Gran Canaria Holiday 2018

Having not had a proper holiday this year, we decided to chance a late booking with Thomas Cook Holidays. We wanted guaranteed sun, so we looked at the Canaries.  We had been to Puerto Rico in Gran Canaria with our children 7 years ago. That was a bit of nightmare, in a hotel in the valley and right opposite the main club area and town centre. Good for insomniacs, but not if you wanted to sleep. It had multiple beats of music bouncing of the valley sides and hotels until 4.00am every day.

We wanted to go south because the wind is generally north easterly and you are well protected from it on the South West side of the island. we didn’t want to stay in Puerto, because of the last experience, so we looked just a little bit further along the coast, but wanted to be in a position to go in to Puerto if needed for food and beverages. We found a hotel in the cliffs around the next headland call the Altamar it is built down the cliff wall over 6 floors with the entrance at the top of the Hotel.

IMG_2865

The Hotel is both self catering and various levels of board including “all inclusive”. The location of the hotel was in between Puerto and Amadores Bay, a beautiful beach with multiple restaurants and shops. Both were accessible by road only from the hotel, no cliff paths or lifts, so easy to get down, but very step to walk up.

The hotel met our needs for self catering, as we wanted to fend for ourselves and not be tied to the hotel for food. as said earlier the beach had plenty of restaurants and we found two that we regularly used, serving various Mediterranean foods, so you had a good choice and it was generally freshly made.  These restaurants required a down hill walk (20 minutes) and a taxi back (average cost €3.50 for the ride). as the hotel entrance was at the top of the cliff, there was a small shopping centre about 500 metres up the road, called the Europa Centre with bars, restaurants and shops.  Well, let me put it this way, it was definitely built for the Brits, English Breakfast, Sunday Roast, Kebab, fast food etc.  Every bar had multiple TV screens and all they showed was football. Everyone was wearing football shirts or some form of sports attire… The bars were even serving canned English beer, when the local beers are actually very refreshing. We could have been in Blackpool, Skegness or even Minehead, but in the Sun…

We eventually found a very good Spanish restaurant call “Picasso” as small family run restaurant with excellent Spanish and European cuisine opposite the Europe Centre. The menu provided various courses but affordable, we had a three course meal one night with drinks and it was less than €75, and the meals included both Duck and Steak. The family, father and two sons, were polite with a great sense of humour.  I could honestly say, if our budget was a little more for the holiday, we would have eaten there every night. However, if we had, I probably would have increased in size around my midriff.

We ventured in to Puerto Rico once, walking down to Amadores and then along the cliff path to Puerto. We didn’t stay long, nothing had changed or improved from the last visit 7 years ago, if anything it was worse.

IMG_2960

We also took the ferry to Mogan a small port further west along the coast from Puerto Rico. A very picturesque village and know as Little Venice, with its waterways and Spanish cottages around the harbour and water ways. All around the harbour and side streets, there are plenty of restaurants and small shops. We stopped for lunch at a small restaurant and ordered mixed Tapas for two with a couple of cold beers. We had been sat there for 5 or 10 minutes, when I remembered that this was the restaurant we ate at 7 years ago with the children. Its sometime strange how you are drawn back to places. So a shout out for Restaurant Balero who’s food was also really good.

IMG_2929

Overall we had a relaxing holiday, the average temperature was around 28C, Although I do not like Puerto Rico itself, just around the corner is very pleasant if you can get away from those who like football and everything English.  If you go to Spain and or any other, don’t abuse the culture and expect everything English.

IMG_2867

To Finish off, I have created a small video of the holiday, this can be found on my Youtube site:

Advertisements

Sixty Tea Rooms and Two Wheels – Cornwall Day One

A recent short break took us to the West Country of the UK and glorious Cornwall. We stayed with a friend (fellow rider) who lives in North Cornwall close to the Devon boarder. As this trip was taken over three days, I will be writing this in three parts, so please keep an eye out for the remaining trip and the sites we saw while in Cornwall.

Lets Go

So here we are ready to go, our route took us along the south coast from Hampshire for a first stop just out side Ringwood for a coffee. We had only been on the bike 45 minutes, but needs must and all that.  I heard a little voice in the intercom and she who speaks must be obeyed.  Following decent coffee break, we proceeded towards West Bay in Dorset for a spot of lunch.  I had heard that the Station Kitchen near the main carpark was good for cream teas, so that was the first on the list for the trip.

On arrival at West Bay we parked up directly opposite the restaurant. As you can imagine by the name “Station Kitchen” it was the old West Bay railway station with a carriage as well.  Both the station and the carriage were dining areas and very well laid out. The weather was hot, and we needed some shade, so we opted to eat in the carriage. Although nice, it was a little warm even with the doors open, unfortunately there was no breeze, but the surroundings were fantastic and quirky.  Although we were looking for a cream tea initially, we looked at the menu and decided to have something from the main menu. While the food was prepared we were offered fresh bread and an olive oil and balsamic dip. The bread was fresh and two different types and delicious.

IMG_0329

The food took about 20 minutes, but we were in no hurry, just thankful for a little shade. We both had a freshly made flatbread one with local crab and the other with goats’ cheese and both drizzled with olive oil. once again delicious. I have since found out that the restaurant is one of the best in West Bay, I am amazed we manged to get a seat. The staff and service were friendly and attentive, and I would highly recommend them. We will be going back to try something else when we go out for a Sunday ride.

From West Bay we proceeded west along the coast road through Lyme Regis towards Exeter. We briefly hit the M5 and then turned on to the A30 towards Okehampton and Launceston. We needed a break, so we stopped at a service station just off the A30 called the Hog and Hedge at Whiddon Down. For a service station it was surprising comfortable and clean, and the food served was good. Having stopped for 30 minutes we made a way to our destination, arriving at around 5.30.

We had left at around 10.30 and mainly followed the coast road, making it a pleasant and scenic journey.

What’s in a photograph?

I was at the doctors this morning with my wife and while waiting I decided to browse through my thousands of stored photographs… I had forgotten what I had taken over the years since going digital. I literally have thousands of them, and probably 50% plus could be deleted for ever as they are not perfect. Digital and quick shot / sports mode is useful, but boy, does it waste your time when trying to deal with the images afterwards. I really should be looking at purging a lot of them this year so that I am only left with the good ones. Saying that, there’s probably a lot that could be useful with photo merges and messing around with the images.  

Excuse me, but I am getting away from the point of this post.  Anyway, as I was scrolling through the images, I came across one of the family, my two children when they were around 7 and 5 years old.. today it is still one of my favourites. So, what’s in a photograph that brings back memories. I remember the day well, a trip to Queen Victoria Country Park, a sunny day for a picnic, but we didn’t take a picnic, we stopped for fish and chips on the way and sat by the beach overlooking Southampton Water. The weather was beautifully warm and the children were enjoying themselves.  While they played, we sat and watched the fun, out came the camera and bang there it was… the photo says it all.


I look back on this knowing that my children enjoyed themselves… It brings back fond memories for me and makes me smile when I see photographs of their life.  It’s hard to believe they are nearly 22 and 20 now. Perhaps the next will be watching the Grand Children grow up? 

I hope this joyful photograph puts a smile on your face as it does mine. Happy memories readers.