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Not yachting like a millionaire…
Cala d’Hort is an imposing cove and a popular beach – but with limited parking. At the foot of the steep hill that leads to the beach there is a sign indicating the presence of a car park, but you have to go around the roundabout to be able to get into it.
Car park is probably not the correct adjective for this little camino that winds its way into the forest, but by the time you find somewhere to park your car you’ll be past caring.
As we manoeuvre into a spot we see six large Senegalese men emerge from an impossibly small car bearing sun glasses and watches. This is not a good sign and before we’ve finished a beer we’ve met four of them, but politely refused to part with our money. Oh well – only two to go… It’s almost reminiscent of Morroco.
Fortunately we have a devious plan that should confound them. An unusual boat charter service operates from this beach whereby you can hire an inflatable speed boat and leave the ‘looky looky’ men waving their sunglasses in dismay as you leave them in your wake.
Toni Pujoleti, who came up with this brilliant charter idea (which requires neither license nor previous experience!), shows us how to fire up the engine and we head for the open sea.
To be honest it took three attempts to work out which way to flick the on/off switch whilst in neutral, rather than in gear, and at the same time twist the throttle in the right direction rather than stall the vehicle.
During this time the breeze has blown us onto the boundary rope of the swimming area that we now have to cross without scything through the rope or fouling the propeller. This is exciting stuff and we’re only 20 metres from the beach so far.
At last we’re off and, as with driving somebody else’s car, I’m feeling confident and putting the craft through its paces – much to the delight of the lucky holidaymakers on the now distant beach.
We chug around the iconic island of Es Vedra admiring its spectacular design and looking for goats, but with no joy. As we round the far end we encounter a landing jetty at the foot of a set of steps that lead up to the tiny lighthouse.
On any other day I would probably have fallen for the temptation and disembarked onto the third most magnetic point on the planet’s surface, but another of Toni’s boats had beaten us to it and its occupants were cavorting around the lighthouse in the nude.
My companion and I agreed that this was not a day for making new friends and, after all, it’s illegal to set foot on Es Vedra without permission from the government. We didn’t see any policemen and don’t know how much the fine would be, but I felt that my decision not to land would have been that of any other naval Master and Commander as we took on the big waves on the far side of Es Vedra. Everything was under control, or was it…
At this point my companion, by now referred to as the bosun, finally succumbs to the island’s magnetism and leaps overboard to fetch a couple of shells, some seaweed and a photo opportunity.
I, in the meantime, master the gearbox as I try not to hit any rocks while the current carries me in towards the intimidating island. It turns out that there are only two gears – forwards and backwards – and the steering is the opposite way round to what you’re used to on wheels. It’s a bit like a learning curve…
Some time passes, but eventually the bosun manages to catch up with the boat and attempts to rejoin the party. After a few hilarious attempts to climb aboard gracefully, she asks for the assistance that I should, apparently, have offered in the first place. As I haul her in and she thrashes around in the water, I wonder how much fish fetches per kilo nowadays.
Suitably exercised we decide to avoid the heavy open sea, where at speed we’d taken off on several occasions to land with a spanking on the boat’s metal floor. Max Moseley would have enjoyed it immensely! So we followed the lee of the dinosaur island of Es Vedranell. The views of the two islands close up are incredible, but still no goats…
Tomorrow’s installment of our boat trip sees us heading over to Atlantis – and a novel way of getting rid of jellyfish….