Tuesday, 21 April 2015

A Short Tour of Gran Canaria

Never having visited this island, when on my cruise I took the opportunity to have a look around - the lazy way on a coach.

Gran Canaria is famous for its variations in temperature. In January when we left Las Palmas (in the north) it was chilly but in Puerto de Mogan - down south - it was warm enough to sunbathe.

Along the east coast there are many resorts which tend to be concrete jungles. For example, Playa da Ingles, through which we drove to Maspolomas in order to admire the sand dunes which are spectacular and made the journey worthwhile.

Back on the coach we took the picturesque coast road which goes through the purpose built resort of Puerto Rico. The hills and valley are filled with characterless blinding white blocks of apartments and hotels which look like a child's painting. Beach and water sports are available.

Our last stop was at Puerto de Mogan where we encountered chaos. It was Friday and Market Day so loads of traffic and locals from nearby villages. Plus - would you believe - road works.

And this is a resort described as small and tranquil. That day it was far from tranquil and I'm sure the locals didn't appreciate the coach loads of tourists

I wandered around the market which, as well as comestibles, was also full of tourist tat. I found a small local minimart, bought some snacks and a bottle of water then searched for somewhere to sit. Away from the market is a small promenade and, miracle of miracles, I found a vacant bench. Sitting in the sun, snacking and reading is my ideal way of passing the best part of an hour.

Our return journey was much quicker as we took the motorway. The only drawback for anyone with claustrophobia are the tunnels. Most of them are quite short, if close together, but there is a long one. I usually close my eyes and think of green fields but with long tunnels the weight overhead gradually impinges. By the time we saw daylight again I was sweating and my hands were clenched. Obviously I shan't go that way again!

I was cruising on my favourite ship - P&O's Oriana. All excursions are graded as to physical abilities - i.e. number of steps, amount of walking etc - but no warnings for claustrophobics. I'm sure all cruise lines use the same method and would suggest they include such a warning.

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