Tuesday, 19 November 2013, Las Palmas

David Batten
Tue 19 Nov 2013 23:00
Sunday.  We managed some work in the morning before setting off around the Marina to the Northern car park, where all the crews were gathering for the opening ceremony.  Each nationality was allocated a bit of car park and had a designated standard bearer from one of the yachts.  We don't know who was meant to be carrying the Union Jack, but they were late arriving and sadly there was not much demonstration of enthusiasm for the spirit of the occasion, unlike that shown by the Australians and Scandinavians.  The Banda Gran Canaria lead the procession and a really great band called Banda H Mencey brought up the rear, giving the whole proceedings a real carnival atmosphere.  After speeches from all the VIPs, the national flags of all the participating nationalities were raised and more free beer was dispensed.
After the ceremony, water enthusiasts indulged in some very wet dinghy racing, as in rubber dinghies, fancy dress and rowing.  As much water as possible was thrown about and heaven knows who won, but it provided good spectator and participant sport.
Back to the boat for a drink with some delightful Spanish sailors who were interested in our lifting keel and 2 very experienced ARC participants who had kept their boat in Trinidad and had lots of good advice.
After lunch, we tackled the water maker, which David did succeed in getting to work and yet another tidy up.  Then supper and an early night in preparation for tomorrow's island Tour.
Monday. Up in good time and onto the coach for our "adventure"with a truly delightful guide.  First stop the Jardin Botanico Canario Viera y Clavijo, lovely trees, flowers and cacti (and invisible birds).  Then up into San Mateo and Bandama for coffee and fabulous views, followed by a drive into cloud and cold at Cruz de Tejeda.  After a delicious lunch of typical Canarian food and wine, including soup, cheese, potatoes and a delicious meat casserole, the clouds cleared and we were treated to some more stunning views before driving down to Teror for a walk by the Church and through the old part of the town and then return to Las a Palmas.
A quick trip to El Corte for some fresh milk and then more very good food and excellent company at the crews' supper for a yachts A to L.  More Canary potatoes, delicious cheese, whitebait and salad, chicken and scrumptious chocolate brownies with ice cream. We definitely need to go to sea!
Tuesday. Working day.  Rigging check, water maker now running and not leaking, more stowing and getting to know our neighbours better.  Quick trip to Chandlers and Chinese quarter, sundowner and bed.  Tomorrow the rest of the crew arrive, must get boat tidy!!!
PS Rained quite a lot today.