Monday, 6 October 2014

A Trip To The Beach

It must have been around 16 years ago that I first visited the island. I had been working in Saudi Arabia for a couple of months and phoned my partner to suggest she book a cheap package tour holiday to leave a couple of days after my return. As we had a friend who had moved to live here a couple of years before this seemed a good opportunity to visit. In truth I had never been on a package holiday before but it seemed like a simple option. We arrived late at night to a hotel, which has since been converted into one of the most desirable up market venues on the island. At the time it was anything but and we arrived around 2am to settle into our cell like room. No problem, we just needed somewhere to lay our heads at night. 

The next morning my partner noted that free breakfast was part of the deal so we made our way to the restaurant. It turned out this was less of a restaurant and more like a works canteen with seating for around 400 people. We joined the queue for deep fried eggs and dried bacon and took our place next to a family of six, two of whom were wearing the latest football shirts and already limbering up for the day by bouncing a ball round the breakfast table. 

Father, whose enormous gut was stretching a more classic football strip, the emblem of which was echoed on the very visible tattoo on his calf, tried to calm his young offspring with a vicious roar of expletives. It was at this point that I remarked that this wasn’t my idea of an ideal holiday breakfast and we opted to leave our half eaten slop and head off to find something better on a nearby beach.

Fortunately, a German friend, hearing that we were headed for 'the white isle, had written some instructions on a Post-it note. The words were: Salinas Beach, Sa Trinxa Bar, DJ Jonathan, The man with the Spanish guitar sells the drugs. As I made my way to that same beach again this year I noted that not much had changed: as weathered gypsy face of the guitarist still smiled from under an umbrella offering some over priced hash.

I must have spent the best part of an hour sitting in the DJ booth before deciding to go for a swim. The sea here is particularly salty and the first intake in my nostrils as I dived in was a shock to the system. But then feeling very relaxed I opted for floating in the limpid sea. If floating was an Olympic event I have no doubt that I would be on the UK team and so was luxuriating in this sport when I noted two young couples jump in off the walkway that leads over the rocks. I took no further notice of them and was intent on floating and stretching my frame when I became away of some sort of conflict going on between one of the couples, who were embracing in the waves. 

I turned to look at them some three yards away and quickly deciphered what was going on. He had just suggested that they make love in the waves where they were (somewhat surrounded by other bathers) The look on her face was one of shock and outrage as I saw her mouthing the complaint that, “everyone can see us.” Then his voice assumed that of a small boy being denied an ice lolly as he pleaded, “But I’ve been dreaming about this.” Ah the collision of romance and reality. 

I turned slightly and glimpsed the other couple who, clearly feeling less inhibited, were giggling as they tried to further entwine themselves while keeping afloat. At this point I decided that this was all a little bit too personal for me. I silently wished them well, climbed back on to the walkway and found my way back to the isolated comfort of my friends DJ booth.

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