Saturday, February 23, 2013

Five Days of Hiking on Mallorca in February -- Day 5

Playa de Mellorca in winter
It's our last day on Mallorca and we're feeling nostalgic. Herbert the Venezuelan Pearl Diving Instructor is lying on the bed, flipping through pictures of the hikes. "Remember the rocks?" he says. "And the rocks?"
Despite the fact that it's Herbie's job to choose the route, he hasn't even unfolded his bed-sized map of Mallorca. His hiking book is on top of the TV, his hiking boots are near the door--and he's teary.. He keeps mouthing the rocks, the rocks, the rocks over and over again.

"Snap out of it, Herb! We have to leave soon if we're going to be on a trail by ten." I hate to flex my organizational muscles, but I can if I have to. Herbie, see, is still flipping through pictures of rocks--Mallorca is essentially a big pile of them--and weeping. Venezuelans are such sentimental saps.

"We're not hiking today," he sniffs.

"Well, when were you going to tell me this?"

"We are going to walk on the beach," he says.

"I see. With our legs?"

"Yes, of course with our legs. Shall we fly?"

"And with our shoes on?"


"For, like, hours?"


"And at a fairly brisk pace probably, huh?"


"That's hiking."

"There will be cafés with white wine within 100 meters the entire time."

"That's heaven."

The infamous Ballerman Sechs -- not so wild in winter
And so we set out on our beach hike. Ballerman, the Playa de Palma, is usually overrun with slightly overweight, midlife-crisis-having partiers, but since it's February there's not so many of these lovely, tragic characters. All the strip clubs are closed for the winter anyway. That siad, we were accosted by three extremely aggressive prostitutes on our way back from the Bierkönig, a popular bar amongst the slightly overweight, midlife-crisis-having set. There is this very sad side of Mallorca's nightlife: the aggressive prostitutes, not the Bierkönig, which is actually a lot of fun if you understand the silly lyrics to the German Schlager songs. .

During the day in February, Playa de Palma is peopled with retirees, hanging around and enjoying the peace and quiet that winter offers. But there are also cyclists--thousands of them.

For Kim

Also for Kim

After walking the length of Playa de Palma and back, we have a sit-down at the Pabisa Beach Club where I sing with every song and expect Herbie to threaten to kill me unless I stop--but he's reading the newspaper. I get a bit teary when one of my top-ten favorite songs comes on. Here it is live with Neil Finn singing a bit pitchy at times, but this song kills me:

(The official music video)

The lyric "It doesn't pay to make predictions/Sleeping on an unmade bed/Finding out wherever there is comfort there is pain." crushes me every time.

All weepy and wined, we go shopping. Give me a break. I need new clothes, and Spain is always cheaper than Germany. For what it's worth, we do quite a bit of, um, "hiking" through the streets of Palma before it starts raining, but we're already tucked into a nice ribera del duero by this time anyway. I'll leave you with a few impressions of Palma . . .

A Garage Door.

I must be off,


Christopher Allen is the author of Conversations with S. Teri O'Type (a Satire), available from Amazon in paperback and Kindle.