We waited fifteen minutes. There was a cluster of people in the middle of the terminal.
A man in a dress shirt and tie came toward us. He displayed a nervous smile. "Are you Carey?" he said in almost - English.
"Yes," Charley said, no smile on his face. "Where have you been?"
"My name is Juan Lopez," he said, extending his hand. "I've been waiting at the meeting place."
"Meeting place? What meeting place? We've never been here. We got our luggage and came through the nearest exit," Charley said. I was trying not to giggle.
"In the middle," Juan said, pointing. "Where everyone meets."
"Except all the drivers who came down here, near our luggage," Charley mumbled.
We relaxed by the pool and walked the wide promenades along the beach for two days. A guide was going to drive us across the island on the third day. "Hello, remember me? I'm Juan," he said.
Juan drove us to a winery in Santa Maria, as well as an olive oil factory and Saturday market in Soller. He never stopped translating. One hand went up in the air off the wheel, a finger pointing out the correct pronunciations. "Here, 'Macia' wine, it's pronounced 'Mathia,'" he said. "The Spanish 'S' is a 'C' on Mallorca, but is pronounced like a 'TH.'" I kept my gaze focused out the window. We were going seventy mph with a one-armed driver.
"Limoneros," Juan said, pointing to thousands of acres of lemon trees in the plateaus. "Cabras, goats," he said, pointing to the hillsides.
For lunch, Juan drove us up hairpin turns to a restaurant two kilometers above Porto Soller. The view was spectacular. After lunch we wound down along coastal 'S' curves ('C' curves in Mallorca, pronounced 'TH' curves), past villages crumbling off cliffs and Hollywood stars' homes. On a 'TH' curve in Deia, Juan took both hands off the wheel to demonstrate the round shape of potato cakes covered in chocolate "There, in restaurante," he said. "Famoso," he added. I didn't give a rat's ass about potato cakes. I just wanted Juan to get both hands on the wheel .
In Valldemossa, Juan explained that "shopping" had made the town famous with a French woman.
"What kind of shopping?" I said.
"I forget how you say his name in English."
"You mean a man brought his French mistress here and made the town famous hiding out?" Charley's imagination was having a good time.
"No, not hiding out. Shopping," I said.
"No shopping, living, no hiding out. Shopping," Juan said.
"You just said no shopping," I pointed out. "And why would he bring her to this small village to shop?" I could think of better places to get a designer collection!
I opened my guidebook. Turns out Chopin ("shopping") had brought his mistress, French writer George Sand, to live on the coastal mountainside. Sand described it as "the winter from hell."
|Valldemossa, Majorca, Spain|