Stranded in Mallorca

Exactly four months ago we started our home vacation in Mallorca – due to the birthday of a very good friend of ours a little earlier than planned.

At first everything went according to plan: Shujaa in Windhoek well set up in a secure parking with electricity for battery chargers etc., renovation of our finca in Mallorca monitored and finished with great effort but on plan, enjoying skiing holidays in Lech, visiting friends in Germany, great delight about an inflated cat (Cinny) etc.

On our finca we had just moved back to our renovated main house from the small casita, unpacked our relocated goods from Munich to Mallorca, which had been stored for two years, and booked our return flight to Windhoek for April 23rd. Then first dark clouds came up on the bright sky. At first inconspicuous: We saw with incomprehension the first reports of panic buying in Germany (the security-conscious Germans with their war experiences… we thought) and the increasing infection rates in Italy (whether we can really trust the figures of an Italian statistics?). Until then, life in Mallorca was deeply relaxed … as on an island far away from the rest of the world: friends visited us and we enjoyed our nicely renovated home.

On a three-day road bike tour across the island with good friends the impact came closer at breathtaking speed: everything was fine on the departure on Friday. Many cyclists – as usual at this time of year, great weather, a great Finca hotel as our first overnight stay. On Saturday morning we received a call from our hotel for the following night that “many hotels will close down in the next few days and the we got rebooked to another hotel”. Hmmm, we thought it was probably a business decision due to insufficient capacity utilization. After 120 km of cycling and arrival in our new, rebooked hotel, the unexpected news: totally shutdown throughout Spain from tomorrow morning, nobody allowed to move around unless going to work/buying food, the pensioner guests in the hotel in panic, first questions about breathing masks, the tour guides clearly no longer in charge of the situations, everyone will be flying out within the next two days…. Nobody knew exactly how this should work logistically with the daily increasing number of flight cancellations.

On Sunday morning, despite the curfew, we leave our hotel very early with our bikes. The 80 km return trip to our finca has a ghostly atmosphere: no cars, no cyclists, no open restaurants, hardly any people … A distinct contrast to the past few days. We arrive back home again without being stopped by the police or having to pay any fines and our friends can all take their plane back to Germany. In the meantime, Mallorca is completely sealed off in terms of flight and ferry transportation for passenger traffic. The police patrol the beaches and the streets and even use drones to check compliance with the curfew. Any violation costs 600 euros per person.

Apart from the fact that my legs are quite heavy after 3 days and 300 km of cycling, we are fine. Food and other supply are readily available.

What about the continuation of our world trip? As in almost all countries, it is no longer possible to enter Namibia at the moment were Shujaa is parked. Whether the scheduled flight to Shujaa to Windhoek on April 23rd will take place is totally uncertain at the moment.

However, we are very aware that we are lucky: we’d rather be stranded in Mallorca than in Angola, Zimbabwe or Mozambique … even Germany would not be the preferred option for us at the moment as we can life our very secluded life here in the countryside. After the renovation of the finca, it’s better to have the curfew on a large property and with sun than during the renovation in our small casita or crammed into a small town apartment. We are also busy getting trained with our new camera, the new drone and planning the trip through Eastern Africa. Today our new carnets came with DHL, probably one of the last to be issued by ADAC because of Corona.

Stay healthy and let’s make the best of the situation.

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