Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Oli Price's Holiday Blog

by Oli Price

Hotel Gavilanas, Menorca
When I agreed to do this holiday blog, I expected to have a wealth of material that would end up as a hilariously written article about my family’s disastrous holiday, as is usually the case. However this year everything was going swimmingly: we arrived in the right country, with the right number of bags and the right number of family members --- a new personal best. To top it, we were at a lovely hotel off the coast of Menorca and the hot sun reacquainted me with my shadow, which I hadn’t seen for about six months. Lovely. So far, this may not make nice reading for anyone stuck in England, but fear not --- in typical fashion, the holiday did take a turn for the weird.

It started with a “relaxing” (yet mandatory) meeting with our tour rep, Danny, who proved to be the most gormless man in existence. For someone who supposedly had knowledge of this place, he did a poor job in sharing it; his telling us Ferreries was a “fun” and “vibrant” town left me looking for his lobotomy scars. For many of you who are not as intimate with the history of Ferreries as I am now, it is a small, boring town with about three shops and a church that Jesus’ friend’s brother went to once. This town was so bad that, for some reason, we decided that we must have come at the wrong point in the day or something. We went back four times: Ferreries is a dead town.

One of the hot-spots of Ferreries, Menorca
The guide book's “hot-spots” for Ferreries were the church and “un gran jardín” --- a rather large garden owned by one of the town’s residents; it’s a nice garden but not worth a second or third visit. After this tedious ordeal, I decided a nice read by the pool was what I needed. Unfortunately, I was reading Keith Richard’s autobiography which just made my own day seem even more mundane.

For the rest of the week, I tried to compensate for the action-less beginning, so I thought I would give scuba diving a go. I had envisioned a scene from a Bond movie, with me just strolling down the beach with a gas canister and a harpoon gun. The reality was very different. We had to sit just at the edge of the water whilst the various hand signals were explained; this wouldn’t have been so bad if I hadn’t been in a black wet suit in 40°C heat. However, at least I was the source of amusement for a German couple who took photos of me sweltering in what I can only describe to you as a black full-body aqua-gimp suit. They were calling me “Schweinefleisch Junge” which roughly translates to “Pork Boy.” 

This was not the worst of the humiliation, as they proceeded to strap on a 30kg gas tank and some more weights then ordered me to flipper down into the sea. This created a sweaty, Quasimodo-like shuffle into the ocean. From then on, the experience was breathtaking and a few tourists in kayaks came to watch “Pork Boy’s” foray into underwater world.

Despite my grumblings, the holiday was fantastic and the perfect place for a relaxing break and I would recommend Menorca and the Sol Gavilanas Hotel to anyone. Just stay clear of Ferreries unless you’re a very keen horticulturalist --- or mad.   

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