Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Squatting on Spanish islands

"We've got the house!" said my friend M with whom I was going to Formentera/Ibiza. M has a friend, who has a friend - who lives in Formentera, and the darling that he is, is willing to let two people stay there for 5 days. YEEEHAAA. So we no longer need to pay for accomodation. Money saved: Euro 200, yippee!

So we arrive on this island, and again, the darling that this guy is, he comes to pick us up at the port. Life is gooooood. People are wonderfulllll. He seems decent, talks sense, doesn't seem to want anything in return for us staying with him. Hmm. Too good to be true huh.

Well..anyway..he tells us while we are in his battered station wagon, that he doesn't exactly have a house, and is not sure if we know where he really lives. Not being too picky about our beds, we listen with a smile. We reach his house, that has been home to him for 5 years. It's a garage.
Literally. A shed, with a small window, a curtain, no electricity, no running water, no plug point, no bathroom. Hmmm.


Ok, it's free and everything else is booked out. It's not like we had many options. No worries.
Rules of the ummm...garage: Do not make noise in the morning, do not be in sight around 4-6pm. OK.

Oh, did I mention, sure he didn't have a bathroom, but he had a laptop and a fridge. Hmmm.

Anyway, we dump our stuff and decide to just chill and call the other 2 remote friends of friends of friends, who might just remember us - to see if we can crash with them. This dude didn't want us around more than two days, another thing nobody bothered to tell us before hand. No worries.

We meet our other friends.
a) B, Valenciano turned hippy, lives in a pine forest. Cool! house in the mountains! hehhe nooooooo. Just a sleeping bag and a tree as shelter. Wow.

b) V, Nepali, lives in a hut in the forest. Four walls made of wood, a roof made of leaves. No electricity or water either. Great.

Conclusion: Our garage is luxury.

But we only have it for 2 nights, we need to find a place to be for another 2.

Easy: Night 3 - we stay with a friend of B in an abandoned house in the middle of nowhere. It has a roof and a well! So we have access to fresh water. Not bad.

Night 4 -

Almost as if feeling our plight...V tells us he has a mate who has a beautiful house (real house) in the mountains with everything - light/water/bed/4 walls/chairs/TV...and he would be happy to shelter us for a night, for 10 Euros each. YAAAAAAAY. We can have a shower and perhaps sleep in a bed!

(NB the 3 nights without real accomodation were really good. Quite comfortable, quiet and really got us into the 'being with nature mode'. But we hadn't walked through a real door, or had a shower, or used a bathroom for 3 days - a house sounded great. And for 10 Euros - ooffff jackpot!)

So we go to this house on our last night, in the middle of nowwhere. We hung out with out host I for the evening. But he landed up drinking alot. No - thats an understatement. He probably couldn't distinguish a man from a tree - thats how drunk he was. Anyway, fingers crossed - we go with him, he seemed harmless.

The house was beautiful, and we go into our room with the biggest smiles on our faces. We shut the door, get ready to sleep. And we hear him put his stereo on FULL volume and him singing from the top of his lungs. MAN.

Ok...10 minutes later, seems like he has passes out. We creep out, turn off the stereo and the TV and slip back into out rooms.

5 mins later - he is up, TV is on, music is on, he is singing again. MAAAAAN!

Ok...10 minutes later, we decide to talk to him and request him to reduce the noise.
We see him passed out, butt naked on the sofa. Yikes. We don't dare to leave our rooms.

We try to sleep. But all we can hear is noises him singing, talking, banging into things, things falling down and other strange noises I rather not describe. He banged into our room a few times. He even opened our door and put in a cactus plant? aaaaaahhh...freaky!

With no lock inside, we do whatever we can to jam the door from inside. And we fall asleep, freaked out, listening to terrible and loud noises.

8 am - he seems to be still awake. Yikes.

10 am - we sneak out of the window of our room, and make a run for it.

Night 5: Ibiza

The last boat from Formentera to Ibiza is at 8:30pm, our flight to Valencia was at 7am the next day. Plan? party all night and go to the airport around 6am.

Starving, we decide to eat first. Find this decent and not expensive pizzeria - and go in for a pizza and an extra large jug of Sangria. Comes time to pay, I give them my bank card. Lo and behold, it doesn't work. In wallet - Euro 35; bill - Euro 27.

Now 2 chicas in Ibiza, with 8 Euros and no friends. Thats not enough to get a taxi to the airport. Buses have stopped running. No battery in phone, no money in phone. Phone cards don't work in Ibiza. YAAY. So much for our plan to party.

Luckily the dude in the resturant had a friend in the restuarant who agreed to drop us to the airport and even take us around town, if we felt like hanging with a big, African, non-English, non-Spanish speaking dude from Senegal for the rest of the evening.

Fingers crossed in our pocket, we agree. It was midnight, there was no way we were going to spend what would probably be our first and last night in Ibiza, at the airport.

So here we are with R from Senegal, who took us to Playa En Bossa, one of the most happening beaches. He seemed to know a few bouncers so we got into places for free. With E8 in our pockets, we couldn't even get a water.

After being silent observers in 6 bars and 2 clubs, we needed a strong drink. Went to the Mercado, got a litre of beer and sat on the beach till 3. R thought he was making great friends, and as nice as he was, we decided it was time to go to the airport.

So night 5: Airport.

Beer at night, breakfast later, we are in Valencia waiting at the bus stop for a bus to get home. 4 Euros 40 Cents in our pocket, we need 5 for the bus. Great. Luckily the girl next to us heard us furiously counting our change and gave us 60 Cents.

Yes people are wonderful in general. We were very lucky on this trip - we always had people helping us out of our stranded situation (s).

Definitly one of my most adventuras and unpredictable trips.

Now, anybody can top the level of adventure in sleeping arrangements?:)
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