I have waxed on and on about the long grey-ness that is Germany’s winter. It’s not that it is so terribly cold, just never-ending. Truth, from November to April there are days of sunshine, but those days seem few and far between. Being so far North means long summer days, but also means long long long (and did I mention grey?) winter days. So a while back we flew away for a reprieve in search of sun and sand and heat. Gran Canaria is actually a popular destination for Germans, and our plane ride there felt like a party-people boarded the plane in sunhats, shorts and sunglasses with the smell of sunscreen in the air. The woman seated next to us shared that she and her husband go to the same resort this time every year. I guess it’s not just us foreigners who get the winter blues.
Gran Canaria is actually part of Spain, although if you find it on a map it is much closer to Africa. The language on the island is of course Spanish, BUT they speak it a little more like Latinos than Spaniards. On top of the fact that Spaniards have distinct accents that are unlike any heard in Latinamerica, they also use different verb conjugations. No matter how it is spoken it is the same language but the latino vibe was an unexpected discovery.
I admit to knowing very little about the island, only that it promised sun, sand and warmth in the cool month of March. The vegetation was not tropical and green as perhaps one might expect in an island, instead it is rough and desertlike. BUT, stepping off the plane and being greeted by dry warm air was refreshing. And as it turns out, there was beauty all around.
Mauricio, as he is known to do, did lots of research and so we stayed in the southern most tip of the island-the area known as Puerto de Mogán. Here the beaches are sheltered from the roughest ocean winds and the temperatures are the warmest. We did something we’ve never done before, we stayed at a resort. They catered breakfast AND supper, and that luxury paid for itself. Not having to worry about cooking or finding good places to eat to start and finish the day left us completely relaxed.
So that’s what we did. We ate.
Mauricio did a lot of snorkeling, and saw all sorts of swimming creatures. I on the other hand discovered a phobia. I love the ocean, and love swimming in it but I do not love snorkeling. In the bay of the beach we frequented, about 20 feet out the ocean floor drops out and for me in my snorkeling gear I was overcome with absolute terror. My mind conjured up ideas of some monstrous sea creature coming up out of the dark abyss to brush against my leg and I retreated panicked and desperate for my feet to touch sand again. I like to think of myself as daring and adventurous, but while snorkeling this adventurous spark shriveled up and died. I always thought videos and pictures of people scuba diving looked so beautiful and amazing-and I now know it’s not for me.
Also, Mauricio got his very first sunburn, on our second day. I’m the pale one, who can get a sunburn after 30 minutes outdoors anywhere, so while I was liberally applying sunblock ever hour, he didn’t bother. However occasionally the universe has a sense of humor. I wont lie and tell you I didn’t think it was funny. He grumbled that 3 years in Germany is apparently to blame for his sunburn, something in the air here has affected his skins’ natural sun soaking abilities.
There are lots of things and places to see on the island but except for our last day, we stayed within a 1 km radius. On our last day we drove to the north of the island to the main city Las Palmas to explore the seashore.
Here without the whole of the island blocking the ocean wind, the waves were huge. I don’t know anything about surfing but I think you can see the allure-as you’ll hear Naynay Lulu was very impressed:
to snorkel=schnorscheln (pronounced shnor-sheln)=bucear con esnórquel (to swim with a snorkel)
sunburn=Sonnenbrand=quemadura de sol