It´s bucketing down here, putting paid to a trip to Menorca and perhaps not showing Puerto Pollensa and Alcudia in their best light...
I´d yet to see the rain in Spain, but today I got in spades. Plus forked lightening. Plus deafening thunder. Spent a lot of the day sheltering in doorways, which is a great way to meet people, by the way.
Went up north to visit the marina in Alcudia and the very handsome Chris at the Sealine office there. We were going to take a boat out, but the weather just wasn´t having any of it, so we sat in the office and watched the lightening instead. It was a real shame as I was looking forward to touring this bit of Mallorca by water – I´ve visited P. Pollensa before and remembered the stunning Cap Formentera and the beautiful coves with the bluest water ever, but alas a repeat trip wasn´t to be.
Alcudia marina is big, but with real potential to be expanded, which Chris is probably a go-er in the future. He told me that the Port Authority on the island had put a stop to brand new marinas being built – which is probably a good thing aesthetically – but is keen to expand on the existing ones. This is not the island´s most attractive marina, but the facilities are second to none and is smack bang in the middle of some of Mallorca´s best cruising grounds.
And as for berthing, well Chris seems to have summed up everything I´ve found so far – it´s completely inconsistent, depends very much on the mood of the marina office and while one week they might only be offering a month´s berth, the next they might decide to invite you to stay for a year. Basically, there are so many boats wanting to stay in the Med that the marinas can pretty much make any decision they want, when they want. Which is fair enough, but not particularly helpful to those of us not in the same mindset.
Port d´Alcudia itself is mostly made up of long drags of bucket-and-spade brigade apartments, bars and restaurants, which in the rain, make for quite a gruesome exploration. But the old town of Alcudia is lovely and there are apparently some of the best restaurants in the island around the marina.
Puerto Pollensa is a smaller version of Alcudia, tourist-wise, but with smashing beaches and a fairly flash Yacht Club. It costs E20,000 to join the Club, which runs the marina, so this is not a cheap place to keep your boat, but you are surrounded by great scenery and even closer to Formentor and the beaches around this side of the island that are only approachable by boat. And, like Alcudia, it´s only one hour´s cruise to Menorca.
The storms got a little much and I came back to the safety and puddles of Palma. There was some festival going on in town this evening, which involved a lot of traditional dress, bunches of flowers, and several hundred decibels-worth of scruffy teenagers playing brass instruments. I have absolutely no idea what was going on, but a man gave me some free sangria, so can´t complain.