The sun returned on our last couple of days in Majorca, and Emma got out the factor 500 spray again. We’d had a brief respite from her spraying on Thursday when we visited the caves at Porto Cristo, although I had had to point out that the sun doesn’t shine underground. We decided to hit the beach at Puerto Pollença (we had to go there at least once given all the conversations about the place in previous weeks) and do that sunbed thing that normal people do. Emma put on a nice Summer frock (£3 from the charity shop) but then changed it for another one because she thought the first one was a bit revealing. I insisted she change back, on the grounds that nobody wants to stare at her ankles anyway.
She needn’t have worried: arriving at PP we discerned a noticeably more British feel, with lots of mottled lobster and blue-white cellulite on show, replacing the wall-to-wall olive-skinned slim mediterranean healthiness of Pollença old town. We grabbed a shaded table at a seafront restaurant and chose from a typical Majorcan menu - pizza, burgers, fries, spaghetti carbonara etc.
After lunch we tried something I thought we’d never do - paid €22 for the privilege of sitting on a sunbed under a beach parasol all day, in the full knowledge that everyone would get bored after about 3 hours. And that’s about how long our one and only holiday sun-lounge / beach visit lasted, although I did extract maximum chill-out. I even got my shirt off, confident that I would be well camouflaged in the surroundings, and managed to read some dumbed-down physics. I could actually start to get into this “holiday” thing.
Meanwhile the kids splashed about in the sea, until Joseph arrived back complaining of a rash. Next to return was Michael - he’d been minding his own business snorkelling until Gerry started hitting him. When I confronted Gerry about this he was indignant, arguing robustly that Michael has annoyed him on many unspecified occasions in the past. Joseph intervened and started playing with Gerry, but all three were distracted when a couple of less than statuesque women a few yards away decided to have a topless paddle - not something the boys had ever seen at Center Parcs or Whitby. The women came back to the beach and joined their partners, one of them donning a Sunderland football shirt… saying nowt.
Back at the villa I gathered together the dregs of the fridge for an evening meal. In the Spanish sunshine “leftovers” becomes “mezze”, especially when there’s loads of Sangria and San Miguel left. We would have finished off with a magnum lolly each, but it transpired that Michael had eaten nine of the ten in the box (in two days, impressive). Found a bag of orange Doritos in the draw so had these instead - Michael ate most of those as well, although Emma must have got quite a few judging by the docker’s belch she let rip.
I was determined to see the dramatic scenery of the Cap Formentor (the north-eastern peninsula of the island) before we left, so J and I went for a drive up after tea. Basically it’s 40 minutes of crazy mountain road and cliffs, with the biggest danger being that you could plunge to your death whilst gawping at the view. Drove all the way up to the lighthouse, couldn’t buy a cuppa as I didn’t have any cash and they didn’t take cards, so drove back again. We stopped outside the mouth of a tunnel on the way back to take photos. A crumbling old stairway led up the cliff face, a sheer drop on one side; in a lame attempt to show off to Joseph I started climbing up it. Joseph said “Get down dad.” I quickly complied.
When we got back I went for a final swim in the pool in the twilight, almost hoping for a mosquito bite to justify the money we’d spent on sprays and candles. Not a nibble Maybe they were put off by the Dorito smell.
In the morning we crammed the lego, socks and technology into the cases. Poor Gerry had to leave his wooden rubber band-shooting gun behind - if you want to know why, read my 2012 Cornwall blog. Decided to spend the day at the Joan Miró museum in Palma to kill time until the flight that evening, so drove down and parked up. Walking out of the car park, Joseph stepped in the only puddle in Majorca. This time we didn’t get past the tourist junk sellers, and Gerry spend the remainder of his holiday dosh on an orange selfie-stick - I can hardly think of anything more apposite.
Had an organic sarnie in a nice little cafe. The we all needed a loo visit and so wandered into the Fundación Juan March, a very smart modern art gallery. Unfortunately all anyone else wanted to do was have a wee in it so the Dali, Miró and Picasso works hardly got a look. Michael did get told off for touching a painting and an attendant quickly collapsed Gerry’s selfie stick with a brusque “No!”
Unable to find the Joan Miró musem, I did a quick Google and it turned out to be several miles away. Round about this time everything in Palma closed. Bloody siesta. We eventually found somewhere to sit out of the sun on La Rambla, scoffing muffins and apples purchased from a grumpy woman in the nearby Eroski supermarket. There were others sitting around evidently also stuck for something to do on a Spanish afternoon before the flight back to Blighty or Berlin, and without the stomach for yet another church.
Spotted a graffito on a street corner: “Tourists go home!” So that’s what we did. Drove to the airport, forgot to refuel the rental car (bill imminent). Had a shouty panic when it looked like we’d lost one of the baggage tags until Joseph pointed out that we actually only had four bags. Only hot food we could find was Burger King, so found a seat away from where someone had just regurgitated their chorizo cheesy bites. On the plane, I was straining to understand the dialect that the people around me were speaking, until I realised it was “Geordie”. Now I know what it’s like for Southerners…
We’re definitely back home now. The boys have reverted to their mantra of "what can I eat", and tonight we had fish finger sandwiches for tea.