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Ibiza Winter Diary - Goodbye Winter! Hello Spring!

Stretching, roasts, Mojis and bbq's...

And just like that - the island suddenly ‘springs' to life! The rainclouds clear, and in its place, bright sunshine, hot weather and people spilling out from under their winter rocks into the streets again. Buildings are being painted left, right and centre, and everywhere you turn, there is activity and people. What a buzz! This marks the unofficial end to winter and the steep and thrilling slide directly into the summer season. Us islanders LOVE this time of the year. Filled with excited anticipation and with the fantastic weather, we take stock, make sure we spend as much time outdoors and with friends, and get fit and healthy before the madness recommences.

Monday - Pilates

Up and at ‘em early again this week, I travel over to San Agustin to Natalie Gillot from Love Pilates Ibiza's beautiful private pilates studio. I have only tried pilates once many moons ago, and gave up because it was so tough! Natalie has been trying to get me over there for a trial lesson for a while now, so this week I succumb to the pressure, don my leg warmers and buckle up for some serious work on my core. And, blimey! Is this one hell of a workout! If pilates conjures images of gentle stretching on floor mats, you are sadly mistaken. After just a couple of minutes, I am sweating and shaking as we work on all areas of the body through subtle yet super-effective movements. Nat is a brilliant teacher and we giggle our way through the class whilst she masterfully ensures we are not slacking and our technique is bang on. I will never sneer at pilates again and am looking forward to going back on another occasion, preferably when I get over this last session's aches!

Tuesday - Calçotada

After a grueling personal training session on the beach, I hop straight in the car and drive up to San Carlos to Mojis Animal Sanctuary. The sun is absolutely belting down and I can't wait to get up to this happy place. Today, Abraham, the owner and big daddy of Mojis, is throwing a fundraiser to celebrate the beginning of spring and to give us a chance to hang out with the animals. When I arrive the party is in full swing with kids, adults and dogs playing in the sunshine. On the makeshift barbeque are bunches and bunches of calçots, or giant spring onions, with which we will soon be celebrating the Catalan traditional Winter Food Festival of Calçotada. Once barbecued, the outer charred layer is peeled away and the calçot dipped into fresh Romesco (almond, garlic and red pepper sauce), before being lowered into your greedy mouth in one go! A messy yet tasty experience. We spend all afternoon playing with and stroking the wonderful dogs, who Abraham has lovingly rehabilitated after they have been hurt and/or abandoned. I love this place and what Abraham and his dedicated team of volunteers have achieved.

Wednesday - Work

A productive day in front of the computer, then a swift beer in the square to get the last of the day's rays.

Thursday - Personal Training Military Grade

This is my tenth personal training session and my trainer, Peta, is putting me through the wringer. On this occasion, I am made to complete a total of 100 consecutive reps of plyometric exercises after an accumulator session. Some kind of military grade thing. Absolutely brutal! But it would seem that the hard work is paying off and I am feeling stronger and fitter than ever.

Friday - Egg Curry

The weekends in the winter are what we live for. This Friday, I have invited some friends round for an Indian feast and we dine on traditional egg curry, aloo gobi and daal. After dinner, the hierbas comes out and we end up playing the most hilarious of games - Cards Against Humanity. Much mirth ensues and some of the braver amongst us go on to Pacha for a boogie, but I semi-sensibly retire to bed.

Saturday - First BBQ

It's the first week of March and some friends of ours have decided to fire up the BBQ for the first time this year! A bunch of us gather leisurely at their gorgeous home in Roca Lisa, facing out on to the golf course. Everyone brings a dish or two and we bathe in the glorious sunshine whilst grazing on a marvellous buffet of meats, salads and dips. Once again we pinch ourselves and count our blessings for being able to live in a place where having a BBQ is totally normal at the beginning of March!

Sunday - Hike and 45s

A hangover-free Sunday means that I am up with the larks and I meet up with a friend and his dog down in Playa d'en Bossa. In the sun, the temperature feels like 20°C and there are groups of people and families picnicking and strolling out along the beach. Spring is absolutely 100% in the air! After a 6km walk down the beach to the Torre De Sal Rossa pirate tower and back (via Nassau Tanit for a cheeky beer and to say hi to DJ Jo Mills who is spreading laid-back soul and disco through the speakers), we settle in at Forty Fives for a hearty Sunday roast. The kitchen has been taken over by award-winning chef, Tim Payne, and the quality of the grub speaks for itself. Thick slices of meat, huge Yorkshire puddings, cauliflower cheese, veg and sumptious gravy tumble off our plates with a side-order of crackling that deserves its own prize! We sit on the terrace in the sun as children run past on the paseo and friends laugh, eat and drink in the warmth. Perfect apple crumble tops off the perfect day and I can't help but feel smug that I have made the most of this weekend of absurdly splendid weather.

This chapter marks the end of my Winter Diary. A 2 week hiatus off the island means that when I return, we will be slap-bang in the midst of season prep. See you then when I will be starting a brand new series. And until then - goodbye winter, hello spring!

WORDS | Leena Sharma

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