I think I must have been a weather girl in a past life. In case you haven’t noticed, I love writing about rain, storms, cold snaps and any sign of wild weather in Ibiza. Sunsets, rainbows and hot spells get the odd mention too. I have to be honest, it’s not for lack of other things to write about (I mean, we’re in Ibiza after all), it’s just that I really, really love the way the Mother Nature – when she rains in particular – has the power to totally change everything, often throwing the island into total unexpected chaos. Sometimes it’s over the course of a week, sometimes it’s overnight and other times, it’s in just a matter of minutes – like this morning…
There I was, minding my own business, standing on my little balcony overlooking the drizzly square of Dalt Vila in my pyjamas, as I do every day, when an almighty downpour erupted from the sky. Thunder echoed all over the port, all over the island, and lightning lit up the sky like non-stop fireworks. I knew it was coming of course – not only could my inner weather girl sense it, but my trusty iPhone had also given me a pretty good indication of what time I should expect the storm – but I wasn’t expecting torrential rain of this magnitude. It came in every window and door of the house (north, east and west facing), streaming in and drenching, almost flooding, over two metres at each entry point. Thankfully, I own a lot of towels!
As I ran upstairs and downstairs like a mad woman, trying to lock up the windows while simultaneously sopping up all that excess water, I was running on adrenalin. The sky was pitch black when normally it’s blue; the sound of roaring thunder replaced the usual sound of human traffic mulling about in the square and you couldn’t help but just BE in the present moment. Sure, I had work to do but the internet connection had probably been blown out by the storm anyway. At that exact point in time, I was content to step back from my life in that moment and simply observe. And how often do we actually get to do that? That’s part of what I love so much about the wild weather – it forces you to just be still amongst the chaos.
After about 15 minutes – as my locked up apartment began to steam up like a sauna – the rain eased off and I was able to open the balcony doors enough to poke my head out and look down into the square – and it seemed every single one of my neighbours was doing the same thing. From La Torreta, down through the centre of the square where El Olivo is and down to Restaurante Dalt Vila, THERE. WAS. SURF. I kid you not. The square was almost knee-deep in water (I gauged this from the scale of a van attempting in vain to do drive into the square – the water came all the way up above his tyres) and the strength of the wind was creating mini-waves in the flood. I kid you not. As the same time, water was cascading down the hill from the contemporary art museum like Niagara Falls and it showed no signs of waning.
Then all of a sudden, just like the way the storm came, everything just kind of disappeared again in minutes. The intense rain stopped. The flood waters drained, quite quickly. The man in the van completed his delivery. The internet came back on. The sun peeked out from behind the clouds. Everyone in the hood went back to their lives inside their apartments. The moment was over – but what a magical moment it was. Don’t get me wrong, I certainly don’t wish misfortune on anyone. I wish these annual torrential storms could hit the island without causing car accidents, tunnel closures, power cuts, water damage, cliffs collapsing (have you seen Sa Caleta?) and sewage problems, or even a loss of trade when it comes to many businesses. I wish delivery men could do their jobs without getting wet.
But at the same time, I have to admit, I do wish we had more storms like these. It seems this week I’ll have my wish, as my weather app tells me the weather is going to stay like this until Saturday (despite however sunny it appears outside right now this minute!). Now, while that’s awesome for me, especially because I had the foresight yesterday to stock the fridge and cancel any plans, it’s not so great for anyone who’s here on holiday. I’m going to be honest with you – if you’ve got kids in tow, the options are not plentiful – Ibiza remains an island designed to be lived under 300 days of sunshine – but there ARE some options and you might want to know them, as three days of hotel room service and screen time might send you mad otherwise…
In most cities, the go-to activity for kids on a rainy day is the cinema. Now, if your kids speak Spanish, that’s not going to be a problem – The Lion King, Angry Birds 2 and Pets 2 are showing in the Santa Eulalia and Ibiza town cinemas. I’m guessing that chances are, if you’re visiting from another country (and reading this blog), they’ll be wanting to watch movies in VO (original language). Fortunately, the island’s coolest kids’ club – set within the five-star surrounds of Nobu Hotel Ibiza Bay – screens kids movies every day at 2pm, in addition to a host of other cool activities like ice cream making workshops, mandala painting, shell art, mermaid and pirate parties and more.
And while your kids are having a great time with all their new friends, you can pull up a pew in the cosy Chambao interior and enjoy a long luxe lunch, with front row views of the storm over the beach. The next time-honoured Ibiza rainy day activity is bowling – the only bad news I have on that front is that the main bowling centre doesn’t open until 6pm, so you’ll need to keep your kids entertained until later in the day. There’s a smaller American Diner in Playa d’en Bossa that has a mini bowling alley within the restaurant however, so all is not lost. Finally, for lovers of a challenge, there are Escape Rooms in Ibiza town, with Sherlock Holmes, Zombie, Mad Scientist and Alice in Wonderland themed rooms – my tip is phone ahead, because almost everyone with kids is going to be thinking along the same lines this week…
For adults without kids, the rain is never that bad – ok, so you might not be getting the beach week of your dreams, but there are restaurants aplenty so it’s all about settling in and indulging those epicurean pleasures. You can also book yourself into a day spa and forget about the weather entirely, inside a sweet-smelling spa cabina – I’m a big fan of Open Spa, Revival Wellness and Pure Seven but again, call ahead because I’m sure I’m not the only islander giving these tips today! Oh, and back to the movies: Adults can see Once Upon a Time in Hollywood or Angel Has Fallen in English at the Santa Eulalia cinema every night this week. If you’re coming from a city, let me warn you – it’s a dinky little cinema that harks back to 1982 but the popcorn tastes good and you’re still watching Brad and Leo – things could be worse. Like, you could be knee-deep in flood water trying to make a delivery!I’m only happy when it rains…
It’s true! Nothing makes me happier than a good old burst of rain, especially if it’s accompanied by thunder and lightning – as it is right now as I type! I know, I know… it’s not good for people on holidays, it’s not good for local businesses, it’s not good for our internet connections and it’s not good for our roads
But there are a few things the rain in Ibiza IS good for. Let me enlighten you…
1. More than anything, it’s good for the nature of the island. It’s so hot for the majority of the year here, that we should be embracing every last drop of water that hits our land, hills, forests, farms, plants, gardens and crops. “But the island NEEDS it,” you’ll hear every rain-happy local say to every soggy, disgruntled tourist. Just you wait – by Friday (my trusty weather app assures me tomorrow we’ll have more of the same), Ibiza will be lush, green and gorgeous once again.
2. It’s good for getting a massage. Or a facial. Or a manicure, pedicure, haircut, body treatment, some man-scaping… whatever kind of pampering makes you happy. Hell, call in the experts and get a spray tan if you’re worried about the lack of sun for a couple of days! If you’re brave enough to head outdoors, make an appointment at one of Ibiza’s famous day spas, but if you prefer to stay put, there are an army of mobile spa therapists who’ll come direct to your hotel, apartment or villa for a pampering session.
3. It’s good for holing up in a nice restaurant and indulging in fine cuisine while watching the storms roll by. Let’s face it – everyone’s got to eat at some point. You might be lucky enough to be in a hotel with yummy room service, or a couple of in-house restaurants, in which case you’re in luck. But if you’re in your villa with not much more than a few slices of bread to call lunch, then it’s worth braving the elements (call a taxi, or a driver to take you from door-to-door). My favourite places to seek refuge in a storm include El Chiringuito (surprisingly protected), Passion Café Santa Eulalia and The Giri Cafe for lunch or Cicale, Nagai and Bambuddha for dinner.
4. It’s good for shopping – well, as long as you have an umbrella! It’s not exactly as if Ibiza has a shopping mall (thank god), but it is a good excuse to hit the streets of Ibiza town, ducking in and out of doorways for shelter – you never know what you’ll find in the unique fashion, jewellery and interiors boutiques on the island. And now you have plenty of time to browse, since there’s no rush to get to the beach… and if you just can’t bear to leave the house, simply hit the online White Ibiza Boutique – you’ll find the very best Ibiza fashion and jewellery finds, and we’ll even brave the rain to deliver it directly to your door!
5. It’s good for hitting the gym or the yoga studio. Just because you’re on holiday doesn’t mean you have to ease up on the exercise schedule! Or perhaps you could find a meditation class to help quiet a rain-tortured mind! You’ll find all the information for drop-in yoga classes, fitness classes and more on the White Ibiza Yoga & Class Calendar… or why not call in one of Ibiza’s personal training or yoga experts to come to your villa?
6. It’s good for doing absolutely nothing! Let’s be honest – how often do you really, really ever get to do absolutely nothing? Nada, zip, zilch? My guess is, practically never, and if my own experience of being on holiday is anything to go by… well, you have such a packed schedule most of the time, you need a holiday to recover from your holiday when you get back. So kick back in your big, plush hotel bed. Snuggle on the sofa in the villa. Watch movies, binge watch some new TV shows or read a book. Even better – download the latest edition of the White Ibiza iPad Magazine (or every edition – they’re all archived and free!) and start researching and planning exactly what your next move is… once the rain has stopped!I’m only happy when it rains…
Ohhh, OK. That’s not entirely true, but I have to admit, when it rains in Ibiza, it makes me really, really happy (yes, even in peak summer season)! And given that we’ve just had a couple of days of EPIC stormy weather here on the white isle, I have to admit I am feeling particularly chipper – especially considering it’s the end of August!
You see, after the rain, the entire mood of the island seems to shift… or even lift – like the rain cleanses away the grumpy moods, short tempers and lack of patience normally associated with oppressive August. Sure, you miss a couple of beach days here and there (sorry holidaymakers – we need it!), but just think of how beautiful, lush and green the island looks afterwards! And considering just how hot and steamy August has been, the cooler temps were a welcome respite from the heat, and a reminder that our favourite month of the year is just around the corner.
Ahhh, September. I can hardly wait!
But back to the matter of the rain. I’ve had to cancel two photo shoots, can’t find parking anywhere in Dalt Vila (where I live) because all the tourists have gone shopping in lieu of the beach (when the going gets wet, the wet go shopping), my roof is leaking, I missed my open-air yoga class and I’M STILL SMILING!
Why? Because I’ve had time to finally catch up on my emails (only 15 left in the inbox!), update my Pinterest page, meticulously study my Facebook feed (and not necessarily in that order), clean my house, do ALL my laundry, colour-coordinate my wardrobe, pre-plan the next six weeks worth of clubbing outfits, watch an entire series of Orange Is The New Black on the internet, spend quality time with my furry friends, cook indulgent comfort food and catch up on all the sleep I’ve missed out on in the last few months!
But holidaymakers, don’t despair. As I type this now, I can see the clouds blowing over and the sun shining through in patches… I’ve consulted my trusty iPhone weather app and he assures me tomorrow we’ll be back to balmy 29-degree weather, nothing but pure sunshine and blue skies ahead for the rest of the season.
As you were…