Monday 17 September 2007

16 nights gone so soon

Passing for white in the sun

I could almost swear that when I arrived on holiday on the first of the month I was the only one with a tan a darker shade of brown, but hours before my return home today, there are many who were as white as snow when they arrived who could make me pass for a deeply tanned Caucasian.

Such is the way people come to these sunny climes for what is essentially a reptilian experience; crawl out of bed in the morning and congregate at the pool or beach worshipping the sun till it gets too hot and then they slither into the pool or water for a brief cooling down then return to bask in the sun till they are medium rare hash browns or bright red lobsters, the last part however, does not happen to crocodiles.

One thing missing from the work of the sun is that it does not burn off body-lard, the many relatives of Michelin man who exposed so much flesh to the sun and each once beautiful body over time succumbs to the abuse of food and the lack of exercise, people could be a bothersome eye sore.

I dread the thought of getting on my scales back home too, the food and wine has been sumptuous, I had better my cleaner to dump the scales in the bin before I return.

Get off the beach and explore

I have always found other things to do in Gran Canaria because it is quite an interesting island once one gets out of the overly touristy areas on the Southern Coast.

There is Las Palmas de Gran Canaria the capital to the North East where you find information leading to the discovery for Europe the continent of the Americas at the Museum House of Christopher Columbus, I also found the Museo Elder quite interesting which is a science museum.

The shop to go to is the El Corte Ingles department store which seems to have everything, I even got a hammock and suit from there once; it is bus 30 from Playa del Ingles.

Palmitos Park is a bird sanctuary which suffered some damage in the forest fires of mid 2007, I hear no animals suffered, but it would take some time to rebuild the place.

Puerto Rico to the West of Playa del Ingles and Puerto de Mogan are places to visit, at the first, we were persuaded to get on a catamaran for almost 3 hours as we ventured out 16 kilometres into open sea to see the schools Atlantic Spotted Dolphins, I almost lost my sea legs.

At Puerto de Mogan, you would be taken by the clarity of the water and did I get into a “Yellow Submarine” to view creatures in the depth of the sea hoping we did not have to call on the reserves of 3 days of oxygen, just in case we could not float again.

One can get to all these places by bus but make sure you travel part of the way by ferry which goes between Puerto de Mogan, through Puerto Rico to Arguineguín the nearest port to Playa del Inglés and Maspalomas.

The interior of the island is a wonder of windy roads through canyons on the Southern side and temperate green in the North, towns like Tejeda and Firgas reveal the traditional Gran Canarians, in fact, once we came upon a procession of floats drawn by super-salivating cows and bulls.

During one of our tours of the island in safari jeeps we got to highest approachable point by car and were able to seen Las Palmas through the clouds, we were basically above some of the lower laying clouds.

There is so much to do in Gran Canaria if we can abort the quest for getting cooked in readiness for long gone cannibals and in all, I have still not done the whole of the island in four visits.

Tired from not really retiring

The island however is full of many who have come to retire in the sun, opened shops, bars and other service operations only to find they are hardly in retirement as they eke out a living from carefree tourists.

I would return to Gran Canaria soon and I have learnt a few things as travel Comfort Class or better, means more leg-room and more baggage; stay at one of the Riu Hotels of 4-star class or better; do half-board, that is breakfast and dinner taken care of and sometimes the hotel entertainment is viewable.

There were many couples in my hotel, straight and gay, amazingly, quite a few young ones were there and I could not help but notice the two beautiful ladies where one was dressed the manly part and the other looking quite like a prom girl.

One last view of the sea from my room as I check-out and regrets that 16 nights are so soon gone.

The slideshow

The pictures of my holiday appear here, I would find some time to caption the whole lot.

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