December 2015 Update

The month started off the same as November had finished in Gran Canaria, unfortunately I never managed to source a bike as there was nowhere near us to hire one, in fact there was absolutely nothing near us apart from a couple of other hotels and a few shops selling a load of tourist tack, so most of the time was spent at the hotel!

Swimming pool
Looking down towards the beach from our hotel

The hotel was situated high up on a cliff/mountain in a purpose built tourist resort and to get to the beach and the few shops that there was involved a 30 minute walk down the mountain, which wasn’t too bad, however, the walk back up was very hard going and we only ventured down to the beach on one occasion!

We did manage to escape the hotel for a couple of days and caught a bus out to explore other parts of the island; once again though we had to walk down the mountain to the bus stop, although not quite as far as it was to go to the beach!

On our first venture out we went to the nearby port of Puerto de Mogan which had been completely over run by tourism with very little to see of the old fishing village at all, but it was a change of scenery and it was good to get out of the hotel!

The following day we decided to get the bus to Las Palmas the capital of the island which once again involved a walk down the mountain to the bus stop, whilst waiting at the bus stop with the other tourists a bus pulled up with Las Palmas written on the front of it so we hopped on and  asked for two tickets to Las Palmas to which the driver gave us a very strange look and started to explain in his broken English that this isn’t the direct bus and it takes longer to get to Las Palmas as it calls in at all the towns and villages on its way. We both looked at each other and decided that that would be ok as at least we wouldn’t be sitting at the bus stop we’d be moving and we’d also get to see a bit more of the island!

Well, there really wasn’t much else to see of the island, every town or village we came to just seemed to be overrun with either hotels or apartments, I don’t recall seeing anything even vaguely resembling a place that was maybe just with locals!

Well after two long hours of stopping and starting we were still sitting on the bus and by now Julie had decided that she needed the toilet and couldn’t wait any longer! After all, she had wanted to go for the past hour, I just kept saying that we’d be there soon just hang on, not really knowing myself how much further we had to go! But no that was it she had to go! So in the middle of the island near some huge retail park, we had to get off the bus and find the nearest toilet which luckily was located in a nearby McDonalds! After our forced pit stop we went back to the bus stop to wait for another bus, which eventually turned up after nearly an hour! We finally arrived in Las Palmas mid afternoon four hours after setting off from the hotel! Once again there wasn’t a lot to see in Las Palmas and it hardly seemed to be worth the effort it took us to get there but at least Julie found some shops to look around and it got us away from the hotel for another day. Needless to say, we didn’t get the same bus back we caught the express bus which got us back in less than half the time it took us to get there! It was late and dark by the time we arrived back at the hotel!

All in all, though it wasn’t a bad break and the food in the hotel was good and plentiful, the weather was nice and warm and Julie enjoyed being able to relax despite me trying to annoy her most of the time with the “I’m bored what can I do?” saying!

Not been out on the bike very much at all this past month, I’ve not been feeling that good for most of it, think I’d picked up some sort of flu bug (probably on the flight to Gran Canaria, there was a quite few people on the plane coughing and spluttering) which never fully came out but was annoying enough to stop me cycling too far, every time I went to go out on my bike I would just become breathless and start getting cold sweats! Although at the end of the month I’m now feeling much better.

Small dog

The weathers not been particularly good either this month, with strong winds and rain nearly every day, however, I did manage to go on a short ride to Portsmouth about 25 miles away on my birthday but once again it was wet and windy and I ended up coming home on the train.

My babysitting duties were also called upon this month looking after my Vicky’s cat Toby whilst they were in Spain and also Julie’s daughter’s new puppy Wilson!

Christmas and New Year came and went with some lovely family meals cooked by Julie on Christmas day and Vicky and Paul on Boxing Day, I’ve had a rather easy Christmas and not had anybody around! Good to keep the spirit of Christmas alive in the McGivern household with no visitors, and no decorations or tree up, bah humbug!!

Family dinner
Boxing day at Vicky’s being photo bombed by Toby the cat
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