Mums Go Wild
A group of my oldest (in the sense that I’ve known them since childhood, not that they’re octogenarians) and closest friends came here this week to celebrate Frances’ Hen Party. As an island resident and mother of a breastfeeding six month old, I’m so pleased they chose to come here as it meant I could join in the fun and frolics and still do my Mummy duties. I am pleased to report that we had an absolutely incredible time…and for me personally, the absence of a hangover made it even more fantastic!
All too often the general image of Ibiza is of a twenty four hour party place, full of drink, drugs, dancing and hedonism. However, whilst all of the former are available should you want them, Ibiza has so much more to offer. This weekend is a case in point. We dressed as cowgirls, dined out, played games and chilled out at Tulp on Thursday, went on a cruise on our boat, swam in the clear waters off Cala Tarida, caught the sunset off cafe Mambo and ate at the always amazing Tapas on Friday and got dressed up and painted as animals for Zoo project on Saturday. All either accompanied by Ela or with me giving her a feed at a restaurant or outside a bar before sending her off with her fabulous father for a few hours. Waiters, barmen and my friends didn’t bat an eyelid or mutter a word of complaint at my public feeding or at my bringing my baby to hen party lunches, dinners or the boat trip (probably helped by her relaxed demeanour and smiling face throughout!) and I had a brilliant time with the girls. It made me realise, a) how much I adore these girls and b) just how incredibly diverse and accepting this island is.
This diversity was encapsulated and magnified at Zoo, where we saw people from all ages and walks of life enjoying themselves and interacting. New agers meditated, chanted and drummed whilst drunken partygoers danced around in neon, covered in paint. Throngs of sweating bodies undulated, gurned and stomped to throbbing dance music whilst dancers performed on a platform below. Stilt walkers, acrobats and playful human cats sloped, back flipped and scurried across the floor whilst Indian dancers, rhythmic gymnasts and hula girls took to the stage. Girls in neon mini dresses walked around offering shots of jagermeister, whilst others in flowers and flowing robes offered massages and orange slices and a, frankly mind-blowing, illusionist did street magic.
Our group of twelve thirty something mums, marrieds and singles mixed, mingled and participated to varying degrees; some joining the throbbing throng to dance, some taking time out to relax (or sleep in the case of a very tired and hung-over member of our group) in Mandala gardens, others dipping their toes in the pool and listening to the music, but all enjoying a good old ‘people watching’ session and a great deal of laughter. There was no hostility, no trouble, no judgement… ok, maybe some of the ‘Oh my god! Did you see the guy in arseless chaps?!’ variety, but all good-natured fun.
But it’s not just Zoo, it’s the entire island. The whole place is a massive mish-mash of cultures, beliefs, people, activities, styles, fashions and fun. The general feeling is of positivity and happiness. Whether you’re swimming, scuba diving, cycling, walking, eating, drinking, raving or relaxing, you do so surrounded by beauty, sunshine and smiles and it makes you feel happy. Where else could you take a baby and a large group to a busy beachside bar like Ibiza Rocks during lunchtime rush, and not only be welcomed, but escorted to a big comfy table upstairs where you’d have more privacy and quiet for aforementioned baby? Where else could you wander around painted like a zebra or leopard and have people compliment you on your look instead of carting you off to the nearest asylum? Where else could you find caves, beaches, turquoise waters, dolphins, pine forests, mountains and a plethora of wildlife so close to clubs, bars, hotels, markets and shops? Where else can you see such beautiful sunsets and seas? In the words of one of our hen party, and Ibiza first timer; ‘I love it here. It is so much more than I was expected. Just brilliant.’ And in the words of the hen party’s youngest member ‘Mamama gaagagaaaa… Ahhhhhhhahahahahahaahahaah Oooooo!!’ Both apt descriptions of the incredible atmosphere of this beautiful white isle, I think.
Getting Dressed Up
This week saw the opening of two of Ibiza’s biggest excuses to get dressed up and go out: The Zoo Project at Gala Nights and Flower Power at Pacha!
If you’ve not seen people prowling the streets dressed up and painted as wild animals, or hippies wandering by wearing flairs and flowers in their hair, then you can’t have been out and about in Ibiza during the past few years! It’s hard to miss the impact that Zoo’s had on the island in recent years, with body painters in every bar and on every corner waiting to turn you into a jungle beast!
As for Flower Power, it’s original perpetrators are what brought tourism here in the first place and the spirit of the 60’s still thrives!
So, if the deep beats and daytime heat of The Zoo Project aren’t what you’re looking for, then head to the Ibiza markets for a haven of 60’s and 70’s inspired gear to get you ready for the fun tunes and nostalgia of Flower Power at Pacha.
Whichever way you look at it, dress up and body painting have taken the island by storm and, after both opening parties were busier than ever this week, it doesn’t seem like these trends will be disappearing anytime soon!
We caught up with Body Painter Rebecca Eastwood to see where she thinks this phenomenon is heading and if it’s here to stay.
– How long have you been running your team of body painters in ibiza and what do you enjoy about it?
“This is my second season with my store kitty kat Ibiza, based in San an bay. I’ve been body-painting for six years an just love it. I get such satisfaction being able to be creative, and seeing something in the imagination come to life.”
– Body painting has become massive on the island over the last few years, do you think it’s here to stay?
“I think body-painting is here to stay, it’s adds a different concept to partying in Ibiza now.”
– The zoo and flower power are the obvious choices to get painted up for but are there any other nights/venues you’ve been painting for?
“Although zoo project and flower power have led the way, people are getting painted for all sort of various nights, it appeals to any category of person, something different can be created for anybody and any night, be it wanting to add sparkle and glam to go to Ocean Beach or getting all tribal for Sankeys tribal session. I have also created new additions to the painting this year by bringing the body-paint to life with 3d masks. They look so effective and really make you stand out in the crowd. I’ve also made tribal headbands available for purchase in store, which are great for add-ons to zoo project painting.”
Catch the KittyKat team in San Antonio bay, they also have a pop up outlet for painting in BN3 bar in the bay and you will also find them painting in Gatecrasher on a Wednesday night!
Zoo Project, Saturdays at Gala Nights. Flower Power, Tuesdays at Pacha