Meet Jean Braithwaite, a very keen walker, who discovered Walking Ibiza and a surprising
connection to the island’s carob trees!
Tell me a little about yourselves, where you come from, occupation, your connection with Ibiza etc.
Well, my son has been living here for about three and a half years now and he has a little boy who is nearly five, so I decided I would come here and help with child care as good grannies do! In the early 90’s we had a small health food shop in Devon. We sold a range of carob based items which was even then seen as a chocolate substitute. It was fascinating, to say the least, when you stopped and talked about the carob trees and the health benefits of the pods on one of your walks!
How did you find out about Walking Ibiza and do you remember the very first walk you came on?
When I first arrived I did a lot of walking on my own which was fine but then I met people who told me there were walking groups here and I found Walking Ibiza on Facebook! What I liked about it was that it was flexible, you didn’t need to book and you could see which walks were coming up next so you can decide on the day if you want to go. The first walk I was going to join was cancelled! It was in the North from Portinatx and the heavens opened when I arrived and it poured with rain! I hadn’t checked the website and seen that it had been cancelled. So that was the first walk I didn’t do! I can’t remember the first one I actually did but I did do that one another time.
What three things would you tell someone new about the walks and Walking Ibiza to encourage them to join a walk?
Well, I think I would say that it’s very friendly for a start and a nice thing to do. The descriptions are good so you can see how long the walks are and how difficult they are. It’s a great way to see other parts of the island that you would never normally find. Walking with nice company and with a guide who knows the routes, the history and information about the island. I enjoy learning about these things but if you go regularly you do hear about them over again but that’s fine!
You’ve been on many walks and listened to the guides talking about the history and facts about the island. Tell me 2 things that you have remembered that have captured your imagination.
There was one walk in particular that I went on in the Spring when everything was growing with lots of beautiful wild flowers, asparagus, fresh rosemary and juniper berries. It was really lovely to learn about those. And finding out about the history of the island as well. I did a memorable sunset walk to The Lost City and learned about the different races of
people that have occupied the island for a period and passed through.
What is it that you like best about the walks and what is it that makes you get up in the mornings and keeps you coming back?
The thought of exploring a new place that sounds exciting or going back and visiting one that you’ve already seen and actually just the thought of walking, I really like walking! Wondering who’s going to be on the walk as it’s quite interesting when you have people who live here permanently, so catching up with them and meeting new people who are here on holiday and do one or two walks as part of their holiday. I also think it’s especially nice for single people. I do feel safe walking around Ibiza on my own, safer than I felt in England, but at the same time it’s nice to be with a group without having to join a club or anything, you can just dip in and out. I also meet a lot of single people on holiday here who join the walks and find it a nice safe environment. I think that’s an important part of Walking Ibiza.
Do you have a favourite walk and if so which one is it and why?
It’s difficult to pick a single favourite but I think the coastal walks have been really spectacular especially when you go up to the high cliffs like Heaven’s Gate and the Dolphin Lookout point where everyone swore they could see Dolphins but I couldn’t! Really! (Well there was that one time only on a walk with me that we did see a whole pod of them!) Another is the walk to Ibiiza Henge and the rave cave on the way with wonderful views through to the islands beyond. I also love the Es Broll walk in the Spring because going inland is something you don’t often do and it’s so beautiful there. So there you go, not one but four favourites and I could go on!
Would you know the island as well as you do now if you hadn’t joined Walking Ibiza? Has it enhanced your knowledge of the island and helped you discover new places that you didn’t know before? What are your most memorable places?
Most definitely not. I wouldn’t have gone to so many places if I hadn’t walked with Walking Ibiza. I have a good feel for the island now not just the area where I live. Do I have an absolute favourite place? Well it changes every week! I go somewhere and think Oh! this is my favourite place then a few weeks ago we went to Cala Olivera and thought that was the best place ever, and then to the top of the hill above Cala Llonga and so it goes on!
by Sheila Falconer