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Living and working at sea, it is difficult, more often impossible, to attend family affairs, birthdays, weddings, funerals...but as friends and family begin to understand your unpredictable lifestyle, a place is always set for you just incase you are able to catch a flight and make it last minute. Worst case scenario, you rsvp, I 'might' be able to make it...but that is heavily dependent on the weather, arrival/departure of the boss, change in schedule of the boat; you always end up cutting it fine. But, if by some miracle, you make it to the event, even if you have flown over two thousand miles and knock on the door still in your fowlies, bag slung over shoulder, hair covered in salt.
I was unable to celebrate my Dad's 60th birthday this year. October 6th marked a year of me working onboard this boat. As a thank you to my Dad for believing in me, supporting my decisions and to wish him a happy birthday, he flew out to Palma to stay on the boat with me at the end of my working season. I met him at the airport and handed him the keys to a 1974 Triumph TR6 convertible....'Eliza what have you done?!'
We spent the weekend cruising the western mountain range of Mallorca, winding through the valleys and woodlands; the incredible escalating views, hidden Spanish coastal towns, national parks and secret beaches, we kept driving until sunset.
Map out, we drove North West from Palma, towards the mountains. The decision was made to first drive the coastal road that led to Valdemossa - an elegant Spanish town that's sits at the base of a valley in the mountains. Parking is always a mission - especially during the summer season. So don't be afraid to sneak off down the back streets to find a spot. Hand break on, we left the car and walked fifteen minutes back into town. I led him to the viewpoint that looks down the valley to the sea. Caffeinated up we returned to the car, on route we came across the local market situated in an emptied car park. It was too difficult to have resisted tomatoes on toast crowned with Joselito.
Back on the road, we gradually climbed higher up the hills. On every hairpin bend you would get a glimpse back over the panoramic that would get better on each turn. The view became hidden as we disappeared into the thick woods, flashes of sun would hit the car through gaps in the trees. Suddenly the forest shot back from behind us, the loud talkative engine echoed through the dark tunnel we drove through that was calved into the mountainside. Daylight appeared at the end and we left the echo behind us. The corridor into paradise led to a 180 degree view of open ocean.
Deia is the next tranquil town that watches over the sea, it's petit traditional villas sit on the hillside looking over the cliffs below where the sea flows into a cut in the coastline. The TR6, the landscape and the sunshine...both Dad and I sat speechless on this part of the journey.
The road followed the cliffs along the coast until we reached a sharp bend to the right that led inland. Instead we turned left...down an extremely windy road that zig zagged back to the sea! It was extremely windey, after a good half an hour drive and over one hundred hair pin bends we reached the bottom of the valley. At the bottom of this valley, there is a beach. This is no ordinary beach.
After a good drive back up the mountain, enjoying the rawing sound of the engine on every gear change as the sound bounced up the rocks.
As light started to disappear and the fuel gage lit up we drove back to Palma. It was a day I'm sure Dad nor I will forget. A fantastic weekend, showing my Dad my new world and home.
Happy Birthday Father Bee.