Tuesday, July 19, 2016

When It Rains, It's Colapso

The weather was a bit iffy last Thursday. Highs only around 23 degrees, some rain about, mostly cloudy all day. What to do, if you're a tourist? Head to the nearest hire-car agency. Look at all those cars that have been brought over from the mainland. Look at them all, many of them from agencies paying nothing in taxes. That's a story in itself. Part of the story means that these immigrant vehicles add to the "colapso", taking advantage of roads and car parks for which there are no contributions. 

They love a good colapso in Mallorca. Love talking about it anyway. It has nothing to do with vino, and thank God it doesn't. All those hire cars with all those tourist drivers with little clue where they're going and their task is made more difficult by having had a glass or several. Mind you, it's enough to drive you to drink: driving when everything's colapso, as in the traffic. Logjam, standstill, collapsed: there's your colapso.

It happens all the time when there's dodgy weather. This is what you get from alternatives to sun and beach. When the sun doesn't shine, when the beaches are empty, when the poolsides have not been attacked from the earliest hour by the race to lay the towels, what is there to do? Yep, let's all go to Palma. All those with a hire car, that is; those who are prepared to splash out for one. Pity the poor economy-class all-inclusive vacationer, wandering lonely as a cloud, several clouds, thick clouds and wondering what on Earth to do. Or maybe you shouldn't pity them. That's up to you.

Of course it isn't only the all-inclusive guest who does the in-resort wandering. There are the other hotel occupants. The hire-car drivers are all in holiday rentals, the thousands upon thousands of those. That's what the regional government seems to think at any rate. Whatever accommodation the drivers have, it's always the same: head for Palma.

Someone has suggested - Javier Mato, writing in "Preferente" - that there should be information available for tourists, advising them what to do on an iffy day, warning them that if they go to Palma, they'd wish they hadn't bothered. Jam after jam, nowhere to park. It sounds a good idea, until Javier mentions that this would be information in hotels. Eh? In hotels? It would need to be in holiday rentals - legal or not - because the government says that colapso occurs because of the rentals.

Why aren't there park and ride schemes? Like with the car park that was created for just this purpose but which has since become unused, unloved and unmanaged. Why not? Because local authorities, let's them call them Palma's town hall, are useless. Too busy mucking around with closing roads in the city centre than doing something sensible like providing park and ride. There again, the turning into Antoni Maura off the Paseo Marítimo was bad enough as it was, what with being one lane, there being pedestrian crossings, buses (public and excursion) blocking the way and traffic lights that gave no more than thirty seconds of green.

What would make things really ducky would be for an iffy day to coincide with twenty odd thousand cruise passengers traipsing around the city. Colapso? You bet it would and would include the loos. The system couldn't take all the bar bogs being flushed at one go by the cruise passengers and the hire-car occupants, stuck in jams for hours, haring to the nearest bar to relieve themselves.

Why not take a bus instead? Or the train? Are you kidding? Ever tried getting on a bus to Palma on a good day let alone a bad one? You might succeed, but then there's the getting back as well. The train? What train, if you are in Pollensa, Alcudia, Cala Ratjada, Cala Millor, Cala d'Or, Colonia Sant Jordi, Magalluf, Andratx?

Why go to Palma at all? What about other parts of the paradise island? Fancy Soller? Not by car you shouldn't. The train? A good alternative, if there were space. Large (largish) towns like Inca? Why would anyone want to go to Inca? Actually, there are some interesting parts and it has what seems to be the main reason to want to go to Palma - shopping, though not on anything like the same scale admittedly.

How about mooching around the small towns and villages? Petra, Sant Joan, Lloret and many others? Well, how about it? Does it cross anyone's mind to do this? It should do. You never know, you might be surprised by what you find. Mallorca.

Overwhelmingly though, the choice will be Palma, which will be overwhelmed to a greater degree than it constantly appears to be. Mallorca is geared to two things - sun and beach. Take them away, if only temporarily, and there's colapso.

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