PsychoGeography: Journey's end

Share
Related Topics

In Ibiza the night proceeds according to plan: we set off in convoy, several cars full of us. True, we're going to a party in a swanky villa on the other side of the island, but while half our company are teenaged, the rest of us are past the age when we can do any raving – except against the dying of the light. Then: solid darkness, with headlights gouging it out to expose switchback roads and useless signs. The mobile phone calls begin: like the echo location of decadent bats. Some Ibizan parties can be found by following lizards stencilled on walls, others by pink balloons, but the turning for this one – or so we're assured through the ether – will be clear to us because of a strategically placed pile of three white phones.

"Phones!" Our radio operator-cum-navigator expostulates to general in-car hilarity. "Three white phones!" She reiterates – and the mirth continues, until having driven the required kilometre back from San Miguel we find the pile of three white stones. If only we were – stoned, that is – but we're simply victims of a contact high as big as the island itself, a tenebrous and fizzing cloud of methylenedioxymethamphetamine beneath which our hired Seat Ibiza struggles to gain purchase on the bumpy track.

Then, suddenly, I'm sitting at a poolside bar, drinking Coke and being talked at by a well-groomed posh hag in a see-through dress. Her arms are as brown as mahogany, her pupils as big as school pupils, her breasts are like the jowls of old men grafted on to her ribcage by psychotic surgeons. And she's drawling, "Honestly, I was just setting off for the airport when that plane crashed ... it couldn't've been a worse time, I mean, I absolutely hate flying." It is, manifestly, all about her – not the 153 souls fried on the Madrid runway. "I mean, I can cope with flying, but only with headphones on, my music playing, and absolutely blotto on Valium."

Her name is Patsy Bunbury – or somesuch implausibility – and she, her banker husband, and a brace of Google-brained teens, are all revolving around the party as high as kites that are about to crash into the ground: they jig and spin on the end of invisible strings of intoxication. It's very Ibiza, this, the transgenerational narcosis, and it gives the entire mise en scène – the pool with its artificial shingle beach; the enormous patio crowded with bohos, trustafarians and aristocrats; the trestle tables laden with truckles of tender beef – a certain Pompeiian air. You don't have to be a Cassandra to suspect that it's all about to go "crunch", as the liquidity is sucked out of the revellers and they're left in their poses, freeze-dried for eternity.

The following day I decide to go for a walk around the northern cape of the island. This will be a modest five-miler in the 30-degree heat, from Cala d'en Serra along the cliffs to Punta d'en Gat and the Cala des Pou, then on to the lighthouse at Punta des Moscater. From there it looks to be a simple stroll down to the resort of Portinaxt. However, nothing's ever as simple as that. My wayfinding – and that of my companion, Mark – is erratic. The underbrush is scrubby and thorny, the rocks are sharp. With many backtracks we make about a mile an hour. The Med sparkles, on the horizon the superstructure of a freighter piled high with containers wavers in the heat.

I begin to worry: will we become lost here in the Ibizan hinterland? Meeting perhaps with other Brits who've gone feral? A lost tribe of Bunburies, buck naked, who call themselves "the E", and enact weird psycho-sexual rituals. Mark, on the other hand, is unconcerned, chatting away about how his dad made a fortune buying up ex-MoD Cold War bunkers in the Channel Islands, then growing mushrooms in them. And how weird is that?

Late that day I go to check on the teens who're bunking in a villa about a mile from where we're staying. The villa, as cubicular and white as a sugarcube, is called "China White". That's Ibiza for you – a not-so-funhouse mirror of Surrey, where premature retirees live in houses named after varieties of heroin. It's a beautiful evening, the sun lazily declining to the sea. From a villa down the hill floats the hypnotic strains of a song that was ceaselessly played during my own summer of ersatz love: "Fade Into You" by Mazzy Star: "I look to you and I see nothing / I look to you to see the truth", the ethereal girl singer warbles her timeless existentialism.

And so you leave me, dear readers, on that Ibizan hillside, just as you leave Ralph fulminating in his Kentish atelier. For this is the last PsychoGeography that we will pen for the Independent Magazine. Au revoir, à bientôt, auf wiedersehen – fade into you ...

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: IT Analyst / Helpdesk - 2 Month Contract - £15ph - High Wycombe

£15 per hour: Ashdown Group: IT Analyst / Helpdesk - 2 Month Contract - £15ph ...

Recruitment Genius: Automation Test Analyst

£35000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This group is the world's secon...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Support Coordinator

£18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Permanent Sales Support Coordinator is...

Recruitment Genius: Qualified Accountant

£30000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A fast growing cloud accounting...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Ice skating in George Square, Glasgow  

How many Christmas cards have you sent this year?

Simon Kelner
 

Al-Sweady Inquiry: An exercise in greed that blights the lives of brave soldiers

Richard Kemp
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum