I B I ZA

For quite a few years I have always been envious of my friends going off to Ibiza on holiday. I, for some reason just never thought I would be able to go, as a disabled person, it’s hard to just up and go off to another country without knowing what it is going to be like, is it going to be accessible? Has it got accessible taxis? Will the Hotel actually be accessible, or will it be their version of accessible which means there is a grab rail in the bathroom. But you know what sometimes in life you have just got to say f**K it.

I was lying in bed one evening with my new puppy and my friend Laura sent me a WhatsApp and said to me ‘fancy going away for a few days in a couple of weeks’ times’. I replied saying yes straight away. I was thinking we were off to Bibury or something. Laura then messages saying ‘how about Ibiza’ I literally started buzzing.

A few days of looking, myself and Laura booked Ibiza. My dream was becoming reality.

We booked a hotel called Axel Beach Ibiza, they assured me I would have an accessible room. As normal I took that with a pinch of salt. Our flight was with Ryanair, who I have never traveled with before.

I decided I would take my electric wheelchair away with me. I would then feel independent and also it would save being pushed around everywhere.

I started thinking about all the places I wanted to visit, like the Blue Marlin, Ocean Beach Club, Mambos, there was so many places. I decided to email them all to find out their accessibility. As the last thing we’d want to do is turn up somewhere but not be able to access the toilets or something.

I then started panicking about clothing, I really started to feel worried about how I would look as everyone who goes to Ibiza dresses amazingly in their Bikinis and swimsuits… what on earth was I to do. I don’t have a nice figure; my feet are swollen and fat. Doubt started entering my head.

Before we knew the day had come and we are off to Ibiza. Laura drove us to the airport and we drop the car of which was actually quite easy and was very close to the airport. We checked in and went off to the bar very quick gin and tonic.

For some reason with Ryanair don’t allow the disabled passengers to board the plane first, it was quite embarrassing as I had to be put on the isle chair. It Is so it is so tight to get to the seats and everyone was staring I’m trying to make this go quickly as they wanted to start getting ready to take off. Although I had told the airline, that I was disabled and could not walk I still sat me quite far down the plane and in a window seat which was very hard for me to get to. So, Laura had to sweet talk passenger to move so if I could sit in the aisle seat. We got settled in our seats and we took off.

It only took two hours and thirty minutes to get to Ibiza we have to wait for everyone to leave the plane and waited for the assistance team to come and get me off the plane. It was great my wheelchair was waiting for me. As it took so long for us to get off the plane, we could not find our luggage and there was no sign of anyone from flight. We went to the helpdesk and there was my suitcase but there was no sign of Laura’s. Panic started to set in as we were told there were no more bags to come off the plane as the plane had left. Continued searching for about an hour until I said let’s go outside. When we got outside we noticed Laura’s suitcase dumped outside by the bins. We couldn’t believe it. Laura collapsed on top of a suitcase, we were so relieved. We could now begin our holiday…

I had booked our transfers via holiday taxis.com it cost just over £100 for a private return accessible taxi. However, when we greeted our driver it wasn’t just a taxi it was a giant party bus which had a lift. The bus could fit about 30 people on it so if you’re going with a big group of friends it would be ideal. It took about 20 minutes for us to arrive at our hotel. Axel Beach Ibiza. We were astounded at the size of our apartment. It was huge and just so nice. It was completely accessible with a walk-in shower and toilet with grab rails. In fact, we had a bathroom in each. Even though it was one o’clock in the morning we were really hungry, so we went across the road to the local restaurant.

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After we had eaten we went back to the room to go sleep. I was very excited to explore Ibiza next day.

When we woke up it was cloudy, so Laura helped me unpack my case, and chose an outfit to go to the blue marlin. I literally couldn’t wait as Pete Tong was going a set, it has literally been a dream of mine to see him do a set. Once we already went to reception to call a taxi within minutes accessible taxi was outside our hotel. All of the taxes were very good and always strapped me in.

It took about half an hour to get to the Blue Marlin it Cost €35 for the taxi. Although I got told it was completely accessible as soon as we arrived at my wheelchair would not ride over the gravel so three men had to drag my wheelchair with me in it into Blue marlin. There were steps everywhere, I wanted to go down to the beach to see the view, so about six strongmen carried me in my wheelchair Down the steps, so I could go and see the view. It was literally beautiful. We met some people you kindly let us join them in the VIP section. They were so kind and generous towards us. I even bought us I €300 bottle of gin. I am not going to lie, I got absolutely wasted, it was the best day.

I would say to most definitely go to the Blue Marlin as even though there are steps everywhere, they looked after us so well, If I needed to use the toilet, they escorted us through the crowds.

When we got home from the Blue Marlin, we got a Chinese from across the road from our hotel. I only remember eating it when Laura fed me some! We hadn’t eaten all day, and only drunk Gin. whoops!!

The following day got up I went to breakfast I was surprisingly feeling okay despite the amount of gin I had consumed the day before. We went for a walk around and went to the beach and then decided to go and sunbathe round our hotel pool. We decided to go out to see the sunset at mambo’s. It was so amazing that we could book an accessible taxi and it would arrive within minutes. If only it was like this in the UK. We met some lovely people on this night who kindly brought us dinner and drinks. They were gentlemen. I certainly make them laugh, especially Max who found it hilarious that I got a ride home in an ambulance from the blue marlin. Mambos was completely accessible and had a disabled bathroom. Unlike in this country where anyone can use the disabled bathrooms, they had people making sure that they were not used unless you’re disabled. We didn’t want to have a mad one as we were going to Ocean Beach the next day.

Ocean Beach was good however unless you’re in a big group people kind of stuck with nowhere to go. A Hen do party kindly invited us into their group and it was lovely. They were from Manchester I’m ever so kind it was within the VIP section weather very expensive beds are. I felt not safe there as it was not crowded and didn’t have people bumping into me. However, after about half an hour a rude security guard told me to get out although I was trying to explain we have been invited into this area we were not allowed to stay because we didn’t have a wristband so again I got shouted at and got told to get out. So back into the crowd we went. Because I was in my electric wheelchair I zoomed off and left Laura to go and speak to the girls that work at the front entrance. I explained what happened and she gave me a wristband for myself and Laura. She even kindly reserved us a small table, so we could sit and have some drinks and some lunch but then we could also go back into the VIP area where it was less crowded. I have to s the food was amazing. I literally could’ve eaten satay chicken for days. After our day at Ocean Beach we got a taxi back to our hotel and we got another Chinese and chilled in our apartment. I couldn’t believe it was nearly home time I was having the best time with Laura in Ibiza, words that I never thought I’d say because I never thought I would actually get to Ibiza.

The Next morning, we woke up started drinking gin. We packed our suitcase in preparation of going home. We got another taxi into Ibiza town. On this particular journey the driver didn’t strap me in and so I face planted the back of the seat in front of me. The first thing I said to Laura is ‘has my lip filler burst’ as my lip came up with a little bit of a lump. Ibiza town that was beautiful we walked up and down the road is looking in different shops and we even went to the beach it was so nice. All the beaches that we saw had accessible pathways for wheelchair users you Get down to the beach. I could’ve even used one of the big wheelchairs I have the big wheels, so I could’ve gone in the sea. We went for some food at this restaurant and I had a beef madras. It was amazing I was so chuffed I chose it. I even ate it all.

We finished our trip by drinking some sangria overlooking the beautiful yachts and boats in San Antonio Bay.

Back at the hotel we were waiting for our private transfer to the airport. The giant bus arrived which have the accessible list to get me in. The driver explained that he needed to pick up more people along the way as they needed to get to the airport that something had happened. So, I essentially paid for all these people to get back to the airport. Myself and Laura panicking that we were going to be late for flight but luckily, we weren’t.

We checked in with Ryanair, the check in girl could clearly see that I was sitting in a wheelchair and that possibly that I was disabled. As when we finally got to our Gate number as it was changed about five times nearly didn’t let me on the flight as I hadn’t told them at check-in, but I was disabled. Apparently at Ibiza airport you have to be escorted by someone to your gate who will then assist you to get on the plane however that didn’t happen to me. After a lot of moaning and sheer panic I said we could get on the flight. There was myself and four other disabled guys who needed assistance to get on the plane, for some reason Ryanair don’t allow disabled passengers to get on the flight first. They put us on the last which means for me, I have to be wheeled down in the isle chair which is very narrow even narrower when all the passengers are in their seats. I do find it embarrassing as everyone does stare not that I’m not used to being stared at. It meant getting is all on the flight, which takes a bit of time meant we lost our slot for take-off. We had a two-hour delay. I felt so awkward as it felt like I had delayed the flight. Luckily the pilot managed to find a slot, so we were only delayed approximately half an hour. Flight only took two hours to get back to Stanstead airport so before we knew it we have landed, and we were back in the UK ready for Laura to driver us home. By this time, I was really looking forward to seeing Keegan and my animals, especially my little puppy king.

I would definitely recommend Ibiza to wheelchair users it is almost completely accessible you to get around the island. For me it was one of the best holidays I’ve been on. I’ve done the things I want to do so I can now tick it off my list.

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