open: one closes on Sunday, one on Monday, and one on Tuesday. So we head up the road to get a beer at the other Sunday bar. The place seems closed but we're assured it's not, and my confidence in this fact grows when we're served beer. Inside there's a very modern fruit machine and I'm tempted to have a go, but manage to resist.

By now it's approaching midnight. Rich has to work in the morning, and we're worried about climbing the steps to our room in our current state. We walk back through the village towards the hotel, and despite the late hour it now seems to be rush hour and we're having to get out of the way of cars. How rude.

My attempt to stop and talk to a cat is derailed and we make it back to Escalatera. From the fridge downstairs we grab some Coke Zero and two cans of lager - rather than any in-room facilities, there's just a couple of fridges filled with supplies and you write down in a dedicated book for your room number what it is you've taken, then settle up when you leave. It's a lovely honour system.

Upstairs, just about, and an attempt is made to listen to the special trial edition of the Archers but, predictably, one of us just falls asleep with the beer half drunk instead. Not me, I hasten to add.

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Darren Foreman

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