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We came to Gran Canaria February 2014

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We came to Gran Canaria February 2014

This is a report of our second visit to GC. Last Nov we had a week half board at the H10 Meloneras which was great. This time we had two weeks S/C in PDI. The trip confirmed our view that GC is great for us. We'd only briefly visited PDI last time and were amazed at the negative views of some posters as we think it's very nice. In fact we think everywhere we went on GC is nice. The report is basicaly a diary and is probably a bit boring, but when I get going I tend to ramble a bit. If one person gets one good tip out of it I'll be happy.

I had tremendous help from you guys and gals planning this trip and I thank you all

This is how it all panned out.

Day 1 Monday 17th Feb.

Like many in the uk, we were fed up after two months of horrid weather and were glad of this winter getaway. The flight of four hours passed quickly and as soon as we exited the airport into the sunshine, our spirits lifted. We landed 20 mins early so were able to get the 1420 no. 66 bus (3.50 pp) to PDI. If you’re first timers don’t be put off by the scruffy landscape as you head south. There are nice views to the mountains and things improve as you reach Bahia Feliz. The bus dropped us more or less outside our rented appt, The Iguazu on Ave Tirajana.

We liked the look of the Ave and the 4 storey appt. block. We were on the second floor at the back. We could see the yumbo but were never bothered by noise. In need of a livener, we just dumped the cases and strolled south to the next but one roundabout where we found the Deutch Bar. Sat out in the sun with a beer, and began to unwind. Back at the appt we were delighted with it. Nice lounge/diner, spacious balcony with views to the sea and mountains, bedroom and bathroom. Everything you need was there including a washing machine and a safe. We were too tired to get all dolled up like pox doctor’s clerks, so we went to a simple restaurant called Faro at the next roundabout who did a menu del dia for 6.50. Allthough cheap, it was very nice. To finish off the night we wandered a few meters south to Geminis Music Bar. This is an excellent place with live music each night and decent meals.www.geminismusicbar.com. The mainstay is Gary Lithgow who is very talented. We went to bed tired but happy.

Day 2 Tuesday 18th

We’d decided to have a few days local without a car so after buying a few essentials at the Spar opposite, and breakfast on the sunny balcony we wandered down to the bottom of Tirajana to the Riu Hotel. I don’t know why people slag PDI off. IMHO it’s great. Clean, loads of choices to eat in, great beach. Ok it’s a bit dated, but that’s no problem. There’s a walkway thru the Riu to the passeo which overlooks the dunes. They are quite a spectacle. Turned left and eventually dropped down to the Annexo 2 shopping area. There are dozens of bars there and we picked a nice one, Cafe Mozart for a pit stop. Climbed back up to the high level and continued east. Looked into the church by Plaza CC which reminded me of Sydney Opera House. Along Ave Italia as we wanted to check out the Cicar office there.

They couldn’t book us a car and were most unhelpful so we thought sod you, we’ll take our Euros somewhere else. We continued along to Tropical CC which is in a great location on the cliff top overlooking the beach. There are steps down but they are currenty being upgraded so you can’t get down. We carried on to Playa Burras and were surprised at the lack of cafes in this stretch. We did find one on a boardwalk and had a light lunch. Passing thru the large CC and over the footbridge we caught the bus back to Tirajana as our little legs were’t up to the walk back (1.40) After a restful few hours at the flat we walked down to the roundabout by the Cita CC and found Drago car rentals which we got a quote from. We ate at Travolta Restaurant by there which was fine and finished off the night at Geminis.

Day 3 Wednesday

Went down to Drago and booked the car for Friday for a week. Bit of a banger but only 150 Euros. Got 39 bus to Porto Rico at 1100. We like PR. The way those appts cling to the valley side is amazing. Went up to the lower CC by Mcdonalds and had coffee at Mau Mau. They we showing the winter Olympics and some Scandinavians were getting quite excited. Had a wander round the shops. Very clean and peaceful. No hassle from the vendors. Had a cheap lunch at Planet(?) then walked down to harbour. Checked out Costa Mar for a future meal (never happened) and had drinks there. Crossed the nice beach and then along the fab coast path to Amadores. What a sight that is. It was too hot on the beach so we lay on the grassy bank at the back. Got 1650 bus back to PDI. I think the GC bus system is excellent. Stopped off for a random beer, shopped at Spar for nights meal and stayed in and watched a bit of tele.

Day 4 Thursday.

Walked via Yumbo (why do people knock it, I think it’s fine) Down at the eastern end of Annexo we coffeed at Munich 2. Then up thru the nice Atlantic Beach Club CC using the lift to get to the top level. Thought we’d have lunch at the Tropical but ended up coming back to Munich for Sardinas. V nice. Back up via Atlantic CC and thru Kasbah CC, home. On the night we had an average meal at The British Bulldog. Near there is a local bar called Casa Paravela where some old local museos play local folk music very well. We listened for a while over drinks. Called in at the Auld Triangle Irish bar and asked if I could do a couple of numbers when the singer had a break. They didn’t seem keen, so I thought sod ‘em I’ll take my feeble voice somewhere else.

Day 5 Friday

Picked up the car. Drove to Aguimes and had a wander round the old town. Some nice bronze statues dotted about. Coffee and cake in the square where they were preparing for the fiesta. Thought it was a bit expensive for what we had. Managed to find the road up to the Guayadeque Valley. This is a beautiful run and is good because you get the mountain scenery but are on the valley floor so it’s not squeaky bum time. Went up to the Trogodor restaurant which is an amazing place. As we’d taken a picnic we dropped back down to the picnic area to eat. It was very peaceful. After lunch we drove on to the Botanical gardens at Tafira Baja. These are extensive and very pretty and free . As we drove north the weather became overcast and we realised this was often the case.

On the way back we took a short detour to the coast at Aringa. This hoped to be a resort but it hasn’t happened. Nevertheless there is a nice beach and passeo and a newly completed pedestrian main street.

Ate in. You can’t be out all day then go out again at night can you?

Day 6 Saturday

Left at 0945.Drove west down the good motorway to the end. Turned right and headed up the pretty valley via Mogan (Pueblo) Spectacular drive on to Aldea St Nicholas (not a lot there) Then on to Aldea Playa. Sleepy little port which we liked. It used to be the main acess point on the west coast till they built the road north. Some years ago an impessive passeo was constructed. Unfortunately this wasn’t done well enough and most of it has collapsed into the sea. They have a big fiesta here each year when everyone jumps into a lake for a kinda Miss Wet T shirt competition. The sea crashing on to the rocks was very therapeutic. We had considered continuing north up the coast to Agaete, but having read reviews decide my nerves weren’t up to it. So we returned to Mogan Pueblo where we had our picnic in a nice terraced plaza. Dropped down to Puerto Mogan. Had a wander round then settled in a nice ice cream parlour Good value 2 scoops 2.20. Dozed on the lovely beach. Rather than the motorway back, we hugged the coast, to explore the other places. Taurito... not for us. Playa Cura.... couldn’t find acess to the playa or much else. Also Tauro... not our cup of meat. Called in at San Fernando Lidl for big shop. Frozen chickens were on special. Lady in front of us bought 15. Got home at 1845. Knackered so stayed in.

Day 7 Sunday

Left at 0945. Drove to Pueblo Canario on south side of Las Palmas. On a Sunday at 1130 and Thursday evening they do folk music and dancing. There’s about 30 musicians and dancers in trad costumes and is very good. It’s free but the drinks are quite dear. In the interval you can pop into the Museo Nestor for some nice art. The Pueblo is a very pleasant place and behind it is Parque Dorama. This is an excellent place with water features. There’s an arena where kids were being entertained by some clowns. After a peek in the Santa Catalina hotel, we continued into LP and were lucky to shoe horn our little car into a parking bay, at the extreme N end of Playa Canteras. Free cus it was Sunday. The N end of Canteras is much busier than the south end and we found a nice little restaurant in a side street for lunch. There was lots of activity on the fab beach including a beach tennis tournament. I was hoping for ladies beach volleyball but was disappointed.

We wandered through some streets and ended up at Parque Catalina. It was all set up for the carnival. Back to the prom finding a nice cafe which did coffee and croissant for 1.80. You can return to the south quite quickly down the GC 1 and we were home by 1830. We like LP a lot. After a snack at the flat we went to the yumbo just round the cnr. Some of the show bars were trying vainly to generate an atmosphere but it was too early. Being boring old farts we returned to Tirajana and had a drink at the irish bar. The singer there is pretty good.

Day 8 Monday.

Midpoint of the holiday. Woke up and thought.... I wouldn’t mind going home now. I often get this feeling and it’s a bit daft as I should realise how lucky I am to be able to travel the way I do, when so many can’t. It’s not just me is it? Anyway, after breakfast out in the sun I felt better and by the end of the second week I felt I could have stayed longer. Left at 1000. Drove via Fataga, St Bartholemue, to Tejada. We did this trip last November as an excursion. As before the first part was sunny with great views but by the time we got to Tejada it was raining and you couldn’t see anything. This took two and a half hours and was pretty taxing so we abandoned plans to go on to Agaete so after we had stopped at Cruz de Tejada for a hot chocholate at Yolade’s, and a look inside the pleasant Parador we descended to San Mateo and Santa Brigada to Las Palmas.

We found a meter about half way down Canteras and a lovely cafe in Calle Kant just back from the beach, for a light lunch. Just by there was a square where they have given over part to allotements for use of the adjacent flats and even a plot for social services to take people in need of a change of direction. Brilliant idea. Took a nice walk almost as far as the auditorium at the south end. On the way home we dropped into San Augustin. We thought this was a nice place with a good beach. But there was a distinct lack of beach front cafes. After a snack at the flat OH stayed at home worn out, but I still had some energy left so I drove to The Villa Conde at Meloneras to see the Queen Trib band. I never got to see Queen play live and suddenly Freddy was gone. But if he was looking down at this lot he would have been well pleased as they were brilliant. Closed my eyes and it was as if Freddy, Brian, Roger and what’s his name were there. The Villa Conde is very impressive If you are at all interested in Architecture check out the foyer.

Day 9 Tuesday

Walked down to the Cita Centre. Bizarre place. The outer facade is comprised of very large models of famous structures eg Leaning tower of Pisa, Arc de Triumph, Big Ben etc. Took a look through the entrance but it didn’t look very inviting so we passed by. We continued down to the passeo and entered the Santa Monica complex for a nose. Quite nice. Then we walked back to the Sandia CC. The CC is virtually deserted but there is a nice bar called Siroco where we had a couple of coffees and checked our emails. Had lunch at the flat. Drove down to Maspalomas and had a wander round the Charca and designer shops. Also looked inside the Boabab hotel. The public areas are impressive. Queen trib play there on Tue Nights. Walked through Vandero CC and along to Faro. Very pleasant. There’s a small archeological site there for time team fans. Booked a window table at Casa Antonio then went down onto the beach for a doze. I think the best time to go to the beach is about 1530 when the sun is kinder. At 1830 we went back to Casa Antonio and had a very nice reasonably priced meal. By 1900 it was full. One thing I like about GC is that people eat at an earlier till than on the mainland. Couldn’t persuade OH to go to the Boabab for Queen so went home and watched Man U versus some Greek team.

Day 10 Wednesday

Left at 10.15. Took GC1 then another motorway along the north coast. Sea massively crashing on the rocks. Called at Galdar and looked for the painted cave. Didn’t realise it was inside a museum and couldn’t park so drove on to Agaete. This is a nice little town. There is a church, some lovely gardens and a recently opened necropolis on the edge of town. The aboriginals buried their dead in the lava flows in individual tumuli and the site is very well set out and we worth a visit. Then on to Puerto Nieve for lunch and to see Dedo de Dio. We had a lovely mixed fish lunch at La Granja by the footbridge. We were ushered into the parking area there and thought that was the only restaurant. In fact just round the corner were many more. After lunch we wandered to the port to see Dedo de Dio (finger of god ... a slender pinnacle of rock sticking out of the sea). It’s been there for millions of years, but unfortunately a couple of years ago got blown over in a storm. I want me money back.

The big Fred Olson Catamaran pulled out while we were there. On the way back we detoured inland to Firgas. Pretty tiled water cascade in one of the main streets, but not much else. Couldn’t go in the church because of a funeral. Found a good cheap cafe called Molino by the main car park. Back home by 7. Stayed in.

Day 11 Thursday.

Last day with the car. Lazy breakfast. Left at 1100 west on GC 500 rather than motorway. Coastine as it was before tourism arrived. 1st stop was El Pajar. Nice little place if you ignore the cement works. A developer is vainly trying to market 21 houses in the shadow of the works. Nice beach and couple of bars. Then on to Arguiniguin. We like it here. It’s a proper working town not just devoted to tourism. We parked by the harbour. There’s a good fishermans cooperative restaurant there. Walked along the high level paseo and found a cafe. Then around some of the streets. Returned to the low level palm fringed paseo and had our picnic. In the distance we could see Tenerife and snow capped Mt Teide. Carried on to the massive Anfi time share development which was very impressive. Wouldn’t touch time share with a barge pole. Then onto PR. Had coffee on the beach at the place where the man sings and plays key boards. Walked up to the CC for an icecream. Drove round to Amadores and had a beer on the beach. Fab place. Walked up to the beach club at the west end but decided we were too working class to frequent it. Went further west to the motorway link to avoid PR and was home in 20 min. Aparently if you come back on the old coast road at night you get a terrific view of the Maspalomas/PDI lights.

Day 12 Friday.

0830. Took car back. No problems. Got no 30 bus to San Telmo. 5.60 pp. Walked down calle Major de Triana to the covered market. Visited the Cathederal. Very good. After a picnic walked up the wonderfully named Calle Doctor Chil to the Canary Museum. This is a fantastic place devoted to the aboriginal inhabitants of GC. It didn’t take long after the Spanish invaded for the race, that had been there for thousands of years to disapeare off the face of this earth. One question...... After the major volcanic activity on GC had finished, how did a race of people get there? Perhaps a fishing boat with a least one man and woman on board was accidently swept there from Africa, and the whole population grew from that. Or maybe aliens transported them from somewhere else. I really recomend you visit this place.

Walked back up to San Telmo park and had a coffee.

Lucky to get a seat on the bus back.

Ate at the Peking Wok just by the flat. All you can eat buffet for 9.50. Great. Saw Garry Lithgow from Gemenis unloading his gear and asked if I could sing a couple of numbers. He said yes but I had to audition first to save embarrassment. Arranged that for next day.

Back home watched a good film called Crash. Our TV had the facility to change the language from Spanish to the original English.

Day 13 Saturday.

Took a walk via yumbo to Sirocos for morning coffee.Went to audition at Gemenis. I can play guitar reasonable but my voice isn’t the greatest. Never the less Garry said I was good enough.

Came home and watched Spinal Tap DVD to get in the vibe. Hilarious.

Late afternoon took walk beach by Annexo 2. Fabulous afternoon weather.

Went to Gemenis at 9 and at 10 Gary went to a great deal of trouble to set me up. Did three songs. Little Ol’ Wine Drinker, Hello Mary Lou, and as a tribute to the recently deceased Phil Everly..... the slow balad Let it be Me. Most of the patrons at Gemenis are scandanavians so they din’t get my joke about Birmingham having two good football teams Aston Villa, and Aston Villa reserves.

After my spot I heard someone say they’d never heard Mary Lou sung quite like that. I took this as a compliment. We got chating with a nice Swedish couple. Everyone has a story and there’s was.... As teenagers they worked together and were close. Then something happened and one moved away and they lost touch. They both married and had families. In their 60s they were both somehow single again. The lady joined facebook and accidently noticed the man’s name. But it was a common name so she sent him a message asking if he was who she thought he might be and did he remember her? He replied that he was and had never forgotten her from all those years ago. To cut a long story short they met up three years ago and are now an item. When they told us this story I filled up with emotion and happiness for them. Later I had one question. Why did ABBA break up and leave millions heartbroken. They couldn’t answer.

Day 14 Sunday

All over PDI you will find little piles or brochures for a Scandinavian tour company who do cheap excursions. We wanted to go to Terror for the Sunday market. It was only 5 euros. We couldn’t work out how to book so one day I walked up to the Playa del Sol where they had a daily pick up. Spoke to the rep. He said it was only for Scandies. I said we loved ABBA, Bjorn Borg and always shopped at IKEA. He said ok just turn up on Sunday and if there’s room and you can sing us Dancing Queen we’ll take you.

However we were so knackerd by all the things we did that we decided to have a quiet day instead.

Got up late. Walked to Bohemia Suite as I’d been told you could use the panoramic lounge with a 360 degree view of PDI. Unfortunately we couldn’t go up as they were still serving breakfast. So we walked round to the Metro CC. This was like a post apolyptic ghost town. Luckily the Plaza CC next door was nice and we had a coffee at Little Brazil. By now OH was a bit unwell with Montazumas. So we went home to pack. I’d previously checked the Benny Hills rest were showing the Villa match at 1630. However when we went round it was shut up (turned out the owner was sick). Panicked and walked down Tirajana hunting for a bar showing it. Plenty of bars in the Cita CC but they were showing the Madrid Derby or Bundesliga. Liberty. Walked back up to the Yumbo and luckily Xanadu bar (nice spot) had it on. I missed the first two goals but Villa winning 4-1 was a great end to the hol. We had intended eating at Benny Hill’s but walked up to Ave Gran Canaria and ate at La Pergola. Lovely local place for local people. Very nice menu about 7 euros plus drink. Best meal we had all holiday

Day 15 Monday.

Time to go home. Despite my mid hol wobble I could easily have stayed on. We got the 1028 number 66 from virtually outside the appt to the airport and were soon on our way home. Got back about 9 pm. Major dispute with the taxi over the fare. Had to get up half way thru the night to put on extra jim jams it was so cold.

Apart from all the above I managed to read two Maeve Binchey collections of short stories. As usual they were poignant bitter sweet tales of ordinary people. Some had happy optomistic endings but most were about lives that never quite reached their full potential and dreams and aspiations that never quite came true. I particualy liked the one about the New Yorker who had a holiday over christmas in Ireland and managed to heal a rift between a father and his daughter. Also the one about two unrelated people who sat by each other on a long flight to Australia and were each visiting their chilren.

So that's about the height of it peeps. Next time we may be bringing out the daughter and her fella. And we are looking forward to that.

south yorks
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11. Re: We came to Gran Canaria February 2014

Great report and really enjoyed reading it. Bet the punters at Geminis didn't know what had hit them!

More enjoyable reading your report than watching the footy!

England
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12. Re: We came to Gran Canaria February 2014

Yes..... there were a few pained facial expressions (probably trapped wind)

I'm a living legend (in my own mind)

Kolbotn, Norway
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13. Re: We came to Gran Canaria February 2014

Wonderful report Trickster,

Overwintering here in Maspalomas,I have been reading and digesting every word of your report.

Love the humor and the descriptions of the places,really had a good chuckle at some of them.

Especially liked your meeting with the Swedish couple,

same story here.

Pity you never took one of those Scandi only tours.

Speaking Norwegian and Swedish,

shopping at IKEA and a fan of ABBA I may also be qualified to go on one,

(if you own a Volvo perhaps that helps)

When do i can post here on the experience.

England
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14. Re: We came to Gran Canaria February 2014

Overwintering..... you sound like a migrating bird who'll head north once the summer comes!

In north america, I think they call the Canadians who go down to California or Florida for the winter "Snow ????s

Have you got your own place or do you do a long term rental?

How do you occupy your time. I have a low boredom threshold (interesting word that.... in the olden days when they could only afford to have carpets on the houses best room and straw in the others, they used to hve a raised bar at the doorway to keep the straw/thresh out) and I think I would go stir crazy after a month.

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15. Re: We came to Gran Canaria February 2014

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snowbird_(people)

CARDIFF U.K.
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16. Re: We came to Gran Canaria February 2014

Many Scandinavians spend long Winter breaks on the island escaping their harse Winters. Arguineguin has an average of 14,000 long term and resident Scandinavian visitors and that figure was some years ago !!!!!!

Estepona, Spain
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17. Re: We came to Gran Canaria February 2014

.

Great report, Trickster!

London, United...
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18. Re: We came to Gran Canaria February 2014

Thank you for your post, it was very informative. Unfortunately I'm only there for 5 nights, any short suggestions? I'm staying in Maspalomas and was thinking of only renting a car to go to the north coast and take public transport whether by bus or taxi to nearby locations and the east side of the Island. This is my first trip without the kids so I want to make the most of it. ANY SUGGESTIONS WOULD BE GREAT!! Thank you

England
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19. Re: We came to Gran Canaria February 2014

Tanks for your appreciation.

Where in Maspalomas are you staying? Board arrangements?

5 nights gives you four days only

Obviously I don't know what your interests are, and whether you mean it's your first trip to GC. Also I don't know how much energy you have. We like to pack a lot in, but after our two weeks I was I need of .... a holiday to get over it. But if I had had the knowledge I have learned from two trips and the great help on here before I came, I would.....

As you only have the four days I'd get a cheap car hire for the whole time. Travelling on buses is nice but with only a short stay you'll waste quite a bit of time. Also if you don't get the 66 or another bus from the airport and have a taxi both ways, that will be almost as much as your hire

I'd spend one day driving up to Las Palmas area. If you go on a sunday (1130) you can see the folk lore at Pueblo Canario. You could have a walk round Vettega and Triana for the Cathederal and Columbus house. I don't know if the Canary Museum is open on Sundays, but it's great. You could then move on to Canteras beach for the afternoon. The folk lore display is also on a thursday night if that fits better.

Another day.....If you like mountain scenery that isn't too frightening I'd drive to Aguimes for a quick look round the centre. Then up the Guayadeque Valley as far as the Trogodor Cave restaurant. We missed the interpretive centre on the LHS at the start of the valley but I heard it's good. On the way back you could drop in at san augustin beach for a bit of relaxation. I wouldn't take a drive through the centre to the north coast with your limited time. It's quite taxing.

another day .... I'd take the old coast road west as per Day 11 thursday of my report. Via El Pajar, Arguiniguin, Anfi, Puerto Rico to Puerto Mogan. Come back by the much quicker route on the motorway.

This only leaves you one day and you need a bit of relaxation. So I'd just get down to Faro and wander along the boulevard a bit, then the Charca and spend a bit of time on the beach by the dunes.

You'll notice I didn't say go to PDI. Nothing wrong with the place at all. great beach and plenty of bars etc. If you had an extra day I'd say go there.

Do let us know how you get on

London, United...
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20. Re: We came to Gran Canaria February 2014

Thank you so much for your help! Yes this is my first trip to GC and Im staying in a Full inclusive hotel but that will not stop me from eating out too and explore other towns. The package includes a coach to my hotel so thats a bonus. I arrive on Monday afternoon so my friend and I already decided we are only going to chill out. But then we will have 5 full days after that as we travel on Saturday at 8pm! So thats good! There was an excursion for Hiking (a 3 hour walk) £37.66 per person, It might be in la Goleta and Roque Nublo. I would love to do something like that but not sure if its better if I go somewhere else to do that. I love scenic views, mountains, lakes, historic towns etc.. I definitely would love to go to Puerto Rico and Mogan. I will also go to Aguimes thats where the caves are I think right? in the north?

Also is the weather warm enough for summer clothes? I know that sounds like a silly question but I like to travel light and not carry my whole wardrobe!!! :) Sorry I sound like Ive written my life story! THANKN YOU AGAIN FOR YOUR HELP!