Canary Islands, Spain. Change of plans, instead of Tenerife the Sᴓrlandet stopped in Las Palmas. We had to fix our air conditioning and as a result extra time was allotted to exploring the shores of what some consider Europe’s Hawaii. Let me start off by saying that in all honesty this port, through my eyes, was not the most enjoyable or memorable.
First night was a blast. Being able to get off the ship and grab real fresh fruit was marvellous. Bananas, apples, and oranges melted in my mouth. They were the velvety chocolate from one’s favourite chocolatier.
Second day provisions came “first thing” which was noon and so only the evening was given for shore leave. I travelled by bus to old town and there Romane, a close friend on the ship, guided us through the cracked alleyways and tile dominated neighbourhoods to Christopher Columbus’ house. Not bad for a night out, huh?
Third day was given up to a long hike along a ravine in central Gran Canaria. I loved it. The fresh air was great (not like we don’t get any on a ship though, but it is different), the view was amazing, and I only ended up with a few needles in my hand from a cactus. Best of all though was the guide we had. He made the group laugh harder than anyone I’ve ever met who isn’t a professional comedian. Did you know that there are no natural rivers in the Canary Islands? The ravine was the only one in Gran Canaria, possibly the Canary Islands, that wasn’t dried up.
Fourth day I went surfing in the morning. I have a new earned respect for all surfers. The sport is challenging. It was a great feeling, however, when I finally caught a wave and stood tall (low stance) on my board. Much salt water was swallowed though. As a result I got a terrible stomach bug and could not even make it back to the ship. We needed to call a taxi driver. Half way home I crawled out of the car and puked my guts out.
No food was consumed for three days following my taxi incident. I became dehydrated and had really low blood sugar. My stomach cramped, my head spun, the whole world, it seemed, was going to collapse in on itself. All I wanted was to leave the program and to be back home with my family.