Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Canary Islands riding

The wife and kids and I spent Christmas on Gran Canaria, the main island of the Spanish "Canary Islands" -- which is just off the coast of Southern Morocco. We got a great deal on a last minute package deal for 9 days. It was nice to get away from the cool, damp, gray and gloomy weather of Berlin in December. Nothing but sunshine and warm temperatures -- not hot, but definitely nice enough for shorts and a t-shirt. We hung out at the beach (water was a little cool) but the sun was very warm.

My wife was nice enough to let me disappear on a rented motorcycle for a two days. I went out for a 5-6 hour ride for each of the two days. The bike was a 2006 Yamaha TTR600. With it's air cooled, carbureted single cylinder engine and smooth gearbox, it was low-tech but reliable and bullet-proof: a perfect bike for exploring the narrow and winding mountain roads, and dirt trails that snaked over and around the rugged landscape. The cost was €125 for two days, including a jacket, gloves & helmet. Quite reasonable and I had not made a reservation, rather, I just walked in off the street and picked up the bike with no advance notice.

Both days, I left the resort/hotel by 8am and made it back by mid-afternoon to enjoy a cold beer on the balcony before heading to the beach. How awesome is that? The only thing missing was a few riding buddies.

I made sure to also do some fun stuff with the family, too: go-karting, dolphin watching, camel rides, trekking over the sand dunes, and we also rented a car for two days and explored some nearby villages and popular sites.