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Miscellaneous Use this area ONLY if you can't find a suitable home for your topic. We'll create a new area if necessary and reserve the right to move topics to more suitable areas. Only post regarding the Pollensa area. This is not a forum for general discussion.

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Old 04-09-2012, 23:48
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Cheltenham
Posts: 59
Default Driving back from Mallorca - still with the dog

All good things come to an end – no, not the long summer days on the beach, the pool parties at friends apartments, eating like kings at the top class restaurants, tennis at the I’lla D’or, kids playing in the square whilst we chilled with a cool drink listening to the jazz in the square – no, none of that, I mean the kids ate all the Cheerios so we had to return to the UK!

So, we spent our last week preparing for the drive home. As the day drew nearer things took an unexpected twist when firstly one of the kid’s iPods “disappeared” in the evening frenzy in the square – suspects were questioned with the threat of a good licking from a cockapoo – but to no avail.

Then our oldest son decided it would be a great idea to try and demolish the pier at the Sis Pins beach with his head. Now whilst his head is fairly solid, the pier is a bit more robust so the ensuing blood bath resulted in a frenzied ‘Bondi Rescue’ (check Sky channel 112) episode which included 3 lifeguards, 4 passing policemen, 2 ambulance crew and some German bloke who, true to stereotype, was great at liberating a sun bed as a make-shift stretcher.

A convoy to the excellent PAC centre in Pollensa had him patched up with 5 stitches, free antibiotics and a quick squint at the EHIC (old E111) card meant no money changed hands and he was back on the beach within the hour – beat that NHS !

More impressively, when he returned to the beach as the wounded warrior he got a great big kiss on the cheek from the rather fetching (and scantily clad) lady lifeguard – Mrs Jilly was not impressed at the growing number of dads who were feigning injury hoping for similar attention!

So, given the drama of the last few days the journey home would be a doddle ………

Thursday – the Cheerio mountain consumed, the Pasta sauce lake drained, and the suncream lagoon dried up surely there would be tons of room in the car for the journey back. Having packed the car for the return journey with less stuff there was, strangely, less room. A quick check uncovered no Looky Looky men hiding in there, no secret Gin stash for Mrs Jilly and no more dogs or children than we currently possessed.

Time to visit the excellent Na Ruixa (now one of our favourite restaurants) for another superb meal and then a swift half on the square before bedtime given our 5am start. Fortunately, Mrs Jilly’s Gin dependency meant we stayed for “one for the road”, so I used the Wi-Fi to check my e-mails. Up popped one from Balearia in Spanish - how inconsiderate for a Spanish company with 99% Spanish customers to e-mail in Spanish! A quick copy and paste into Babblefish (for all you Hitchhiker fans out there) advised us that our 8am ferry from Alcudia had been cancelled due to the wisp of wind in the bay, and we had to head to Palma to join the 12.30pm ferry instead.

Sudden panic ensues as not only where we unsure about where the terminal in Palma was, how to change our tickets, how to check in late to our hotel in France but more alarmingly Mrs Jilly had run out of Gin! Once order, and Gin, were restored we thought we’d just turn up and see what happens in a sort of Spanish type way.

Friday – not much sleep and early start down to Palma. The Balearia website is excellent to find their departure point in Palma if you are code breaker at GCHQ.

We went with the “kids, if you see a big blue boat, shout” approach and after being turned away from the gates of a luxury health spa and nearly shot at the Naval base entrance for pulling a handbrake turn, we found the ferry terminal.

A fairly random approach to security and our life long ability to act stupid tricked the security guard into letting us in, then the Balearia staff’s apparent lack of interest meant the Looky Looky man in the boot got on the boat as well.

Safely aboard we decided to house the dog in the upper level of the kennels, always been told in life it’s better to pee upon others than to be peed upon!

We choose our seats in First Class – which has luxury reclining leather armchairs, aircon, lots of space – and we were delighted to see that those in peasant class had 3rd world facilities, just as we hoped for our 15 Euro supplement.

Fairly uneventful journey over the next 7 hours and we are called to the cars for 7.30pm. In true Spanish style we are still on the boat at 8.30pm with no idea when we are getting off. With temperatures rising a random staff member, I think he was the cook, starts directing cars to do 3 point turns. All hell breaks loose, think Barcelona drivers in rush hour but on a boat with no space. Folk are getting t-boned (not a reference to 50 Shades of Gray ladies) , horns are sounding and us British drivers are apologising to everyone else for not moving and failing to use our indicators early enough.

Eventually we’re off and into night-time Barcelona which must be twinned with downtown Bagdhad, certainly not a place to stop and ask for directions.

We decide to push onto France and Carcassone which we hit at 12.30am. Check-in at our hotel is closed but we have been sent a secret map and secret code (I kid you not) , have to open a (not secret) door, move the picture on the wall to reveal a secret safety deposit box. Secret code entered, key safely retrieved, quick glance over the shoulder just incase, and we have a forgettable night’s sleep in a forgettable hotel room.

Saturday – Up early and pop into the same coffee shop we used on the way down 6 weeks previously and disappointed to find that the staff hadn’t bothered to learn any more English during our time away.

Ready for the road, but feeling the chill, we decided to make a quick stop at a sports outlet for sweatshirts for the kids and Mrs Jilly. Having waited at the tills for 45 minutes to be served Mrs Jilly did not need warming up, in fact she needed Gin!

We’re now well behind schedule and have a long shift up to west Paris near Versailles for an overnight stay in rural France. The drive is eventful with French drivers obviously feeling using the inside lane is some sort of challenge to their masculinity, and defending their God given right to hog the middle line with a spirit and aggression sadly lacking on the Maginot Line.

The best thing about our hotel in rural France is that it is not on the Satnav, Multimap or Trip Advisor so hopefully you’ll never be able to find it. After much searching it appeared out of the forest like the Black Pearl to Captain Jack Sparrow, joy and fear in the same breath.

The owner had advised she was at a neighbour for dinner, and it took us ½ hour to rouse her. Following a cursory tour of the hotel she dumped the key and headed back to her neighbours increasingly noisy party.

So we headed into town for dinner, and as we were in rural France we decided to do as the locals do, and headed for the local Japanese Sushi bar. Given we had the dog with us we were slightly put off as the chef emerged from the kitchen licking his lips and sharpening his knife, so we headed next door to the equally traditional French pizza and pasta restaurant.

Refreshed we decided to retire to our rural abode in the quietest bit of France for a good night’s rest.

Unfortunately the party next door was in full swing, with cars parked everywhere, a full-on outside DJ setup with laser lights and bar staff. It was 11pm and not looking good. Come 1am the DJ was just getting into the mood, mixing hard core dance music with Jazz (bizarre but very like Chivas) and playing endless Michael Jackson tunes. This is wrong for 2 reasons

1) Its Michael Jackson
2) Its Michael Jackson

Countless calls to our partying host went unanswered although a little bit of Leicester’s finest Englebert Humperdinck at 2am sent us asleep at last.

Sunday - We rose for a frosty breakfast– and I don’t mean frosty breakfast as in Tony the Tiger running round the kitchen shouting “They’re GRRReattttt” – with our jaded host, rather she had a hangover and we wanted to hang her. Our complaints about the late night antics were answered with a French style shrug which I think meant “you paid in advance, tough”.

We set the Satnav to skirt round the edge of west Paris, and seemed to spend most of the time in underground tunnels thereby missing most of Paris, which is the best way to see it.

Now heading up the A16 with the words “Calais” reassuring appearing at regular intervals we were filled with Dunkirk spirit as UK registered cars soon became the majority of traffic and we were swept to the Eurotunnel on a swell of patriotism as we nodded to other UK drivers in that “thank God we’re getting back to Blighty” way – obviously all forgetting we land at Folkestone (think Middle Earth without the friendly welcome).

Had the dog checked in via the Pet Passport scheme we were given a free sample of the latest doggy snacks, which the Looky Looky man in the boot wasn’t happy about as he thought they were twiglets. We decide to catch an early train thereby missing the chance of leaving a small child behind and filling his seat with dirt cheap booze from the terminal. We’ll know better next time.

3 hour slog up M25 and M40 and home at last.

Well, at least things couldn’t get any worse, it’s not as if our freezer has packed in and ruined all the food inside and flooded the floor is it? Hold on a minute …………..
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Old 05-09-2012, 00:12
Sparky's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Port de Pollença
Posts: 18,278

OMG!!! that was hilarious . Thank you so much for sharing it with us, i can't wait for next years expedition.
It was lovely to see you all while you were here .
Living the dream in PP with my glass half full. .
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Old 05-09-2012, 00:24
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: N Ireland
Posts: 427

I've stayed up far too late reading your wonderful post but it was so worth it!! Brilliantly written and absolutely hysterical! Thank god you are all safely home and thanks for sharing the tale of your journey. Loved it! Well done
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Old 05-09-2012, 05:56
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 592

Absolutely super accountof your trip back I couldnt put it down,many thanks it made us laugh.
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Old 05-09-2012, 06:19
sws97sdg's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 4,282

Great post, enjoyed your adventure there and back, thanks for posting, very funny
Willow likes this.
Sant Antoni 2017

On island time!!
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Old 05-09-2012, 08:25
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Posts: 1,137

Still in stitches here.

Fantastic read, thanks for posting.
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Old 05-09-2012, 08:57
eleanor's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: on the coast in Essex
Posts: 1,739

It's all been said Jilly! Brilliant! I think we were all with you on your journey!
Many thanks for taking the time to write It up.
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Old 05-09-2012, 09:17
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 7

Mr jilly are you implying that mrs jilly has dependency on gin!? Very funny account! Xx
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Old 05-09-2012, 09:48
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: West Yorkshire
Posts: 1,229

I was feeling rather p****d off this morning and very down in the dumps - but I have jsut read your hilarious report (I felt I was there every step of the way!) and I am sure that Mrs J will love you forever for revealing her gin dependency (I'm a bacardi dependant myself).

Thanks for making my day a lot brighter
Willow likes this.
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Old 05-09-2012, 11:30
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: East Mids
Posts: 353

Absolutely brilliant! Loved it, thanks for posting.
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Old 05-09-2012, 13:58
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Puerto Pollensa
Posts: 2,161

Excellent report. glad all worked out for you and you had a good holiday.
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