Monthly Archives: September 2013

Menorca 2013

Day 1 – August 30th
5:15 alarm
6:10 depart home – delayed by panic last-minute repacking, when bags that were last night under the limit suddenly are overweight!
6:50 arrived Meet-and-greet car park
7:00 drop bags and negotiate security via the Fast Lane; just over an hour to eat egg butties and wander the duty-free
8:15 called to gate
8:35 begin boarding
8:55 pilot announces slight delay, due to ATC restrictions; as it turns out, there is a delay, but more to do with confusion over passenger manifest
9:20 push back
9:35 airborne; flight time of about 2h 10m, says captain
11:40 (local) touch down at Mahon — not bad going!
13:30-ish finally leave the airport, after interminable wait at hire-car desk

Shopped at the Eroski Centre supermarket in Mahon, then on to Arenal for customary lunch at the beach bar.
Arrived at Tamarindos around 5pm — Christine says she was beginning to think we weren’t coming!
Weather rather cloudy and the wind beginning to get up.
Pork chops with mushroos and sautee potatoes for tea

Day 2 (Saturday)
Bright and sunny, but high wind and wooshy sea — here we go again!
Coffee or tea (hard to tell which!) with Jacqui and Peter
To Fornells late morning for a couple of items at the Spar, then beer in the square
Swam in the pool, before a late lunch and siesta.
Spaghetti with runner-bean and corned beef sauce; ice-cream puddings

Day 3 (Sunday)
No change in the weather (had to shut bedroom windows during the night, due to the noise)
To Mahon late morning, where we parked as usual, just east of Pedro’s Boat Centre, and strolled along the harbour and up the steps into town. Beer at one of the few cafes operating (it being Sunday, all was pretty quiet) and purchased Palo Cremas for pudding tonight (the cake shop fortuitously being one of only a handful of shops open!)
Pre-packed polo asado with Bachelors Golden Rice and Green Giant corn for tea.

Day 4 (Monday)

Weather still rather wild, though perhaps subsiding a little. Some cloud for a time.
Hung around at home all day. Coffee at Es Cactus to take advantage of the wi-fi. Had a swim in the pool — rather too invigorating!
Es Cactus for tea: EUR14.95 menu. Both started with grilled prawns (huge!) then steak for me and duck leg for JL; crema catalana for afters (remembered too late that this is not one of their better offerings!). Coffee and free liqueurs to finish.

Day 5 (Tuesday)

To Mercadal for a bit of shopping in the morning. Strolled through town first and had a coffee in the middle. Bought sausages and pork loin from a little butchers in the street, fruit and veg from the little shop near the supermarket, then into the super itself — pleased to find it has changed hands and had some investment.
Off to Son Parc for a bit of an outing: parked initially at the western end of the beach and had a paddle in the sea; didn’t fancy the bar/restaurant that end, so moved round to the main resort and had lunch in the beach bar there. (Pizza for me and omelette for JL.)
Swam in the pool back home.
Sausages for tea with Ainsley’s mediterrean couscous and Wistaston courgettes — not greatly impressed with the sausages!

Day 6 (Wednesday)

Church in Es Castell. Expected to meet the new resident priest, but apparently he’s away! — service taken by the nice old guy who was filling in last year, during the inter regnum. A number of familiar faces present.
To Sol del Este, expecting to partake of a beer at the Rising Sun but distressed to find it’s been turned into an eating house, with clearly no intent to serve the midday toper. Drove back into Mahon and along the port: parked up by the ferry terminal, to make use of the facilities. As we strolled back towards the centre, we found a French cruise ship coming in, so settled at a handy bar on the water’s edge to watch the proceedings.
Es Grau for lunch of tapas at the Bar es Mol — good as every, and quite busy.
Swam in the sea late afternoon.
Pork loin with mushroom and garlic sauce for tea — compliments due to the little butcher in Mercadal. Flan huevos for afters.

Day 7 (Thursday)

Es Cactus for wi-fi mid-morning. Otherwise at home all day.

Cafe del Nord for tea, following strong recommendation from Jacqui; actually turned out rather disappointing, IMHO. We chose from the specials board: shared carpaccio of some fish (can’t remeber what) that was nice but not overgenerous; then grilled monkfish, also in rather parsimonious measure; finished with Menorcan almond cake and ice-cream for JL and fig ice-cream for me. All was nicely enough cooked and presented, but really not worth the €82 bill!

Day 8 (Friday)

To Mercadal supermarket to stock-up on some essentials. Tried ferretería for small-wattage light bulb, but 25W was the smallest available. Entrecôte steak from the carnicería for tea tonight. Beer at the bar on the corner opposite the ferretería — only €3.00 for two canas, with peanuts!
Pool and sea swimming.
Steak very satisfactory, with mushrooms and fried potatoes; followed by flan huevos.

Day 9 (Saturday)

Another at-home-day.
Minor shopping at the far supermarket. Got lunch bread there too, for a change. Disappointed they had only English butter.
Had a look at the little beach in the Cala Tirant complex, but decided we aren’t missing anything there, and the way over to Tirant beach proper looks too much like hard work!
Swam in the pool before lunch, and in the sea late afternoon.
Afternoon tea with J&P.
Late afternoon, spotted a cormorant down on the rocks at the water’s edge. Never seen one with quite so much white on it, but the bird-book says it can be like that for Europen varieties, in the breeding season (?!)
Weather began to cloud up in the evening — rain is forecast tomorrow.
Microwave roast chicken with corn and Ainsley’s couscous. Lemon ice-creams for afters.

Day 10 (Sunday)

Rained overnight and off-and-on most of the day.
Christine and Des departed about 5pm.
Tea at C’an Na Marga. Pork chop for JL, followed by tiramisu; lamb chop for me, then Texturas de Chocolate. We were again greeted with enthusiasm as returning customers, which is nice.

Day 11 (Monday)

Quite cloudy at times, but enough sun to get by — swam late afternoon.
Half-time knicker wash after breakfast.
To the Red Indian Trading Centre (!) to buy new avarcas for me. Chose brown for change, and was persuaded by the shop assistant that 42 was the correct size — I think this is a mistake: we shall see as they wear in.
On to Mahon, to shop at the Eroski; then into the town centre, where I planned to buy palo crema and possibly a small-wattage bulb, but thwarted when both shops were closed!
Nice lunch at the port bar in Addaia.
Phoned Mother-in-Law when we got home: obliged to use mobile, because all public phones have now disappeared from the urbanizacion!
Duck breast and pepper sauce for tea with courgette and garlic fried potatoes. Somewhat stressed by spitting duck fat, pestillant cat and boiled-over sauce! Further aggravated by high level of insect/moth activity during the evening.

Day 12 (Tuesday)

Fornells in the morning, to order paella at Es Cranc, where we were again pleased to be recognized (apparently) by the boss. Coffee in the square followed by unsatisfactory attempt at shopping for t-shirts.
Afternoon at home.
Paella for tea — JL rather picked at hers, and didn’t eat a full share; I enjoyed it OK, but wonder if this is a tradition that has had its day?

Day 13 (Wednesday)

To Es Castell for church, clutching our umbrellas: a few spots of raining walking up C/Stuart, but sunny by the time we emerged. New vicar took the service (well, I assume it was he, though he made no attempt to introduce himself — seems a rather hesitant, if not retiring type, but maybe that’s just in contrast to the previous incumbent!). Coffee on the water-front afterwards.
Lunch at Canutells, where we again got some sun, and wished we had not been so pessimistic in not packing our swimming things. Sardines and chips — why does JL always get the larger portion?!
Corned beef hash for tea, with chocolate ice-creams to follow.

Day 14 (Thursday)

Rather too much cloud again, but some sunny spells.
Returned the paella pan to Es Cranc, then up the mountain for coffee and to try and guess best direction to find the sun.
To Cala Galdana, where we enjoyed a nice salad lunch at El Mirador bar/restaurant overlooking the bay. Bought new t-shirts. The resort seems much expanded and the beach was pretty packed — maybe it’s a few years since we’ve been there? Noted en route that Cala Mitjana now has a new entry point off the main road: clearly the increasing popularity has obliged the powers that be to improve access.
Swam in the pool mid-afternoon, but it was really rather on the chilly side!
Frozen microwave ready-meals for tea (from Mercadal Super): seafood spaghetti for JL and tuna lasagne for me — found mine rather inadequate, size-wise!

Day 15 (Friday)

Another mixed day, but quite a lot of sun.
Shopping for one or two things in Mercadal; coffee at the crossroads in the centre.
Jacqui came around early evening, expressing some concern about Peter: sounds as if he’s got a virus of some sort. She’s worried about how they will get on with going home on Monday. Gave her our business card for Salus medical service and tod her about my experience of them when I had ear infection a few years ago.
Tea at Es Cactus: prawns followed by garlic chicken for JL, with almond cake to finish; mussels followed by “Pork Knuckle” for me, finishing with creme caramel. Rather busy — we didn’t get either a nice appetizer or free digestif, though there was a bowl of olives.

Day 16 (Saturday)

Nice day, weatherwise — mostly sunny
Called to see J&P in the morning; he’s a little better, but she may be coming down with it! Offered to go with them to airport on Monday, if necessary, to help with luggage, etc.
Swam in the pool in the morning (rather cold again). After lunch and siesta, drove round to Cavelleria and swam from the little nudist “beach” — got stung by jellyfish! JL not really happy with sea swimming got her in up to armpit depth but couldn’t get going.
Lomo de cerdo from the little butcher’s in Mercadal, with mushrooms and mushroom sauce. Lemon icecreams for afters.

Day 17 (Sunday 15th)

100% cloud all day; some rain, but forecast thunder didn’t materialize.
To Mahon to pass the time with a wander along the port from ferry terminal to the start of The Posh Boats; had a beer in a little bar and walked back.
Es Cranc for tea. JL had melon and port wine starter, with fish soup for me (should have had shellfish soup — this plain fish variety was quite nice but rather boney). For mains, JL had gambas again, while I enjoyed grouper. At this point I was feeling pretty stuffed, since the fish soup is really a meal in itself! — but we managed crema Catalana puddings and coffee.

Day 18 (Monday)

Started nice and sunny until midday, then a couple of hours solid cloud, finally clearing for a reasonable end to the day.
Jacqui arrived quite early with a load of stuff to pass on — mostly things we could do without, to be honest! They had been pleased with the pre-cooked roast chicken that I told them about, and we inherited the remains, which we ate for lunch. Feeling quite well recovered, they have decided they can make their own way to the airport. More handouts appeared mid afternoon, and we said our goodbyes.
Burgers, beans and fried potatoes for tea, followed by creme caramels. (NOTE for future years: avoid burgers and sausages — proper meat is generally of good quality and flavour, particularly from the little butcher; same cannot be said of the processed items!)

Day 19 (Tuesday)

Heavy rain in the night. Woke to grey skies and increasingly heavy seas.
Es Cactus for coffee and internet.
One hour’s sunshine late afternoon.
Na Marga for tea. Shared scampi with wasabi mayonnaise starter (good). Sirloin (aka entrecot) steak for me, pork chops again for JL (two this time!). Finished with cheesecake and raspberry sauce for me and crema catalana for JL. Another good meal.

Day 20 (Wednesday)

Much better day weatherwise — sun most of the day, with just a little occasional cloud.
Church in the morning: the new vicar gave another interesting sermon, but is otherwise rather uninspiring. I read first lesson.
Nice lunch as Addaia port bar — various tapas, with 1 1/2 beers for me and 2 rosé for JL.
Frozen packet ready-meals for tea. (NOTE for future years: whilst my lasagne and mousaka choices were OK, they were a bit sparse compared to JL’s spaghetti and tagliatelle!)

Day 21 (Thursday)

Crap weather again, to start with: all morning, heavy grey overcast, with strong wind; cold!! Then suddenly around midday, bright sun and blue skies, with just the odd cloud; but still very strong winds and dramatic seas.
Packing off and on all day.
Beer at Es Cactus at midday.
To Fornells for tea, to try out El Pescador, since J&P and Anna bang on about how good it is. Well, frankly, pretty average IMHO — guess it all depends on what sort of pace you like. It certainly had a busy atmosphere and was quite full by the time we left; and the food was OK, but nothing outstanding. My main course of cod loin with a nondescript sauce, in particular, was disappointing (and cold!); JL had shoulder of lamb, which was tasty. For starters, I had “stuffed aubergine with prawns” — not really stuffed in any meaningful sense, just sliced aubergine in a cheese sauce with a few (too few!) prawns; JL had the inevitable grilled prawns, which looked good. Pudding was profiteroles for me and almond cake for JL. The set menu from which we ate is reasonable value, but rather limited (compared, say, to Es Cactus).

Day 22 (Friday)

08.00 alarm
11.00 dep. Tamarindos
11.45 check-in (no queues, 5 desks operating)
13.00 (approx) information boards show gate number, but being skeptical / laid-back, we don’t move for a while.
13.20 “final call” broadcast as we saunter towards the gate
13.00 onboard, doors closed
13.45 airborne ahead of schedule
15.05 (local) touchdown
15.45 leave car park
17.00 (approx) home after shopping at Sainsbury

Another good holiday, despite mixed weather.