A trip to get some sun on our backs, and to set us up for the busy period ahead. It was quite a long flight (by our standards) to Gran Canaria, but this time we wanted to guarantee sunshine (as much as possible), so we had no choice but to face the cramped four hours on board a plane. We flew early morning, which was great as it meant we got there at lunchtime, and had almost an extra day. The only real highlight of the flight (there was a LOT of cloud about for most of it) was going over the snow-capped Pyrenees.
We were AMAZED at the number of wind turbines along these beautiful mountains. I mean, I know we have quite a few in the UK, but these really were in their HUNDREDS, and along mountain ridges too. The first set were of great interest, but by the time we'd crossed the mountains, we'd seen thousands of the things!
The next thing we saw was hours later. This ethereal lump sticking up out of the clouds is Mount Teide on Tenerife. We were to see it MUCH clearer later on in the week as the weather improved.
We landed, got settled in to our accommodation, and went out for a local walk to suss out the area. We knew there was a shopping centre nearby, so headed for there to stock up (we were self-catering). They have these massive dry canals to take away flood water (when it happens - which isn't very often). One or two locals told us it didn't rain for years sometimes, but when it DID, it was the hardest rain you can imagine! We all saw what it can do in Madeira when it washed away anything in its path in 2009. The canals sort of lead your eyes to the breathtaking mountains. From day one, they were beckoning Sue & I.
We had a look at the local flora too - the needles on these cacti were REALLY strong and sharp (as Sue found out).
We saw lots of these green parrot-type birds too while we were there.
We had a look at the local beach area, quiet now as the sun was setting. This is the lighthouse on Maspalomas beach. This area has had huge development over the last forty years.
The whole of the front is now VERY developed. In the 60's, it was like this;
The only thing you'd see now in an aerial shot are the sand dunes - at least they have been protected and preserved as a natural wonder. These days, the sand is used by some to sculpt these shapes.
As the sun began to set (and our tummies started to rumble) we set off to find a restaurant we'd been given the nod about. El Toro, said to be the best steaks on the island.
Well, the plates look good - let's see if the meat lives up to the decoration!
PERFECT! In case you're wondering, 32 Euros (total).
Cheers. February, and sitting out in the warm evening in short sleeves.