The last time I visited Mallorca, the place was swamped with sun worshippers, mostly from England it seemed. The English are always desperate for some sun as they get little of it on their own island. This time though there were very little tourist. The whole of Mallorca is a virtual a ghost town this time of year as I discovered upon my arrival and subsequent 5 hour drive around the island searching for a place to stay. Nearly every hotel, beach resort, and guest house is closed for the winter. My original intent had been to stay in the northwest of the island in the mountains so I could be close the hiking trails. I drove to Soller first. I ditched the car and struck out on foot to find a suitable place to stay. The only two places accepting guest were the Grand Hotel way to posh for my liking and a small guest house. I asked the land lady, in broken Spanish, how much per night? Her first quote was 120 Euros. She must have seen the distraught look in my eyes and dropped the price to 95 Euros, then to 70 Euros. I was not prepared to spend that kind of money on a research trip that was meant to be a low cost Spartan endeavour. I made my apologies and left.
By this point, I thought I’d try some of the other surrounding mountain villages. 2 hours later I was back in Soller with no place to stay. I remembered from my previous stay on the island that there were a gazillion places to stay near Portous Nouns, Palmanova, Cala Major and that whole strip of beach towns. So back south I drove only to be find all those towns devoid of life and places to stay. The golf resort had its flags flying, but I knew they would no doubt probably be charging twice as much as my lady in the north.
It was late in the afternoon and the sun was beginning to set. By this point, I had resigned myself to sleeping in the car. Finally I thought, head to Palma. Surely there would be a place to stay there. I decided to head back to the airport. There are usually tones of places to stay near airports. On a whim, I took the exit just after the airport into the town of Ca’n Pastilla. It was here I found a sanctuary.