First of all happy New Year and I hope you all had a good Christmas.
For those that weren’t here over Christmas they will have missed the Island emergency when the security forces and inhabitants were put on yellow alert! Just after Christmas it rained during the night! Don’t worry it cleared up the next day and was sunny for days afterwards.
So now we’re in 2009 what have we got to look forward to in the next month or so?
For those who like a bit of culture the XXV Gran Canaria Music festival begins in January with Philharmonic orchestras from around the world performing in Las Palmas. For more info visit The Gran Canaria website or the general tickets website. For Jazz aficionados the Charlie Parker Legacy Band is performing on the 31st in Las Palmas too. For lovers of musicals, the very famous Spanish musical “Hoy no me puedo levantar” is currently on at the Alfredo Kraus. It is a musical based around the 80s pop group Mecano and is extremely popular here. You can read about it on Wikipedia. I suppose it’s the equivalent of Mama Mia in the UK.
For the sporty people we’ve got the Maspalomas international football tournament with FC Grasshopper, UD Las Palmas, B. Möenchengladbach and FC Shaktar Donetsk. We´ve also got the Las Palmas Half Marathon on the 25th Jan and the hard core 123km GranCanaria Trans Marathon in February. If you want to participate in either of these sign up on the website. The Trans Canaria is not for the faint hearted though as it will take about 30 hours and you have to run to the top of the island and down again.
For the rest of us non-extreme sportsmen/women we have Carnaval. It starts on the 6th Feb and finishes on the 28th. For those that don’t know, Las Palmas Carnaval is the second biggest in the world after Rio and basically consists of three weeks of fancy dress street parties with vast amounts of rum and Heineken consumed by all. Everyone, and I mean everyone, gets dressed up. This year the theme is pirates but rest assured all the Canarian men will dress up as women and all the women as French maids. If you’ve never been you should make it a priority to go.
Interspersed amongst the parties are various events – the highlights are:
- Carnival Queen: 13th February
- Drag Queen Competition: 20th February
- Carnival Parade: 21st February
- Carnival Tuesday: 24th February
- Burial of the Sardine: 28th February – Fireworks and a big burning fish on Las Canteras beach.
The most popular of these events is the Drag Queen Competition which unfortunately sold out within 20 minutes, however you’ll be able to see it on TV before heading out onto the streets with your bag of rum and coke. There is usually a washed up 80s band providing the entertainment and past stars include Gloria Gaynor, The Village People, Bonnie Tyler and Sister Sledge.
After Las Palmas Carnival we have the Maspalomas version in March which I’ll write about in the next newsletter.
For details of these and all other events on the island have a look at the events section of the website.
A quick round up of the latest Canarian News …
In December the island was in shock when a group of drunk, drugged up men kicked a 19 year old Spanish guy to death outside a nightclub. As things like this don’t happen in Gran Canaria there was a public outcry and the perpetrators will probably spend a long time in jail. Apart from that the news has been mainly dominated by the economy and the usual corruption. The main story involves the old President of the Cabildo, José Manuel Soria, and a bribe he allegedly received to give planning permission for Anfi. Basically he denied even voting for the planning permission and then a video of him putting his voting slip in the ballot box appeared on YouTube the next day – now he’s being investigated. The economy doesn’t look too good, car sales are down 47%, house sales 27% and consumer spending down too and with Sterling dive bombing against the Euro going down to 1.06 at one point, British tourism is also expected to be affected. Not much good news I’m afraid.
Despite being peak season there are some fine hotel deals to be found in the South, use the Alpha Rooms search box on the website to find what you want. Last week we got a self catering place for 25€ a night (the pool was *%&$ freezing though).
If you’re looking for good quality food that you can’t get in the Supermarkets we’ve been informed of a German supermarket in Arinaga (near the Mercadona depot apparently) and a German bakery in Telde. Unfortunately we haven’t been told where they are, if you know please let us know so we can add the addresses to the shopping section and I can go and buy some proper sausages.
If you’re looking for a job, the new Job centre in the South has many available at the moment and gets new jobs in every week. Have a look at the jobs section of the website for more information.
In the next month or so we’ll be making a few tiny changes to the website, fixing things that don’t work and adding a few features here and there. If there´s anything you´d like added whether it’s articles or new functions please let us know and we’ll try to incorporate them. This is a community website so the more feedback we get the better it will hopefully become. Also if you would like to help out by helping out on the forums or answering queries please let us know, the site is becoming more popular everyday and we will need some assistance soon. Lastly, if you’ve been to a good restaurant recently, please add it to our guide, it only takes a couple of minutes.
Have a great January and February and enjoy Carnaval.
The GC Guru Team
PS. Check out the road traffic sign one of our users spotted in Telde – La Garita traffic sign