By Lisa on Mar 02, 2014 with Comments 2
Winter Activities is the name of our intrepid group of friends and excursionists in Mallorca.
You’ve heard me mention our Winter Activities group before but today I’m going to introduce you properly.
What is Winter Activities?
Winter Activities was born last winter at the end of 2012. It’s a group of like-minded people who enjoy visiting the island, going for walks and doing different things.
It started with a group of us from work who had finished work at the end of the summer season (you know that in my business we only work 7 months a year, right?) and wanted to enjoy the winter in Mallorca instead of just hibernating as many people do.
Before long, other people joined the group, brought their friends, started to join in. We started to have many part-time members who were still holding down jobs in the winter and just joining the group whenever they were free.
The group grew so much that by the end of that winter there were 20 members. And now, as we approach the end of another winter, our group has grown to 38 official members, plus friends and spouses that come along too.
The Winter Activities group has got so popular here in Mallorca that people approach us on Twitter or Facebook and ask to join the group.
Multi-national Winter Activities
Winter Activities remains a free activity group and people can come and go as they please. It started with more foreign members than locals and the language spoken was usually English. But so many people from the island have joined and now often, this winter, I have found myself the only non-Spaniard.
Once last year 11 of us went to do a walk in the mountains and we counted the nationalities: eight! Amongst which were Spanish, English, Irish, Czech, Danish, Swedish, Bulgarian and Italian.
What many people enjoy about this group is its diversity: aside from the nationalities there are people from all walks of life and with all different backgrounds. Whoever you find yourself sitting opposite or walking beside, you always have great conversation.
The Members of Winter Activities
Obviously I’m not going to list all the members of Winter Activities as now there are simply too many. But I would like to introduce you to a few of the more regular ones.
Toni is the founder of Winter Activities and he is the one who always organises our excursions and visits.
As you know, Toni is my boyfriend (sometimes I refer to my husband but don’t worry, it’s the same person!) so I always get to find out the plans before anyone else. And this means that I always get to go on the activities because he has to organise them around our own travels.
Toni has the website click-mallorca.com on which he sells tours and excursions in Mallorca to visitors to the island. He also has a blog on the website and as well as writing posts about the things we do he also publishes the monthly Winter Activities planning there.
Teresa is the Arjonera. She is from the tiny town of Arjona in Andalucia and fell in love with the island when she came to work as a nurse seven years ago.
Despite having lived on the island for so long she still speaks thick Andaluz, mispronouncing every other word and speaking as fast as lightning. And she’s the one who everyone has trouble understanding!
Teresa still works as a nurse in Son Espases hospital in Palma and often when we meet her on a morning when the rest of us have dragged ourselves out of bed she is coming directly off the night shift. She downs two strong coffees and she’s right as rain. She’s used to it. And she rarely misses a winter activity.
Teresa writes a regular blog called Una Arjonera en Mallorca and gives her point of view about the places she visits on the island with the slant of an outsider.
Teresa loves the summer and the beach and she is also known around the island as La Playera (Beach Lover). She started her blog a couple of years ago to promote Mallorca’s beaches. Nowadays she writes as many posts about our winter activities as she does about the new beaches she has discovered. It works very well for her really: she has plenty of topics to keep her blog going in the winter when the weather is less favourable for ligging out on the beach.
Carlos “Cocodrilo” Llabres
Carlos lives in the village of Porreres. People call him Coco, which is short for Cocodrilo (crocodile). I have absolutely no idea why – seems it was a nickname he had as a child and it stuck.
Carlos loves the diversity of our group. The first time he came with us he marvelled at how everyone got along so well with each other and easily jumped around from English to Spanish and everything in between. He dived in enthusiastically and has never looked back.
Coco can’t always make it to our winter activities because sometimes he’s off on his own wintery adventures: he is guide on motorbike tours and takes groups as far north as Norway and even Iceland, often experiencing such ridiculous temperatures as minus 25 degrees, but returning with sensational photos.
Coco is not just a guide, but in fact this motorbike touring company is his own, belonging to himself and two partners. You can check out his tours here.
Marchela is the creative and crazy one of the group. There’s never a dull moment with Marchela around.
She is Bulgarian but has lived in Mallorca almost as long as I have. She has a young daughter to look after as well as her husband and son, she is renovating an apartment and she is one of the caretakers of a hotel.
She is a photographer, seamstress and baker. Oh, and she’s just joined a gym. In short, she never stops.
I remember once on a walk last year when we went to the Puig de Randa. We walked partway up the hill and stopped to see the amazing view. When we continued uphill, she stopped to change the lens on her camera. Seeing that we’d all gone, she rushed out of the clearing where we’d been and ran straight down the hill, waving some huge twigs she’d found to spray-paint silver to use as a prop in her photography studio.
It was a good ten minutes before we realised she was missing, and of course she didn’t answer the phone – she never does! By this time she was miles away and Toni had to go all the way back down the hill to get her! When they both reached the top, the rest of us were sipping a nice cold beer, enjoying the view.
Marchela is always as ditzy as that, but she is one hell of a photographer. Check out her work on her Facebook page.
Catiana lives in Alcudia like me. She works at the local post office but her two real passions in life are history and fashion.
Catiana joins most of the Winter Activities as, like many, she is not working now during the winter months and she has free time.
Catiana enjoys our historical visits most, including our strolls around Palma old town and Palma Cathedral, and our archaeological visits.
She writes a blog in Mallorquin about fashion, called Tumbet Closet.
Txema is our resident artist. He has a blog called El Color de mi Mente (The Colour of my Mind) on which he shares a photo of his latest work together with his reflections on it. He also showcases his original artwork in exhibitions in Palma.
Originally from the Basque Country in Northern Spain, Txema, like many, has settled in Palma de Mallorca and has claimed the island as his own, taking inspiration from the island for his artwork as well as enjoying many a winter activity with our group.
Txema has another blog dedicated to Mallorca, called Mallorca Mola, on which he portrays his love for the island and shares his Winter Activities experiences.
These are just a few members of our Winter Activities group; there are many more interesting characters and fascinating personalities, which means that there is never a dull moment during our outings.
During this month’s Destination of the Month, I’ll be sharing with you some of the different activities that we’ve done. You can check them out so far here.
Remember, most of our Winter Activities are free and open. If you are around in winter and happen to be at a loose end when one of our activities is taking place, we’ll be delighted to have you along. The current programme is usually posted here.
About the Author: Lisa, born and grew up in England, live in Mallorca, Spain... Have visited more than 20 countries, have twice as many to yet visit, love sharing experiences....