Life in the Canaries

Tue 30 Oct 2007 19:39
First, did anyone manage to open the file with the photos of our fish etc? We suspect not, so if anyone did, please let us know! With any luck our Atlantic crossing crew will be more skilful at this than we are.
The reason for the lack of communication is that since arriving in Las Palmas I've been working with a Spanish tutor, and doing my assignments and learning dozens of new tenses, not to mention hundreds of irregular verbs, has been occupying most of my time--in between socialising with the increasing number of arrivals for the ARC (Atlantic Cruising Rally).Lots of the  English people have gone back to the UK for 2 or 3 weeks, so we're the recipients of their fridge contents as well as keeping an eye on their boats for them--and plant minding. Next week we're taking a side trip to Madeira for a few days--but in a plane.
Before we arrived in Las Palmas we had rather wondered how we would fill in the 6 weeks before the ARC, but we've found it to be a delightful city with almost no tourists--they're all down at big Disney-type resorts in the south of Gran Canaria and on Tenerife which is a well known 'booze and bonk' destination. 
The climate here is near perfect, and we've been able to join the nearby yacht club which has a lovely pool, a top class restaurant and wifi, so we're there every day. There's a wonderful market only a short distance away,and a great cultural scene with concerts, fiestas, folk singing and dancing. The feel is much more South American than peninsular Spanish, especially in the music and language.The Australian ambassador was here this week, and evidently Australia exports palm trees to Las Palmas, which is like coals to Newcastle.Being just off the coast of Africa, the climate is semi tropical, with an abundance of mangoes, papayas and avocados, which we devour, along with the seafood.
The population is very mixed, with many Africans, Philipinos and Cubans. We're even taking salsa classes with a very
handsome black man. John doesn't seem quite as excited as I am!
So, it's less than 4 weeks until our departure, and the list of jobs to be done is becoming a little smaller. Unless something dramatic happens, I'll blog again after we return from Madeira on 11 November.