There is a special place to be when peace
of mind and serenity needs recovering, ideal for this time
of the year, and this is why I'm up at Es Cubells, the capital
of the Migjorn (mid-day) part of the Island.
Sit on the terrace of the Bar Llumbí,
ask for a nice cool beer, breathe in deeply and blow away
all the black clouds.
Continuing our perimeter trip around the
South of the Island, leaving the impressing sight of Vedra
at our back, following Southeast, by the high rocky cliff
of the coasts, we turn Llentrisca's Cape. What comes next
is a very broad, open bay, from the cape to Punta Purroig,
four to five kilometres long, four kilometres deep, high coast,
with very few proper accesses to the seashore.
The little white church, surrounded by colourful
oleanders, is situated at the edge of this bay, perched on
the cliffs over a hundred metres above sea level. The graceful
curvature of the bluff forms a natural balcony of exceptional
This is one of the best and most genuine
postcards of the Island. Its landscape, trees and buildings
leave no doubt about what part of the World this belongs to.
One can feel the spirit and the beat of the Mediterranean
The sea looks calm and mild from this distance,
with a special, exclusive light and colours, best to be seen
at dawn when the rising sunlight strikes the cliffs of the
West Coast of the bay.
Very soon we can find out, we can feel,
that there is something really unusual about this place, something
long time wanted, something pleasant and relaxing. It is not
the magnetic energy and the wild emotions that one can feel
in the presence of Vedra.
Here, the thoughts and feelings turn far
more subtle, mystic, deep, almost religious.
This is probably the reason why the church
was built on this natural altar (thank God they built a bar
by the side, too).
In the garden there is a monolith to the
priest Padre Palau who spent the last eleven years of his
life (1870-80s) meditating at the top of Vedra. Today there
is an iron cross in the same place, installed by another priest
- Padre Morey - around 1960.
Padre Francesc Palau founded the religious
order Carmelo Misionero and in the 20th century a
convent for the Carmelite Sisters was built a few hundred
metres from the church and the cliff. This place had special
relevance for spiritual meditation during Franco's days up
and until the mid-1970s. The elder neighbours of the place
still remember some hysterical mystic crisis scaring the neighbourhood,
keeping the natives away from the surroundings. The convent
is still open.
By the side of the church there is a road
that runs two thirds down and along the cliff, to about fifteen
or twenty big villas built on the slope. One of the firsts
to be built, right by the seashore, almost thirty years ago,
was for the Swiss actress Ursula Andress ("007 vs. Dr
No"). The road was extended three kilometres to the last
villa built for the musician Mike Oldfield (Tubular Bells)
in the 1990s.
In between there is the only public way
down to the seashore to the little beach of Ses Boques with
several fishermen's huts, the boats and a nice, small, wooden-terraced
restaurant run by a local ex-fishing family. There's good
familiar service and the rice dishes, "Arroz a la
Marinera" (seafood rice soup) and paella are excellent.
The seafood and fish is always varied, plentiful and very
Cala Llentrisca (*) is probably the least-visited
beach of all Ibiza (most come by boat), less then one kilometre
from the end of the road, towards the Cape, but with very
difficult pedestrian access from this direction.
These littoral waters are perfect for snorkel-diving
and underwater photography, crystal-clear with plenty of light,
from three to eight metres deep. The "Posidonia oceanica"
meadows are still in very good condition, so a great variety
of life can be observed in them (Wrasses, Breams, Groupers,
Combers, Rays, Mullets, among other fish, Fan mussel, Sea-urchins,
Sea-stars, Cuttlefish, Octopus and Crabs are also common).
By the big stones of the seashore, out of
the beach, looking up to the cliff slope, the serenity turns
into a rather fearful impression, when we see the different
material layers that form them, most is clay and marl, with
two or three levels of heavier and harder calcareous rock
at the top, with enormous blocks of rocks just waiting to
tumble down to the sea.
This happens now and then, especially after
big rains. In fact, all the slopes move down slowly.
The Clays, Marl and Calcareous rock that
have formed these hills, up to four hundred metres high, (Puig
Jueu) used to be the seabed of the ancient "Tethys Sea"
and were raised up from about twenty million years ago, together
with the Alps, (Movimiento Alpino) the Pyrenees, the Sierra
Nevada and the Balearic Islands, always in the direction Southwest
to Northeast. The Betica Range (from which the Blalerics split
off) was formed by the clashing of the African Continent against
the Euro-Asiatic Continent.
The abundant maritime fossils, easy to be
found in them, (ammonites, equnodermos, cephalopods, lamelibranquios,
foraminifers, etc.) tell us they are all from the Cretaceous
period, (120 million to 65 million years) the third and last
period of the Mesozoic Era. Younger fossils are not found
in this part of the Island.
So many stones start to weigh on my spirit
and I need to recharge batteries. I drive up to the church
again, stopping to admire a work of art, right in front of
the bar, a sculpture in honour of the seamen of the site,
done by Luis Ojeda and Julio Bauzá, two resident artists
that have also done most of San Antonio's Big Egg (Colombus'
I look down to the sea, wavering by the
horizon, at the Southeast, the entire island of Formentera
can be seen, tremulous, twenty kilometres away, and away go
problems. Serenity comes back slowly and optimism gets stronger.
I go in to the bar for another beer. The
local daily paper, that I haven't read yet, is on top of the
counter, by the till, when I'm paying, I resist the temptation
of picking it up. I go to sit at the terrace with the beer
in my hand, pleasant Karma in my soul and a smile on my face,
thinking of the Spanish master of humour, Antonio Mingote
when he says: "A pessimist is nothing but a well informed
also "Mata" in Ibicenco) is a plant, "Pistacia
lenticus", together with "Rosmarinus officinalis"
"Juniperus phoenicea" (Sabina) and the "all
over" "Pinus halepensys", our most
common and abundant pine tree, that also give name to the
Islands (Pitiusas) are part of the plants that forms this
hundred per cent Mediterranean littoral forest.
About my publication from last week, I would like to clarify
that any and all the opinions and commentaries are one hundred
per cent personal. For the best understanding of the situation,
it should be said that the editorial line is, and wants to
keep being, hundred per cent apolitical. "Ibiza History Culture"
is hundred per cent apolitical.
Having said this, I also would like to say
that it is my objective to write about what I find relevant,
from the ecological point of view. At the present time, the
dominant subject of our environment, is our own quality of
life. As a specimen of the human native society, I reflect
upon, as most of my community does, the environment in which
we are living at the moment, and everything I said is said,
every single day, in local papers, radio and television. I
apologise for being frustrated, arrogant and bitter, but,
I must admit that it is the way I feel in the present circumstances
and so that's how I tell it, if I want to have any self-respect.
The moment of truth for our social future
has come. Some meditation about it wouldn't do us any harm,
though; I fear that is all I can do about it.
Thank you very much for your time and comprehension.
José P Ribas