Saturday, 22 March 1997

Canaries with Attitude

My travels and other animals, a brief account of a holiday unbounded

Early Evening, Saturday 22 March 1997
Jetfoil called ‘Princesa Teguise’

Another journey, another seatbelt. This time crossing the stretch of water between Tenerife and Gran Canaria. It’s about 30 miles across but the journey is 50 miles as Las Palmas is much further along the coast. The digital speedo says we’re going at a raring 82.5 km/h which seems to be a fair old lick, but it is quite smooth so there’s no green faces around yet. Or maybe all the people are used to traveling at sea, being islanders.

The coastal journey to Santa Cruz was an interesting geological survey. Many a geography first year student must have trekked this road in order to study the ‘new born structures’ or something. It is a hilly landscape stretching up to the mountain in the north. Quite often the mountain drops down to see us on the coast, forcing the road to swerve into it’s belly only to pop out the otherside into further flatlands. All of the hills have great striations gashing down from the mountain and into the sea. This is where the hill has been melted away by some lavaflow in distant times. All the manmade structures have to negotiate these, usually by just building bridges across the canyons. This is true of our road, a pipeline and a couple of over conveniences, but one road just seems to go up and down like some long dragon, snaking off into the distance.

Santa Cruz was nice, bizarre, wet, and sunny. Quite literally it took 5 minutes to go from brilliant, baking sunshine to complete deluge. Above the town there is an area of wooded mountains that have perpetual cloud cover, in fact it’s called the cloud forest. It’s like a rain forest only a lot older. This is the only one left in the world, apparently. This explains the peculiar weather patterns and the fact that all the waterfront bars have strengthened canopies. Or is that canapés?

Gran Canaria is looming to the right of our boat. It had bee described as ‘hillier than Tenerife’ meaning less actual height but more up and down. The sea cliffs look enormous and the ‘hills’ also disappear into the clouds. Who knows what joys climbing them will bring?

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