Hello everyone. I decided to take a break from the blog over Christmas. To be honest I did not want to be writing stuff for the sake of it and I was on the move a lot over the holidays.
I am not a Christmas person as I feel it has become 25% of the year and hearing Christmas discussed freely now in October has pushed me further away from liking it That said I did spend my Christmas in Las Palmas. Playa del Ingles. Maspalomas and Puerto Rico in Gran Canaria.
I had some friends on holiday in the south and, I took the bus to meet them a few times. On New Year’s Eve along with many
There was a great atmosphere in the Yumbo, but many people were disappointed with the fireworks. The fireworks display lasted about five minutes. Maybe they spread it a bit too much as I could see other fireworks in other areas nearby. As with all new years people quickly moved on.
After New years day, I took the opportunity to visit a friend in Puerto Rico in the south. Just in case anyone thinks I am a rich man all my visits to the south cost me the price of a local bus and sleeping for free on a sofa.
For such a small Island Gran Canaria has many contrasts. The north and the interior of the Island are different from the popular southern beach resorts.
The main tourist beaches run from the southern tip at Playa del Ingles and Maspalomas up to Puerto Mogan. In between, you will find other resorts and beaches.
If you are looking for almost guaranteed all year sunshine. Endless bars and restaurants then the south of Gran Canaria will satisfy your needs.
While I was down south, I decided to pay a visit to what has become known as the illegal beach in Tauro. The last time I have been here was two years previous, it had been a stony beach. Now the beach is covered with golden sand. The development of the Tauro Valley by the Anfi group plan to turn Tauro into another Puerto Rico.
As you look up the Tauro Valley, you can see what Puerto Rico must have looked like before the development boom started. If construction continues at this pace the south of Gran Canaria will be one line of concrete apartments and shopping centres.
The project 20 years in the planning has hit a snag. Unable to source sand in Gran Canaria it is alleged the Anfi Group brought sand from Western Saraha. The problem with that is the Western Saraha has been occupied by Morocco for over 40 years.
If this is true, then it is in breach of United Nations resolutions on taking natural resources from occupied countries.
As Spanish authorities investigate, the project has come to a halt for Anfi. In the meantime, the beach has become very popular for locals and tourists alike. Maybe it is because it is illegal that is the attraction.
As the proposed 5 star Tauro Valley resort has stalled some, local entrepreneurs have benefited from the new sandy beach popularty by setting up cafe restaurants.
They seem to have got into the 5- star resort grove as the prices are a bit high considering they are wooden shacks. It does not seem to be stopping people as getting a table at these wooden shacks is not easy. Maybe I have visited too many cheap countries but I went 1km up the road and got the same for half the price. I suppose it is nice to see someone doing well out of project Tauro Valley.
Las Palmas life
One fact that always surprises me when I visit the south of Gran Canaria is how little if at all places such as Playa del Ingles ever change. I see no evidence of any of the record revenue from tourists been invested back in these resorts. Eventually, the former popular destinations such as Egypt and Turkey will come back into fashion again. Then the southern resorts may regret not investing when days were good.
The Capital Las Palmas, however, continues to grow and upgrade.
The new Metroguagua bus project continues at pace. The works at Av. José Mesa y López one of the city’s main shopping streets has made good progress. Part of the upgrade will see an extension of the pedestrian area. The first section has already opened.
One change I have noticed in Las Palmas since I first visited here five years ago is the number of cruise liners visiting the port. Most weekends there can be up to four liners at the one time berth in the harbour.
The city is full of cruise liner visitors enjoying the 25c winter sunshine. The liners also seem to be getting bigger. The ships cruise between the Canary Islands. Morroco and Madeira for the winter season.
Yesterday was the last day of the Christmas holidays in Spain. The 06th of January is 3 Kings day. This is the traditional day Spanish people exchange presents. The day after 3 Kings day singles the start of the New Year sales.
The Spanish sales will continue until the end of March, so plenty of time to grab a bargain.
So what about 2019
The year 2018 had a lot of ups and downs. Most of which I covered on my blog. In January 2018 I would never have thought I would visit Bulgaria. Romania. Turkey. Macedonia. Albania. Kosovo. Montenegro. Serbia and Hungary. Even just writing those down it is hard to believe it.
One thing I have learned last year is how I loved slow travel. Staying in a city for a month or so and getting to know a place and its people. You get to see so much more than when on a short break.
Where to next? I don’t know. South America is a big gap in my travels. I need to cross it off my list. Before that happens, I need to make some money and know what I want to do next in life. I need some direction in 2019.
Join me on my journey.
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