We had a splendid sail south to Ibiza, anchoring in one of the many rocky coves along the northern coast to swim and catch up on sleep. Ibiza has a very pretty coast – high and deeply indented, with not too much development (yet). It must have been lovely here 50 years ago. A stately 3-masted schooner joined us in our idyllic cove, then another 20 yachts arrived to shelter from a forecast fresh southwesterly.
We swam, ate and slept until the weather abated, then sailed south to San Antoni, on Ibiza’s west coast. It is a safe harbour but a vulgar town, full of dizzy young English girls looking for fun, together with fat, shirtless English men with tattoos, all drinking Watney’s Red Barrel and whooping with excitement about something or other. Don’t go there if you can avoid it.
The best thing about Ibiza was our visit to a little hill village, for the annual mass and procession of statuary in celebration of its patron saint, Augustine. How Chris would have loved this. There were no tourists, just simple, earnest and reverent villagers, a procession of saints carried on shoulders, Moorish dancers and the Bishop of Eivissa. For a cynical old atheist like me, it was quite a moving event. When my prose finger returns I’ll write about it.
All this was organised by Birgit, one of Maxine’s circle of diplomatic contacts from Moscow. Lovely Birgit is married to the Ambassador to Moldovia and Kazakhstan for the Order of St John of Malta. True. Like the Vatican, the Order of St John has diplomatic status without being a country. Birgit kindly arranged our visit to the village and treated us to this most memorable event.