Gran Canaria

From La Gomera we sailed northeast to Santa Cruz to pick up our passports. Santa Cruz is a big city, with a.o. many computer shops. We found here a teeny weeny Canon colour printer that fits exactly in a drawer. It will primarily be used for navigational purposes. Of course we have many paper charts, but 500 or 1000 charts do not cover the whole world and on the computer we have 2 Gb of C-Map 2003. To protect our computer against salt water and salt air, we now print the necessary maps before we leave port so we have all information at hand.
Once in Santa Cruz you have gained enough to windward to sail on a close reach to Las Palmas on Gran Canaria. Coincidentally this place is every sailor's dream because all sailing gear is available here. So we bought lots of canvas (sand colour) to make new sail covers for the mainsail and for the mizzen. Home made on our sewing machine for only 110 euro's. But it was a hell of a job because the covers are rather large compared to our small cabin.
PHOTO 1+2
There was enough canvas left to make a tight cover over the steering wheel, so now we don't have to worry anymore about the destructive influence of UV light on wood and the joints. 
We also bought ourselves a new main anchor: a 20 kg Delta; for only 300 euro's and within an hour we sold the now obsolete CQR for 75 euro's to our Canadian neighbour, so everyone was happy. For more about anchoring, click
All this while waiting for the right winds to sail to Morocco. And to recover from the tiring sailing trip, because although it is only 55 nm, the sea between Tenerife and Gran Canaria is something like a milkshake machine and when you finally arrive you feel like you are completely shaken (not stirred). A professional tourist's life ain't easy.

All jobs finished, it was high time to explore the island.
By bike (the old city of Las Palmas) and by hired car. On a perfect and sunny day the owner of the fuel station Don Pedro arranged a small car for us. 
Keyword to Gran Canaria is: harmony. The flora is rich but never in disorder
PHOTO 3 and the changes in the landscape are quite gradual. We were lucky because it is spring season! Yellow butter flowers everywhere, the almond trees still full of pale pink blossom; stunningly beautiful.  PHOTO 4+5
Gran Canaria seems to combine every most beautiful element of every single island; probably because Gran Canaria is the central island of the seven Canaries. The rich green "jungle" of La Gomera, Tenerife's rocks with their many different colours, the reddish brown earth of Lanzarote en Fuerteventura. PHOTO 7
As on all Canary islands, the south is crowded with tourists, so we drove directly into the mountains. The peak of the island
PHOTO 6  is the Pico de Nieves (1942 m), still covered with some snow. Here you find a huge snow storage, and in the old days the snow was sold as ice blocks for refrigerating purposes. The Pico allows you a great view on the Roque Nublo, a fascinating monolithe, with on the background Tenerife's vulcano Teide with a thick snowcover PHOTO 8. Closer to the Nublo you become aware of the rock on its left side on PHOTO
9 in the shape of a praying monk. 
Of course we also visited some picturesque villages: San Mateo, Firgas and Teror
PHOTO 11+12. Spectacular (and offering spectacular views) was the steep and narrow road with a thousand hair pin bends from Ayataca to San Nicolas. PHOTO 10  
To us Gran Canaria is the most beautiful island of all seven; in fact it stole our hearts.

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