Greetings Spotlighters old and new, and welcome to another edition of Morbyd’s massive annual Ibiza reviews!
The rules are known to all by now… Try as I might to be concise, I’ll still be verbose. The people, places and things of interest are in bold so that you can skip to the parts that interest you. Aside from a recounting of events, I will try to include opinions (as any true review should) and information that will hopefully be useful for your future visits to the White Isle.
This was our 9th summer visiting Ibiza, and the missus and I continued many of our traditions of recent years, specifically the one of exploring the island. We rented a car and used said vehicle to visit as many new places as we could in the time allotted. I still find it amazing that, for such a small island, there are still so many places to see.
We have developed a routine in recent years which basically breaks any given day down into three parts: Beach, Food, Party. Thus, this year, I will impose that same breakdown on my review.
OK, here we go:
----- Saturday, September 5 -----
I arrived in Ibiza after a whirlwind 2-day business trip to France, a sleepless night drinking with friends in London, and an EasyJet flight at an insanely early hour on Saturday morning. If you fly SleazyJet, word to the wise: pay for priority boarding. It’s not so much the boarding part (although it’s pleasant not to have to stand in line for ages before boarding), but check-in at Gatwick had an insane queue and priority boarding gives you a separate desk. I used to the time saved to go back outside for a cigarette. It was only something like 12 pounds extra roundtrip.
I had ordered vehicle directly through Budget Rent A Car as most of the booking sites I usually use (Carjet, Hispacar, Argus) were either showing no availability or inflated prices. The rental car shortage of 2009 was, in fact, a reality , but Budget had a decent rate and economy car availability through its partner Avis. With the Avis counter inside the airport, I had my keys even before my luggage arrived.
I checked in to the Garbi Hotel Ibiza, which has been our temporary home for 5 years in a row now. They were going to give me a room facing the outside but I quickly negotiated one facing the pool (albeit, on the first floor). Garbi’s great remodeling job is already showing a tiny bit of age after 2 seasons, but it’s still a very nice hotel and the free WiFi throughout the hotel is a must-have for me. The staff was friendly as usual. Can’t say much about the food as I never made it to breakfast… again! Prices in high season are a bit inflated (we’re usually there in June or late September, when it’s cheaper) but the same is true everywhere I looked.
After a long nap, I took a stroll around Playa den Bossa and carried out my annual tradition of buying a new earring (only time of the year I wear one). Then I drove to Roca Lisa to pick up a Moscow friend who happened to be vacationing on the island at the same time.
Party: Zoo Project Closing Party
Victoria (Vika) and I headed to the Zoo Project closing party at Gala Night. The 50 euros entry was a little steep for a party with no big names, but no complaints about the event itself as it was tons of fun! Loads of people showed up in the most random of costumes and there was just a great party feel to it. We arrived in time to catch a small bit of occasional Spotlight poster Milou’s set. Grabbed a pitcher of sangria and then enjoyed more good tunage from the DJ who followed (name anyone?) and later a good set from Zoo resident Clint Lee. We stayed mostly in the pool area as the main venue, the seal pit, was packed beyond sanity. My one complaint: why on earth would they put the headliners, in this case Toby Neumann, in that spot?? Nevertheless, props to these guys for putting on a really good event. And how fun is it to dance around outside in a setting like this? 8)
Food: L’Elephant Restaurant San Rafael
We left the Zoo about 30 minutes before its midnight closing to go get some food, and decided to stop in at L’Elephant as it was close by. First things first: this is an expensive restaurant. More importantly: it’s worth it. We had extremely good service (right down to the free valet parking), the ambience is pleasant and there are nice views of the San Rafael church and further on. As it was late, we skipped the starters and went straight for the main course: I had the John Dory fish in saffron sauce with spinach and herbed rice. Subtle and delicious.8) Vika had the shrimp tempura. Add a bottle of wine and we dropped 100 euros. Recommended.
Party: PK2 S’Estanyol
While we were dining, Vika got a phone call: beach party going on. So, we headed to PK2 at S’Estanyol and had an amazing time. It was a somewhat local party, but by locals I mean people from all over the world who live in Ibiza, and their guests. I met several Russians, a hilarious French guy named Momo, and a German artist who, having just met her, began to profess his undying love for Vika. It fluctuated between around 30 and 50 people all night. Friendly bar staff, comparatively inexpensive drinks, open air on the beach, and DJs (names anyone?) playing some very nice house and techno. This is what Ibiza is about! 8) Wrapped up around 6am, if memory serves.
----- Sunday -----
Food: Delano Playa den Bossa
It took me a while to get going on Sunday but eventually dragged myself up and out to Delano to meet up with Grego and Vika for a late lunch. I had the linguini aglio with chicken, which was OK, while Vika had a very nice Caesar salad with shrimp and Grego had a monster of a burger. 60 euros for the 3 of us with a couple glasses of wine and a few beers. It’s a step up from some of the street-side eateries in PdB, but at 7-14 euros per dish, not expensive at all in my view. It’s an even better value if you climb on one of their free beach beds as I did on a subsequent visit. Recommended.
Party: Bora Bora
After lunch, I popped over to Bora Bora for a bit and was pleased at what I saw. The place was back to its old self, with people dancing on tables, a positive vibe, and no heavy-handed security. Good straight-up house blasting from the speakers. The core of the party, as for the past 2 seasons, is still inside the glass walls as that’s where they’ve been forced to move the speakers, but it was still plenty loud outside. I couldn’t stay too long as I had to pick up Irina from the airport, but what a pleasure to see the revival of this Ibiza landmark.
Party: We Love @ Space
Afterward, I went and picked up the missus from the airport as she was arriving straight from Moscow. She wasn’t up for going out so around 10ish I headed over to Space for We Love. The sunset terrace was good and full but not overpacked (just as I like it) and Jason Bye was doing an able job on the decks. Alfredo came on afterward and disappointed, so I went to the inside terrace for some of Ben Watt, then the discoteca for Ivan Smagghe, who delivered some good techno music. Joris Voorn came on for a “live” performance which was the highlight of the night, as far as I was concerned. He was followed by Carl Craig, which was fine for a bit but then got boring so I went back to the terrace where Steve Lawler was doing a great job. They bill We Love as a mini-festival and, while you do get a variety of styles and lots of venue choice, I felt like the night had lost some of its mojo this year. Aside from the sunset terrace, the atmosphere seemed a bit oppressive, for some reason. Could just be me.
----- Monday -----
Beach: Cala Xarraca
The nice folks at Garbi let us move from our 1st floor room to one up on the 4th floor with a wonderful sea view. Bonus! The only downside was Irina dragged me out of bed early to make the move, and then insisted on going to the beach. This time we chose Cala Xarraca on the northern coast. It’s a rocky cove with a couple of sandy beach areas, calm water, a couple of nice neighboring villas to drool over, and a beach restaurant. I took a walk around and learned you can also climb over a small ridge to another little rocky beach next door for some private swimming and sunbathing. It’s a decent small Ibiza beach for an afternoon. 6 euros for sunbeds and umbrellas.
Food: S'Illot des Rencli
We took a wrong turn out of Cala Xarraca and drove forever before calling a friend for directions, making u-turn, and heading back to the next turn-off after Cala Xarraca to S'Illot des Rencli. There’s a small beach there but the restaurant that shares its name was our destination. We were, unfortunately, too late to try their big dishes (I wanted the fish stew) as they were near closing time at 7. However, I had a hearty fish soup that more than made up for it, with lots of saffron, shrimp and chunks of fish. Irina started with the asparagus with mayo and salad. The best thing about a restaurant is when they get the simple things right: Irina ordered a fillet of sole and I had a steak of a fish called sirvio (translation anyone?!) and both were grilled to perfection with just the right amount of salt and garlic. Altogether, just under 70 euros with a couple of glasses of beer and wine each. Good choice for seafood. Recommended.
Party: Cocoon @ Amnesia
We went back to PdB and I took a little disco nap before popping over to the bar Kopi for drinks. Then it could only be Cocoon! As with We Love, the club was full but not heaving (although Grego said it was the fullest he’d seen the night this season). I thought Tiefschwarzwas the best set of the night. Spent some time out on the terrace with Loco Dice and I have to say his style is much improved. Back to the main room for some Sven Vath later on. He was not spectacular but solid as always and this ranked up there with the best club nights of the trip.
----- Tuesday -----
Beach: Delano, Playa den Bossa
We only got up and out around 3 so we decided to stay close this afternoon and headed to Delano on Playa Den Bossa for our daily beach time. A snack of spring rolls for me and a Mediterranean BLT for Irina kept us tided over until dinner as I sipped beer and surfed the net while lounging on a bed and Irina made forays down to the water for a swim. Delano is set back from the water (a little shack closer to the shore has the sunbed concession for the waterside area) but it’s a nice place to chill for the afternoon. Since we ordered stuff, we didn’t have to pay for use of the furniture. We made another stop by Bora Bora on the way back to the hotel.
Food: S’Oficina Playa den Bossa
Another argument against the claims of some that PdB is a food wasteland, S’Oficina is a Basque restaurant and one of the island’s small number of Michelin-listed establishments. We had some amazing starters – Irina’s rich fish soup was similar to what I’d had at S'Illot des Rencli, only with a thicker broth. My goat cheese salad had 4 chunks of baked cheese, salad, thin slices of apple, strawberry, and cranberry. For the main course, we asked what the most “Basque” dish was and were told to get the hake, which is cooked with wine and garlic and served with bits of toasted garlic on top. We both had it. I wasn’t overly impressed (thought it needed more flavor) but Irina loved it. Service was good. The terrace is right on the street so not the best outdoor spot, but I’d still recommend it if you’re looking for a nice dinner in PdB. The food and a very nice bottle of Galician white wine cost 115 euros with tip. Recommended.
Party: Carl Cox @ Space
Next up was Space. I thought Carl Cox was amazing on sunset terrace and there was a good crowd who were up for it. Afterwards, I went inside where a DJ named Nicole Moudaber was playing rubbish. Out to the terrace for LTJ Bukem for a taste of drum & bass. Not bad stuff, really. In fact, I kind of liked it, but my knees are too old to handle dancing to it! Back inside for Buskwacka who did a very good job of keeping the proceedings in motion. Saw Sven Vath stumbling around the bar area. Carl Cox came on and really started to bosh it, which I tried to tolerate for a while but eventually it drove me out to see Cirillo playing some minimal on the terrace. That was actually a nice switch, but sadly not too many people agreed with me as the room was empty!
----- Wednesday -----
Beach: Ushuaia, Playa den Bossa
Irina let me sleep in a bit and spent some time down at the beach at hotel. After I pulled my act together, we went over to Ushuaia for a lazy late afternoon. Vika, Momo and co. were there, and Spotlighter I-Spy dropped by for a bit as well. We mainly sat up near the bar, where the drink prices were quite decent: 14 euros for a nice liter of white wine sangria, with which Irina immediately fell in love (seems we’d always had red or champagne). Nice chill atmosphere. We got some bracelets for later in the evening.
Food: Cap des Falco
Vika and Momo came up with the idea of heading over Cap des Falco for the sunset. By comparison with Usuaia, their 1.5 liter pitcher of white wine sangria cost 24 euros!! It was better sangria, though. Vika had the sushi platter which was pretty good, while Irina had a nice seviche (more like a seviche-styled fish carpaccio) . I thought my meal was the best: linguini in a creamy brandy sauce with prawns. Flavorful. For 4 of us, we left 130 euros. But the best part about the place is the sunset. At that point, it was still behind the hills (actually, the top of Es Vedra, visible in the distance). Later in the season, you can see it out over the water. Recommended, if you’re eating at sunset.
Party: Luciano @ Ushsuaia
We went back to Ushuaia for their big weekly bash with Luciano. It was packed… there was no room to dance in main area. Thankfully, a friend got us into VIP area on the sand, where a crew of Spotlighters and Muscovites formed. Lovely to meet the fabulous HDR and Mr Spotlight himself, James. Luciano played the best house set I heard this trip, making dancing on the beach with this crew a blast. Only downside is the big club-level drink prices: the same place that served us a liter of sangria for 14 eur was now charging 10 euros for a bottle of beer! Nevertheless, the party was a highlight of the trip.
Party: Subliminal @ Pacha
After Ushuaia, James and I popped over for one drink to Delano, which had a good party going on itself I should note. Then I ran home to change and headed to Pacha. I thought M.A.N.D.Y. played a good set to open and then Erick Morillo pleasantly surprised me with a great start! He was taking the a capellas of familiar house tunes and layering them over some kicking beats. I’d gone solo with the plan of meeting back up with I-Spy and HDR but didn’t catch up with them, however, I was kept entertained by this very random couple from the UK. It all went wrong a little after 5am when Morillo descended into cheese. I left not long after he turned down the volume to encourage a sing-along during an a capella of “Show Me Love”. Pacha was Pacha… didn’t notice much new except the VIP seems to expand each year.
----- Thursday -----
Beach: Cala Gracio
We headed up the West Coast past San Antonio to Cala Gracio for the day’s beach action. It’s a busy beach as there are a couple of hotels nearby, but not too crowded when we were there. It is a very nice cove protected by little rocky peninsulas that keep the water calm. Sunbeds and umbrellas are 4.50 euros and a very nice older gentleman will help move your loungers to just the right spot (first time I’ve ever tipped a beach attendant!). If you climb some stairs up the rocks and follow the trail from the right side of the beach, you get to the smaller Cala Gracioneta, which is situated on the same calm little bay.
Food: El Chiringuito Cala Gracioneta
We stayed close for an early dinner, making the trek over to Cala Gracioneta and its El Chiringuito. It started off well – we ordered a Roquefort salad to share and they brought us a huge plate of lettuce, Roquefort cheese, bacon, and walnuts in a light dressing. Delicious. However, the missus insisted on paella as the main course and it was decidedly average. Prices weren’t bad as our bill came to 60 euros with drinks, and the service was pretty good, but I left disappointed. There were also a strangely large number of flies buzzing around us as we ate! Not Recommended, although I suppose it’d be fine if you’re just grabbing a beach snack.
Afterwards, we raced over to Kumharas at the end of the San An Bay area for a couple of drinks and the sunset. Parking there is a bit of a problem. I dropped Irina off to go get a table, circled for a while, and made it back at just the moment the sun went down!
Party: Sands Playa den Bossa
I’d been getting texts from various friends saying Carl Cox was playing at Sands that afternoon. We were already up at Cala Gracio at the time and Irina wasn’t so excited about it so we didn’t rush back down. However, when we returned after dinner, I popped over to see what was going on. Cox had just finished playing a few minutes earlier, but there were still people and a decent DJ playing, so I grabbed a couple of drinks and danced around for a couple of hours. A few proper nutters provided entertainment. Nice beach party. Wish I’d made it earlier. Stopped by Bora Bora on the way home but it wasn’t so crowded at 11 on Thursday.
A friend of mine invited me on a free visit to Pacha and its VIP for FMIF with David Guetta. However, as I’d sooner be crucified than see Guetta again at Pacha, I called it an early night. Went back to the hotel and watched some video on computer with a beer out on my balcony.
----- Friday -----
Beach: Cala Codolar
Our selected beach for the day was Cala Codolar, which is located on the West Coast not far from Cala Conte (not to be confused with Es Codolar, between Cap des Falco and Sa Caleta down south). It’s a nice little bay surrounded by high rocky outcroppings. Not as protected as Gracio, so there is more wave action. Sunbeds are 4 euros and 4.50 for umbrellas. The shack on the beach sells drinks & sandwiches. You have to drive down a long gravel road to get there, so I was surprised how many people there, but it was not at all crowded and quite quiet. There’s a restaurant called Amarant up on hill, but we didn’t get to check it out. However, if you climb the hill to the left of the beach, you get views of Es Vedra and Cala Tarida. As I walked around up there, I saw some pagan-looking set-up which led me to believe there’d been a Full Moon party there recently.
Food: Cas Mila Cala Tarida
I’d wanted to go to the village of San Augustin for dinner but Irina insisted on something seaside, so we went to Cala Tarida and I have to give her credit because it was a perfect choice. We’d tried to go to Cas Mila last year but we came during their break between lunch and dinner. This time, they opened just as we arrived. Before we even started eating, we witnessed the most beautiful sunset of the trip. Then the symphony of taste began: for me, heavenly tuna tartare with big portion of big chunks of marinated fish and a side of reduced balsamic. For Irina, delicious gazpacho with a hint of smoky flavor to it and various additives (minced celery, green pepper, etc.) served on the side. I had the roasted lamb shoulder for a main course and Irina went with the monkfish with a flavorful clam and shrimp sauce. Both came with a side of asparagus and potatoes. Best meal of the trip! Total with beers and wines, 89 euros. Good service too. Highly recommended!!
Party: Aura San Lorenzo
After dinner, we went back to hotel to change and then headed over to a friend’s place for drinks. From there, we made the short hop to Aura, a bar on the road to San Juan. The resident DJ, Ants, was spinning some classy house tunes and the crowd was a fun mix of locals, mostly in the 30+ age group. Really good atmosphere and interesting and friendly people. 8) I-Spy and HDR among the people there. We were having so much fun we hated to leave, but we bailed out around 3am because we had a mission…
Party: SuperMartXe @ Privilege
I’d been to SuperMartXe’s monthly touring visit to Rai nightclub in Moscow and had a blast, so attending the Privilege party was high on my “to do” list in Ibiza. Good plan! It was probably the best club night we had attended so far! Sure, the music borders on cheese at times but the atmosphere was free and fun. The stage show was very well produced, with your requisite number of dancers, strippers, etc., and a singer who came out for two sets of numbers. We met a pair of sisters from Mallorca and a trio of hilarious Dutch who kept us entertained for parts of the night. I couldn’t tell you a single DJs name (checking back on the schedule, they were Juanjo Martin, Pablo Kopanos, Vitti, Hugo Sanchez, Ab Garcia, Michael Sanchez, and Salva di Nobles). This huge club was totally full but there was just enough room to dance. I can see why this party has been a hit. It’s good clubbing plus good entertainment.
----- Saturday -----
Didn’t make it out of bed early enough for beach time, so instead I went in search of a place to watch the Stoke v Chelsea football match. It wasn’t easy, since every pub around seemed intent on showing Arsenal v Man City. However, there’s a little bar down on the sidestreet next to the KFC in PdB called Brogan’s Pub, where the proprietor was kind enough to change the channel for me. I stuck around for Spurs v Man U as well while waiting for the missus to recover from the night before. The owner was a kind gentleman who’s been living in Ibiza for around 30 years. He once had 5 bars but has been selling them off one by one as he prepares to retire. He was Chelsea back in the UK but now supports our mortal European enemies Barcelona.
Food: Andurina Da Medica Ibiza Town
Afterward, we went to Ibiza Town for dinner at a Galician restaurant called Andurina Da Medica. Well, it’s more like a diner than a restaurant, really. We ordered the octopus with chorizo-seasoned olive oil, potato and sea salt, the garlic shrimp, and some cod fritters. One of the more disappointing meals we had, to be honest, but quite cheap at 30 euros with 2 beers and glasses of wine. Not Recommended.
We then took a walk around Ibiza Town harbor and Sa Penya. Some places have come and gone but it all mostly looks the same, which is comforting.
----- Sunday -----
Beach: Es Cavallet
Our initial plan was to head east but that side of the island (and the north, and the west) looked like rain so we headed southwest to Es Cavellet as it was the only part of the island with clear skies. Despite its proximity to PdB and Ses Salinas, I had never been there. The beach has a specific reputation and what I’d heard appears to be true. In the main long section of the beach, there were three distinct areas: regular, nudist, and gay/nudist. There was also a ton of dead seaweed in the water which I assume they leave because the beach is part of a nature park.
Irina began her sunbathing/swimming routine so I went for a walk to the Torre de ses Portes, one of Ibiza 7 remaining coastal watchtowers (http://www.spotlight-forums.com/showthread.php?t=52370). My 2-year-old quest to visit them all has been going a little slowly as this now makes # 2. And as I walked over, the rain finally arrived, so I got soaked. At least it went by quickly. On my way back to the beach, I decided to take a shortcut through the wooded park area which was a bit of a mistake as I ended up way off course. Also, I realized it was a bit of a cruising area given that every so often I ran across a guy just standing around by himself, or heard suspect noises from deeper in the woods!
Food: El Chiringuito Es Cavellet
Not related to the Chiringuito at Cala Gracioneta, this restaurant is one of those somewhat overpriced fancy beach-type places. When I came back from my quest and from getting lost in the woods/sex zone, I found Irina had relocated to the restaurant to stay dry. I had other (better) plans for dinner later on, but alas we ended up just having a late lunch as this establishment had the mussels she’d been craving and they were the big juicy kind. I had the wagyu steak with brocolli & potato, a small portion for the price but it was a pretty good cut of meat. Despite a hundred waiters running around, it took forever to get anyone’s attention. The bill, together with a pitcher of very good white sangria, totaled 69 euros.
I got stuck running back to the hotel to do some work and left Irina on the beach. Then I went back to get her to get ready for the evening.
Party: We Love @ Space
Party: Tania Volcano @ Ushuaia
We went to Space at about 8pm but found the terrace only half full which didn’t allow for much atmosphere. Jason Bye followed by Alfredo both played somewhat uneven terrace house music sets, so we decided to use our pass-outs to go see what was going on at Ushuaia. I thought Tania Volcano was tearing up the place but we ended up spending most of our time there kind of hanging out down on the beach. We ran into various friends out there and chilled for a while. Back to Space and we spent some time listening to Smokin’ Jo, DJ Hell, Paul Woolford, and Claude von Stroke. I don’t know what it was about the music, but we were SO BORED! I’d really only come that night to see Too Many DJs and maybe some of James Zabiela. But we didn’t make it that far and left early. That’s how boring the music was.
----- Monday -----
I woke up to a massive thunderstorm on Monday morning. I mean a thundering, wall-shaking, rain-dumping storm of biblical proportions. After it passed, we checked the skies and decided to head east, theoretically behind the next line of rain. Only this time, the clouds were moving west-east instead of north-south, so when we got to Cala Nova, just north of Es Cana, it was already clouded over. So, we sat down at Ses Pedrises for lunch.
Food: Ses Pedrises Cala Nova
There were only about 4 tables full but it always took ages for us to get the attention of either of the 2 waiters. :x When we finally got served, we got a below par pitcher of white sangria (Irina was convinced they put powdered orange juice in it). I had a plate of croquettas to start, and those were delicious and came with a side salad – practically a meal by itself. They also gave us a delicious appetizer on-the-house of fried marinated octopus and potato with onions and pepper. Mmmm. The main course was a bit of a mess. We’d ordered the fish stew with rice, expecting something similar to local fish stews we’d had elsewhere. Instead, we got a big bowl of rice in a red broth with tiny bits of seafood. Not impressive… it was kind of like paella soup. It was OK once you added salt. What we didn’t know is that this was to be followed with a huge platter of various fish and potato covered in mayonnaise. We tried some, but didn’t finish it. The bill was 70 euros but that’s on the high end of what you’d expect to spend there. Most dishes were 5-15 euros. I think we just chose poorly, although the service was less than admirable. Not recommended.
Beach: Cala Nova
The sun finally came out for a little while so I sat myself down at a quaint little beach bar up on a little hill (to the left as you come down to the beach from Ses Pedrises) and sipped some cerveza while the missus went for a swim. Cala Nova is a medium-sized beach on a broad, unprotected bay. There’s a big hotel at one end, woods at the other, and several beach restaurants. The water looked shallow for a long way out from the shore.
Beach: Cala Pada
Our initial destination that afternoon had actually been Cala Pada, between Santa Eularia and Es Cana, as there’s a restaurant there I wanted to try. Unfortunately, while we’d found the urbanizacion (housing development) by that name, the road had taken us to the beach at S'Argamassa. So we opted for Cala Nova instead. However, on the way home, we decided to stop off so that Irina could take some photos. We parked at Cesar’s Watersports between S'Argamassa and Cala Pada and I went for a walk past the hotels and resort homes and around the beach at Cala Pada. It’s an OK little beach. Quite a lot of boats parked offshore and a little pier, plus a couple of restaurants and another water sports shop.
After that, we drove to Cala d’Hort for the sunset, but it was too cloudy so we each downed one drink and on our way back to the hotel we grabbed some carry-out from El Destino, our favorite fusion tapas place in San Jose.
Party: Cocoon @ Amnesia
Back to the hotel to get ready and then back to Amnesia for the next installment of Cocoon. We caught a bit of Nick Curly ably warming up the main but then went out for the highlight of the evening: DJ Sneak on the terrace! The two of us just danced all night long. Cracking good time. Only went back to the main room for Sven Vath when Sneak was done. The only downside was running low on cash and deciding to pay for one round of drinks by credit card, then realizing minutes later that they’d charge me 45 euros for 2 waters and one vodka cranberry. Ouch! Must be some minimum charge on cards. That aside, great night.
----- Tuesday, September 15 -----
My last day as I was catching a late night (early Wednesday morning) flight on to my next destination. I made a deal with Garbi for an extra day at a reduced rate since Irina’s flight back to Moscow was late in the day on Wednesday.
Beach: Blue Marlin, Cala Jondal
No beach weather, sadly enough, as the rains continued. Irina insisted on giving it a try so we went to Cala Jondal and settled in at the bar at Blue Marlin in the hopes it would clear up. It didn’t, of course. So, we sat and enjoyed our drinks. Free Wifi there too, I should note. The place was pretty subdued although there were quite a lot of people inside the restaurant.
We decided to have an early dinner but the next few steps were pure comedy. Note to Self: remember that nice inland restaurants don’t open for dinner until 8pm! We drove to the quaint village of San Augustin for the restaurant C'an Berri Vell, which had been top of my wish list all trip. Closed. Had a nice walk around the village though. Then we stopped along the San Jose-Eivissa road at the restaurant Can Domingo. Also closed. We couldn’t wait around as we had plans later, so we drove towards Ibiza trying to figure out what to do…
Food: Ancient People Ibiza Town
…at which point I remembered about Ancient People. I hadn’t been there but had heard repeatedly that they served up flavorful Indian fare. Sure enough, it was a great choice as I was dying for something with strong flavors. Marinated tandoori lamb chops and veggie samosas were followed by prawn vindaloo, a chicken curry, dal, nan and rice. Everything was top notch. The check, with several beers (to cool down my burning mouth) and wine was just 50 euros. And the service was very friendly and attentive. Recommended! (As an aside, there’s a black gentleman who came in halfway through our meal. He hung around like an employee but didn’t serve, and greeted us on our way out. I’ve seen him before somewhere but can’t place him. Help anyone??)
Back in PdB, it was over to Murphy’s to watch Chelsea v Porto. They kindly kicked all the Man U fans outside and turned all the TVs downstairs on to our match. Then to Bora Bora for one last boogie. Not very full thanks to the rains, but a fun crowd nonetheless. After that, I grabbed my bags from the hotel, kissed the missus goodbye, dropped off the rental car, and hopped a plane to the States (via London) for my 20th (gasp!) high school reunion.
Another Ibiza visit completed. Another set of wonderful memories.
I feel like we really packed a lot in and I’m pretty proud of our stamina and motivation level. 8) 11 days is never enough time, though! We didn’t have as many friends and acquaintances on the island this year thanks to our timing, but there was no other time that fit so no gripes about that. The friends that we did spend time with were great to us so thanks to you all.
We will, of course, be back!
FOR THE RECORD
Length of stay: 11 days, 10 nights (2008: 9 days, 2007: 14 days)
Big clubbing nights out: 8 nights (2008: 8 nights, 2007: 10 nights)
Parties attended: 13* (2008: 11, 2007: 14) (*excludes Bora Bora & Sands)
Best club parties: SuperMartxe, Cocoon, Zoo Project
Best non-club parties: Luciano @ Ushuaia, PK2, Aura
Best DJ sets: Luciano, DJ Sneak, Joris Voorn, Carl Cox (terrace), PK2 DJs
Worst sets: Everyone at We Love on 13 Sept.
Best Meal: Cas Mila
Beaches Visited: 7 (2008: 6)
Villages visited: 2 (2008: 3)
Every newbie's favorite question on the forum!
Average Spend: 245 euros/day (2008: 325 euros, 2007: 290 euros)
That’s total for 2 people. I have no idea how we spent less this year. We probably ate better than ever before and went to about as many parties as usual!
The Recession – It’s hit the island badly, just as everywhere. People I spoke to (business and bar owners) gave me figures in a range from 20% to 70%. The clubs seemed full enough but not packed, which is how I like it to be honest. My sympathy goes to the small business owners who have been struggling.
The Music – I couldn’t get my head around the music this year. There weren’t any anthems that really struck a chord with me, nor a style that seemed to define the summer. I wonder if that's why I didn't really enjoy We Love so much this year.
The Weather – Aside from the massive storms on the last couple of days, the weather held up well for September. It was good and warm without being oppressively hot. The missus said the water temps were good too.
The Atmosphere – Despite the recession gloom, the party atmosphere was overall better this year than last. All those worries about the afterparty crackdown seem to have passed as people adjusted to the new reality. The stiff law enforcement that some complained of last year was nowhere to be seen. I said last year that I didn’t feel like the island had lost its mojo, but if it had lost a bit of it then it was back this year. Just a somewhat less crowded.
Great to see Spotlighters Grego, I-Spy, HDR and James, as well as our friend Vika from Moscow. Also a pleasure to meet the lovely Yana, the young Frenchman Momo, Natasha from Moscow, Kira – the Russian girl who moved to the island with her Spanish boyfriend whom she met in Goa, Irina the Russian Ibiza travel agent who called us all to PK2, that random German artist guy, the Dutch trio at SuperMartXe, the engaged British couple upstairs at Pacha, and the gay Italian guy who kept Irina company the afternoon after I left (in case any of you read this!). And Dylan, the Dutch window washer whom we met at DC10 and Cocoon last year who remembered my name and city of residence immediately upon running into me at Cocoon this year! You all added something special to our stay.
Special thanks to I-Spy for your help with Ushuaia and Aura; to McRackin for all of the restaurant ideas, many of which were based on your “five places I’ve eaten in the last month” lists; and last but not least, to Ibiza Spotlight (site and forums) for being our constant source of info and ideas for beaches, restaurants, parties, etc.
Until next year!!!
PS. Reading back over this review, I fear it might not be as glowingly positive as in years past. I want to make it clear that I had an amazing time If I'm critical of certain things, maybe it's because I view Ibiza with less awe and wonder nowadays. It's less a holiday and more a homecoming to a place I love 8)