Gran Canaria Guru Newsletter December 2009

GCGURU newsletter

In this month’s newsletter we have all the latest events, how to watch bbc on your computer for free, how to listen to music free without adverts, a list of really useful websites, how to get to the UK and back for 20€, where all the speed cameras are in GC and all the latest Gran Canaria news useful to us English speakers …

Now that Winter has set in and all the locals have donned their scarves and coats to survive the sub 20 degree weather what have we got to look forward to over the next few months? Christmas here is a little different from the rest of Europe and the main celebrations here take place on New Year’s Eve and on the 5th and 6th of January (King’s day). The big celebrations are on the 5th January and, in our opinion, the best place to be is in Las Palmas to see the procession. There is a cavalcade that passes through Las Palmas and finishes in Triana where, in the evening, you’ll find a massive street party with stalls and thousands of people sipping beer and rum until the early hours. The 6th is King’s Day and everyone either stays at home with their families or goes shopping. On the 6th the big sales start so if you want a bargain head out early because the shops will be packed.

Other stand out events over the next couple of months include:

the Gran Canaria Show – Massive party in Meloneras – click here for their Facebook page

The Glen Miller band on the 17th -18th December

Mammia Mia the musical in January

Las Palmas Carnaval in January and February

The Gran Canaria Marathon in January

For the cultured amongst us there are also operas, musicals, plays etc.

You can find information on all the events in the events section of the website.

The animal charity Tara also have a fundraising BBQ with live music on Friday 19th in Puerto Rico, have a look here for more info. It is a great cause, and if you can, try to go.

Speed Cameras!! Although we only saw our first speed camera here a couple of years ago they are now spreading like ants, but don’t worry we’re here to help. We have a Google map of all the speed cameras on the island with photos of their location. This map is regularly updated so will always have the locations of all functioning cameras.

More cheap flights to Europe! The airport authority here AENA has announced that airport taxes will remain at zero for all 2010, this will hopefully mean Ryanair will maintain their flights until after March. Just keep an eye on their website, if you didn’t know you can fly to destinations all over the UK and Ireland, Portugal, Italy, Germany and to mainland Spain for as little as 20€ return (taxes included) and, yes, you can get flights to the UK for 20€ return but you’ll need to book early. A great website we were told about last month is flightchecker, where you put in where you want to go and your budget and it tells you all the airlines available in your price range (includes Easyjet, Ryanair …)

Useful websites – Last month we asked you to let us know any useful websites you used to make living out here that bit easier, thanks for all the replies, they have been really helpful. Due to the sheer quantity we can’t mention all of them but here are some highlights. For a full list visit our updated useful links section on the website.

Late night chemists – This website lets you see where the nearest open chemist is – essential if you ever get ill in the evening or at weekends

Legal adviceThis is an excellent legal website. If you have any queries about your rights or any Spanish law, just ask on the forums in English and they’ll get back to you that day.

Translation – If you want to translate any Spanish to English or vice versa use this site, it uses the Google translation engine and can translate words or whole sections of text. If you need more specialist translation use where you can find translations for scientific, legal, technical and any really obscure words – just look at the results in their forums

To buy and sell second hand stuff on the island go to compraventa and elbaul, they have everything from sofas, to cars to pets.

Paginasamarillas – The yellow pages here.

AENA – This website lets you search for flights to see if they are on time or not, essential if you ever have to pick up friends from the airport.

The majority of website links we were sent were sites where you could watch BBC for free, how to get SKY in Gran Canaria, best TV download sites etc. There was so much information we have created a new page on the site for it, so if you want any info on how to watch TV here in GC have a look at our GC TV guide page it has some links to some really excellent websites and loads of information including watching BBC live, watching the BBC iPlayer here, an excellent UK TV download site and how to get SKY TV here.

Listening to music for free – If you don’t already know about it, Spotify is a new (totally legal) service that lets you listen to almost any music totally free. You can listen by album, artist, genre and it has almost every album you’d ever want to listen to (except the Beatles). At the moment it is invitation only but we have a few free invitations so if you want an invite just go to our invite page and request an invite and we’ll send you one. Alternatively one user let us know about which does exactly the same as Spotify but has no adverts, you just go to the website and start listening.

How to get soft water. This is a bit of a random bit of info, but anyone who lives here knows that the tap water here is really really hard which means it kills washing machines, dishwashers, pipework, showers, taps etc. One user let us know about a device you can buy from a UK website for £60 which instantly makes your water soft. We bought one and it works a treat. It is well worth it as the equivalent in Leroy Merlin costs about €450. You can see a link to it here.

Grancanariaguru news – the very observant will have noticed we have made a few changes to the website recently. We now have a news section which is linked to Facebook and Twitter so you can now receive our weekly news nuggets directly in your Facebook or Twitter newsfeed Just become a Facebook fan of the site here or see our Twitter page. We let you know flight offers, new events, English films on at the cinema and any deals you should know immediately. It is a great way to keep up to date. Just subscribe to the news on the site or add us in Facebook and Twitter

Photos – We also have a new photo section with photos from around the island embedded in a map to help you plan your trips to the countryside, feel free to send us some if you have any nice photos of your own.

Business Directory – We also have a brand new directory for English speaking businesses, if you wish to add your business simply login and fill in the form.

We need your knowledge – Finally if you want to get involved with the site, help out on the forum, add events that we have missed to our newsfeed or write a Gran Canaria blog please let us know, in particular we are looking for someone with knowledge of all the events going on in the South. Drop us a line, if you have a business we can certainly help you out in return.

Cheap websites – we have teamed up with a Las Palmas based web design company who can offer very cheap website design services. If you are a business and need a site or want your old one updated have a look at, they can do almost anything from those on a tiny budget to e-commerce sites and even iPhone apps. Mention you read about them here and you can get their basic package for 200€ instead of 250€

Anyway, I hope you’ve found this newsletter useful. Have a great Christmas, New Year and King’s and see you in the New Year,

The Gran Canaria Guru team

Cheaper flights for all 2010

Aena (the Spanish airport authority) have announced that all airport charges will be maintained a 0 for all 2010 to help stimulate tourism and help Spanish airlines. This is great for us as it will hopefully mean that Ryanair will extend their agreement to fly here past March 31 2010 until the end of the year. You an currently get return flights for 20 euros in December and January so hopefully these offers will stay for the rest of the year. If you see a deal though get it quickly as they disappear rapidly.

Tito and Tarantula in Las Palmas

Tito and Tarnatula are in Las Palmas on 15 Nov in Paraninfo. They’re a Califorian blues rock band made famous from the soundtrack to the Tarantino film “From Dusk til Dawn” when they performed on stage in the Titty Twister before turning into vampires. Their most famous song is After Dark. Despite their success they are not very well known but have an excellent reputation as a live band. They are playing in Paraninfo in Luis Morote.

Second hand sport’s equipment at Decathlon Telde

Decathlon’s second hand sale has just started in Telde. If you want to sell anything you have until Friday to deposit your stuff, and if you want to buy anything you have until Saturday. It is very good for watersports equipment, fitness machinery and bikes. It is situated in the big marquee outside Decathlon, opposite Al Campo on the GC1 in Telde.

Thursday 23rd of July

Haven’t blogged anything recently as I lead a rather boring life…lol. With no football to report on and working long and hard at my job I really don’t get too much time to come on here. My wife cannot find a job and has started volunteering to help out the animal charity “TARA”, this involves renovating and eventually working in their shop and also fostering abandoned cats and dogs until homes are found for them. Since we have two cats of our own this is not the easiest task in the world, we had a young dog and her pup recently and the cats were not happy at all, we had to lock the dogs in the living room while we were sleeping or out of the house as my oldest cat was trying to attack them, thankfully homes were found for them very quickly. Now we’re looking after a young male kitten who was very aggressive toward my oldest cat to begin with (my youngest cat doesn’t care about anybody or anything….lol) but now they’re best friends and clean each other, if anybody is looking for a very handsome, loving, playful ginger tomcat please contact TARA and ask about “Paco”. While i’m on the subject of TARA if you are a pet lover or pet owner and join TARA for 10€ membership fee you can get a card that gets you huge discounts at certain vets in the south of the island, or if you can foster dogs or cats it would be great as they are short of volunteers. I will try to write something interesting again sooner rather than later.