Camping with hippies in Gran Canaria

First of all, I’d like to apologize in advance for the cheesy parts this post may contain. I know for certain that some things that happened last weekend will seem that way when written but well, I don’t think there’s much I can do.

Let’s start from the beginning anyway. A couple of weeks ago I was at home, getting quite frustrated with my non existent success at finding a job, when Aneta, a CouchSurfing friend (visit her own travel blog here), suggested I should visit her in the island of Gran Canaria. The flights were cheap enough so my bank account obviously got a little bite a few hours later. I went there with a sleeping bag, some extra clothes that I finally didn’t use and no plan at all.

The trip soon proved to be deliciously contradictory. The whole thing was a mix of relax and chaos: relax because  the atmosphere was extremely chill and only the weather made us hurry once for a few minutes and chaos because everyone else I met didn’t have things more planned than me and people kept showing up and disappearing randomly.

When I arrived, I went to Sailor’s Bar, a place where sailors meet and you may have a chance to find a boat if you want to travel somewhere. There I met Aneta and Ignasi, a young sailor who would be with us most of the time and that, like her, will soon enough be in the Caribbean. Soon enough we were in Playa de las Canteras and a group of hippies were coming and going all the time. Most of them were Polish or German, but there were other nationalities as well. There we talked, shared food and beer and watched part of the group do a little juggling and fire show. Some of them were waiting to get a boat that would take them somewhere else, some were travelling for a relatively short period of time and some just had no definite plan.

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It was almost midnight when we (a group of around twelve people, I’d say) went to our sleeping spot, a relatively hidden plateau over a beach with a wonderful view, where there was another impromptu fire show before going to sleep. My clumsiness at setting up the shelter for the night made me realize that I’ve been sleeping in flats for too long during my trips. I felt a bit incompetent, to be honest. Incompe-tent. Got it? My wannabe fun dad puns are on point today.

The following morning, after taking a few pictures of the view, we had to pack our stuff in a hurry before the threatening wind and the dark clouds that were approaching could give us an unpleasant surprise. After a couple of hours (and a nice shower) at the hostel where Kasper, one of Aneta’s friends, worked, we spent the afternoon walking around the old town. Las Palmas de Gran Canaria doesn’t have much to offer, although the old town does have a few charming streets.

At night, more of the same: tons of people coming and going. The Polish crew (great guys, seriously), a German girl called Pia and me ended up camping a hundred metres from the beach somewhere close to Juan Grande, if I’m not mistaken. The next morning I could see that, again, we had chosen a great place to stay the night.

We took it easy, as always. We chatted, probably for hours, until Aneta and me decided to go to the dunes of Maspalomas with the help of a nice French couple which picked us up on the road. After that, we hitchhiked to Arguineguín and took a bus to Puerto de Mogán. During the trip we could see hills totally infested by hotels, like a parasyte that has expanded and has completely taken over its host. Basically the kind of thing I totally try to avoid when I’m travelling. The village was the same: a few nice streets but all in all a touristic theme park.

I guess that made what came next even better. Aneta had already shown me a picture of the Sunset Spot, but you know very well pictures just don’t do justice. Behind a few garbage containers, after turning right, there is a rock, a kind of pass, which ends up being about 50-100 metres long and only one or two metres wide, wich a few chairs and an old matress. Facing us there was only the sea, blue as the sky with which it seemed to collide far away. We were the first ones to arrive, but half an hour later there were easily sixty or seventy people there. People talked to whoever was next to them, they shared beer, food, a very relaxing melody played by a guitar and a harmonica could be heard. All that while the sun slowly decided to take a break until the next day.

I know this sounds cheesy, I know words sometimes just aren’t enough to describe feelings and they do a very poor job, but the happiness I felt there for about half an hour is not easy to experience. Moments like that make a trip totally worth it, even if it’s to a way too touristic place.

Late at night we went a bit outside the village and set the tent under an avocado tree in what proved to be, again, a perfect camping location. After sleeping outside the previous night because of her understandable fear of my snoring, Aneta did the smart thing and told Ignasi to share the tent with me while she slept on a hammock.

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That was it. The next day I only had time to go to the airport by bus, taking a road with more curves than the woman of my dreams. All in all this was probably not my ideal holiday destination but the atmosphere within the people I was hanging out with was exactly what I needed to recharge my batteries.

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One thought on “Camping with hippies in Gran Canaria

  1. I think you nailed it there – you can be in sh* thole but with company it makes it fine. Visit paradise with the wrong dudes and it will be a dustbin. When travelling it’s people not places that count. Keep you a troshin.

    Like

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