Sunday Dec 18 2016,
Gran Canaria belongs to Spain and sits just off the African coast. We are ensconced in Puerto Rica at Playa Amadores in a times share. Folks from northern Europe are the guests; they thought we were English. We are the only North Americans.
The resort, like all the others built in the past few years, is terraced into the steep walls of the barancas where the headlands meet the Atlantic. Roads thread their way up, around, down, twist the curves of the walls of the canyons. Narrow. 2nd and 3rd gear manual driving 40 km/hr maximum speed. The few main highways are 5th gear and are 100 km/hr.
We arrived from Paris via Brussels on Brussels Airlines; a budget airline under the Air France alliance. We left the hotel on Saturday at 5:30A. Landed at Las Palmas 6 hours later with a 1 hour change planes in Brussels. The plane to Brussels was very mixed race and age. The plane to Gran Canaria was mostly northern European and a lot of families with children. The same at all the car rental booths in the airport. The road from the airport was a highway with many tunnels though mountain flanks. The south of the island is dry, temperatures in the 60s and partly cloudy. It gets its winds over the oceean from Africa and the Sahara. No real trees, a lot of cactus and scrub vegetation. AND a lot of resorts near the coast for northern Europeans.
After a leisurly breakfast, laundry etc, we drove west the then north along GC 200. This is windy, mountain driving along the coastal headlands. Puerto Mogan, Mogan, and hamlets beyond until Punta de La Aldea beyond San Nicolas, a fishing hamlet far from the resorts. The mountain road was “cerrado”, closed to the north. La Aldea harbor was nice to photograph.
Hungry, we stopped there after shooting a bit at the non descript “Restaurant Paco”. No outdoor seating with waiters carrying drinks like a block away. There were patrons inside at tables. Everyone ‘ a dozen party and a foursome and a couple of ladies; there were locals. The owner informed us of the menu choices and was surprised that Meg was from Boston and spoke English, more surprised that she knew of and wanted Los Pimentos de Padron with her Sopa de Marisco. In Spanish ( ;~}) I ordered La Sopa y Croquettes Pescado. He delivered it through the ordering window to the lady in the kitchen.
In a bit it all arrived. Later the peppers and the croquets came. The prices had seemed like tapas prices but the dishes were meals. Excellent.
All dishes served, he retrieved his guitar from under the kitchen ordering window. Tuned it up, had one of the patrons adjust the guitar strap, did a few trills with his fingers, and approached the dozen table. “Feliz cumple ano” he sang and everyone in the restaurant joined in. A young lady in the corner blushed and then laughed. He proceeded to sing a few more songs and also stopped at all the occupied tables before returning to the birthday girl for a couple more songs. Much cheering and singing and clapping. Lovely.
Back in the car, it was an hour of mountain driving near sunset to get home to Playa Amadores in Puerto Rico. Good thing I didn’t have cerveza or vino for dinner.