Gran Canaria in backpacking style

Posted: December 28, 2014 in Europe, Spain
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It’s been ages since my last post..and also since my last backpacking trip..when I say ages..I mean around 6 months..I know I am a bit spoilt when it comes to travelling therefore my interpretation on time sounds rather big headed..but believe me…this is not how I mean it.

So..I had 3.5 days that I had to take before the end of the year and even though I would have had a lot of things to do at home, I rather made a little holiday from these days including the weekend. So..where can one go for 5 days with guaranteed sunshine relatively close to England..The Canary islands!

I always wanted to see these islands but hearing a lot about the British tourism in this area (yes the ‘Benidorm or Algarve’ type of tourism) I kind of postponed the destination in my head…when I about backpacking!

So I looked up the hostels in Gran Canaria (somehow this island was the closest to my heart) and I found one that suggested…yes! this is what I need at the beginning of December..on my own! The place is called La Ventana Azul and I can highly recommend it to anyone wanting to chill, sleep, surf, party..

La Ventana Azul

The terrace   my room

I flew with my favourite airline: Norwegian (if you have not heard about the best low coast airline before with free wifi on board check it out now: )..the journey was about 4 hours..and I arrived from 5 degrees to 20! It was a fantastic feeling! I took a bus to Santa Catalina (part of Las Palmas, the capital) where my hostel was situated, Lisa (lovely German traveller) greeted me who arrived in the island a couple of days before and started working in the hostel. Lisa explained that at the minute me and my room mate David are the only individual guests, as the rest of the hostel is rented to a Dutch sailing club who are preparing for the next Olympics on the island for 2 weeks with different physical exercises beyond sailing..

I’ll be honest..if things did not turn out how they did it would have been a problem because this young Dutch team was very closed and had no interest in communicating at all..they were loud and sometimes might just be me getting old..:) David was a surfer, equally very young so he was not as communicative as I was either..but!

Lisa took me on my second day to her hostel (she was living in another hostel about 7 minutes away from mine) where I met the real crowd:) A group of crazy Italians, living on the island, a Hungarian guy who was about to sail through the Atlantic to reach the Caribbean, an English guy who could only talk about his online marketing business and why he hates England, another holidayer who was from Germany, an Aussie globe trotter and that’s it. It didn’t take long for us to become friends..and the fact that I (used to) speak Italian was a big advantage. I remembered all those good times I had with Italians during my university years and in the first year after moving to England. It all came back and I had the same amount of fun as I did back then.

I was walking a lot, trying tapas bars, making friends with locals. One day I took the bus down to Maspalomas and visited the famous dunes where I tried to sunbathe a bit..well..I lasted about an hour and I went though very extreme moments when I was hot and when I was extremely cold as the clouds covered the sun.


Maspalomas resorts

Maspalomas Dunes

Maspalomas is like an artificial ‘all-inclusive ‘ resorts heaven. There is much more sun in the southern part of the island than in the northern part (hence why I came back only with a tiny bit of tan). It is a popular place to go for the European retired crowd, which you don’t see as much in Las Palmas.

Another day I decided to dive even though the morning I picked was windy, rainy and about 15 degrees..I saw a few things but overall was not a great experience because of the strong current and bad mask I got from the dive centre.

But after diving while waiting for the guy who picked me up from my hostel and took me to Arinaga (just after the airport where the dive centre was situated) I had the best seafood probably ever..if you are there, visit this place called Restaurante Nelson:

Nelson terrace

Calamari salad

One night we went for a Tapas and beer night to the old city centre which was a great experience! 1 tapa + 1 bier =2 euros. Fantastic selection of tapas, jam packed, great weather, music..


Tapas night

On the last day we decided to hire a car..everyone went out on Saturday night but Lisa told the Italians that Sunday morning at 8am we are leaving…We went to the car hire at 8am with Lisa given that it was almost an impossible mission to get the Italians out of bed before 9am (especially cause some of them apparently returned at 5 in the morning)..

The car hire was a bit of a joke…laid back..:) 35 euro/car/day, no deposit or passport required, you get the keys, they explain where the parking house is, which floor to go to and then you look for your own car:) Took a while for us to find our 2 cars but in the end we did and went to pick up the the end we left just after 10, and drove first to Nublo Rock (Rocque Nublo). The inland is green and beautiful. This rock was amazing as well! We had great banter on the way.

Roque Nublo

Sadly we lost each other with Lisa and only re-united in the south of the island, the end of the day just before dinner, caught some sun, and sat in a fantastic seafood restaurant (about 10 of us) and had the ‘last supper’. I adore the fact that Italian people are crazy about food. I am crazy about food too so sitting at a table where we are actually talking about how amazing the food we are eating is just great!

en route view from roque nublo Lisa and I The group

Next day my flight was at 7am, so I said bye to Lisa, who slept in the hostel just to be able to say goodbye to me (<3) and drove myself to the airport. It was great that I could leave the car there without any problem and did not have to hire a taxi early in the morning.

Well, that’s it. Some people asked if it was ok going on a holiday alone without Richard and I said yes it was…I will always have that ‘explorer’ spirit in me which he understands perfectly and knows that once in a while i need to go away alone to find myself when I get lost in the big city…

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