Las Palmas - Week 3 - Build up to the start

Position           28:07.72N 015:25.51W

Date                2359 UTC Saturday 20 November 2010

 

Our third week in Las Palmas started on Monday with a day coach trip, organised by the ARC team, around the northern part of the island.  Our excellent guide, Maria, started with a walking tour of the old city of Las Palmas.  This is quite a distance from the marina and we would not have got there left to our own devices. There are any beautiful buildings and squares and the tour took in the Christopher Columbus Museum, sited in a beautiful house built around a central courtyard.  A feature of Gran Canaria is the canine statues of which there are many, featuring the native Canaria dog after which the islands are named.

 

 

Rain then kicked in which meant a shortened visit to the botanical gardens – note palm trees are useless to shelter under as they are designed to pout water down into the earth and not shed it.

 

We were then off into the mountains to view a volcano crater, some 200m deep.

 

This was just about achieved but was the last thing that we did see as the visibility closed in which limited our view to the vegetation within 150m of the coach.  The situation was greatly redeemed by an excellent and very jolly lunch and a visit to the church in Arucas, below the cloud level, during our return to the marina.

 

The rate of activity increased with more boats arriving, white kneed crews and “Guest” joining their boats, huge amounts of deliveries of meat, fruit and veg, and 5 trolley loads of wine and groceries from El Cortes Ingles.  Fortunately all of these were delivered to the pontoon.  Whilst Elizabeth has never been a Doctor Who fan she has shown a remarkable ability to play Tardis games with the boat.

 

Happy hours continued and I was persuaded to play the pipes at that hosted by Admiral Marine Insurance.  This was an offer difficult to refuse as they had just been asked to add my bagpipes to the boat insurance schedule.

 

The final official ARC Party hosted by the Las Palmas Tourist Board was held in the Real Club Nautico de Gran Canaria, a very impressive venue with a huge outdoor terrace.  As a result of playing at the Admiral Happy Hour I was asked to perform at the party and for a moment I definitely had centre stage.

 

 

 

So on to signing out and the skippers’ briefing; all very professionally arranged and managed, which has been a feature of this 25th ARC Rally.

 

So ready for the off on Sunday 21st.  We have just the issue of final putting away of those last difficult to place items, stow bicycles and passerelle and detach ourselves from the pontoon that has been home for the last three weeks.