Jungle Fever!

Well I am finally back from my three week humanitarian expedition to deepest Colombia, under the auspices of indefatigable British veteran explorer, Colonel John Blashford-Snell. And what an incredible experience it turned out to be!

Our international team of 15 flew from Bogota to the southern tip of the country, to the bustling river port of Leticia. From there we sailed in various vessels up the Amazon, and along the tributary of the Loretoyaku River for many hours. There we lived with various Amerindian Ticuna communities along the river carrying our medical aid and assisting with mapping, agriculture and eco tourism projects. We slung our hammocks in the wild or in the palm-leafed central malokas in the company of tarantulas, bats, giant cockroaches and other small beasties! Obtaining clean water was often challenging and the diet consisted of yuka, plantain, caiman (occasionally), piranha and other weird and wonderful fruits and vegetables.

We had also come with a special objective: to donate a much needed ambulance boat to the Ticuna community along the river. This was generously sponsored by Clinique La Prairie, Montreux, the exclusive medical clinic and spa, which also sent tee shirts for the locals.

Within a week of our stay in the rainforest, the ambulance boat saved the life of a baby struck with malaria. The boat with its fast engine, unlike the local canoes with paddles, was able to take the sickly child straight to the nearest hospital in Puerto NariƱo where it was treated in intensive care.

So I have returned from my Ticuna bubble and wonderful and worthwhile adventure at least 5 kilos lighter. nine hundred e-mails awaited me and many a deadline but that’s the price for setting off on an unforgettable adventure! i shall be writing my experiences up for FT How to spend it so watch this space.

Posted by Anna on 12 June 2017 | 7:10 am

British Benevolent Fund Soiree in Palma!

If you happen to be in Mallorca this Easter you can join a fun event with the British Ambassador, Lord Archer (as auctioneer) and local expats and Mallorcan VIPs at Finca Son Mir near Palma on Thursday 20, April from 7-9.30pm.

The event is raising funds and awareness for the British Benevolent Fund and tickets can be bought online at 45 euros per head or guests can pay on the door as long as they register their details on the BBF site online in advance. If you don’t have your glad rags with you, just arrive in something smartish!

There will be details published in the Majorca Daily Bulletin on Tuesday 18, April about a private coach that will also pick up guests from stops in the Calvia zone for just 5 euros.

Look forward to seeing you there :-)

Here is the BBF site with event details

Posted by Anna on 17 April 2017 | 4:09 am

British Benevolent Fund Soiree in Palma

If you happen to be in Mallorca this Easter you can join a fun event with the British Ambassador, Lord Archer (as auctioneer) and local expats and Mallorcan VIPs at Finca Son Mir near Palma on Thursday 20, April from 7-9.30pm.

The event is raising funds and awareness for the British Benevolent Fund and tickets can be bought online at 45 euros per head or guests can pay on the door as long as they register their details on the BBF site online in advance. If you don’t have your glad rags with you, just arrive in something smartish!

There will be details published in the Majorca Daily Bulletin on Tuesday 18, April about a private coach that will also pick up guests from stops in the Calvia zone for just 5 euros.

Look forward to seeing you there :-)

Here is the BBF site with event details

Posted by Anna on 17 April 2017 | 3:56 am

The Silver Siurell Awards 2017!

It was a huge honour to have been awarded the Silver Siurell 2017 at a gala event at beautiful Caixa Forum in Palma recently. The awards which were inaugurated during the seventies are presented to three recipients in the Baleares by the Balearic Agrotourism Association.

Winners are chosen for having promoted and upheld Mallorcan values, culture and traditions – in my case with my six Mallorcan book titles and articles about the island. I am the first Briton to have won the award so it was a wonderful surprise!

The siurell is an interesting symbol for Mallorca especially as its roots are unknown. Some suggest the little clay figure was an ancient Arabic toy, others that the Phoenicians brought the concept to the Balearic islands. Today the small white figures, painted with distinctive green and red stripes and which serve as a whistle, are a popular tourist purchase. However it is believed that they could once have had deep religious significance.

At one time the siurells were manufactured island wide and even today they are made in towns such as Inca, Consell and Santa Maria. They are often to be found at the annual Fira de Fang (the pottery fair) in Marraxi for a very reasonable price.

The Siurell de Plata is a beautiful silver rendition, and heavy too, so I shall take care if it. It was a wonderful occasion and I was grateful for the support of Lucy Gorman, British Vice Consul, who handed over the award to me on stage. Certainly a night to remember!

Posted by Anna on 8 April 2017 | 8:43 am

A walk on the wild side in Mallorca with FT How to spend it!

For anyone interested in visiting the less frequented central area of beautiful Mallorca – what for me, at least, is the very heart and soul of the island – do read my latest article which appeared in last week’s issue of FT How to spend it magazine.

Visitors to Mallorca predictably head for the southwest coastal zones, Palma, the east coast or the rugged northwest but hardly ever glimpse the hugely interesting wine producing agricultural heartland. Towns such as Lloseta, Campos, Santa Maria, Binissalem, Inca, Manacor and Arta are full of wonderful historic and cultural delights. The added beauty of going ‘off piste’ is that roads are mostly clear, cafes and restaurants not groaning with tourists and prices are on the whole much fairer.

There are some glorious small hotels and retail delights in these zones too and some of the best restaurants on the island. It’s a wine lovers paradise and there are bodegas galore to explore. Aside from heavenly bijoux hostelries such as Pink Pepper Tree hotel in Lloseta or Font Santa Hotel with its hot thermal springs in Campos, one can book online for some lovely rural agros at Rustic Booking.

Another superb site is Mallorcan Tonic which has a fantastic portfolio of hotels and offers all sorts of deals and upgrades, particularly in the low season.

Whether you’re a newbie to the island or a seasoned Mallorca veteran, if you haven’t yet ventured into the island’s authentic and earthy heartland, go now before everyone gets wise to its charms!

Posted by Anna on 1 March 2017 | 11:20 am