Thursday, June 14, 2012

Preparing to Leave Menorca

Sidi Bou Said, Tunisia

2012 06 14

A final word on Menorca, which some perceptive readers have come to believe we did not enjoy very much, and then we are away to Tunisia.

Menorca, at least the bits we saw, were not terribly scenic.  It is a low island with some green on it.  Ciutadella was perfectly horrid in its approach to sailboats and I refused to visit a town that so clearly did not want me in it or near it.  Those who went by bus from Mahon mouthed the usual platitudes.  “It was nice” they all said.  That is the kiss of death for me, who is not a tourist.  I live in a place that is nice.  Not what I came to see.

Moored in Cala Taleuga, only a few miles from Mahon but as close as that welcoming venue would let us get, we put in at Es Castell for provisions, a nice smaller village with decent bars, an adequate grocery, the best green grocer we have visited in a long time and pretty good bakeries.  Internet is abysmal but this is Spain and that is the rule.  The Blackberry works just fine but I suspect that has nothing to do with Spain.  If Spain ever finds out...

The Budget Committee being the BC in every way determined we would go for a hike one day to look at a bunch of rocks.  These were special rocks I was informed, very old and piled up.  Apparently a pile of old rocks is considered a significant event on Menorca and off we went to find them.  In this adventure we were accompanied by Branco and Maggie out of Toronto travelling on Waterhobo, spelled H2OBO.  We missed a required turn and walked a long way before we realized it.  We realized we had missed a turn when our road came to an abrupt and unmistakable end.  There was an historical British castle which we thought we might tour in lieu of the pile of rocks which fort was called Fort Marlborough.  It was closed for renovations.     Our luck held and the lovely village in which the road ended, Sant Esteves, did not have a cafe.  We walked back to Es Castell.  The sun had not diminished.

Once in Es Castell we all cafed for a bit and then separated, the BC and I retiring to the boat while  Maggie and Branco continued on in search of historical rock piles.  While we sat with cold drinks listening to the incomparable Miles spinning Sketches of Spain they, allegedly, walked another three miles or so returning to their boat much later.  The rock piles were never mentioned so I remain suspicious.

That night Maggie and Branco organized a beach bbq and several cruisers managed to attend.  It seems the idea of an impromptu “let's get drunk and burn some meat on the beach” event is not well known in Europe.  Several boats declined to come when they discovered the event would not be catered.  Culture clash to be sure.  Those that came had a very good time and Connie and I had a chance to reconnect with George and Rachel on Jeannie of London (That Jeannie having the same relationship to George that our Meredith has to me).

Sailor Ed, who can only be described as “Captain Ron with a British Private School Education” was there to demonstrate the proper procedures for beach relaxation and to scout any possible female accompaniment.  Ed, who single hands Annette, is one accomplished sailor with seven Atlantic crossings and a few dozen broken hearts on his card.  He is done sailing the Atlantic he tells me with that disarming devilish smile.

Off to bed it was with everyone in good spirits once again.  For such a wretched place Mahon and Menorca for that matter has spawned an incredible number of fond memories.

If I were anyone but me I might have to reconsider.

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