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Ibiza Winter Diary - History, charity and carnival

Flowers blooming everywhere!

Cripes! It's February already! How did that happen?! However, it definitely feels more like spring than winter here in Ibiza. The island is lush and green and flowers are blooming everywhere. Throughout Ibiza Town, houses drip with cascades of bright pink bougainvillea and hanging baskets thrive in the glorious sunshine. The good weather is more than welcomed as it is Carnival week! But what else is going on during the first week of February? Read on...

Monday - Hostal Talamanca Breakfast

I'm up and at ‘em early and I stroll around the port and along the Marina Botafoch promenade to meet a couple of girlfriends at Hostal Talamanca. This wonderfully charming bed and breakfast is situated in a proper sun trap and we grab a table and order coffees, juices and the staple of the Ibiza breakfast, ‘media con tomate' (toasted bread smothered in delicious crushed tomato pulp) and catch up on gossip. In fact, we decide that it is such a great start to the week that we are going to rendezvous in the sun on the beach every Monday morning from now on! And why wouldn't you!?

Thursday - History Talk

After a busy couple of work days, I am really looking forward to the new ‘Ibiza Insights' event, which describes itself as a series of informal weekly talks covering Ibiza's history and culture. At 7pm, we head up to Bar Costa in Santa Gertrudis, a traditional and rustic bar with open fires and huge jamons hanging overhead. Although we still have half an hour to spare before the talk begins, the place is heaving. Organiser, Maya Boyd, has arranged this weekly event through her own personal geeky love of the history of the island, but I don't think she was expecting the overwhelming reaction from the rest of the island's residents! We manage to grab a table and order platters of ham, cheese and a bottle of wine. The room is bursting at the seams when the talk begins and the guest speaker, Emily Kaufman gives us a brilliant breakneck speed rundown of the past 2000 years, delivered in just one hour. What strikes me is the collective curiosity and shared passion that everyone in the room has for Ibiza. There is a fervent thirst to know more. I seriously can't wait for the next one!

Saturday - Mojis

Mojis is a place I have wanted to visit for ages. A small animal sanctuary near San Carlos, the proprietor Abraham takes abandoned and mistreated animals into his home and rehabilitates lovingly to prepare them for adoption in ‘forever homes'. As I arrive to volunteer - this place relies solely on volunteers helping out and on donations - I am struck by the calmness and well thought out organisation of the place itself. With areas penned off for cats, dogs, pigs, goats, horses and chickens, this feels more like a peaceful wild petting zoo! Abraham has clearly put so much love into the sanctuary and as a dog trainer by trade, has an understanding of animals which means that they are all obedient and, above all, super happy. During the summer, he has a full time job as a chef in a busy beach bar, so I have nothing but respect for his dedication. As we feed the horses and name the new pig in the pound (we called him Donald!), the dogs follow Abraham around like the pied piper. They truly love their daddy! We spend the morning brushing the dogs, who all have sad stories of rescue, stroking cats, and helping to muck out. I urge all of you to go and visit this magical place and help out! You won't regret it!

Sunday - Carnival

The day arrives with a big fat rain storm in the morning. Weeks of preparation go into this day, so there are frayed nerves as we wait to see if the weather will clear. And in true Ibiza style, by 11am, the sun is beating down and the ground is almost dry! A procession winds through the streets with children and adults alike performing in the parade in flamboyant costumes. The effort that goes in is immense and families turn up in fancy dress to line the streets and watch the show. After we have our fill of the dancing and revelry, we retreat to the square in Vara De Rey to feast on the huge paella that has been cooking there all morning. There certainly is never a dull moment in Ibiza, even in what is considered to be the dead of winter.

Ibiza Winter Diaries

WORDS |Leena Sharma

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