PICO DE LAS NIEVES

Billy, Roland, Lasse and I rented a car and spent the day touring. Our first stop was in the old village of Aguimes. We enjoyed coffee and a homemade goodie sitting in the warm sun next to the church and main courtyard shaded by very magestic trees. The architectural charm, painted murals and scattered artistic shops offered us a relaxed stroll.

We then visit the Guayadeque Ravine. This ravine was a Aboriginal site where you can see many caves in the walls of the canyon. There are some caves lived in today that we visited. One of the occupants, Peppi, that invited us into his humble dwelling. Not speaking any english, he managed to get me to dance with him. He also had a small TV screen with a old American Western move playing with Kurt Douglas. Seemed appropriate.

Climbing higher in elevation we arrived to a volcanic crater, Caldera de los Marteles. Billy took out his drone with a video camera and flew it around the crater for some photos. Pine trees are plentiful in the mountains and the vistas are spectacular.

Our final stop of the day was at the highest viewpoint of Gran Canaria, Pico de las Nievas. It was a beautiful sunny day with NO wind so we spent 2 hours enjoying the warmth and views including the island of Tenerife, some 50nm away. We enjoyed the sunset and then scurried to the car as the temperature had dropped significantly. Another wonderful day in the mountains.

Waiting for sunset

People waiting for sunset

Teide 3718 m on Tenerife is the highest mountain in Spain.

 

 

ALMOND BLOOM FESTIVAL

The Gran Canaria almond trees are in bloom now and that begins the annual festival. The blossoms are pink and the trees are scattered along the hill sides mostly in the higher altitudes and not in any particular order or rows.

Five of us took the bus to a mountain village for the festival in Tenteniguada. We enjoyed listening to music as we walked the main street and sampled all the local foods they were offering for free; breads, roasted chickens and pig over open fires and soup. They also showed how to crack open the almond shells using rocks, no fancy nut crackers.

We then hiked 3km to the next village of Valsequillo. This was a much larger festival and we arrived just as the dancing and singing was starting in the main square.

The challenge of the day was finding the correct bus to take us from this village back to the marina. As roads were blocked off it was not clear where the buses were stopping. As it happened, a Finnish man in our group started dancing with a young Spanish lady and she then took us around to ask where and when the right bus was leaving. it was a lot of laughs and she gave hugs all around when she found the actual bus driver for our bus. He then yelled on the bus to us when it was time to get off and where to do to change buses, speaking only a few words of English. What service and such kindness!

Hello GRAN CANARIA
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Following a nice sail for most of the way from Fuerteventura we arrived to the large port of Las Palmas, the capital of Gran Canaria. This island has two distinct climates; north being lusciously green and the south is hot, cacti and sunbathers. It is a mountainous island, the highest peak at 1950 meters.

Nice sailing to Las Palmas

We were incredibly lucky to get a slip here with great appreciation from our Swedish friends Leif and Anna-Karin on Beaucastel who helped secure a slip on a private dock 2 days before we arrived. We had sent in a reservation for the Port of Las Palmas marina but did not receive any response and we knew the marina was quite full. This will be our “home port” until November so we plan to come back and forth from Sweden and sail to some of the other islands.

Marina was full and many boats on anchor

Three days after arrival we were part of a hiking group of Swedes. I can honestly say that the hike was a bit too aggressive for Roland and I, being out of shape hikers! We climbed a total of 1000 meters and covered 14 km. Four days later Roland and I were able to walk without moaning and groaning. Beautiful mountains here and spectacular vistas.

Gran Canaria is a popular hiking destination

Nice scenery !

Stretching after 14 km and 1000 vertical meters

Tobbe is also stretching!

Las Palmas is a big city that offers constant entertainment with live music events. We were walking back to the marina one afternoon and there was a man behind us walking along singing Opera and, was quite good. I turned around imagining I would see a Pavoratti sized man but he was more the size and demeanour of England’s Mr. Bean.

The famous beach in Las Palmas, “Las Canteras”

There are many Swedish boats here and a Scandinavian club that is very active so we are slowly getting acquainted with many. Roland and Billy are enrolled in a Spanish course at the Scandinavian club.