I arrived in Gran Canaria at 23:25 (11:25 PM) local time Monday, 16 February 2015; un-showered and un-shaven for the past 26 hours. My friend Howard and our hosts for the next 10 days of motorcycle riding in the Canary Islands, Martin and his partner, Joy, were there to meet me and whisk me away to my new home for the next several days. Sitting in the living room of their home aka “The Villa” , desperately trying to stay awake, I learned some interesting facts about the islands: Average low temperature for is islands is 64 degrees F. Average high temperature is 83 degrees F (18 degrees C and 28 degrees C respectively). Located approximately 90 miles west of Western Sahara, Africa, the twelve (total) islands are territories of Spain. The language is Spanish and the locals tend to drop the “s” at the end of words ending in said “s” By example, “Thank you” ‘ Gracias’ becomes ‘Gracia’. If you use the “s” it tends to either confuse them or they will correct you. My high school Spanish teacher, Miss Danielli, would be horrified. There are two typical dishes for the Canary Islands: One is a must try, the other is a must avoid. Gofio is a dip or spread made from ground corn and other starches mixed with fish broth. It is a waste of good (or bad) fish broth. The Canary potatoes are potatoes boiled in heavily salted water then roasted until a salt crust forms on the skins and served with a garlic/spiced sauce. The potatoes are amazingly delicious and could be eaten with every meal, including breakfast and dessert.
The riding is on some of the best roads I have ever ridden, and that includes the Swiss Alps. With approximately only 3 kilometers of straight roads (OK, that is an exaggeration, but you get the idea) it is curvy heaven of well maintained tarmac. The highest navigatible pass is Pico de la Nieves at 1,949 meters (6,394 feet and 4-9/32 inches – approximately). We rode the pass in driving rain with gale force winds and thick, really thick, fog (the rain cloud actually). I heard there are amazing views from the summit. I was lucky to barely make out the side of the roadway. Notwithstanding the previous, the roads were amazingly fun to ride ranging from gentle sweepers to sphincter puckering hairpin turns. Good times. Good times.
When visiting the island of Gran Canaria, the must do’s are: The dunes in Mas Palomas (especially if you are a perv – or so I’ve been told), Las Canteras beach in the capital city of Las Palmas (the 3rd largest city centre beach in the world), historic town of Galdar (the formal capital of the island), Pico de la Nieves, the mountainous interior of the island and avoiding Gofio.