To say I was apprehensive about my first time driving on the right would be a huge understatement. I wondered if the car hire firm knew how I felt, as they gave me a car with a rather apt registration!
The best advice I'd been given was; "if in doubt - STOP". I didn't have to quite resort to that, but it somehow put me at ease. Once I was out of the city, I relaxed considerably and really started to enjoy the driving. We reached a great viewpoint, where we could stand and look back at Playa Del Ingles and the dunes.
Looking up the valley into the interior - that's where we're heading next.
Weird things, like this random plateau, were all around us.
That 'dirt road' is used by the Jeeps on the off road island trip. Looks exciting!
The famous 'prickly pear' cacti.
We didn't fancy having a go at picking it (despite Baloo's advice in 'Jungle Book'!)
Sue's favourite - the candelabra cacti.
The lovely Christmas Poinsettia was in abundance too.
We'd asked why there didn't seem to be any grape vines on the island, as I always thought vines thrived on poor land, but I was told that wasn't the case on Gran Canaria. There were one or two, however, so we got excited when we saw a hand painted 'bodega' sign. We parked the car and set off on foot to follow the directions down into the back streets of the village. I was amused to see this 'traffic island'. It was just a lump of rock, but rather than move it, they just stuck a roundabout sign on it - BRILLIANT!
The gardens had some interesting pick heads and other bric-a-brac in them.
Then we saw these vines (after marvelling at the view).
They were also trained above our heads.
After getting a bit lost, a kind lady fetched the owner (here between us) who gave us a tasting, tour and sold us a couple of bottles (all without either of us speaking the other's language).
Some of the gear was antique...........
....but there was NO mistaking, this wasn't a toy - it was bang up to date high tech' stuff. No mashing grapes in bare feet here.
After the tasting, we rejoined the 'high street'. There were lots of shops selling souvenirs, mainly hand-made stuff of the island.
The ubiquitous white church in the square at Fataga.
Nice set of bells!
There was also this lovely-looking cafe/restaurant. If it had been eating time, I would have given this a go. It looked really clean and inviting
We left Fataga and drove higher and higher through the villages of San Bartolome and Ayacata, where we turned off to Roque Nublo. They say that if you live in Gran Canaria and haven't been there, you should be whipped. If you visit the island and don't go to Nublo, you have missed one of the wonders of the Canaries. Not wanting to risk either (and being lovers of heights and wild places) we parked the car and set off up the well-walked path.
As we climbed and looked back, the views got better and better. We were happy, but we weren't ready for what was to come - the spectacle that is Roque Nublo, and on a fabulous, clear day.
We walked for about 3/4 of an hour. In the next instalment, you'll see why we wanted to go there and, with the photo's, I will try to impress just how awesome the place is.