I arrived at the port, ready to go back to Ibiza. The ship was waiting to depart. But the sun was shining, the sky blue; it had been gray for the past 2 days. I took a deep breath: No, i don’t want to leave; i’ll stay. Maybe things will change with the weather.

I went back to town looking for a hotel. One night in a boathouse was more than enough. I was directed to the town square and was turning left and right when a man stopped by my side and asked in English: You look like you need some help. I turned. He was middle-aged, nothing extraordinary, almost without impression: Yes, i’m looking for a hotel. I was told there’s one nearby. – Follow me, i know one.

He led me to a smallish restaurant. 20 euros for a night. Not expensive, but i wasn’t sure about spending it; maybe i’d leave before the evening, so i said i’d think about it and come back later.

The stranger, as we were walking out, turned and said: If you want, you can stay at my place. It’s small, but we can arrange something. He must have taken my hesitance for unwillingness to pay.

I looked at him. From the conversation on our way to the hotel, i learned that he was a doctor from Argentina, working at a local hospital. People had seen us together, they had greeted him. I didn’t felt unsafe. If you don’t mind, I’d really appreciate it, I replied.

The man, Augusto, was divorced, had 2 daughters in Argentina, and lived by himself here. There were a few moments when i felt odd about it, just me and him in his place; i’d be sleeping in the kitchen cum living room, next to his bedroom. I tried to calm myself down by asking about his daughters, who were my age: are they students or are they working? do they visit you?

Augusto was kind. He had time off that afternoon and took me sightseeing around the island. One advantage of driving a car [or having someone drive you] is that you can easily access so many places. Here is the lighthouse at the southernmost tip of the island, Cap de Barbaria

formentera-lighthouse

And here’s the view from the highest point, on the east side, la Mola

formentera

Later in the evening, he took me out to a bar/restaurant with lots of construction-type guys watching soccer game who looked at me quizzically when i entered. We had some delicious tapas and when i offered to pay, he refused. He picked up the tab because, in his words, i needed the money more than he did.

The next day, when he dropped me off at the port and i was thanking him for having been so kind, he simply said: No, thank you for having trust in me.

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