Week-long karate course in Mallorca, 2001

Mallorca Travel Blog

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Only 7 members of our club were able to come on this trip because we were using the appartment our coach has there. So I felt very lucky to be one of the few who got in early and managed to get a place. That was mainly because of karate though, less because of the place. I had been to Mallorca before and did not particularly enjoy it because I went with 48 other people from school at the time and we had somehow managed to get into the most run-down hotel at the most tourist-infested beach. But this trip was different and much more worthwhile.

We arrived very early in the morning and had about an hour-long drive to the appartment. After settling in we decided to explore a little and it turned out that, yes, there were several hotels and tourists at the beach we'd be training at, but it was a lot less than I would have expected. The first karate-related challenge was to get up a hill in the shortest time possible, but somehow none of us really took it that seriously. And I guess that set the pace for the rest of the holiday. We tried to go to the beach early to avoid the midday sun and annoying people with massive hangovers looking for others to laugh at. On the rare occasions some of them were aleady up it was usually actually very entertaining. They tried to make fun of us, tried to kick high and mimick us, but they always fell over in an uncoordinated heap and then couldn't get rid of the sand sticking to their over-oiled, sweaty bodies. There was sometimes a small crowd watching us, but that soon turned into normal background and most people seemed to enjoy having us there as a free attraction.

The training did happen regularly, but it wasn't as tough and merciless as expected. We also had a lot of free time to explore to surrounding area, which was quite beautiful and surprisingly quiet. A lot of our afternoons were taken up with short trips rather than more training. We visited markets, went on a banana boat ride, horseriding for some, and visited a cave. Most nights we'd be found at the same bar where the bartender Jesus gave us lots of his signature drink for free. They were so delicious we tried to guess what was in them every night. He finally told us before we left and the "ChupaChups" as he called them have been the signature drink of our karate club ever since. That was one of the nicest travel experiences actually, I guess: being accepted so unconditionally by the locals who always went to the same bar despite being to only outsiders there. Time went really quickly on that trip and suddenly it was nearly time to leave. We had a grading as usual, I got a new belt, and then it was already the middle of the night and we had to drive back to the airport. I still don't know how we survived that drive with our coach nearly falling asleep several times and jerking the car all over the place. Next time we'll make sure he's fully alert before we let him drive us back.

Looking back, I was really sad to leave. I had expected something a lot more irritating and annoying, but it was a trip in which we were much closer to the locals than to the tourists - and there wasn't even a lot of tourists. Shame that I can't remember the name of the village, because that would definitely be worth getting back to. Not because there is heaps and heaps of stuff to do or discover, but simply because it's a place where you can have a good time and make local friends, without feeling embarrased about being seen in the same light as the loud, disrespectful hordes that seem to flock to the southern beaches to speak their own language, eat their own food, get insanely drunk, make fun of the Spanish touts walking around in lederhosen and only really go there to be baked to a crisp.
I was pleasantly surprised and learned that you should never judge any place by what you hear about it, and not even by your own impressions when you first get there - make sure have got to know it on a deeper level first. You will nearly always find someting worth coming back to. Even in Mallorca, a virtual German colony.
Zen says:
Very true, that's an old karate club must (well, for everyone except me :P)
Posted on: Feb 09, 2007
JMAdams_UK says:
Hi Laura,

This really brings back the memories. I remember all those nights we spent in Jesus' bar, trying to guess the "ChupaChups" recipe. We drank so much that he almost lost count when billing us!

I have a few photos that I will send you if I ever get a chance to scan them.

"ChupaChups" has definitely earned its place as a signature drink, but we should never forget the flaming sambuca tradition! :)

Posted on: Feb 06, 2007
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