I cycled back from the beach in the late afternoon up the hill in 30 degrees celsius. Toni had kindly leant me his orange bike for the weekend and I was enjoying every moment of using it. ‘Why don’t you pop into Nikki Beach on your way home, it just opened?’ said my friend P. ‘Just take a left at S’Argamassa and follow the road round’. ‘Yes, why not’. It’s about time for a cuppa I thought.
Past those red earth fields in hazy sunshine, this time with the cacao trees standing still in the August air, their fruit scattered beneath on the ground and that particular bittersweet scent that comes from them at this time of year. Drawn out by the heat, it’s a little like you can feel when you know there’s not much more of summer to come.
Taxis drove past me – fast – for the rush is on now to satisfy the needs of the Islander’s pockets for the winter to come – and therefore the tourists that come to pack in as much as they can on their annual sunshine break.
‘Where could I put my bicycle please?’ I said smiling at the valet who stood outside this salubrious establishment. ‘Here, let me take it for you’. I burst out laughing as I glanced at the Ferrari beside me and the Bentley next to it. ‘No seriously, for real?! I mean this is a bicycle!’ He laughed too and stressed that it was okay. ‘Do you want the lock?’ I asked incredulously. ‘No, no need, enjoy your drink’.
I sat at the circular bar and looked around. White naturally, big beds, a highly conspicuous pool area where VIPs could clearly see and be seen. I noted the ginormous fans revolving slowly above large wooden dining tables half inside, half outside. The atmosphere was one of being on show but aiming for discretion simultaneously. The dress code was confidence – manifested in any way it came providing it looked suitably beachy and nonchalant.
Five minutes into a six euro pot of Earl Grey tea, I heard my name being called. Looking up I saw my new friend the valet: ‘I need the keys to your bicycle lock; I need to move it’ he said. I grinned from ear to ear: ‘Again, really?!’
I texted P: ‘The valet has taken my bicycle, should I tip him when I leave?’ ‘The cheek of him’ came the response. ‘Give him a euro – no more’. I got chatting to the boy beside me. ‘How long have you had your MacBook Pro?’ I asked, currently obsessed as I am about all things Apple. ‘Three years’ he replied. ‘It’s great for video editing which is what I do, although right now I can’t get into the internet’. ‘The internet is always elusive in Ibiza – even at Nikki Beach it appears’ I said.
We talked on as the sky grew pink and then a deep orange. ‘I’m going to have to do a Cinderella now, my bike’s got no lights and I need to get home before it gets dark’ I explained. ‘Keep in touch’ said Valentino as I picked up my rucksack and started to walk out.
I pressed a euro into the valet’s hand. ‘It’s not necessary’ he laughed. ‘But thank you!’ I said as I untethered my vehicle to ride carefully home before night fell.