Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Getting to know Gran Canaria

We have settled into a routine in Gran Canaria. Every day the weather in the south has been nearly 30 degrees with not a hint of rain the whole time we have been here. There have been some interesting discoveries. When we took possession of our townhouse we were told emphatically not to put toilet paper down the toilet. This seemed a bit odd and frankly I didn't pay any attention to it. The mamma of our Italian neighbour, who is living in the basement of their townhouse told us the same story and they take their toilet paper to the garbage each day. The complex isn't that busy. We wonder if they have problems with their pipes or problems when a lot of people are here in the summer or is it a local urban myth. I have images of every place being full in the summer and everyone trotting off to the garbage with their toilet paper. It doesn't really bear thinking about.

Each day we go for long walks along the promenade that reaches from Melonerass right to the sand dunes. Walking along the beach with the dunes behind you and the mountains beyond is quite magical. Today we walked up a promenade at the side of the dunes and only went in to the dunes to visit the camel park, where people go for camel rides. While we were there, there was a long line of camels but no takers for the rides.

We have our morning coffee on the promenade below us, at a restaurant owned by Calabrese from Italy. There are loads of Italians in the area, as well as Germans, Scandinavians, Brits and French. It is fun listening to all the languages and seeing what  the various nationalities wear or even how they look. The Germans and Swedes, strangely enough, are the most rotund.

We can swim in the sea or in the 50-meter pool in our complex. A few minutes away at Pasito Blanco is another beach we want to try - secluded and quiet. We like that area very much. There are no chair rentals on the beach and there is another roped off swimming area on the other side of the marina by the Nautica. The area is very special.

We still haven't quite mastered shopping at the local markets. On Wednesday we get our fruit, veg and nuts at a market in San Fernando. The choice isn't huge as most of the market is about tourist tat from China with ‘made in Italy’ labels. However, the produce we buy is quite nice. There is another market held every second Sunday in San Fernando. What a place! There were probably hundreds of stalls selling everything including the kitchen sink. It was like a giant garage sale. I'm not really a fan of this kind of thing, although I did like one stuffed toy tiger whose whiskers were waving in the high wind. Eventually, we found the fruit and veg area but I didn't think the quality was all that great. It was interesting to watch a man crush sugar cane for drinks on a quite old fashioned looking machine. Our next market exploration will be in Las Palmas. Tomatoes, bananas and even coffee are grown on the island.

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