We hired a car via the spanish guy at the marina fuel dock – a good friend of Dan’s and very friendly. He runs a dinghy race every year and this year it’ll be it’s 29th year! We’re both on the insurance (we think) and it’s likely Bernice will do the driving as she hates the windy roads more as a passenger than as driver, we hope!!
We planned to sort our accommodation before setting off but thought it was so early it’d be fine!!! And that was our mistake! We visited a couple of really nice villages – Teror and Arucas – but had no luck in finding anything. In the second one a lady bar owner tried really hard to explain where an auberge (like a country hostel) was. Worried we might not find it she gave us her number to call her so she knew we’d arrived – ALL this was discussed in Spanish….. No wonder she was worried. The place was near the Canarian rum factory, how hard could it be?! Well 30 min later and 10 of that driving off road in the dark, we find it and it looks like a lovely place, if a little deserted!!!
We eventually decide to give up and halfway back along the dirt road we park up and don our sleeping bags …. for potentially not the only time on this trip.
Tuesday, a little sore and very very thirsty we wake up (we use this term loosely as anyone who’s slept in a car will testify, it’s not easy) around 730am and head out along the rest of the track back to a real road in search of brekkie. This we have in a little local cafe in the village of Guia – where we spent our 1st night on the island all those years ago, in a youth hostel – it doesn’t seem to exist now though :0(
The mission for today is to definately to source tonights accommodation before we go much further. The car is cheap but not a preferred choice for the next few nights.
We head further along to Galdar a biggish town with tourist info office and surely some accommodation, right? Wrong! Camping apparently is illegal, even though campsites are marked on a map we bought earlier! We get a few numbers for hotels in a different town and set about calling these up. Success! In best spanish Bernice secures a room in a hotel in Puerto del Nieves :0).
Having had a bed to sleep in last night we found it quite difficult to wake up this morning. But needs must when the planned day ahead is full on. Breakfast and go. Bernice driving again and very slowly, partly because the car can’t handle the steep mountain roads and partly because Bernice can’t handle the windy mountain roads – especially when you’re liable to meet a full size bus or lorry head-on!!! 2nd gear all the way! Ouch!
Leaving the sea at Puerta del Nieves we climbed to the highest village centre in Gran Canaria called Artenara for morning coffee, where we also booked tonights bed – a hostel in Trejada, another 20km or so further south – we then carried on up to a mountain national park for some exercise and a hi spot to eat our lunch (extra rolls we sneaked at brekkie in the hotel).
The views are stunning and unlike walking the hills in the UK, we haven’t seen a soul! In fact the only noise we do hear are insects and our own company, there’s not even any traffic – we had to drive down/up a no-through road to get here and it appears to be out of season.
As we left we came across a broken down car on a pass – Brits with a puncture, so glad it wasn’t us!!
Our evening at the hostel was lovely. Very rustic! Great views again and food was canarian tatties and mojo sauce and steak and chips. What more could you ask for. Oh and a couple of vinos and carajillo to finish :0)
We got chatting to a couple from the lake district – up here cycling would you believe!!! Peter doing on average 70 miles per day and Heather about 40!!! Serious stuff considering the terrain and that they’ve prob got at least 10 years on us!! Hats off to them :0)
Next day, Thursday, we explored the Roque Noble. Words can’t do it justice and we’re pretty sure the photo’s will struggle too.
Think baby Grand Canyon and that’s where we’re spent the day.
We headed down to the coast at the end of the day to San Nicholas with knowledge that there was accomodation so no panic needed. Down side it wasn’t pretty! And without much to do to occupy us for the evening so we pushed on to some old turf and an old favourite – Puerto Mogan – we’d learnt of a pension (b&b) from the cyclists.