Ibiza 2016 – My 13th Visit

Gosh is it really a week since I arrived back from the White Isle?  Or probably two weeks before I have finished writing this.

Myself and my very good friend, Martin, decided a few months back to go especially for Cocoon on 19th September with the massively exciting line-up of Guy Gerber, Dana Ruh, Sonja Moonear, Nina Kraviz, and Sven himself.

The preceding month was crazy.  A house and city move, with a new job and career, and something really serious going on that most of you don’t know about (some really shit news, but all is kind of ok now).  I was very much ready for a holiday.  I needed a week relaxing in the sunshine.  I didn’t need 5 nights in Ibiza.

Of course, I made it even more difficult for myself by firstly getting drunk on Thursday night, then having to DJ on Friday night in Reading, getting home at 7am on the day I was going to Ibiza.

I was also having questions about whether it would be my last trip to the island.  I had kind of fallen out of love with it the more that I had read about it over the previous year and all the problems that it has – crime, theft, Ushuaia, fun police, local councils, every other fun thing being banned or curtailed…this was quite a change from one year ago when I wanted to move there, as I have done for some time.

Travelling with someone who has access to the British Airways lounge was a definite bonus.  Free beer, free wine, free bacon sandwich, free chocolate brownie, free wine, free beer, free scones, more free wine – the flight itself was more civilised than Easynet though speaking to the stewardess she said it was the quietest for some time.  We may have accidentally broken the rule on not drinking the non-duty-free-duty-free on the plane.

We were staying in a hotel of which I was a little wary of as the pictures made it look a bit basic, despite being 3 stars, but it was perfect for the trip.  Well-staffed, safe with a mixture of European residents – this was Ibiza Town as opposed to the trashy San Antonio, after all.  And we had a view of a cliff.

The first night we just went out for some sangria and ended up suddenly rather pissed.  We stocked up on essentials (beer and chorizo mainly) and I managed to get a crazy 5 hours sleep.  In Ibiza! I actually slept every night, though only averaged 3-4 hours each night.

For the Sunday we just went straight out and got on the beer.  It’s good to go on holiday with someone like-minded enough to not judge me for drinking at 9am, and happy to join in.  In fact we chose the same drinks, food etc quite an extraordinary amount of times.  Good taste.

I managed to get stung in one bar that miraculously had music playing during the day – €8 for a pint of beer.  Most places are less than London prices still, well most bars are anyway.  But there was a really hot Spanish girl working there and I was besotted for the 16th time already this holiday.

We trekked over to San Antonio to meet some mates later before heading back to the eastern side for Guy Gerber’s Rumors night at Destino.

This was an excellent night, I do love outdoor venues, even ones as plush as Destino.  The music was excellent, crowd spot-on too and was probably the best night out that I’ve had for a couple of years.  I did a full review here.

We were rather pickled but happily so, and I do remember trying to read when we got back – my vision was so blurry, I spent about an hour after Martin had gone to bed trying to conjure up different ways to be able to read – even tried drinking water – eventually I gave up and got some sleep.

Not much sleep, mind.  We got straight back on it the next morning and was half-cut before going to find some lunch.

We both ordered the same meal, again, and a piece of salmon, one potato and a tiny portion of grilled vegetables arrived.  I was like “where is the rest of our meal?”.  Neither of us finished it.

I made half an attempt to sober up before the evening as it was the big one – Cocoon.  We ended up unintentionally in a bar owned by two Germans because I needed a pee on the way, and befriended the couple working there – the guy had many a tale to tell of his clubbing days in Germany (I’m guessing he is nearly 50), stories about Sven running around off his nut in his wild days – I could have happily stayed for hours and listened.

We had some random tapas in the old town later, some good, some not so good – Galician style octopus?  I think not.  Then found the hippie quarter and the gay quarter – the barman was very welcoming to me in particular, wiggling his arse into my knee when serving drinks – I moved my knee back, he moved his arse back, I moved my knee back further, he moved his arse back further – I gave up and rolled my eyes.  Do I really look gay in green sequin shoes?

Apparently Cocoon isn’t as fabulous any more so my shoes probably weren’t so appropriate – Amnesia certainly isn’t either – no ice cannons, distorting sound system, annoying crowd, dated feel, bar staff ripping people off (not us – they seemed to like us – maybe my improved Spanish helped).

Cocoon itself I have no complaints about – Dana Ruh and Sonja Moonear were particularly excellent if more on the side of techno than I was expecting.  Though by time Nina came on, most of the crowd were just there to film bits on their crappy phones – even before then someone was filming the night on their selfie stick.  Seriously.  Oh, what has happened?

I gave up around 5am so I could go have a piss without groups of Italians pushing past me (the stereotype still works).  Full review here.  Of Cocoon – not my piss.  New blog idea?

Does anyone remember ratemypoo.com?

Oh and I was fed up of the attention – I had way too much of it.  So glad that I’m not famous.  I might have to tie my mullet up next time I go clubbing.  Male and female attention – I’m not sure if they were taking the piss.

Tuesday was a later start but ended up being another day of drinking – que surprise.  It actually rained too – there was quite the thunderstorm in San Antonio with some flooding, so we were told by the hot taxi driver on the last day.  Yes – Ibiza even has sexy as senorita taxi drivers.

Being English, we walked in the rain in our shorts and flip-flops – I considered singing some football songs too but that may have confused my holiday companion.

It was apparently the first time that it had rained in 4 months so clearly I was a good luck charm.

By this point we were trying to be more cultural so found a few tapas bar recommendations – the first one we went into was utterly confusing.  There seemed to be no system with people milling around, no front of house, no queue – people randomly taking food from the bar.

Everyone seemed to be Spanish but then we heard two scousers so we quickly hotfooted it to a tapas bar with more logic to it – again where almost all customers were speaking Spanish – the menu was written on the wall – in Spanish.

By way the, to my many Saudi Arabian readers, you may want to note that one of your royal family’s rather grand and humongous yachts was in town.  I highly doubt they were here on business – unless they are considering buying a nightclub.

Back to tapas, I chose a few things that I understood and the plates came over at typically Spanish times – some straight away, one about 2 hours later.  We had some absolutely sensational patatas bravas (although not quite ‘bravas’), some pimientos (type of peppers) – very nice but very salty and a massive bowl of them.  Then we had some kind of special Eivissa pork dish – pretty sensational.  Hmmm, what else did we have?

Easily the best tapas I have had for a couple of years and a proper tapas experience.

We were going to have an early night so we could go to Formentera the next day, catching the early boat.  But we decided upon a final beer at the German bar and got talking to his friend from Whitby – next thing we knew it was 3am closing and we had a fair-sized drinks bill to pay.

I actually got a record 5 hours sleep.

Somehow I managed to persuade my fellow genius to get out of bed in time to get the last boat to Formentera which was interesting on a hangover – I couldn’t drink any desperately needed water for it was going up and down inside as the boat crashed over the waves.

30 minutes later I breathed a sigh of relief that last night’s alcohol hadn’t reappeared.  We went to the nearest restaurant and had the most amazing fish and chips – I have no idea what the fish was, something local I think, and it was just truly beautiful.  It came with “triple-cooked chips” – wannabe hipster bars need to learn what “triple-cooked” really means for these were amazing.  Granted they were probably cooked 30 times.  So, so good.

Then we laid on the beach.  I stared at topless Spanish women.  Nearby Russians stared at me with a mixture of confusion and disgust.  I stared at more topless Spanish women. And I went in the sea – warmer than the North Sea.

It was nice to actually lay down and relax.  Something I very, very rarely do.  And the beach at Formentera just seemed so isolated and remote – nice to get away from the over-hyped Ibiza beaches.  It just felt more natural.

In the evening we did something that I’ve never done which was to climb to the top of D’alt Vila – the absolutely beautiful fort which most will recognise from having flown over it, if they haven’t actually been.

Quite a wonderful building which is actually a UNESCO world heritage site – neither the museum or cathedral were open but it was still wonderful to wall around and be within its confines.

The evening then finished with quite an excellent pizza and another vodka or three in our German bar and that was the holiday done.  I was utterly stuffed and fairly ready to come home and get on with my life.

There was no week of mourning following, no long comedown – I was fit and ready to go by Friday – Ibiza certainly didn’t destroy me.

And I fell back in love with the island again.  OK a lot of that had to do with the amazingly beautiful women over there – especially the Spanish.  But also the gorgeous food that we ate – the beaches, the sea, the weather (especially the rain) – there is just something about that island.

I want to go back.  I have re-found my desire to live there, although I appreciate that the desire may not be so attainable on a limited island suffering housing and water shortages – unless I can run a business and employ a couple of Ibicencos to balance out my impact on the island – and somehow assist environmentally.

Maybe I should just buy a £30k apartment in Alicante?  They have hot Spanish women there, surely?

I doubt I will go back next year.  I spent £765 in 5 days – not helped by forgetting to sort out foreign exchange before I went, and certainly not helped by Brexit – you fucking selfish bastards “oh we’ve got our control back”.  Yadda yadda.  Did you not think about my Ibiza holiday?  Plus the hotel was around £200, and fights £220.

If I do go for a clubbing holiday next year then it will be somewhere financially Brexit-friendly like the exceptionally good-value Sunwaves in Romania.

I’d still like to do Detroit’s Movement festival, BPM in Mexico, and go clubbing in Beirut.  I really would like to get turned away from Berghain properly.  Maybe even go to Croatia too.

And there are loads of places that I’d like to visit without clubbing – which I may have to settle for next year with my current financial situation, being in a junior role in a new career.

Ibiza is slowly losing its magic and its soul as the Ushuiaisation of the island continues. The closing of Space is another downward step, the seeming removal of ice cannons at Amnesia – the pressure that the clubs are under from the central government, police, local councils and residents, mean that it may not be the central clubbing island at some point in the future – at least for underground sounds.

That said, there is still enough to interest me – Underground, DC10, Destino, Pike’s – maybe I’d even give Pacha another try now I’m older! I’m sure I’ve missed somewhere obvious off too.  Don’t even suggest Bora Bora – stuck in a 2004 timewarp and living off its name with super-expensive drinks and moody-as-fuck staff.  What an awful place that is.

And the people over there do make the island what it is – I’d love to go in spring when everything is quiet and peaceful, the almond blossom is out, clubbing is limited but possible.

Ibiza has long accepted the outcasts of various societies, from Vietnam war draft-dodgers, to those escaping Franco – rumours have it that some Nazi generals made their way over there to excuse punishment many decades ago.  I’m hoping that the “Refugees Welcome” sign that I saw, includes an invitation to myself to escape the horror that the United Kingdom threatens to be post-Brexit.

I will be back, but not next year.

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