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Just A Minute: Visiting Formentera...

Our intrepid but invariably hapless Englishman decides to explore Formentera with friends. What could possibly go wrong?

I've always fancied catching a ferry to Formentera.

An island of natural beauty surrounded by crystal clear waters created by a million Posidonia plants on the sea-bed.

Three friends were coming to stay for a week. The opportunity to fulfil my fancy, rent a scooter and explore the island I've gazed at from Ibiza's shores for over a year finally presented itself.

"Bring your driving licences" I told them, "for we are off on an adventure".

On a warm and sunny October morning we found ourselves taking an early breakfast at JD's beach bar, Playa d'en Bossa waiting for the arrival of the Aquabus. At 19€ return, it's by far the cheapest way to travel.

Over a cup of tea we hatched our plan. We'd rent scooters see where the by-ways took us.

As Emma has no drivers licence she'd ride pillion with Simon, a London fire-fighter. Martin is an enormous man. Thick set, big build, slightly geeky computer code writer by trade. He weighs in at a mighty 110 kilos, 35 more than me. We'd rent our own bikes. The thought of the two of us on one tiny scooter sent shivers down my spine. No, it was agreed that despite being a little more expensive we'd rent our own.

"I wish I'd bought the side table in the bedroom with me" said Martin with a nervous laugh as we stood at the desk of the rental company. We gave him a quizzical look.

"I've left my driving licence on it".

He emptied the contents of his pockets. Passport, Euros, a couple of dollar bills, pocket fluff. No licence.

"No licence, no scooter" said the clerk as Martin tried to rent one with his passport.

Five minutes later, and to howls of laughter for the others, I set off on a tiny 50cc scooter with a precariously perched, man mountain pillion passenger. The engine screaming at me for allowing so much weight over the rear wheel. As we wobbled, and almost 'wheelied' our way out of the compound I crossed my fingers, for I'd not ridden a scooter in 30 years.

Picking up speed towards San Francisco, trying to keep the bike stable with a passenger who has all the balancing capabilities of a potato was not an easy task.

"Stop!" shouted Martin, "My money has all blown away".
With the scooter barely stationary, he leapt of the bike and chased after Euros and dollar bills that had fallen from his pocket and were flying away on the breeze around the streets of San Francisco.

I just shook my head, looked up to the sky and crossed my fingers.

How we made it I'm still unsure. Thirty minutes later we were sat at the Mirador Hotel, marvelling at the view. Gazing down upon both sides of the lush green island, the clear blue sea breaking on the white sandy coast. Simply stunning.

The remainder of the day passed without further haplessness. A long lazy lunch in El Pilar, a swim in the clearest of sea waters at Platja de Migjorn followed by a sleepy siesta on the sands. Perfect.

We saw the 6.30pm ferry taking on passengers at the quay as we returned our scooters.

"Shall we get this one?" asked Emma.

"I think we all deserve a well earned beer, don't you" I replied. "We've arrived unscathed. Nothing can go wrong now"

I pointed to the large timetable on the quayside. Next ferry 7pm. Last ferry, 7.30pm.

"If we get the 7 o'clock we might see a spectacular sunset. We have no warmer clothing so getting the last ferry might be leaving it a little too late" I suggested. The ferry might be the cheapest but it is a slow crossing.

It was agreed. We'd take a beer and catch the next one.

7pm came...... and went. No ferry.

I spoke to a chubby man wearing a company t-shirt and pointed to the timetable

"Where does the 7 o'clock ferry sailing from?"

"Here" he said helpfully, "but there isn't one today, it's now low season".

We watched the quay like hawks.

Finally, enjoying a free glass of sangria, I reflected on our adventure on the last ferry home.

A first class day out.

Next time I think I'll stay the night to really soak in the energy of the island.

There will also be a driving licence check before we board the ferry...

Just a minute!

Photos supplied by Just a Minute

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