Well we are coming to the end of a fairly long ten days in Mogan, Gran Canaria. Events conspired to not make it worth moving anywhere else, so we settled down in the marina and hired a car.
By Tuesday we had completed pretty much all of the onboard maintainence stuff and in an effort to stay away from the red wine, took off sight seeing. On the first day we took the coastal road up the west coast and it is truly awesome. Sheer cliffs, breaking Atlantic swells, just fantastic. By lunchtime we had reached Las Palmas and stopped for a good look around, as this had been our intended first destination. It was with no small trepidation that we parked the car and went walkabout. Didn’t take long, the volume and noise of the traffic, police cars and ambulances all with blues on and sirens blaring, was overwhelming, as was the smell from the marina. After an hour we could take no more and it was back to the car for a quick escape.
That night to continue our theme of escape from the confines of the boat, we ate ashore. Little restaurant which had been open with the same ownership, decor and menu since 1976. It turned out to be epic! Andreas almost wept with joy as he tackled a steak more reminiscent of the geography of Gibraltor than of any known animal. So good was it, in fact we booked a table for Christmas night and retired home, happy that another job had been ticked off the list.
The following day we struck off inland and very quickly voted one stretch of road among the best in Europe. Incongruous to see pine trees interspersed with palm trees, just beautiful. At this end of the island you have valleys starting near the center and radiating out, like the gaps between spokes on a wheel. As you crest one ridge it all changes from palm trees and prickly pear to massive banana plantations. You get a real feel of being on the outskirts of Europe. At the sea end of each valley, typically you find one of the resorts towns, for which the island is famous. Today saw us end in Peurto Rico.( not to be confused with the Central American country.)The beach and marina are shouldered between two massive hotels, staggered up the side of the ravine, not aesthetic, but nicely done, clean and well thought out. Andre convinced me that some time amongst the throng of half naked humanity sunning itself on the golden sands was needed. In truth I lasted twenty minutes before I stood up, shook the afore mentioned golden shit out of my shorts and went to a beach bar for a late lunch.
Our final day in the mountains was by far the most spectacular, museums, awesome campsite on the shores of a lake, a drive up to the highest point and a traditional Canarian mountain lunch, made an awesome finale to our exploration of the Gran Canaria hinterland.
Thursday was Christmas Eve and the day of Vicky’s arrival.
The morning was spent cleaning and doing laundry and then on-wards in the afternoon for hyper market shopping for bulk items. A late night drive got me to the airport and Vicky arrived on time, with no hassle. By 12.30 in the wee hours of Christmas morning we were back on board, sitting in the cockpit with a bottle of red catching up on our past month.
Christmas day was bazaar, no spelling mistake, the whole village of Mogan becomes an open market, which is exciting, interesting and ultimately bloody annoying. First order of the day was to locate the hire car as the local police had towed it in the night, to make room for a stall selling African face masks. An hour of trudging around, found it and it cost 40euros to release Percy the polo from prison, Happy Christmas. To escape the hoard thronging the town, we took Vicky on an abbreviated mountain drive, then stopped for lunch at Playa de Ingles. Toilet of a town, but a simply incredible beach with massive dunes. Given the non traditional Christmas we were having, it seemed only correct to have a Chinese for lunch, which as it happened was instantly forgettable. It’s an old adage to never go back and try and relive a great experience, that night was no exception, our fabulous night so looked forward to, was destroyed by different chef, staff and quality, Andre looked so woe begotten that he was not charged for his terrible meal, oh well. We retired to Deneheys Irish pub for gin and tonics and to lick our wounds, for nutrition.
Boxing day dawned and the organisation machine that is Vicky had her day, troops were marched to Percy then directed to a hyper market, as provisions in the Cape Verde are reported limited and expensive, we were shopping for six for a month. Arriving at the check out with a convoy of trollies, we scouted a fresh and strong looking cashier and ruined her day. With Percy’s hull rubbing on the wheels it was back to Lady Sea Breeze to try and fit it all in. To many cooks and all that, so I retired to our cabin to read while Andre and Vicky stowed the lot.
Sunday now and final internet stuff to do, probably a last supper ashore, then all go tomorrow. Have to give back our good friend Percy, pay the marina, fill up with water and diesel, then we are out of here. It’s been a great place, probably too long a stop, but that’s just how it works out. Thanks Mogan and Gran Canaria, I certainly will be back.
Happy New Year.