15 September 2014

Holiday

On the beach that curls round the dunes at Maspalomas you will see people walking. Dozens of them in all shapes and sizes. There are lots and lots of hotel rooms in the area and it seems that this is a southern Gran Canaria holiday tradition - simply strolling on the mile long strand. Infrequently, you will observe naked German naturists with folds of flesh or shockingly bony frames - as if they have just stepped out of information leaflets about anorexia nervosa. Walking along like the rest of us. They are not underwear models. That's for sure.

Away from the beach - in the volcanic rock mountains where occasional cacti flourish amidst lava geology, narrow roads wind themselves about the rugged landscape. There are small communities up here and houses built into rock faces so that you imagine the cooling caves within - sanctuaries from searing summer sunshine. It's like driving on Mars. So little sign of water or greenery - just those determined cacti and once in a while a concrete dam retaining a precious aquatic pool.
Inland
Small reservoir in the mountains
There were ancient people here two thousand years ago. It is said that they came from Africa. They made their homes in caves or shelters built from seaside rocks. They hunted birds and prised shellfish from the shoreline. This was long before Spanish mariners arrived to claim the island for the King of Spain. However, on a rugged wall in child-size sprayed letters I read "The Canaries are not Spain!" and elsewhere in Spanish there are graffiti pleas for independence and "liberty" - whatever that might be.
The Columbus House doorway in Las Palmas - carved from local volcanic rock. Christopher
Columbus rested here before continuing his famed voyage of 1492 to "discover" America.
One day we visit Las Palmas - the capital - with a population of over 300,000. We only stay an hour because of the parking police and there's only time to get a flavour of the historic centre before returning to our holiday complex via the dual carriageway that runs down the island's eastern flank.

Otherwise it's a lazy, uneventful holiday - basking in thirty degree sunshine, reading books, cooling ourselves in the pool, eating simple lunches on our little terrace, talking and being a family again before taking the Saturday evening flight back to Birmingham. Sometimes you need holidays like that.
The old lighthouse at Maspalomas

20 comments:

  1. Thank goodness you didn't feel the need to share any nudies walking the beach. Welcome home Family!

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    1. We were all born naked Carol. It's liberating to prance along a Spanish beach wearing only a camera round your neck.

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    2. Where do you put your beer money?

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    3. As a former seaman who spent many hours in male company, I think you already know the answer to that Adrian!

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  2. That first photo is lovely YP, almost like a painting. So glad we can't see the old wrinkly people with no clothes on though.

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    1. I saw a naked old German couple in their seventies perhaps - holding hands as they emerged from the sea. They were both overweight and headed back into the dunes. Quite honestly it was a lovely thing to see. Perhaps you and Roberto should give it a whirl Molly.

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  3. Sounds like the holiday was a great success.these opportunities don't come along very often and must be seized with pleasure. Hope you managed to take lots of family snaps, we often don't take many of our grown up kids and ourselves and they'll treasure them one day when we're old(-er!). How's the knee ?

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    1. The knee was holding out really well till I overdid it by taking a long walk amidst the dunes and a mile or so along the beach but now the pain has subsided once again. Thanks for asking Helen. And yes I never expected a family holiday like this with adult children but we all enjoyed it.

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  4. The first picture is art.

    I love the island and learnt most of my Spanish there. They speak medieval Spanish but it works on the mainland and causes much amusement when spoken with a Yorkshire accent.
    "Ola, buena dia, na den dee. Como estas? " I used to take the cook to the Mercardo Centrale first thing in the morning. After a week I had quite a following, other shoppers just wandering along behind me taking the piss and laughing. I have rarely enjoyed myself so much shopping.

    It's very complicated to write they have lots of accents which are quite fun to scatter at random. The question mark is always at the beginning of a question and upside down which adds interest.

    Glad you enjoyed it and had a drive through the mountains. You can hire Harley Davidsons in Las Palmas. They are fun on the mountain roads. No lock at all and damn heavt to three point turn

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    1. I think I saw a statue of you by the mountain road to San Bartolome. I shall post it some time. I didn't realise that they spoke a different version of Spanish on Gran Canaria. I wish I could have explored some more.

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  5. My rudimentary Spanish informs me that Maspalomas means "more doves" so my question to you is this: Does that mean that there are more doves there (a boast) or that they want more doves there (a plea)? That is, concerning the aforementioned doves, does the place have a dearth or a plethora?

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    1. Its name may derive from that of Rodrigo Mas de Palomar, a settler and soldier from Majorca who sequestered lands in the area in the last years of the fifteenth century. Sorry to disappoint you Bobo but no doves!

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    2. I am unable to determine whether you are calling me Bob-O or Bo-Bo. Please clarify so that I can decide whether to smile pleasantly or come over there and punch you in the nose.

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  6. A very interesting area to visit by the sounds and looks of it.

    It seems it's always those who should remain covered who like to parade around displaying their shortcomings and worse! I'm with Carol...I'm glad you didn't share The pictures in my mind are enough! ;)

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    1. I should like to see those pictures in your mind Lee. I bet thy are very ..err..very artistic.

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  7. "basking in thirty degree sunshine, reading books, cooling ourselves in the pool, eating simple lunches on our little terrace, talking and being a family" - it is what holidays are all about, isn't it! Well, I know, not every holiday, and not for everybody, but it certainly sounds near perfect to me.

    By the way, I am nearing the end of "The Headland" and enjoying it immensely. It will take me a while before I have the time to write the review, I guess, but I can already tell you that it will get 5 stars from me on Amazon. And that's not because you're a fellow blogger, I really like it!

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    1. Oh I am blushing Miss Arian! Thank you!

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  8. Sounds lovely. Thanks for sharing the quirky bits and bobs.

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    1. It seems that Carol and Lee didn't want to show me the bits and bobs Kate! I never realised Australians could be so prudish!

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  9. I've never been to Gran Canaria either and was fascinated by your photos and descriptions.

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