Let’s be honest. No trip is ever completely hassle free. No matter how beautiful, exotic, or intoxicating a new place can be, we tend to pack our petty squabbles and short fuses along with the shoes and underwear(too much of the former too little of the latter). There’s always room for our bad behavior no matter what the weight limits or numbers of bags allowed. I’m not proud to admit that I’ve been miserable and inflicted misery, in this case Anton my long suffering mate, in some of the most beautiful spots on the planet.
This trip was no exception, though it went a good distance before it showed some stress fractures. No matter how long you’ve been together, 3 1/2 weeks of 24/7 can get a little tricky. Especially, without your usual routine, the fact that your life is in a suitcase and every 4 days you’re packing that life up and hauling it to another airport, train station, hotel room or guest room of dear friends, things start to get to you, undermining the whole point of the adventure. Mallorca was both the setting of some silly disagreements and the balm that helped put it all into perspective.
Heading to the home of our old friends Julio and Justin in a quaint village on the coast an hour from Palma, some of those little issues surfaced on an already choppy sea. I was convinced that I was doing too much of the hauling with a tricky back. I had decided I was being underappreciated and went to that dark place where nothing I say or think is positive. The situation escalated to a shouting match then silence and all sitting in the cutest red rental car in front of their house before ringing the bell. One thing you can’t avoid on the road: there’s no good place to argue even when nobody knows your name; not the hotel room because of guests next door, and not in a restaurant for the same reason. Not at security or on the plane for obvious reasons. There’s no good place to get it out so it just builds until something sets it off.
Julio and Justin were perfect hosts. Their beautiful place they bought and have been restoring sits two minutes walk from the coast. The area with its sapphire blue water and cliffs brought back visions of that mountain hike. They took us into town to see the charming village square, the Plaza Major, that was only as big as a small playing field. It was all so laid back and quiet it couldn’t help but soothe some of the unrest. Mallorca is a popular destination for vacationing Germans and they seemed to be everywhere. I was hearing German spoken as much as Spanish. The population in the town where they have a house is pretty mixed with Spaniards playing host to a growing German expat population.
We went to a beautiful beach with a nude bathing section. Nude beaches are awkward in my book. There’s no way to be nonchalant when you’re taking off all your clothes in public. Do I look fat, old, hot, not hot? The fact that the beach couldn’t decide if it was nude or not didn’t ease my discomfort. What it did do that was unexpected was make it clear that it doesn’t matter. No one cared or noticed that I was feeling like a spectacle and in no time I forgot my nakedness too.
The beach was beautiful with the strangest ‘seaweed’ in clusters everywhere. Perfect balls in every size, some round others egg shaped rested everywhere like an abandoned game of Baci. It turns out they are pulverized seaweed that the ocean’s motion turns into balls some of them as big as small bowling balls. They’re called Poseidon’s grass. The Super moon happened to rise that day and captivated the entire beach. Between the motorized hang gliders over head and the group of horseback riders that came down the beach at day’s end, it was a pretty cool moment. Sharing natural wonders with a partner is always a great way to come together. Nature is a fantastic mediator.
Dinner was cooked by the boys at home when we weren’t going out to enjoy some local restaurants with seating under the stars. It was still late summer with temps in the 70’s and 80’s giving us one last gasp of summer sun. We hung out just talking and laughing and turning in at very reasonable hours. Staying with them put us back on a schedule that allowed for some needed rest and quiet. That along with some space to talk and air some of the issues made the clouds lift bringing peace and pleasure back. Looking out at the world in all of its strangeness and beauty is the best antidote to too much self absorption.
Watching the boys and Anton dive from the rocks into water the color of pale emeralds, with a sailboat just a short distance away navigating its way to the cove beyond was just too beautiful to ignore. When they climbed out of the water each of them had been mildly stung by jellyfish. I was happy to be playing photographer and not dog paddling my way around in circles. Life is too short to be preoccupied with the bad stuff. It’s just too much weight when you’re trying to to travel light.