Monday, October 3, 2011

Anniversary Trip #2 - Our Mis-Adventures on Formentera

I don't know how it's possible that I can define so many places as Paradise, but once again, we've made it and this time is it the small island of Formentera, off the coast of Ibiza in the Balaeric Islands.  This is a destination that our friend Marco has been telling us about for some time and a place we've been meaning to and wanting to visit.  So finally after all this time, Josh arranged for us to go as our Anniversary Trip #2. 

On Friday we headed for the airport midday for our 1/2 hour flight to Ibiza.  I love that we spent more time in the airport than we did on the actual plane.  Could I swim there faster perhaps??  Upon landing in Ibiza Josh said he could immediately feel the vibe of the island, known for it's partying into the wee hours and it's club scene.  Thankfully that's not where we were staying - the cab took us right to the port where we bought tickets for the ferry to Formentera, the only way to get there, similar to when we went to Paxos this summer.  I love that you can only get there by boat, I think it deters many people from going, keeping Paradise just that, quiet and idyllic. 
The ferry to Formentera
Lighthouse as we approach Formentera

Upon arriving in Formentera, less than 40 minutes later (that's right, if we didn't have to spend 2 hours at the airport before our flight it was only 1 hour door to door from our apartment!).  We grabbed a cab and headed to our hotel, the Hotel Tahiti.  What a beautiful hotel it was too - a bit on the cozy side but also with a bit of modernism added it, it made for a very sleek, comfy hotel.  The outside was set up with cushy conversation areas that included some very cool seating!

Outdoor seating at the hotel

More comfy seating

As with many of the rooms at this hotel, we had a great view of the Med, clear and blue though a bit on the windy side that afternoon!  But since it was already after 4 we decided to forgo the beach and just roam around town a bit to see what was around.

View from the hotel room

View in front of the hotel, literally on the beach

And in the other direction

Josh in front of the restaurant that's in front of the hotel
Shipwrecked boat in the distance - more on that later...

One of the sights I found most interesting were these little shacks that I had assumed where just junk that hadn't been cleared up.  But the more of them I saw the more I realized that these little shacks were actually homes for small boats.  Each had a track inside that when the pully was released the boat would go down the slope and into the water.  That same pully system would also help to pull the boat in at night.  I am going to go out on a limb and say there are not many storms here because how some of these can still be standing was beyond me - or else they rebuild them regularly.
Boat shack

Boat shack where you can see the track inside.

We walked thru town, Es Pujols, which took less than 20 minutes.  And that was with us taking our time.  No complaints that it was small - it's just what we were looking for!  And since it was the last weekend of the season, it really wasn't busy at all.  Perfect!
Part of Es Pujols

Cool car that I saw in Es Pujols - I saw a few of these on the island...

Sunset near the hotel
Beach where we had some drinks before dinner...
We went to a nice little Italian restaurant for a low key dinner and then back to the hotel later to rest up for Saturday where our plans were to moped around the island.  Hmmmm... that's going to give you a chuckle or two.  Read on...
Both Marco and my friend Cristy had recommended that we rent mopeds to explore the island.  So I blame the two of you for what happens next!!  Just kidding, it's our own fault :)  Now I grew up with a 4 wheeler which is different from a balance standpoint than a moped.  Not to mention I had to shift gears and there was no turning of the grip on the handlebars.  Ok, basically I had never driven a moped and it showed right away! 
Josh stayed behind me since he was (understandably) concerned I might take a digger.  The moped weighed a lot more than I thought it would and turning on a Vespa is not super smooth, at least as far as I felt.  Josh claims I kept speeding up and slowing down but since my speedometer wasn't working on mine, I can't confirm that, though I also don't doubt it either.
Below is a map so you have an idea of the places we went on our mopeds:

Ver mapa más grande

About 1/2 into our ride we came across this cute town - actually looked like a brand new town too!
Pretty views
Really pretty views!

More boat shacks

Joshy by the water
Me on my Vespa!
After about 1/2 hour I started to gain some confidence and it was at this time that we started working towards the end of the island requiring us to do a number of switchbacks.  I was totally fine on the turns that beared right and leaned with the bike like you are supposed to.  But the left turns just didn't feel natural to me.  And that's when it happened, I missed my turn.  All I can say is thank goodness we were on our way up because on the way down missing the turn could have turned deadly!!  I wasn't going very fast but in my panic I turned the gas instead of hitting the break.  I went down a small 3 foot deep ditch next to the road.  The bike and I both managed to stay upright and I only bumped the back of my leg on the bike - all and all a "good" accident.  But I was shaken up nonetheless! 

Moped - 1, Julie - 0

Josh lost his flip flop in the street in his haste to get his bike to the side so he could come help me...
I swear it looked a lot steeper and scarier when it happened but here I am after my "accident"

We continued on up the hill towards what I was hoping to be a spectacular view complete with a lighthouse.  Lighthouses have always been a big thing for me so I was super excited to get up close to this one!  I saw some amazing views along the way but was a bit too shaky to stop my moped to get off and take a few pictures.  Not to mention there really weren't any pull off areas to do that.
Far de la Mola lighthouse in the distance... straight shot ahead!

Far de la Mola Lighthouse

Josh on the edge of a cliff...

Another cliff view

Can you see Josh waving below the lighthouse??
After the lighthouse we took a little detour to the area that we believe both Cristy and our friend Marco stayed on each of their trips - was it near the Gecko???  Let me know because these shots are from there.  Stunningly gorgeous area that we both loved but agreed that there was not much as far as restaurants, etc there so I'm glad we stayed in Es Pujols in the end. 

Beautiful walkway along the beach

The wedding that was happening at the Gecko which meant we couldn't get anything to eat or drink (yet funny enough plenty of people around us had food and beverages????)

View from where we were sitting at the Gecko - too bad we couldn't have a nice drink while we were sitting there!

We decided our last stop for the day would be the Far des Cap de Barbaria - the lighthouse on the other side of the island.  Similar to the other lighthouse, it was a pretty desolate area.  This one was also a straight shot to get there. 

In the distance the Far des Cap de Barbaria lighthouse

Closer up shot... looks rather phallic if you ask me!

Josh at the lighthouse

After the lighthouse we decided to head back towards Es Pujols, perhaps stopping on the way for a late lunch.  I took off right before Josh so that he could follow my sorry ass in case I had an accident again.  But perhaps I should have followed him.  I hadn't gone more than 30 feet when I saw that he was on the sandy curbside which was odd, so he must have started off funny.  But that wasn't a huge deal.  He seemed to readjust and then suddenly he pulled back too far and the curb was slightly higher than the sandy area and he literally popped a wheelie and went flying across the street where he managed to hit a fence post and go over his handlebars!

How scary!  That and he tried to get up and intially couldn't.  I stupidly couldn't get my kickstand down on the vespa and finally managed to run over to him.  By then he was standing but most definitely visibly shaken up.  He had a few cuts and scrapes but was overall ok.  His knee managed to bend the key almost in half.  I was very concerned and tried to convince him to go to a hospital.  A nice German family came up to us to see if they could help.  But he refused and said he'd be fine after a few minutes.  And so we took off towards town, definitely a little shaky! 

Moped - 2, Josh and Julie - 0

This doesn't come close to the aftermath - there were pieces of the front that didn't make it into the picture, some of the side pieces were bent and he told me after the fact that the steering was definitely veering to one side after this happened.

By now I would have been fine going straight back to the hotel and eating lunch there.  So I was surprised when we reached the next town that he pulled off the road and parked his moped.  I was concerned that his injuries were worse than we realized and we were a 3 minute ride to the hospital at that point.  But no, he wanted to stop for lunch!  My appetite was definitely gone and we just grabbed a quick snack before heading back.

During lunch we talked about how to handle the moped rental and insurance for the damage of the vehicle.  Josh really wanted to just do a drop and run and I told him we had to own up to the damage we caused.  In the end, he was soaking in the tub when the time came to return them (we had parked them at the rental place but they were closed til after siesta) and of course, he "couldn't" return them.  I called him a wuss... ok "wuss" wasn't the word I called him, but it's more pc for use on the blog.  But let's just say I was less than thrilled to have to do the return on his behalf. 

When I approached the rental place the manager was sitting outside with another worker.  I had to hand him the keys, of which Josh's was in several pieces.  Not a good sign!  He gave me a total look of disgust and then immediately headed over to the bike.  I tried to explain it in Spanish what happened but how do you say popped a wheelie into a fence??? 

In the end we had to pay the 300 euros for the insurance on the bike which was the max.  But what was interesting and I still think iffy is that when I asked for an invoice he suddenly needed to charge me IVA which is tax and here it is 18%!!!  So without an invoice I'd have no tax but with one, I would.  I need to learn to say Under the Table in Spanish as well apparently!  I opted after much argument (yes we've wrecked his bike but I still feel the need to argue with him - it was over 50 euros for the tax!) to go with the invoice so we could submit it to our insurance.  And the funny part was at the end, I said to him that my bike was fine and could I have my 20 euro deposit back?  Yes, I had that nerve but hey, my bike WAS fine!!  And he laughed and gave it to me!!

During this time Josh and I had put on our Facebook that we both had accidents.  We were thankful that we were ok and so we were lighthearted about it.  We decided no more moped rentals but we thought it would be funny to post this picture below on to FB and tell people that we then rented a boat and that didn't go so well either.  No responses on it but that's ok, it still made us giggle!

Pictures from the nearby beach....

Does anyone know what Pimp juice is????
The rest of the weekend was uneventful and mellow. We had dinner out that night in Es Pujols at a fish and meat restaurant that was delicious - called Capri. And were in bed by 11, sad I know... good thing we weren't on Ibiza as they'd just be getting started! Our flight was at noon on Sunday so we grabbed the 8:30 ferry to make sure we were back in plenty of time. It was all good til we got home and found Jake missing, but then if you are reading this, you probably already know about that. What in the world are we going to do for our 20 year anniversary to top all this????


No comments:

Post a Comment