Cala San Vincente - our home for the next ten days. A small secluded beach, unrestricted panoramic views, a porn star villa.
We walk around the interior of the villa, eyes wide, smiles wide, shaking our heads in disbelief, all the while the sea and the sky in our peripheral, the sound of the waves in the background. Heaven in Spain. Villa is well equipped, well set out. Kath and I take the top floor bedroom with the communal terrace; downstairs double bedroom will go to Paul and Christy (and little Harry); outside apartment will go to Tam and Heidi. Room for a lot more if need be, with spare mattresses, sofas and floor area. Large kitchen with rock star cooker and oven, kick ass fridge and enough cutlery and plates and glasses to cater for thirty. Thumping sound system in front room, cute ass pool overlooking view, complimentary Cava and Rose in the fridge - sorted. Retirement pad will look something like this.
Spend a good thirty minutes lounging on the front patio, looking up at the cloudless sky, listening to the waves, saying nothing. But need to move, things to do.
Take deep breath and head down to the car. The manual. Kath settles in, I grab the map - work out our way to the airport. Trip goes pretty well until the airport - dispute over where to park car - still thinking we could do a swap for an auto. No chance though - the only auto in the fleet is out on the road already, some chap fat-arming it around the coast, driving the car with one finger on the wheel, loving himself. We curse the One Finger Man. We curse the Car Rental. We curse the Gear Stick. But then Tam walks out of Departures and we hug and smile and remember where we are: Eivissa - sun, sand, party.
Tam is a bit wrecked, not unlike ourselves. Her trip started at 3 a.m. in Les Masseries, France and involved trains, planes and automobiles in order to arrive on our island. Already calling it "our" island - already loving it sick. Return to the palace via missed turnoffs and windscreen wiper turns and an off piste supermarket man who stocks us up with wine, bourbon, Malibu, wine, baileys, wine and food. Bottled water also on the list - tap water in villa is not too shabby but leaves a bit of an unsettled feeling in the guts - advisory note: avoid.
Tam's jaw drops at the villa and the view; secures herself down in the apartment for a well earned kip. Not too long after, all of us reasonably well rested, preparations for tonight begin. Preparations involve drinking and dancing and getting suitably dressed. Suitably dressed involves wearing bathers and bikinis under our party gear and packing beach towels.
We're off to Es Paradis!!!
Kath sacrifices herself again and gets in behind the wheel. We're all looking cool as piss - I've got a black hat on and I'm wearing sunglasses - it's just gone midnight. Across the island we go - heading to San Antoni - home to the binge drinkers and ugg boot wearers of the world. Little traffic and some excellent driving and we arrive without incident. Park a little down the way in a vacant lot doubling as a car park. Psych ourselves up. Wet ourselves with excitement at the sight of the illuminated pyramid that is Es Paradis. It's time to party at the opening party of the infamous agua party. Agua, agua, everywhere - but not yet.
Es Paradis nightclub is pretty big - a couple of different levels, dance floors here and there, and in the middle, a Roman bath type scenario with pillars and steps and a small elevated stage where resident hot bod dancers writhe and wriggle to the House tunes. It's reasonably quiet at this stage of the night (morning?) but people are filing in. We head to the bar and spend 30 Euro on a bottle of wine - yeah, pretty pricey, but to be expected. We also get on the tap water to keep us hydrated - risking severe vomiting, but not paying for bottled water - priorities. We take up a possie on the top step of the Roman bath amongst big fluffy pillows and start to boogie.
Hours and hours of dancing fly by - we are loving ourselves - enjoying the music, marvelling at the dancers, blinking not once but twice at the price of a can of Red Bull. Kathy hands out Chuppa Chups like a clandestine dealer of the Next Big Thing and people's heads turn. The Chuppa Chups give us a kick of sugar; the one can of Red Bull shared amongst three does the same, but kicks the wallet too, leaving it screaming in pain (Oh, and for the record: nine euro).
Four fifteen a.m. - Es Paradis is rocking, the columns surrounding the centre of the Roman bath dance floor are shaking, the music is pounding, we three are listing, struggling, but still dancing. I enquire at the bar and am told that things kick off at 5. I groan. I tell the others. We groan. But we keep at it, as the air of anticipation in the crowd is tangible.
Five rocks on by - no movement from anyone except the revellers - bumping and grinding. We wonder when we should shed our party clothes; where we should put them, but we make no move just in case we miss something. The pillows have been removed from the steps in preparation. Anticipation builds. Five thirty - there's movement, the suspended stage retracts up into the ceiling, the hired dancers done for the night. The crowd starts to go wild. Kath, Tam and I take a couple of extra steps down, closer to the main dance floor. People are looking up at the heavens, waiting, dancing, waiting.
"I'm singing in the rain; just singing in the rain. What a glorious feeling, I'm happy again."
The crowd cheers. Gene Kelly keeps singing. People below us start to look down, not up. Water is filling the dance floor from hidden pipes. The party animals below us start splashing and laughing like children. Gene cranks it up. We teeter on the edge of the steps, wanting to get involved. Don't have to wait long - large, long loops of water spurt out from behind us, jets built into the steps, shooting out litres and litres of water. Gene Kelly gives way to deep bass. The dance floor fills up with more party animals and more water. One wrong step and you get a jet stream of water up your shirt or dress. Water sprays down from above. Everyone is getting drenched, including us. No time to change - clothes get completely wet, bathers and bikinis dry underneath.
Water keeps filling up for twenty minutes, up to people's waists. Bodies fly forward into the water; cheeky ones splash water back up at those on the steps. One body tips into Kath, I catch her and go down. Get slightly wet, but not too bad. We decide it's time to retreat a few steps. Tam avoids another falling body. Kath and I stand just outside the Roman bath area - start to shiver. Everyone not involved watch from the various raised floors and dance floors. A spectacle; an amazing spectacle.
We are starting to get cold now, half an hour since the taps were turned on. A decision is reached between the three of us: time to go. Six a.m. and we are wet and tired but thrilled and excited. But shivering. We leave for the cloakroom to pick up our bags - stupidly didn't leave a towel or a spare set of clothes in the bag. All of it is still in the parked car - about three hundred metres up the road - outside. It's cold in the foyer, near the cloakroom - outside, its 6 a.m. and sunrise - and freezing!!!
We make a dash for it, running down the footpath towards the car, water dripping from us, teeth chattering. The rising sun is still behind the hills and mountains but the sky looks lovely - blue and orange. I reach for my sunglasses - not there - lost down the bottom of Es Paradis in murky, dirty water - the first casualty of Eivissa.
The car sits amongst the early morning shadows, waiting for us with its warm interior. We dry ourselves off, some of us change in the carpark into dry clothes, some of us lay down towels on the seats, and we all jump in. Heater on full. Stick into gear. Dust billowing as Kath takes us out of the carpark and out of San Antoni. We wave goodbye to Es Paradis, teeth still chattering, and the light on the tip of the pyramid winks back.
The way back home is relatively quiet as we compose ourselves, the sunrise and early morning drive something to savour. The experience we've just had is too - the build up, the waiting, the expensive Red Bull - it was all worth it for that 30 minutes of pure excitement and wet jocks. It was a great night that gave way to a brilliant morning and finishes with a hot shower and a well earned sleep and dreams of Gene Kelly and floating sunglasses.
Check out photos of opening parties at http://www.esparadis.com/