8 March 2019

Gran Canaria

The Great Canary.....






Our third trip to the Islas Canaria - the Canary Islands...... 

Maybe our last.....







Winter sun.  Warmth.  






A touch of exotica, erotica, carnaval.....

Cosce di bue....  Carne Vale





A break from the SAD syndrome of our desperate northern climes.




Four hours, and some, in travel. Oodles of pounds/euros/dollars/pesos. 

Concrete. Lava. Cinders. Sand.  

The odd cactus (prickly pears)......






Some fish.....

Yeah!  Some fish!





And some papas arrugadas con mojo (wrinkly potatoes with spicy sauce), the local version of chips.....








We make some friends, though they don't say much.....





We drive five hundred kilometres to admire the scenery.....






Which varies from mountainous.... to mountainous by the sea.....





To mountainous with a view of the sea (and El Teide on Tenerife just sneaking into view in the background).....






To a few grains of Saharan sand blown over from the African mainland by the Riu hotel at Maspalomas.....





I am a bit puzzled by the bird life.  On my first evening I notice some little ringed plovers scurrying at the waters' edge, then witness a yellow-legged gull swallowing one of these lovely little creatures.....





Have you seen this bird? 

Wanted on suspicion of murder


I thought these were the Canary Islands?  Where's the canaries?  Where's Humph Davy when you need a light?

I do see one or two sweet little yellow birds in cages, trilling for their supper, but the avian choice here seems to be the Macaw, which is weird because they are natives of South America and the Caribbean.....





But nonetheless they appear as the motif in many a carnaval costume.....





Maybe they are just Big Canaries?  Canarios Grandes?

Or perhaps it's because they look a bit like the bird of paradise flower, which thrives here (though it comes from South Africa).....





I begin to wonder whether anything is indigenous here?  The volcanic origin of these islands is all too plain to see: black beaches, calderas and monoliths like the Roque Nublo, which is an eroded plug sticking up at 1803 metres above sea level.

Though there are remains of human habitation going back two and a half thousand years, most people here are considerably younger than that.....







I did once have a brief relationship with a girl from the Canaries - her name was Aceseyle, or something similar (she told me her family preferred African names to Spanish) - and I look for her up and down the Paseo de las Canteras, but she's not there....

Perhaps this is her?  Dancing with her beau in the Parque Doramas?






Nah....  She probably looks like a walnut now (if she's still alive....)

Anyway, Great Canaries....  

Vegueta, the old quarter of Las Palmas, has some character, even though it creeps up the hills in ever increasing piles of concrete.....





And we visit the Casa-Museo de Colón, a fine Canarian house where Christopher Columbus may have stopped over on his way to America.....  His bed is unmade (perhaps he'll be back?)....




We swim a little.  The sea is still chilly, but the Hotel pool is 'quite nice'....







We marvel at the expensive (though impressive) Poema del Mar Aquarium by the harbour, close by the parking lot where the most enormous cruise ships discharge their restless thousands.....






We visit villages, like the vertiginous Artenara, beautiful Tejeda, where we dine with a picture of Hemingway and friends on the wall, and delicately restored Agüimes, where the tapas are excellent....







But the restaurants of Las Palmas are disappointing - overpriced and in some cases, really not very good (an example being how a number of different staff, without clean hands, gloves or other prophylactics, scatter dried oregano mindlessly over any and every pizza that they may be tasked to deliver to innocent clients)....





A stroll along the front at sundown is pleasant, with the palms rustling in the breeze.  

You could almost be abroad.....  On holiday, even....




But, despite the charms, it will take more than one of Miguel Portillo's puce and lavender outfits to entice me back to these cinder and concrete islands.  





But then, WTF?  My role as a Grumpy Old Git needs to be practised and there's plenty of other places to explore.....

I return to the idea of the canary, the pretty little bird that takes its name from the islands (and not the other way round - the islands were named after dogs - Cani....)  

And I return to play the wonderful music of Mina, an Italian Diva (who last performed in public in August 1978).  One of her finest recordings (in my opinion) is the double album Canarino Mannaro, issued in 1994, whose title combines the idea of a Canary with that of a Werewolf.




From the local press

Have you seen this person?
Wanted for the murder of a dream


And, without wanting to put anyone off a holiday in the sun, that combination kinda chimes with my recent experience of these islands.....  

Sweet warbles and agonising howls.....


Night night.....






Anzi ti chiedo scusa
Mi son sfogato un po'
Ma sai che al posto mio
Io restero'









No comments:

Post a comment