We’ve watched hundreds of our walkers transform their perception of Ibiza when we take them to places of incredible breath-taking beauty that they may not discover on their own. Add a sense of adventure and community, a complete mix of different nationalities, connecting with pure nature and starting enduring friendships, and that pretty much sums up what Walking Ibiza does best. Let’s start with Tim Cairns who was a regular walker for about a year before he became a Walking Ibiza guide! Let’s see what he has to say about us!
WELCOME to the first Walking Ibiza Blog in this NEW series which we’re calling “Focus on a Walker”.
Tell me a little about yourself Tim.
I was born in the States and when I was about a year old I came to came to live in Ibiza with my parents who had visited the island in the 50’s. I grew up here speaking Ibicenco, the Ibiza Catalan version, before I was speaking English which worried my mother, so she started teaching me at home before went I went to school in England then onto University to study fine arts. Later I lived in France for 27 years before returning to Ibiza 7 or 8 years ago to live permanently. Yes, I’m a painter.
I’m lazy so I’m an artist, that’s what lazy people do they’re artists! We have an excuse for everything!
How did you find out about Walking Ibiza and do you remember the very first walk you came on?
I think I came across it on Facebook and I’m pretty sure my first walk was probably with you! It might have been to Cala Xarraca I vaguely remember. I walked with you guys for a year after my breakup with my girlfriend and that was the best therapy I could think of! Walking sorted me out actually and it still does!
What three things would you tell someone new about the walks and Walking Ibiza to encourage them to join a walk?
Well I would say you want to see something about Ibiza that nobody else knows and that you would not normally see. Its unbelievable what the Walking Ibiza groups knows about the island and that the walks we have are unbelievable, so it will give you a view of Ibiza that you would never see otherwise I think that even wandering about on your own you wouldn’t have quite the same experience. You are also in my experience walking with a wide variety of international people, talking with them, making new friends and contacts and as I said it’s also a kind of a therapy. It gives you so much more and gives you a lot unconsciously as well consciously but I wouldn’t know what that is exactly! It’s run by a very competent and very efficient group of people with the right attitude about the island, very respectful and knowledgeable.
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.
Erm, I think the one that surprised me I suppose was the one about the figs from Toby I think! I’ve learned a lot from being a guide and from walking with Walking Ibiza but that was quite a surprise! You know, I paint things but I don’t necessarily know a lot about them and that was very interesting. I think that was quite specific. I think a walk with Simon at some point. He has an incredible memory and a way of telling stories and knowledge of the past in Ibiza and so on. Specifically I can’t remember but there is one walk down by Sa Caleta to the Phoenician ruins. It’s great because you really learn something.
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?
It’s the route that I like, there isn’t a route that I don’t like but there are some that I like more than others and also just to get up and know that I’m going to be out in the woods, through the fields or wherever it is and be able to show a group of people something. I feel quite proud and privileged (now that I am a guide myself) and I get great satisfaction from doing that so I’m happy after the walks as well.
Do you have a favourite walk and if so which one is it and why?
Ah, difficult to say a favourite, there are several. I sort of appreciate the north/north west side of the island more. I’m not a big fan of Es Vedra or that area but it’s not Es Vedra itself it’s that part of the island. But I like around Heaven’s Gate, around the Lost City and my walk which I like is over there as well, the one that I’ve done with one of the clients. It’s not an official Walking Ibiza walk but it’s from Puerto del Cielo that I call Bill’s Paradise. It’s a great walk. That end of the island I like. Portinax is
quite fun but mostly north/north west end of the island I think is my favourite.
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, I do know from myself that I knew quite a lot about the island but I’ve learned a lot more through being with Walking Ibiza. They’ve taken it to the limits I think of discovery and I think the most stunning one that I remember that I didn’t know about is Ses Balandres near San Mateo. That one blew me away because although it’s right there you can walk past it and never know. And yes if my knowledge of the walks was like Swiss cheese before, full of holes, a lot of those holes have been filled by Walking Ibiza! So, I’ve made more connections certainly around the south end of the island around Es Vedra where I never went before. I’ve absolutely found new places. I went to Atlantis for the first time with Walking Ibiza!
How are you now Tim? Is it very different guiding walks? I know you like to go on walks at other times as well and enjoy recci walks. Has it been a big transition for you and your life?
It’s a completely different thing to do a walk as a guide and as a walker. You wouldn’t realise that and I’m still always learning but I’m getting more and more confident as a guide. The more I do it the more I enjoy it. And yes I can go on a walk with a group and it’s nice just walking along with them sometimes and talking away but yes it’s completely different. Physically I feel a lot better It’s also a good contrast. While I’m painting I’m totally immobile while I’m concentrating on something. If I do it for long enough I get itchy and I need to get out so it’s a perfect balance to go walking and then do something else quietly at home.
by Sheila Falconer