Parrot entertains us at the bar

I know I said I’d talk about jellyfish in my next post, but let’s pretend I didn’t, because I want to talk about a parrot, instead.

So, I went to this bar in Mallorca one night, with Piers, his sister and brother-in-law.

We were seated next to a parrot.

 

Parrot looking at me cutely

 

It was working hard at being the centre of attention by squawking very loudly and jumping around its rope toys, swinging wildly as it clung on to them.

 

Parrot fooling around on ropes

 

We realised after a while that it wasn’t chained and was quite free to go anywhere it wanted. But it seemed quite happy to stay on its little tree plant.

 

Parrot's little tree plant thing

 

A man, a customer of the bar, went up to the parrot and, amazingly, managed to coax the parrot onto his arm, then shoulder, by whispering sweet nothings to it.

 

Parrot on man's hand

 

Parrot on man's arm

 

The man thought he had the parrot charmed.

But the parrot had other ideas. It hopped onto the man’s shoulder and starting attacking the man’s glasses.

 

Parrot eating man's glasses

 

Not too amused, the man gently told the parrot off and made it go back to its tree plant.

My group urged me to get the parrot on my shoulder, too. I would be safe, they said, because I don’t wear glasses. So, after some hesitation and one giant cocktail, I went up to give it the old college try.

But allow me to digress first because giant cocktail!

 

Because giant cocktail

 

As you can see, my cocktail was a lot more impressive than the other drinks on the table. And it has sparklies. And tropical fruit!

 

Because giant cocktail

 

It’s called a Hawaiian Volcano.

Piers and Humfrey were quite jealous so they ordered their own awesomesaurus cocktail for seconds. I think their ones were a bit less impressive, but they had straws a mile long each, so their straws win.

 

Because giant cocktail

 

So, back to the parrot.

I went up to it and looked at it with what I hoped was a benign expression. It looked back at me quizzically.

I offered it my arm (but rather tentatively, for I anticipated a surprise violent peck or two). It didn’t accept. It looked away. It looked at its food bowl, at the tree branches, at the ceiling. Anywhere but at me and my arm.

Defeated, I decided to just take some close-up photographs.

I don’t think it liked that very much. It started walking away.

As I followed it with my camera, it kept walking, up and down the branches, left and right, but all the time keeping a wary eye on the camera.

 

Parrot looking at camera suspiciously

 

After it had finished its tour of every branch on the tree, it came back to its favourite perch, the food bowl, and stared at my camera challenging.

 

Parrot looking at camera more suspiciously

 

I continued snapping while it held that still pose.

And, then, with a super fast motion, it lunged at the camera. Before I even knew what was happening, it had got hold of the camera strap with its beak.

 

Parrot trying to eat my camera strap

 

It started chewing. I mean, really chewing. You could see the movement of beak and tongue, and the tip of the leather strap getting mushed up.

The other patrons in the bar laughed. I continued snapping photos while at the same time trying to rescue my strap without using too much force.

After about 20 seconds, it let go. Whether it was because my strap didn’t taste to its satisfaction or because my gentle tugging was annoying it, I will never know.

Then it scooted off to its ropey playground and squawked merrily, swinging on the ropes without a care in the world.

 

Parrot swinging on rope

 

There was another free-range parrot on the premises but it didn’t attract as much attention because it was asleep most of the night and perched high up on a tree so that it blended in with the colourful surroundings.

I totally want a parrot now. They’re so entertaining!

Here’s a video of a parrot mimicking phone calls. It’s the same breed as the one I saw in Mallorca, an African Grey!

 

 

Our parrot wasn’t that chatty, though. It mostly just squawked and occasionally said hello.

By the way, in case you want to know, the bar is called Cheeki Tiki and they have Sky Sports, which is the reason we went there in the first place, because the boys wanted to watch England vs Ukraine.

If you had a parrot, what would you teach it to say?

Beaches, bikinis and food, is all

So, I’m home from Mallorca, in front of my computer now, trying to claw my way back to the surface of reality.

Holidays always throw me into a dreamlike, soupy funk from which my ego refuses to emerge until I have unrelentingly walloped it in the face with a wooden spoon so that it has no choice but to come to its senses.

As you can tell by the way I am speaking in abstracts, I have not quite found surface. But I am sober enough to update my blog by now, even if I haven’t gained sufficient lucidity to write in a non-trippy way.

Therefore, I think it would be wise for me to write less and show more.

That means photos!

 

Sheylara in Mallorca

 

All photos were taken in Cala d’Or, Mallorca, a little beach town from which Piers and I didn’t venture an inch because we are lazy bums.

But there is really no need to go anywhere when you have sand, sea and sun (and, in my case, iPad) within reach.

 

 

Not so hot dog legs

My version of hot dog legs.

 

 

Cala d'Or beach

Cala d’Or beach is tiny at 40 metres wide, perfect for families with little ones because it will be really hard for you to lose your little ones here (unless you’re an iPad addict, then I can’t say for sure).

 

 

Sheylara in Black and White

The town centre has a great selection of cafés, restaurants and bars (and shops) for your hedonic pleasure.

 

 

Seafood Paella

Seafood Paella is a one such pleasure.

 

 

Sangria

Sangria is another.

 

 

Padron Peppers

And Padrón peppers, which are so very, very tasty and full of wholesome goodness, containing vitamins A, B1, B2, C and P, proteins, calcium and iron.

 

 

Garlic mushrooms

I love Spanish food because it is so generous with seasonings, herbs and flavours. This garlic mushroom dish had nearly as much garlic as mushrooms.

I ate up all the garlic.

Piers didn’t mind.

 

 

Bread and olives with ali oli sauce

Bread and olives with alioli (or aioli) sauce are a common starter in Spanish meals. I love the sauce. It’s a blend of garlic, olive oil, salt and egg yolk.

 

 

Dress-down weekend

The best thing about going on holiday is being able to buy new holiday clothes (without telling Piers).

 

 

Bikini

This is one of the bikinis that I bought two years ago and forgot to pack for my first Mallorca holiday. I never wore it until now.

 

 

White bikini

And another one.

I bought four in all. Which is quite stupid considering that I never go to the beach (or even swimming pool) if I can help it.

 

 

Just another

Cala d’Or beach is a couple minutes’ walk from the Marina de Cala d’Or, where you can find a good selection of restaurants and a few shops. And lots of boats, of course.

 

 

More peppers

More Padrón peppers, because I can.

 

 

Sirloin steak with Roquefort Sauce

We ate lunch at this restaurant called Zocalo, which offers a 3-course meal (with choices for each course) for only €15. Piers and I had the peppers for starters and sirloin steak with Roquefort Sauce for mains.

I didn’t know what Roquefort Sauce was so I asked the waiter, who said in halting English, “Uh… is… ahh… creme.”

It turned out to be a cheesy cream sauce which is really nice for vegetables but I don’t like it on my steak.

Also the steak looked a bit sad and pathetic, which made me a bit sad. But it explained the €15 price tag.

 

 

Right. That’s too much said, and two too many bikini photos shown.

Don’t you think?

Next time, I will talk about jellyfish.

What I do in Mallorca

I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to blog from Mallorca but it appears that I’m able to. The wifi is good and I have pockets of free alone time, which is when everyone’s at the beach. Except me.

I’m in Cala d’Or, Mallorca, for a 9-day holiday with Piers and his family. We’re staying in a villa just a minute’s walk away from the beach, and the family’s plan is to practically live on the beach the whole time.

 

Beach

 

My plan is to not live on the beach. I’m quite happy to lounge around in the airy villa all day, enjoying the full protection of a sturdy roof.

 

Villa

 

I did go to the beach in the morning. There was a section of shade I could hide under because the sun was still low and hiding behind a line of trees.

 

Sheylara

 

But, eventually, the sun got me and there was no hiding. So I got up and built little Emma a sand throne. At least, that was what I set out to do before Piers decided to help by turning it into a sand race car.

 

image

 

Emma got into it and was quite happy with it for a bit, but then half destroyed it when she tried crawling out via the hood.

By the way, if my photos and drawings are extra crappy, it’s because I didn’t bring my laptop and am blogging from my iPad.

Anyway, one morning of sun, sand and sea was quite enough for me, and I came back to the villa while the others stayed to enjoy the beach all day.

 

Sheylara

 

That’s all I’m going to say today! It’s taken me three hours to produce this silly post, mainly because I’ve got a stupid long-winded process to get photos onto my iPad and then into the blog.

Oh, Piers just came back to the villa and he’s gone all red, lol. He won’t admit it, though (he claims it’s a nice brown) so here’s a photo of His Redness.

 

Piers

 

Heh.

Sheylara in bikini and mud

Now that I have lulled you into a (false) sense of security with my short break from blogging, it’s time to unleash upon you more scary bikini photos.

Yep. Just when you thought you were safe. I present to you… a diseased-looking Sheylara in bikini.

 

Sheylara on pebble beach

 

Okay, I’m not actually diseased, but merely covered in mud. It’s pure, natural mud taken from a cave in a region where pirates of old used to hang out and rest between rampageous naval battles.

That’s as natural a mud mask as you can get.

We were at Coll Baix, a tiny beach of gravel, hidden away from civilisation in Mallorca. You could get to it via a long trek through paths thick with vegetation and trees along the scary cliffs of the island, or you could get to it by boat.

We went by speed boat. It was Piers’ birthday and it was a surprise from his dad.

Yacht charters and boat rentals can be had just about everywhere in Mallorca. We booked our boat adventure at the Puerto Pollensa marina.

 

Sea Adventures

 

Our tanned, robust captain claimed to look younger than his supposed 67 years thanks to the mud from the caves. I’m not quite sure I believe him. He was trying to convince us to plaster the mud he had given us all over ourselves. But he did smear his entire head with that stuff.

His speed boat runs on a daily schedule for different sea tours. We did the Pirate Routes, a two-hour adventure that costs 60 Euros per person. Expensive, but so eye-poppingly fun!

 

Sea Adventures

 

When the boat goes on high speed, it kind of skips along the water, so the ride is kind of bumpy.

I found it scary at first because I was afraid I would get seasick, which I have a history of. But the seasickness never came and I began to enjoy myself. Fear quickly turned to exhilaration.

You’re bouncing on the water as if the water were a spring mattress. The wind is rushing at your face and rustling madly at your ears. Your eyes drink deeply the sights of unspoiled nature all around you.

It was just amazing.

Here’s a picture of the mud cave:

 

Mud cave

 

In this trip, we were supposed to enter the cave and bathe in the mud, then come outside to bake in the sun. But we couldn’t that day because the water was up and a bit choppy, therefore dangerous or something like that.

So our captain took us to Coll Baix beach and gave us a tupperware full of mud harvested from the cave.

The beach is made entirely of gravel, with stones and rocks in the water getting bigger as they head out to sea. The larger rocks are painful to walk on barefoot while the pebbles are uncomfortable. So all you really want to do is sit and bake in the sun.

 

Coll Baix

 

Everyone had mud on their faces except me. I had makeup on my face and I didn’t think it was a good idea to have a apply a mask over makeup. Plus the mud was so pure that there were many tiny stones in them, some of which were sharp. I didn’t want to cut my face!

I don’t have a lot of photos on that beach. We had to anchor the boat 20 or 30 metres away and then jump into the water and swim to shore. Obviously, I couldn’t take my camera.

But Piers swam back to the boat at some point and took some photos for me from there.

He took this photo of himself before swimming back, lol.

 

Piers' muddy face

 

We were on that beach for about an hour, I think. We had our mud bake, we swam around a bit and we played with the waves. It’s fun sitting on the shore. When the waves hit, you can’t help but fall over because the waves are quite strong.

The water was ridiculously beautiful, a rich turquoise colour. It felt so unreal swimming in that water.

 

Turquoise sea

 

Turquoise sea

 

But it’s not turquoise all the time. It depends on the area you’re at and the weather. As you travel across the sea, the colour changes from turquoise to emerald to cerulean to navy.

Regardless of the colour, it’s always clear and sparkling.

 

Beautiful sparkling sea

 

Well, everything was awesome, in a nutshell. If you ever go to Mallorca, a boat trip is highly recommended. See more photos at this Facebook page of other similar trips taken by our boat captain.

And that’s all I have for you today. Let me know if you want more Mallorca posts! (But then, I’ll probably do some more whether you like it or not, lol.)

Photos of our holiday villa

We had seen photos of the villa before going to Mallorca for our holiday. But photos could not prepare us for the astounding sights that greeted us when we arrived.

A good photographer with proper camera equipment might be able capture scenes of nature that bring tears to your eyes, but there is nothing like being right in the middle of it. We see a lot more with our own eyes and all our senses.

I was reluctant to photograph anything because I knew my skills and equipment could never do justice to anything I experienced there. But I had to. As wise guys say in social networking, “Photo or it didn’t happen.”

 

Sheylara's ice cream
The extent of my tan.

 

Casa de Reyes is a two-storey, five-bedroom luxury villa in the resort town of Puerto Pollensa, available for rent by the week. We went there in honour of Piers’ mum’s 60th birthday, although her birthday is actually today.

The design of the villa is quite plain and unassuming but I really like the interior, tastefully decorated with modern designer effects. It’s airy, with sliding door windows and doorways everywhere so there’s more than one route to get to any part of the villa.

But the key feature is, of course, the view all around: Mountains at the back, sea in front, and beautiful neighbouring villas at the side.

Well, there’s nothing much more I can say about it, so I’ll let my photos do the work now.

 

Casa de Reyes
Casa de Reyes sits at the foot of the Sierra de Tramuntana mountain range in Boquer, Puerto Pollensa.

 

Casa de Reyes
It’s a bit hidden from view at the road outside.

 

Casa de Reyes
View from the second floor balcony.

 

Casa de Reyes
The balcony.

 

Casa de Reyes
Piers’ parents being shown around.

 

Casa de Reyes
Kitchen and dining hall.

 

Casa de Reyes
Lounge.

 

Casa de Reyes
Master bedroom.

 

Casa de Reyes
Zoomed-in view from the balcony.

 

Casa de Reyes
The bedroom Piers and I used. Has ensuite bathroom and a one-way door in the bathroom leading out to the pool. (In fact, every bedroom in the villa has a doorway leading out to the pool.)

 

Casa de Reyes
One of the smaller bedrooms.

 

Casa de Reyes
One of the smaller bedrooms.

 

Casa de Reyes
A bedroom with ensuite bath, and a sliding door window that overlooks the pool.

 

Casa de Reyes
The view from the above bedroom.

 

Casa de Reyes
Infinity pool.

 

Casa de Reyes
Another view of the pool.

 

Casa de Reyes
There’s like a rooftop area at the back of the house but it’s unfurnished so no one goes up there except Piers, who likes to stand up there to look for goats on the mountain.

 

Casa de Reyes
Evening view of the distant mountains.

 

Casa de Reyes
Piers and Sebastian playing paddle ball on the balcony.

 

Okay, that’s quite enough photos of the villa. Will talk more about what we did in there next time!