Hippy Market

John and I woke early and went for a swim. Very brave! Lovely actually, but we were both confident Lara would not have wished to be disturbed to join us. It was still cold and the blue fish were still curious. After our invigorating start we showered, had breakfast and woke Lara. By this time it was around ten and most of the other boats were upping anchor and setting off. This is obviously the time to arrive and pick your spot. It was also really peaceful, with very little activity from the hotels. It seemed a pity to leave, but we were booked in to Santa Eulalia for the following night and had the prospect of another beat round the top of the island, so we also upped sticks and followed them out. I took up the anchor while John steered till it broke the surface, when we swapped places so he could manage the final bit. He was full of praise for the smooth operation of the new bow roller, so no excuses if I mess it up in future. I held Lyra to wind so John and Lara could hoist the sails in the bay and then we were off, soon catching up our last nights neighbours as we beat along the top of Ibiza and slid between a pair of islands and an isolated danger mark to come round to Santa Eulalia. We had paid for a berth for in the marina, but were placed stern to on a quay just outside of it. This seemed a bit of a swizz, particularly as it was a long walk round to anywhere, but we were just across the water from the office and so had excellent internet reception on as many devices as we wished. On arrival we wandered round the boatyard to a waterfront restaurant full of marineras and had lunch of really good tapas washed down with cold beer.

Santa Eulaia was prettier than I remembered with gardens along a promenade full of clipped balls, feathery palm trees and vivid bougainvilleas. Up from the port is a large square with lavender and fountains flanked by shops and bars. The marina side opposite us is also lined with cafes and bars, including an Indian and two Chinese restaurants. On exploring further we found a street running parallel to the harbour high up in town completely of restaurants, all busy, the formula of paella and burgers working well. We settled for one where we could sit off the street, but looking into an interior courtyard, where John and I had hake, his plainly cooked with potatoes, mine poached in saffron and Lara had chicken with Roquefort sauce on the side. We were all too full for desert, but the coffees were good.

Day two and we were bound for the hippy market, surprisingly at John’s suggestion. There are two hippy markets on Ibiza, one on Saturday and the other on Wednesday. A review on Trip Adviser said the same sellers turned up to both, but the Wednesday market was much cheaper, the writer stating I live here so I know. We went to the Wednesday market at Es Cana, which takes place just up the coast and there are water taxis. There are three separate taxis one to Cala Llonga, one to Ibiza and one to Es Cana. We debated going to Cala Llonga as it has so many happy memories and we wanted to show it Lara, but the dream would be to go in Lyra and anchor off there, so we decided to hold back and hope the wind changed. In the event all three water taxis arrived together and nosed into the quay side by side. At this point the orderly single file line we had formed became chaotic as people shuffled about trying to reach the boat they had tickets for against a tide of people coming off the boats, some heading out past the queue into town, but others milling about trying to change boats. Eventually we were on the right boat and could watch the unplaiting of other people from our seats below deck. Across from us the Captain of the Ibiza boat was teasing two young boys who had been pushing a dangling fender by lifting it up and fishing for them with it. He was another Poldark type, they seem to be ten a penny on the boats out here. Finally our engine changed key and we were reversing off. At this point an accordion struck up behind me Que Sera Sera as we surged up and down in the swell. His balance was impressive and he determinedly ploughed through a medley of popular songs warbling along with his playing, inevitably ending with Y Viva Espagna and a rousing Olay. I entertained visions of David Walliams struggling to steer a wheelchair bound George Doors onto the ferry and settling down only to have a young Andrew Sachs in Fawlty Towers mode leap up to serenade them. Our troubadour went round his captive audience collecting change before heading for the upper deck, heroic given the sea state. I felt glad we were not out in Lyra. We had soon backtracked up the coast, into the lee of the islands we had passed yesterday, where we docked. Es Cana is a pretty harbour and a small town reminiscent of a British seaside resort. Very reminiscent. We followed the main thrust of people heading off the ferry with a purposeful step and sure enough they led us to the Hippy Market.

It was bigger and more organized than we expected. There were large car parks opposite. The market wove between rendered buildings of dull red in the shade of mature trees. There were pools with fountains and large tents for refreshments at intervals amongst the warren of stalls. There were a few lean, tanned original hippies, but most of the traders were their grandchildren, in suitably befringed leather waistcoats with flower-studded headbands. Many of the punters were tempted to buy the headdresses and wander round wearing them. Some folk had really gone to town dressing for the occasion. Yes there was incense and macramé work and it was all very chilled. No one hawked or even asked if they could help you, which made for very peaceful browsing. We passed the inevitable guitar players and an impressive gold painted guru. In one booth a girl was spray painting leopard spots onto the arms of an excited German. Most of the stalls were for clothing, T-shirt with printed logos, skirts, sundresses and wraps clearly of Indian origin and white cottons. John bought a new wallet at one of the leatherwork tables, Lara and I were tempted by some of the print harem pants, but did not succumb. Eventually we recognized a line up in the maze of stalls and concluded we had seen most of it at least once and made our way out.

We had a salad overlooking the harbour and then caught the next boat back. Thankfully there was no accordion player for the return journey.

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