‘Focus on a Walker’ #7 Meet Erik Steenhuis & Mike Balm

By |2019-04-08T17:55:46+00:00April 4th, 2019|Focus on a Walker|

Following through with our theme of different nationalities, I had great pleasure and a lot of fun talking to Erik and Mike from Holland last week.  It took quite a while for their dream of living on Ibiza to come true and confirms how it’s never too late to start something new!

1. Tell me a little about yourselves, where you come from, occupation, your connection with Ibiza etc.

Erik: the first time I came to Ibiza I was eighteen, and that’s forty years ago years ago but already I felt I really wanted to live here. Of course, Ibiza was quite different in those days, but I still like it. I come from the North of Holland where I lived for forty years in the Hague where I had five restaurants and a catering company. That was my work. but before that I was a swimming teacher! Mike and I have known each other for almost fifteen years and have been married for almost two years.

Mike: Our very first vacation was to Ibiza, then we came twice a year. We wanted to live here but I wondered what work I could do as I had business in Holland with horses. Then eight years ago we bough an apartment in Ibiza town so we came more often. In 2018 Erik’s last restaurant in Holland was sold so we knew we were free to come and live in Ibiza, so only last year we made it!

I didn’t know about any places here working with horses, but I was talking with a Dutch girl who told me she knew of a couple of people who needed lessons.  She put me in contact and through the island network we are happy to be working with horses now! Erik is my assistant! Not cleaning out the stables though, Erik was quick to point out! For Mike this is a real success story. There is a lot of horse jumping in Ibiza so now I have started a new career in jumping at the age of 47!  Last week I took part in my second competition. My plan is to organise a new venture where horses can read your energy where it’s always, always a beautiful emotion when I can see their reactions. An amazing gift.

2. You have walked a lot with Walking Ibiza. What three things would you tell someone new about the walks and Walking Ibiza to encourage them to join a walk?

You will see a beautiful side of Ibiza, it’s fun, you meet and get to know a lot of nice people and it’s relaxing. Especially yesterday to the Lost City, it was so beautiful. When we first came to Ibiza we didn’t know what to do. We started walking with Walking Ibiza and really liked your atmosphere. And it’s so nice to end the short walks with the coffee and cake and have time to talk to everyone and exchange contacts.

3. 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.

The salt flats at Salinas and how the word salary came from salt! And the Rock Rose which we drink with the Rosemary a lot now! The beautiful views which sometimes look the same but that’s ok and of course the history of Ibiza when we are encouraged to learn more, especially about the cathedral at the top of D’Alt Villa.

4. 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 contact with people is very nice and learning more about Ibiza. In the beginning we thought we were not going to like walking with people we don’t know but now I really look forward to seeing the people we have got to know! Only on one walk we went on from Poe d’es Lleo, we didn’t have any contact with anyone for the whole walk! Very unusual! But sometimes you talk so much that you don’t see anything so maybe not a bad thing!

5. Do you have a favourite walk and if so which one is it and why?

Yesterday’s walk to the Lost City! It was four hours long but so lovely. We first stopped and it was a beautiful view, then we stopped again, and it was even more beautiful!

We also like the Festival Club and Atlantis and the walk from San Mateu to the Dolphin lookout point.

6. 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 two most memorable places?

Absolutely! No, we wouldn’t have discovered all the places we know now, and it has helped us a lot to get to know the island.The Lost City and Poe des Lleo along the fault line up to the defence tower. Also, Sa Caleta and the Phoenician ruins, a place we like very much.

Ibiza, 04/04/2019
by Sheila Falconer

Leave A Comment

eight + 12 =

X