Archive for the ‘las salinas’ Tag

The Great Escape – Sunset   11 comments

A fitting last entry for our Gran Canaria trip.

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The theme was set on our first day, Christmas Eve. A long flight, drive to the town, unpacking, shopping etc meant we headed down to the seawater pools at the end of the day for a swim and watch the sunset.

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It was magnificent. The experience enhanced by the new beach bar so we could enjoy a beer while watching the show.

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We enjoyed the experience so much we went down pretty much every night of the holiday. We had no view to speak of from the apartment but this spot only 5 minutes away made that irrelevant.

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Every evening gave something new, either from the effects of the clouds, the tide, the waves (or maybe the beer!)

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The ferry always made an appearance around that time and provided a great pose across the setting sun.

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All these first few shots are from that first evening. We were hooked on a feeling.

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When the bar wasn’t open we sometimes just sat on the benches on the seafront with our own beers and snacks.

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If you were lucky you could snag a spot sitting on the wooden platforms (the rocks are a little sharp and uncomfortable)

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Lemon Wheat Beer became a firm sunset drink favourite for me and TJS.

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The evening sun always lit up the Tamadaba ridge to dramatic effect.

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The light over the pools was always a tempting image capture.

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The golden light betrays the fact that these rocks are essentially black in full sunshine.

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Body Boarders were regularly out in the scary waves (rocks under the water, not sand!)

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A time when the whole family would sit together and enjoy the ambiance.

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A happy couple enjoying some quality time.

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El Teide on Tenerife always looks magnificent at this time of day. Nice to know I’ve been to the summit when catching a view.

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The dragons back of the coast further along also held my gaze every time.

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Most nights we enjoyed crystal clear skies which is great for warmth and light but the lack of clouds sometimes gave something of a one dimensional show. On a couple of nights we had some clouds to really turn up the colour setting.

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The saltwater pools a perfect mirror for these reds and pinks.

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And the waves an ever present feeling of motion and sound.

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End of a trip, end of, I think, the best of our winter sun holidays. Even the flight home gave us some spectacular views over Grand Canaria, Las Palmas and El Teide. Hoping to repeat the trick in 12 months time.

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The Great Escape – Home from Home   14 comments

I can’t imagine being in the UK at Christmas and New Year any more. What started as a one-off five years ago has now become a regular holiday for us. The discovery that not only do the Canary Islands have a warm and sunny climate in winter but, with a little effort, are stunningly beautiful, has seen us as regular visitors. I’ve come to despair of the retail and consumer frenzy that Christmas has become (hence the post title) and this is the perfect riposte. It should be a time to spend together as a family and that’s exactly what we do. I hope that we can continue for as long as possible.

I was late on the case with flights so affordable choices were limited dictating a flight from the distant Stansted (with my least favourite budget airline, Ryanair) at the ungodly hour of 7am on Christmas Eve. After leaving Yorkshire, picking up TJF at Doncaster and an overnight at the airport we were stood by the aircraft, waiting to board in cold, slanting rain at 6:30am. Whilst this is a far from ideal way to start Christmas Eve, it does deliver the stark contrast, 8 hours later, to be sat in warm sunshine by the sea!

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Even better – you can sit in warm sunshine by the sea with a beer! 🙂

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For this first post let me show you around our home for the trip, Puerto de las Nieves. Last year we stayed in Puerto Mogan on the SW coast but this year, it was full! We headed to the dramatic and rocky NW coast as we’d spent a couple of nice days out here and thought it would be an idea to stay here. It was a good call.

The views are sensational along the coast.

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There is little or no sand on this coast so beaches are rocky and pebbly. What PDLN has are man-made seawater pools, refreshed a couple of times a day by the tide – Las Salinas.

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It’s a fabulous place for a swim. Calm and clear at low tide, slightly wilder and rougher when the waves are up and the tide is in. This year the spot was further improved by the addition of a friendly little bar to supply a beer while you sunbathed or watched the sunset. We came down here most afternoons and evenings. The sunsets from here were immense but I’ll save that for another post later.

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This shows the pools in full tide mode, and to prove that the weather wasn’t always sunny! Although, this cloudy spell only spanned Christmas Day and Boxing Day and we never saw any rain!

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The views from here were always amazing although it was a bit more exposed to the wind than elsewhere so it could be chilly late in the day.

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There were some deep channels in the lava rocks and I enjoyed watching the waves bounce here and around the pools themselves

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The waves were often pretty huge and I loved just watching them bash the coast, I’ve always found that mesmerising. Here you could stand relatively close to some pretty immense waves without fear of a soaking or worse. A little compilation of video clips to give you a flavour.

We spent many, happy hours down here and it was favourite spot on the island by a mile.

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Back to the tour. This was our quiet little complex where our apartment was. Only saw sun for the first hour or so, but with so many sunny spots a minutes walk away, not a problem.

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There is a splendid seafront walkway with superb coastal views. PDLN is a small scale port with ferries across to Tenerife but nothing much in the way of traffic. This view along the coast to the dragons back ridges always held my gaze.

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Its a quiet and sleepy sort of place. Just enough shops and restaurants to make it feel lived in without any tourist trappings. It felt more like a real Gran Canaria place and we saw very few British people.

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View across the harbour to the town.

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Across the rooftops to the mountains behind.

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The small church in the centre of town.

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The pebble beach and row of restaurants.

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The large rock that dominates the harbour (although it didn’t appear to have a name).

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And the dramatic cliffs the provide a backdrop. Centre right in the photo you can see a dark rock shape. This is (or more correctly, was) a very slender and dramatic spire of rock called the Dedo de Dios or Finger of God. Alas, a storm knocked it over a few years ago so now its more the Knuckle of God.

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The beach is pebbly so they provide these areas of decking. If you can snag one (advantage of staying in the town) they are the prefect spot for relaxing, sunbathing or watching the ferry come and go.

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As its a pebble beach the water is crystal clear and teeming with fish, if a little tricky to get into the water.

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You could also swim off the harbour walls via access steps and this was TBFs preferred swimming spot (that’s her in the water in the middle of the photo)

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The ferry waiting to depart.

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And the sun-worshippers enjoying the, well, sun.

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The restaurants, seen below, were great, plenty of choice and loads of fresh seafood.

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Here we are celebrating Christmas Day lunch.

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And I think this was New Years Day lunch. Lemon wheat beer and crispy fried baby squid – perfect combination!

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We settled in to a relaxing regime of lazy days around town and days out exploring. More to come.

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Posted January 11, 2020 by surfnslide in Gran Canaria, Spain

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Winter Holiday in Gran Canaria – Return to the West Coast   4 comments

Time for S to go home and we dropped her off at the airport with a fond farewell. We had grand plans for a picnic in the mountains but were caught out by the fact it was Epiphany – some big Catholic day in Spain and everything was shut – most importantly the bakery and supermarkets so no picnic lunch. We decided to head back to the port at Agaete as we felt sure there would be restaurants open.

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The natural rock swimming pools looked rather more impressive this time as the tide was in and large waves were washing over the edge. A swim could wait as it was time for lunch.

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We had an excellent seafood lunch overlooking the harbour and the Tenerife ferry comings and goings.

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A stroll around the harbour followed. I really rather liked this place with its more local feel and superb clear water.

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Back to the rock pools for a swim (for me anyway, no-one had brought swimming stuff and I improvised with a pair of shorts). It was wonderful sitting on the outer wall with waves washing over me.

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We spent a very happy hour pithering about and watching the waves crash and surge along the lava rock channels

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Its a cracking spot and one of my favourite places on the island.

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We were home early enough for TBF to take a swim and for me to wander about on the now deserted beach in the late afternoon sunshine as the sun went down.

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The rocks of this part of the island simply glow under a low sun. Great to wander on the beach at this time of day in winter.

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We headed out to the rock shelf to watch the sunset but with less cloud around it wasn’t as good as the first time

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Still pretty good though.

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The boats in the harbour as the light faded.

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A final view along the coast to Taurito before heading back for a quiet night in.

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Posted February 24, 2019 by surfnslide in Gran Canaria, Spain

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Winter Holiday in Gran Canaria – Day out to the West Coast   10 comments

After a day off – sort of – it was time for more exploration. A day trip to the spectacular West coast was in order on a stunning clear blue sky day. The drive took us along another series of mountain roads to the Degollada de Tasarte where the views were stunning.

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We headed to the beach at Playa de La Aldea. The approach through the untidy town and scrubby land behind looked unpromising but when we parked up it was a superb spot.

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A small peaceful village with a long pebble beach, backed by spectacular mountains and framed by a deep crystal clear sea.

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We had a wander along the beach and across the to the harbour in the warm sunshine, enjoying the superb views and the peaceful ambience of this little known and remote corner of the island.

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We watched a local fisherman land his catch of – well – fish.

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Lunch out was the order of the day and a very fine one it was too. A small friendly little restaurant that did fine seafood and one of the largest plates of fried chicken I’ve ever seen.

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Onwards and upwards to one the most sensational roads I’ve ever driven. We parked up at the Mirador del Balcon where the view along the coast to these symmetrically aligned peaks was jaw dropping.

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The road climbed higher but was closed to through traffic due to subsidence. If you look closely in the photo below you can see just about make out the road clinging precariously, some would say insanely, to the cliffs. I’m not sure I’d have wanted to drive it even if it was open.

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Tenerife and El Teide floating above the haze.

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This was as far as we could go but it was well worth the out and back detour.

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On with the tour, through the longest road tunnel in the Canaries to get around the closed section and along another breathtaking and scary section of road forced across seemingly sheer cliffs. To the relative peace and quiet of Agaete and Puerto de las Nieves. The views back along the coast were just as magnificent.

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We were here to look at the pools of Las Salinas, semi-natural rock pools refreshed by the tide.

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Me and TBF took a swim and it was wonderful in the cold clear water under a warm sun. The views were ok as well.

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Not a bad place to have a holiday home.

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After enjoying a swim and a gentle laze in the sun we headed back to the harbour to watch the Tenerife ferries and grab an ice cream.

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Me and TJS took a stroll along the harbour wall while the others scoffed.

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A glorious afternoon light turned everything golden and I decided I liked this place very much. None of the tourist trappings just a handful of small restaurants and shops and very quiet out of season.

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The water looked very inviting for a swim although very hard on the feet.

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I wanted to spend more time here – so we did a few days later on an unplanned visit.

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A fine day out exploring a completely different and quite stunning side to the island. We headed back the long way around the other 3/4 of the island by motorway. It says much for the winding roads on the coast we’d driven through that it took longer to drive the 1/4 in the morning than the 3/4 on the way home!

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