Gran Canaria Rally Means Road Closures This Weekend

Islas Canarias Rally in Gran Canaria

Islas Canarias Rally in Gran Canaria (C. El Coleccionista de Instantes)

If you head up the hill this weekend, check the road closure timetable for the Gran Canaria Rally on Friday and Saturday. 

Also, expect a fair bit of traffic up top as people head up to watch.

90 cars compete in this year’s race, the 40th-anniversary event of the El Corte Inglés-sponsored Rally Islas Canarias.

Download this PDF for a full timetable of road closures for each of the 12 stages, and also for official spots where you can watch the action in safety.

Thursday’s Special Stage has been cancelled.

Bear in mind that the west coast GC 200 road between La Aldea and Agaete is closed for repairs (for at least the next two months). 

40th El Corte Inglés Rally Islas Canarias 10-12 March

RAlly 40 islas CanariasOver ninety entries, including thirty international teams representing  16 different countries and teams in the FIA European Rally Championship, will take part in the 40th Rally Islas Canarias El Corte Inglés from 10-12 of March 2016.

The itinerary is set to have twelve special stages. The Rally will have its starting ceremony on Thursday 10th of March at 20:30 in the Parque Santa Catalina, in Las Palmas, as in past years. The Edificio Miller and Plaza de Canarias will be part of the headquarters.

Qualifying rounds start on Friday morning, expect road closures on mountain roads through the summits and on the north and west sides of the island…

rally 40 Map

• Friday: 11/03/2016
SS2/5 Moya-DISA                  24,73 km
SS3/6 Tejeda-Festina  15,01 km
SS4/7 Santa Lucía                 14,5 km

• Saturday: 12/03/2016
SS8/11 Ingenio-DISA  22,84 km
SS9/12 Gáldar-Festina          13,97 km
SS10/13 Valleseco                15,45 km

The Rally Islas Canarias ‘El Corte Inglés’ will form part of the ERC Asphalt Masters and other three categories: ERC, ERC2 and ERC3. The championship adds; the ERC Ladies Trophy and the Colin McRae Flat Out Trophy.

Thursdays Super night Special Stage has been cancelled.

See all the stages and places to watch the Rally here 

The official page for Rally Islas Canarias el Corte Inglés

“Only a safe rally is a good rally”

seguridadIn order to see the rally up close, you need to arrive in advance due the necessary road closures which will take place one hour and a half before the start of the each special stage. Follow the instructions of safety personal and it is essential to know the meaning of the various safety signs. The organisation has provided ribbons indicating specific areas. These are marked with two colors: red and yellow.

The Red ribbon indicates that the area is dangerous and is strictly prohibited, in spanish: prohibido público.
Yellow means an area where you can enjoy and watch the race, in spanish: zona de público.
It is important to be in elevated areas, preferably 2.5 meters high or even higher from the road.



Gran Canaria Airline News: New Routes

Germania airlineGermania will start flying from Hamburg to Gran Canaria next summer and in the winter season will start operating from Nuremberg, while Ryanair has announced the launch, in November, of a new Scottish route from Glasgow International Airport.

Germania airline is set to launch two more weekly flights from Nuremberg, adding to the Air Berlin and Tui Fly offerings, which currently supply two weekly flights. Nuremberg is the ninth most important airport in the German market for Gran Canaria with passenger volumes of more than 29,500 tourists last year, so this new route could add up 9,000 new customers flying from Germany.

From next summer Germania will also operate a connection from Hamburg for the first time. The new flight will depart every Saturday and will only be scheduled for the summer season, starting this May.

Another new connection for the German market is with Air Berlin, who have announced they will maintain a flight from Leipzig throughout the year, a flight that was initially scheduled only for the winter season.  Air Berlin will also join Condor airlines, up until now the only airline flying from Leipzig to Gran Canaria.

Gran Canaria airport aena new facadeNew connection with Scotland
Next winter Ryanair plan a new route linking Gran Canaria to Glasgow International joining the currently operating weekly flight from Prestwick. This increased supply from Ryanair is a major boost to help increase on the 64,000 Scottish tourists that visited the island last year, according to the latest data from AENA, the Spanish Airport Authority.

Currently Gran Canaria is connected with Scotland via 6 weekly flights departing from three airports: Glasgow International, Glasgow Prestwitck and Edinburgh Turnhouse , to which now can be added the new flight from Ryanair, and the tour operator TUI Thomson to Aberdeen, from 25 April.

Gran Canaria connectivity with northern Europe seems to be increasing still further with these newly announced routes complementing the other 13 new routes announced earlier this year.

Iberia Express increases seats to Madrid
Iberia Express will next summer increase the number of seats to Madrid by 9%, from 41 to 43 weekly flights by adding two of their Airbus A321 fleet, an aircraft which offers greater passenger capacity.

The airline announced that it has lowered the prices to Gran Canaria by 50% and has made a low cost rate available to Canarian residents, allowing them to fly to Madrid starting from just 25€ each way.

International Women’s Day week of activities

SBT DiaDeLaMujer2016_ProgramaYesterday was International Women’s Day, originally called International Working Women’s Day the event is celebrated on 8 March every year around the world. It is a world wide reminder of respect, appreciation and love towards women, a celebration for women’s economic, cultural, political and social achievements. An expression of love for women to raise awareness for  human rights and equality.

Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality

The 2016 theme for International Women’s Day is “Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality”. The United Nations observance on 8 March will reflect on how to accelerate the 2030 Agenda, building momentum for the effective implementation of the new Sustainable Development Goals. It will equally focus on new commitments under UN Women’s Step It Up initiative, and other existing commitments on gender equality, women’s empowerment and women’s human rights.
[read more…]

On Gran Canaria the day is celebrated in many ways in different municipalities, from photographic exhibitions, to concerts, to walks and talks.

Mogan international women day igualdadExhibitions, theater, workshops, lectures and other activities, all in Spanish, are part of the extensive program of events in San Bartolomé de Tirajana running until March 18th, and also in Mogán, a program of different activities is planned, including a free concert ‘Cantos de mujer’ on Friday at 21:00 in Plaza Pérez Galdós in Arguineguín. On Sunday 13 March a solidarity 1,6 km walk from Avenida del Muelle starts at 11:30am, and in Plaza Pérez Galdós at 17:30 a musical for children, ‘La reina del hielo’ (the Ice Queen) based on the hit movie Frozen.


Newsbrief : Binter Canarias sale for inter island flights this week until Sunday 13 March

Binter Canarias, the regional island airline, is offering more than 20,000 seats to fly with Bintezo at a very special rate between 2 May to 30 June, on Canary Islands inter-island routes. The sale period to buy the tickets started on Monday and runs to Sunday 13 of March. Seats are subject to availability. No refund or changes possible.  BinterCanarias Bintezo

For example a return flight to Fuenteventura is just €28 + a few cents, all fees included.

Well worth it if you’d like to do a bit of island hoping to get the summer started…

Marine Conservation in Canarian Classrooms

loro parque foundation education projecs Between February and April this year, The Loro Parque Fundación are scheduled to provide awareness-raising sessions in various elementary and high schools throughout the Canary Islands, thanks to an “altruistic agreement” signed with the Ministry of Education,the Canarian Government and the Universities.

This initiative, which started last month, is part of the Experts in Animal Welfare programme, a Loro Parque Fundación project to raise awareness amongst young people about ocean preservation and, especially, about the risks that threaten their integrity and sustainability. The project aims at triggering enthusiasm for the marine environment and animal species.

Several elementary and high school centres on Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura and Lanzarote are set to participate in these sessions, while many other educational institutions in the Canaries are expected to join in the activities, looking both at marine conservation and other areas associated with animal welfare.

With this initiative, the Loro Parque Fundación say they are reinforcing their commitment to raising awareness within the Canarian community about the need to get informed, protect and conserve the environment and various animal species — “a labour that has been undertaken by this non-profit international foundation in environmental education, research and biodiversity conservation since 1994”.

Editor’s Comment:

Though the ostensible aims of this announced project appear noble, questioning minds must also ask why it is that an organisation bearing the name of, and funded by, a well known tourist attraction might wish to educate local children.

Though there is clearly a huge need for much greater understanding of ocean environments, marine wildlife and animal welfare in general, there are cynics who might say that a company such as this runs the risk of presenting a skewed perspective on the protection of various species, in particular those from the ocean.

Loro parque not only keeps Orca (“killer whales”) for public display and performance, but is also involved in an ongoing dispute regarding an Orca named Morgan, who was taken from the wild in 2010 on a “rehabilitate and release” permit off the Dutch coast, however within 18 months she had been transferred to Tenerife’s Loro Parque as a performing “asset” in complete disregard, say campaigners, to international law and established guidelines on orca captured from the wild.

If children in the canary islands really want to learn about oceans, their protection and “risks that threaten their integrity and sustainability” this publication recommends they ask the “experts” from Loro Parque how it is that Morgan’s removal from her family pod in the north atlantic, and being trained to perform for food, is helping with that goal, let alone how it is that a 15-foot (4.5m) animal, used to swimming up to 100 miles a day, is now being “protected” in a relatively tiny concrete pool.

#JustThinking #FreeMorgan #BornFree #GranCanaria

Here’s Where To Stock Up On Asian Ingredients In Gran Canaria

Exotic food at Las Palmas' Chinese supermarkets

Exotic food at Las Palmas’ Chinese supermarkets

If you like cooking with Asian ingredients, Gran Canaria can be frustrating. It’s tough to get hold of lots of common ingredients as the locals don’t use them.

Don’t worry. because the Chinese supermarkets by the Mercado Central stock a great range of Asian ingredients.

Prices are lower than in the supermarkets and they sell lots of things you can’t find elsewhere.  Things like big bottles of soy and fish sauce, fresh tofu, bean sprouts, dried mushrooms, big packs of noodles, Thai curry pastes, green tea, etc.

You never know what to expect. Salted jellyfish for tea? How about some Filipino puto mix?

The Chinese shops also sell fresh Asian veggies like bok choi, yams and spring onions. Most come from farms on the island.

Don’t forget to check the freezer cabinets for everything from Chinese dumplings to frog’s legs.

It’s worth visiting each shop as they all sell different stuff. Most are on Calle Barcelona but don’t miss Comercial Yu Fong just over the road on General Vives. The Korean supermarket on Calle Valencia is also worth a visit.

If you’re after Indian supplies, head to Godhwani’s. It’s an emporium rather than a shop with shelves stacked high with all sorts of spices and Indian treats. Look in the freezers for Indian breads and veggie treats.

Godhwani’s is on Calle Sagasta 59 just behind Las Canteras beach, and at the back of the Yumbo Centre in Playa del Inglés. 

Canary Islands illegal immigration stopover

15 detained for forged documentationPolicía Nacional have detained members of an illegal immigration network operating through Canary Islands. Iranian citizens of Albanian origin trying to reach the United Kingdom have been using Canary Island airports as a stop over. 15 people have been detained and forged documents seized from various countries including the UK, Italy, Bulgaria, Poland and Israel.

The Discovery of falsified documents initiated the investigation
Last December, in Tenerife airport, an individual of Iranian nationality was stopped, trying to fly to London with a forged passport and identity card. With the information gathered, agents began an investigation that uncovered a criminal organization facilitating transport of Iranian citizens of Albanian nationality to Canary Islands airports using forged documents. After several investigations researchers discovered a plot utilising airports with connections to the United Kingdom, especially London, operated by low cost airlines during the tourism high  season. They forced people travelling to pay large amounts of money to get to their final destination, in this case most often the UK, where they then requested political asylum.

There were also individuals of Iranian origin acting as “facilitators”  and guiding small groups of two to three individuals through the process. The members of the organisation accompanied the migrants trying to cross through border controls, taking interest in them if they had any problems and even offering translators if they were held by the authorities.

As a result of the investigations, 15 people have been detained in the airports of Gran Canaria and Tenerife, two of them accused of being members of the criminal organisation. Among the documents seized were forged Bulgarian and Polish identity cards and passports, an Israeli passport reported stolen, Italian identity cards, two authentic Bulgarian and two other stolen British passports.

The police investigation, which remains open, was carried out by border posts assigned to the airports of Gran Canaria and Tenerife South, in collaboration with the General Commissariat for Immigration and the UK Border Police.

Street lights for the El Veril link road to PDI

El Veril street lights1The Cabildo de Gran Canaria has started to install street lighting on the Las Burras link up to El Veril  (GC-1 to GC-500) in San Bartolomé de Tirajana, which at the present is only illuminated at either end.

Twelve energy efficient, galvanized steel street lights with intelligent control system are being installed as part of a wider plan for improvement in the area.

El Veril street lights

Equipment to reduce power consumption will also be installed, which will reportedly allow energy savings of up to 40% and increase the life of the lamps, which in turn significantly reduces expected maintenance costs.

The work has been given a budget of €159,300 and will last for five months.