Archive for Ibiza

Panoramarama part 1

Posted in French canals and rivers, Photographs, the Mediterranean Sea, Walking with tags , , , , on May 30, 2011 by maidofmettle

Maid of Mettle is at sea, or possibly stopped somewhere without internet. Yes, this does occasionally happen.

While I will try and post occasional updates via satellite phone, they will not contain the number of photos you have become used to.

So should you miss them, please enjoy this brief pictorial interlude. Otherwise described as: I finally got around to finding a program to stitch series of panoramic photos together. Just left-click on the thumbnails to open a larger image in a new tab.

This is Valence, on the River Saone in southern France. We didn’t actually stop here, but the view passing through was quite impressive, especially the castle-topped hills overlooking the town on the left bank.

Next up is Lyon, on the River Rhone. We did spend quite a few days here – it’s not only a beautiful city, but also home to my friend (and former housemate / colleague) Caroline. The view is from the La Croix-Rousse quarter, once Europe’s silk factory. You can just see the basilica at Fourvieres on the skyline on the right- it was built in thanks after a medieval plague passed the city by.

The next couple are both from the top of the city walls in Avignon. The first looking north…

and the second looks east  across the edge of the town to the beginnings of the Alps in the distance. The most famous ~1/4 of a bridge in the world is unfortunately hidden behind a tree somewhere.

To continue the mountain theme we’re going to dash to the bottom of France, and then across the Golfe de Lion to L’Escala, just over the Spanish border. This time it’s the snow-capped Pyrenees you can glimpse on the skyline in the far-right.

Part of this walk was a bit creepy – I was going through some woodland when I saw a cat sunning itself in a spot of shade. So far, so good. But then there was another. And another. And another. The overall effect was rather disturbing..

Still, it was well worth it for the views of this tiny hilltop suburb and a beautifully blue Mediterranean.

And the mysterious phantom island on the horizon on the left. It really doesn’t look like a cloud, but I’m sure there shouldn’t be land in that direction within several hundred miles. Strange.

The next leap is to Barcelona, and the view over the city from Park Guell.

Next is a view of the west coast of Ibiza and offlying islands. San Antonio is visible on the right, but you can’t see the nightclubs from up here.

Still on the same island, here’s a long-distance view of Ibiza town itself, from the dunes by the Playa Las Salinas, named after the numerous salt-pans nearby. Apparently Jade Jagger and Kate Moss frequent this beach, but unsurprisingly not in February.

Finally (for now) a return to the Spanish mainland in Cartagena – the harbour and some of the city from a fort high above the eastern side of the entrance.

Ibizian sea monsters

Posted in Fun, Photographs, Walking with tags , on January 29, 2010 by maidofmettle

There’s something about San Antonio that seems to mean that people arrive here and then stay…sometimes for years.  We have met a couple of them in the short time we’ve been here.

Although we’re not quite at that point yet, we have been having trouble leaving because the wind seems to be against us at the moment and weather reports have been suggesting it would be rough or very rough a lot of the time.

The good news is that the sun has come out and we have managed to explore the island a little more thanks to the wonders of car hire…

Yesterday we drove around a bit;  first to a little village called Sant Josep where we walked up a big pine-tree covered hill to views almost covering the whole island.

Sant Josep

Sant Josep

Las Salinas beach (named after the salt pans of Ibiza) was the next stop for lunch.  The beach, which is supposedly frequented by celebrities and popular in summer because of its beach bar, was almost entirely deserted with only a few dog walkers and runners.

Watch tower at the end of Las Salinas beach

We walked to the watch tower at the end of the dunes to see some impressive waves and even found what looked like an octopus or squid (I’m not sure how you tell the difference!) hiding in a rock pool.  It was a bit odd and seemed to take a liking to Chris by sending out a tentical and edging out when he was crouching close to look at it.


Chris also took this picture of some sea anenome (?) that we found there.

A sea creature

A Pete

Drove back via Ibiza town itself to see the old walled bit of town there.

Ibiza old town

The good thing about the island is that it is really small which means it doesn’t take very long to drive anywhere and it was really nice to see countryside inland for a change.

Thank you Chris for driving 🙂

“Whoah! We’re going to eat pizza”

Posted in Fun, Photographs, Sailing, the Mediterranean Sea, Walking with tags on January 25, 2010 by maidofmettle

Ahoy there Chris. Bye bye Barcelona

We took the 150 nautical mile trip from Barcelona to Ibiza having decided that we might be better off heading there instead of going a bit further along the Spanish mainland.  The decision was ultimately made when the weather forecast mid-journey looked to be potentially getting worse…that and the fact that we liked the idea of sailing to an island.

The journey took us from 5pm Friday evening to about 2.30am on Sunday morning where we arrived in San Antonio to the sound of the local clubs blaring queen at us as a welcome.     It was a lot nicer than the previous long journey and certainly not as rough.  Chris and I managed a bit better in terms of sea sickness but we still have some improvements to make.  More than anything, trying to work up the enthusiasm to do anything whilst feeling a little nauseous was the most difficult thing but we did at least manage a bit more sleep this time.

Passing Mallorca in the early morning of Saturday

In the words of Chris “It’s taken me 12 hours to work up the enthusiasm to tighten up the spinaker haliard that’s flopping about” and I can sympathise as I felt a bit like Basil (Clare’s dog) looks when he lies on the floor looking like no-one’s ever taken him for a walk when in reality he’s only just been for one.  Now I can sort of empathise with Ellen Macarthur on some of her video diaries!

We were extremely lucky in the early hours of the morning on Saturday.  I was pretty drowsy on the watch from 6-9am so was positioned sat on the top of the steps leaning (in said Basil-style) against the hatch.

All of a sudden there was a bit of a splash and what looked very like the body and fin of a dolphin about a metre away from the boat.  That was the last I saw of that until about 20 minutes after I excitedly woke Chris from his dozing at having seen another dolphin swimming towards the boat diagonally.  It too got to the boat then disappeared without doing a flipper impression or telling us that someone or other was stuck down a mine-shaft.  I am looking forward to seeing more of them as we sail on.

San Antonio is a bit cloudy and rainy but has some nice hills around it to explore, not to mention the most impressive Chinese meal for €7 (about £6.50)  That was for a lot of food.  So much so, it felt a bit like we were robbing them when we came to pay.

San Antonio with random boats beached

Caroline in a hole

Pete and Caroline looking out over San Antonio

Speaking of water…The flexible water tank under Chris’ bunk (that had been sent as a replacement after it broke) broke for the second time.  Chris is not amused at Plastimo who make them.