Monday, 4 July 2011

A Blogger in Paradise –Majorca Part 2

Ok, where was I? Oh yes, we were airborne and flying serenely to our holiday isle. We were getting slightly sizzled on champagne and considerably nauseous over the chocolate. My chunky neighbour had an itch and the guy behind seemed to be suffering from cramp judging by the number of times his leg jerked into my seat back.

I tried to focus on the entertainment system but the overhead screens were poor and the programme poorer. I watched in silence as you could only buy (not rent) headsets and nobody said before the flight you could bring your own. Funny that! At least I had the little girl in front to ‘amuse’ me as she lolled over her seat back and pulled faces. Are you a monster she asked? I am not sure I replied. Yes you are she said as the faces continued.

Her dad was a shaven head brute of a man in an athletic vest. He was covered in tattoos. He had ‘True’ and ‘Love’ across his knuckles, wrestling dragons, anchors and mermaids around his neck and back. All along one arm he had ‘Karen Forever’ which was rather strange as we later found out his wife next to him was called Dawn. He leaned over his seat and glared at me as though I was a pervert and said ‘Hanna (again not Karen), don’t talk to that man. Happy days I thought.

The plane touched down without further incident and I had to reflect on how painless it was. I had avoided DVT and sipped champagne which is a good combination. There was no queue to speak of at immigration and our bags popped up last as usual. Some kind soul in the baggage area had snipped my BA Executive Club labels in half but that was the only damage.

So all we had to do now was collect our car and drive to our villa in the northern part of the island near Pollensa and 55 minutes away. We used a company called 'Centauro' and I would recommend them. I found it best not to book the company that Thomson recommends as everybody else does it and the queue at their desk was horrendous.

They are located on the airport perimeter road and you get to them by their transfer bus. It should have been very easy except their printed directions to the bus stop had been written by someone facing customs not coming out of it; hence we wandered off in the opposite direction. Once this got sorted we found the lane we had to stand by but no ‘Centauro’ sign as there wasn’t one. I found waving and leaping in front of their vehicle had the desired effect

We got to their facility and were issued with the necessary contract and guides very quickly. Within less than 10 minutes we were sitting in our ‘violent blue’ Fiesta that groaned under the weight of three large suitcases and us. Why three large cases? Because I am a packaholic. All those years of travel and I still over-pack. Once I wrapped a large beach umbrella in bin liners and took it to Mauritius in case there was not enough shade for our young daughter!

This time I was slightly better and only packed double clothes, half a chemist shop, cling film, Marmite and a pair of swimming trunks for each day. I had however forgotten all my underpants and charging units for Ipod, camera (which went flat) and Kindle. Judith’s eyes rolled as she saw all the silly stuff falling out at the other end.

So we hit the road. Actually it nearly hit us as I judged my first roundabout rather inaccurately. Judith had the map and I had my short driving temper. Turn left she shrieked about twenty yards after the correct turn-off. Relations were strained but eventually we found the right road. By the way they have changed the motorway speed limit to 110 kph. I remind you as the Centauro maps are rather ancient (as are others) and still tell you it is 120 kph. Also be aware that most Majorcan coach drivers are suicidal psychopaths.

The motorways and roads in general are smooth and very well maintained. I am glad that Spain uses our huge EC subsidies to ensure we can glide to our destinations. The signage is also pretty good. Parking can be tricky especially in the busy months and around the old towns but places are very clearly marked. I would recommend driving to even the nervous except for the westerly coast road which is a bit of a switchback and sometimes inhabited by those bus driving psychopaths I mentioned.

The main part of our drive to the villa was uneventful. Having got on the main motorway to the north we simply cruised for 45 minutes until it became a two lane highway. The directions were spot on until this point but then we arrived at the road/track where our villa was located. Things then became confused as we drove in the fading light down a single lane track with dead ends, dodgy signage and blind corners. Having narrowly missed two chickens, a pig and the neighbours Daschund we arrived at the Villa Son Rotger.

How we got on with the villa, the shops, the resorts, cafes and restaurants will be in my next spellbinding blog.

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