Our best man, Steve, is with us this week so we hired a car from ‘Goldcar’ at the airport, which only cost us 200 pounds for 2 weeks and 4 days. As a one-way trip to the airport by taxi is 35 euros and we have another 7 to make before we leave here, it is a cheaper option and we can also get the ARC provisions from a huge Carrefour outside the city. We took the 1.4 litre option to enable us to climb the hills and that turned out to be a good move.
Yesterday we set off from Las Palmas after a leisurely breakfast in the sunshine and did the entire circuit around the coast, taking 8 hours including 3 long stops en route in Puerto de las Nieves, Puerto de la Aldea and the marina at Mogan.
The scenery is stunning but I didn’t expect to feel queasy for the first time in months! The constantly winding roads on the west coast were far worse than the Atlantic waves, especially after a coffee – it just seemed to swoosh around 🙂 We climbed and climbed until Puerto de la Aldea was tiny in the distance and continued around the coastline before heading inland on the well maintained road. No pot holes and everything was very well sign-posted.
Although it was a national holiday yesterday for All Saints Day or the ‘Day of the Dead’ as it is known here, it is when families visit the graveyards and then have meals at home, so the beaches weren’t too busy. It is still hot and sunny here but the sea breeze helped keep us cool and the car was also air-conditioned, another essential option.
We had lunch at a friendly restaurant in Puerto de la Aldea with views to the sea beyond. For 30 euros we enjoyed canarian new potatoes in a mojo sauce and cheeses to start, then grilled chicken and chips, sardines and salad plus 3 drinks.
Mogan marina was especially lovely, where the flowers and buildings have a backdrop of steep arid hills.
Countless restaurants and shops fringe the pontoons and it is clearly a popular tourist area. I was tempted by the pancake house twice but Rob managed to divert my attention and promised to cook some on the boat later but we both forgot.
There is a small anchorage but it looked very exposed to any southerly winds and not many were anchored there.
As we drove along the south and east coasts through Puerto Rico and Maspalomas, the huge apartment blocks and man-made parks and beaches we saw aren’t our idea of a holiday but obviously serve as a good, winter break in the sun for many. We just hope the extension of the motorway past Puerto Rico doesn’t encourage too much change in the more traditional harbours further north-west.
Finally we joined the motorway and sped past the airport back to Las Palmas. In all we covered 190 kms. We will return to the south again later in the week to spend some time at the sand dunes and beach. Our friend from Haslar, another Rob, is arriving on Friday for the weekend, so we are looking forward to seeing him again. Then we have just 3 more days on our own to do lots of cooking, freezing and provisioning before the first of our crew arrives.