my ride around the island
April 2-5, 2010
This title may sound strange to some people. How can one go to the island of Ibiza and not go to a club?? Well, there were a couple of factors contributing to that. First, it was early April which means the off season. Most clubs are closed during the winter months. Second, the only one open (Pacha) was not within walking distance meaning I would have to drive my scooter there and back, figure out the bus system, or take a taxi. Lastly, my bank had blocked Spain and I had forgotten to unblock it meaning that I had zero cash. If I wanted anything to eat or drink, I had to make sure I could pay with a credit card. In the United States, this is generally no problem but in Spain, it's a little more difficult.
Time to set the stage for this trip. I was working in Genova (Genoa) where the office closes for Easter. This means they are closed for Good Friday and Easter Monday. That gave me a four day weekend and I had to take advantage of it! I found some cheap tickets to Ibiza from Pisa on Ryan Air.
Platja d'en Bossa
my first view of a beach
Anyone who has ever been to Europe likely knows about Ryan Air. For those who don't, it's a low cost, no frills airline for Europe based in Dublin. It's one of the original discount airliines and probably the most popular one that really started the discount airline popularity explosion. They offer really cheap tickets but then charge fees for everything else. I bought the tickets and then tried to convince someone to go with me but no one else was interested. And so I go solo.
I made sure to pack light and since I did not have any bags for my toiletries, I left them at home. I had only my Eastpak messenger bag filled with clothes with space for new toiletries that I planned to buy upon arrival. First things first, I took a taxi directly from the airport to Cooltra for my scooter rental. In no time, I was on my way. I found my first hostel very close in Platja d'en Bossa. A little bit of wandering the neighborhood took me to a supermarket where I bought toothpaste, etc and also the local beach where I sat for awhile. I finally got back on
view of Ibiza Town from the fortress
the scooter and headed into the city of Eivissa (Ibiza Town) and found a fortress along the coast. Parking was pretty easy to find and I walked the walls and wandered the grounds. Next I cruised around the city for a bit just to have some fun on the scooter before heading into the center where I browsed the shops and attempted to withdraw cash. It was a Friday evening so the center was pretty busy with lots of people everywhere. For dinner, I settled on a tapas restaurant which is a little strange to be eating alone but it was very delicious! I was without a GPS on this trip so I called it a night early and headed back to the hostel in the dark.
The next morning, I was headed to the north side of the island. I started out on a busy road filled with cars passing me. I arrived mid-morning to Santa Eulalia del Rio and I was hungry! I found a cafe that served breakfast and had the Visa sign in the window so I picked a spot on the sidewalk and enjoyed a nice breakfast of eggs and bacon along with a
cappucino. When I tried to pay, the waiter explained that there was a big group of people there the night before and in the chaos, the credit card machine was broken. I kindly explained to him that I had no cash and had no way of obtaining any cash. Finally he told me that if in the course of my tour of the island I should come across some cash to pay him, then I could pass through and pay him. If not, then the meal was complimentary and I should just enjoy my time on the island. I thanked him for his kindness and set out to figure out how I could pay him. At a tourist shop, I offered to pay forty euro for something worth about five euro so the man would give me some change in cash but no matter how I tried, he could not understand my predicament and refused to help me out. He thought I was trying to rip him off!
After that fiasco, I hopped back on the scooter and took some smaller roads north, looking for a beach. Not far out, I found one so I sat there for awhile
a beach on the east coast
and caught some rays. Since it was early April and still pretty cool weather, there were very few people on the beach. I'm not one to sit in the same place for very long so after about an hour, I decided to keep moving. A short ride away, I found a little bay area and ventured out onto some cool rocks. I love climbing on rocks, especially along beaches! Once again I had to keep moving. A little further north, I ventured into an area of expensive looking villas along a winding road. I stopped at one that was in early stages of construction and sat for a bit enjoying the view. By this time, it was mid afternoon so once again, I kept moving. I found a small village called Sant Joan de Labritja where I finally ate some snacks outside the small church.
Eventually, I made it into Portinatx where I had a room with a bed waiting for me. The hostel turned out to be right on a small bay. There were some excellent rocks to explore around the bay so I spent some time there before dinner. I didn't see any other restaurants nearby other
many people store their boats in these shacks
than the hostel's restaurant and I knew they took credit card so it was an easy choice for me. It was a small village in the off season so I turned out to be the only patron that night. I ordered mussels as a starter and pork chop as the main course. I expected a few mussels and a single pork chop. What I received instead was a giant bowl of mussels and three large pork chops with a side of french fries! I also ordered a bottle of wine to go with it since I wasn't going anywhere else that night. I somehow managed to eat it all and I took the bottle up to my room. My room conveniently had a balcony with a small table overlooking the bay so I enjoyed the remainder of the evening and bottle of wine there.
On Sunday morning, I took breakfast at the hostel and spent some time in my room since it was lightly raining outside. My checkout time wasn't until noon so I watched Formula One on a tiny flat screen tv. Think about the size of Michael Scott's tv. I finally hit the road and, fortunately, the
Villa In Progress
a villa under construction where I enjoyed the view
rain had stopped but the roads were still a little wet. I stayed on smaller roads as close to the west coast as possible. I decided to stop after awhile at a small bay just north of Sant Antoni de Portmany and eat a light lunch. From there, I headed past Sant Antoni to a beach further south where I stayed for a couple hours. In late afternoon, I headed into Sant Antoni to find my hostel. There were so many small one way streets that I got lost and kept ending up at the wrong end of the street my hostel was on. Eventually, I found my way and checked in. From there, I wandered along the beach and even passed by the famous Cafe del Mar. The boardwalk offers a fantastic western view so I relaxed there with pretty much everyone else in the city to watch the sun go down. Last item of the day was to eat so I found a nice restaurant that seemed authentic spanish and enjoyed a goat cheese salad (drizzled with caramel!) and some giant prawns. It was the perfect end to the day.
Monday: this was my last day here
Sant Joan de Labritja
the church in the small village
and therefore the day of my flight home. I drove along the southern coast and found another neighborhood of expensive looking villas and once again, I stopped and enjoyed the view from one still under construction. After that, I drove past the airport and the salt lakes to the very south-eastern tip of the island. Sadly, I didn't have time to enjoy the beach. I headed back to return the scooter and somehow get to the airport. Looking at the map, Platja d'en Bossa seemed really close to the airport. I didn't think I could get a taxi that would take my credit card so I decided to just walk. It took me a lot longer than I expected but I walked past Space, one of the famous nightclubs. It was completely deserted. I finally made it to the airport where I threw out all my liquids and hopped on the flight back to Pisa.
Has anyone else been to Ibiza? If so, did you go during the club season and get to check out these world famous clubs?
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