'hey Pam why don't we have a lovely 3 day break in Palma'
Famous last words, well almost rammed back down my throat words.
Honestly, that was the plan, there were no plans at all to build this into my training schedule. I know I've been to Majorca a few times now, but really who the heck would know they have mountains?
So back to boot camp....erm Palma. Well yes I had been before on one of those tough management conference things that all people in business' have to put up with once in a while. As a consequence I pretty much new the ropes and a couple of tequilla bars and a fantastic cocktail bar. Actually that was all the ropes I knew, but as they say its pretty much enough to hang yourself with. Evening meal in a known place, a rather nice bottle of wine and a few tequillas later....holiday by anyones standard.
me ' do you fancy a short walk Pam'
Pam (in best Craig voice) 'aye go on then'
You think she would have got a bit suspicious as I dug out my fell running shoes, (sorry did I mention the fell 'running' shoes Shad?). But no, camera in hand and very little other preparation we headed for the local castle, via the backstreets which did contain some fantastic graffiti and smelt like piss.
We should have been happy with the piss smell because as we entered the hillside on which said castle sat, the place was littered with dog shite. Honestly it was like being back in the 70's where every child could be seen pulling faces or faeces whilst 'cleaning' shoes with a long stick.
I'm sure if lady di had used this place as a dodge the landmines training course then 1000's of kids would be saved, saying that every school would have at least ones smelly kid. Just for balance I was the scabby kid due to psoriasis...still am really. It beats being man head, or wonky glasses or crooked teeth......b****cks maybe I was all of them! but not nit head.
Back to the hillside, after a short while the dogs obviously ran out dead food and things cleared up and we arrived at a rather splendid castle on the top of the hill. Pams tolerance of sightseeing is actually worse than mine......'yeah right old bricks where's the good stuff'..good stuff indeed. Its a bit like saying to the kids 'just look at that great view' and they inevitably say 'where'? when it's all around them. As we turned away from the splendid view over the harbour and the town, in the distance behind us loomed up some real mountains capped by a huge statue.
Me ' why don't we go up there?'
Pam 'aye go on then'
Thankfully there was a bottled water machine, so armed with a bottle each we set off (in the 34C heat and it was now about 11am). Even the guidebook said 'there are no paths or signposts in the forest so be careful'. Off map into the forest we went, we did have a hansel and grettle moment where we thought just maybe we were heading too deep into the woods. But we had JC or maybe Virgin Mary on the hillside to guide us.
Then the path headed away from the mountain, 140 degrees away, I was all for heading back for a beer at this point when my personal trainer said ' lets scale this huge wall and go back uphill'. We did and then back into more forest with the fallen tree's and barbed wire. Even this was going ok until we realised that there was now full scale motorway between us and the mountain, inspired by the wall climbing I came up with
'lets go under it through the waste tunnel' thankfully Pam raised an eyebrow and enuf sed really. (Sorry I'm testing text speak to outdo Rosie, she would write it as 'nuf sd' so more practice required.) Pams walking in very flat and new sandshoes and I'm all geared in walking shoes, so the point where I mentioned 'snakes in this long grass' kinda freaked her. Anyway it resulted in a rapid march over a field and then clambering over a rather tall wire fence with no complaints just glad to be back on solid ground.
For the next couple of hours we wound our way round and round and round a couple of hillsides in the heat, pausing only once to call Shad and tell him how unfit he was. By the time the mountain steepened we knew we were only 20 minutes from the top (its now about 36C and the water is running out, oh and Pams starting to get blisters) and the statue loomed over us. The good news is that it looked as if there was a cafe/shack at the top, the promise of which helped us up the last bit.
RESULT its a full scale boutique restaurant with the greatest views over the whole of Palma, I wasn't quite brave enough (or maybe stupid enough) to claim this had been the plan all along. 'Huge long drinks please with loads of ice, a seat by the door in the breeze (necessary to save the other punters) and your pudding menu my good fellow'. And it was just as good when the food arrived.
Fully refreshed 50 minutes later we decided a swift march back down the hill a sit by the pool was in order. We did spot the shortcut that would have saved us at least an hour on the way up. But hey that wouldnt have helped the training schedule would it. I also spotted yet another splendid signpost..
Back at the hotel we were far too shattered to go partying that night so we headed for the offi and smuggled loads of cheap booze into the room ...'you can't take the Teesside out of the kid' and sat on the balcony watching a wedding take place below.
Its amazing how you can spot the wide boys and the slappers at any wedding in any country even at 50 yards through a drunken haze.
And for whats its worth she was definitely offside but at least she scored.