Jacky and Kim made the most of our final morning by visiting the Botanic Gardens. The Garden was founded in 1985 and is a centre for conservation, study and understanding of Mediterranean plants, specifically those of the Balearic Islands. The living plant collections are laid out according to ecological groups and simulate their natural habitats. We saw the biggest bee in the world, perhaps a slight exaggeration but Xylocopa violacea, the violet carpenter bee, is one of the largest in Europe. Kim has horrified John with ideas for growing her Aeoniums in the sandstone wall we have just had repaired.
Eventually the time came for us to leave our lovely hotel.
As a result of the Es Firo festival, Soller was starting to get very busy and a number of roads were being closed. Antonio our taxi driver was aware of the problems and arrived in plenty of time for a smooth and effortless drive to the airport. As we were leaving Soller we noticed long traffic queues on the outskirts of Palma – luckily on the other carriageway, caused by people visiting the Hippodrome to watch the horse trotting races. It really brought home that we had been living in a bubble for the last few days.
COVID-19 remains a risk in the Belearic Islands and the government has recruited 120 Special Agents to support local police. Candidates for this role are drawn from those who applied but failed to obtain a post in the police force in the last 5 years.
Luckily, Ken was able to escape Mallorca in disguise, otherwise Agent COVID may have arrested him….. he tested positive this morning. So far, the rest of us have escaped.