Despite a ridiculously prolonged absence from this forum, this particular blogger is still breathing…
…and at this moment I happen to be breathing the ocean air of the 28th northern parallel, and to be more precise: the air of Los Gigantes, Tenerife, of the Canary Islands. But getting here was not without extracurricular events.
As I landed in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, my original plan was to: rent a car at the airport, find a hotel with the airport services, chill down in Las Palmas for two nights, and take the car on ferry to Tenerife. I mean seriously, the touristiest place on the planet, how hard can it be to find a car, and a hotel, without advance bookings? Yeah right!
As I landed: no rental cars available. OK. “But where can I book a hotel?” I was recommended to try the agency in the upstairs hall. Surprise surprise: closed for Christmas holidays. OK no worries. Next Black-Adder-like-brilliant-idea: let the cabbie find a hotel for me. Yeah right!
I also had this bright idea that I wanted to stay away from the touristy (near-the-beach) parts of Las Palmas:
“So cabbie,” (in rather broken Spanish), “please find me a hotel in Barrio Vegueta [the Old Town of Las Palmas]”
He gives me this look and: “No hotels in Vegueta!”.
Me incredulous (like being told, no hotels in Gamla Stan, the old town of Stockholm): “No hotels in Vegueta??”.
“Nope. None. So where you go?”
Fairly certain that he is putting me on, in order to take me to his uncles place miles outside town or something, I insist he takes me to the market at the centre of Vegueta.
But when we get there, there really are no hotels in sight.
“So where you go?”
“Well, anything nearby.”
“Right, something a bit further off, towards the centre.”
“Aha further off, well there’s Hotel Parque.”
Saying: “Sounds like a terrific idea!” Thinking: “Thanks for finally understanding me, bloody nitwit!”
Anyway the Hotel Parque is totally full. But they recommend the Tryp a few hundred yards to the north. And I enter that four-star-lounge, thinking “uh-oh, this will cost but wtf, I’ve had enuff of this.”
“No rooms Sir. We are fully booked.”
“Yes, afraid so.”
“Ok anything nearby, that you know of?”
At this moment I begin to envision myself spending the night underneath a palm tree, and on top of my bags. But then the other lady behind the counter notices my predicament:
“You could try the Pension Perojo.”
“But it’s a pension, not a hotel. It’s not far from here.”
So from the prospect of staying in a four-star-megacomplex I move through hyperspace and (finally) get a room in place where the shared bath has a sign like this:
Dear blog-guests I challenge you guess the price in Euros, that this place cost me. Points will be awarded.
Then, finding and booking the ferry, was not without challenges either, nor was it easy to find any internet access. I found it very surprising that it was much easier to find internet access in Tripoli, Libya than it was in the mega touristy town of Las Palmas. But the problems were not insurmountable. And then: my arrival in Tenerife was not without the warm welcome of the harbour police. Keep your eyes open, for my next post.
Before letting the curtain fall I would like to thank my boss Jörgen (bless his gentle heart) who predicted that I would be knifed to death in Gran Canaria, “because I have read that is what they do to Swedes there”. Thanks to his unselfish alert, I kept my eyes open and nuthin, totally nuthin, bad happened 😛