Gran Canaria news
Richard and Janet
Thu 18 Sep 2014 21:39
We have been quite busy since we got here... we tied up on the wall of the fuel dock in the early hours of the morning, with a huge crab for company... Lise made sure her hatch was closed! and were told where we could berth just after 9 am. We then had the interesting experience of tying up in a berth without a finger. We have had to devise a pulley system with a plank to get off the platform.... a new experience for us, but the way most marinas work in Europe. It was very hot when we arrived so the first thing we did was make an extra awning. Now the boat is covered from front to back and with the help of four fans, we keep pretty cool.
We also got the dingy down from the davits and checked it. We put the engine on and did a few test runs. It needs some fine tuning but that will be done in November. We don’t need to use the dinghy here as we have found that the beach, five minutes’ walk away, has a lovely reef to snorkel and Richard and Janet have been enjoying swimming there every day when the water is clear enough. We have seen lots of reef fish, octopus, small barracuda and big butterfly rays, some with a wing span of six feet! There is also a swimming platform at the yacht club and we have had a swim there once. It is very pleasant but the beers are much cheaper on the boat!
We have all been on various outings. The first was to the supermarket to get groceries. We walked up the road (about 10 minutes) and caught the bus to San Fernando, where the local people live... as advised by Ernesto in the marina office ... to avoid paying higher prices in the tourist areas. The buses here are great, air conditioned and on time. We had three supermarket choices, Spar, HiperDino and Lidl. After looking at them all, we chose Lidl as the meats, fresh fruit and vegetables were good, and it was closest to the bus stop! We each take a ruck-sack when shopping to carry the heaviest items and in this way can carry quite a load.
Lise and Kevin braved a walk along the beach and across the rocks to Meloneras and Maspalomas, the two big resorts next to Pasito Blanco. This area has the largest influx of tourists and is something to behold. They also took the bus to the lovely harbour of Puerto Mogan, known as the ‘Little Venice of the Canaries’. It lies at the foot of steep cliffs and is very pretty.
Richard and Janet visited the tourist town, Puerto Rico... not the Caribbean island! We wanted to see the marina there to compare it with the one we are in and were happy with our choice. Pasito Blanco is in the middle of nowhere but is very secure and peaceful. Puerto Rico has a lovely beach, packed with sunbathers lying in rows on their sun beds, great if you enjoy it! There was lots happening there... ferries coming and going, dare-devils parasailing and jet-skis everywhere. Needless to say, we were happy to get back to our tranquil surroundings.
We hired a car two days ago and Richard and Janet have been trying to get the empty gas cylinder replaced or refilled.... to no avail. We had heard this could be a problem in The Canaries and it sure is. At the Disa Gas Plant we were told the fitting was different so it couldn’t be done. We then bought a new regulator and will be buying Spanish gas so we will be able to cook and have hot water in the months to come. We will be able to get our lightweight BP cylinders filled in other parts of the world so will be fine after we leave here.
Yesterday we tried to get into the large marina at Las Palmas to have a look around.... oh boy, what a mission! It must be the most hidden marina in the world. After three tries up and down the motor way we gave up, but hooray, today we found it, almost by accident. We had a look around, visiting the various shops and Richard was very happy to find a Japanese feather (special lure for fishing), swivels and shackles to make a better bungee. We are also glad not to be berthed there, one of 1250 boats!
Tonight we had a braai (barbecue) of delicious Spanish sausages bought at the ‘hipermercado’ called Eroski where we stopped on our way home from Las Palmas.... most enjoyable! Needless to say, there was also a Primark there stocked with clothes for winter which really seems crazy here right now.
Tomorrow we all plan to drive around the perimeter of the island to get a general feel of the whole place. We look forward to leaving the dry desert-like south for the mountainous and green northern areas.
1. Awnings covering the boat
2. Pulleys to get boat closer and plank to jump off onto the jetty
3. Houses in marina complex from the cockpit
4. Janet at marina in Puerto Rico
5. Beach at Puerto Rico
6. Richard at bus stop with irrigated golf course in the back ground
7. Lise in Puerto Mogan
8. Kevin with Maspalomas lighthouse in the background
9. View of Las Palmas from viewpoint near ‘Las Vegas’ - no jokes we went through a tiny town with this name!
10. Sign showing we have left Las Vegas!