Friday December 5, 2014
I’m going to let you in on a little secret. I’ve been a little lonely here in Europe ever since we arrived. Ok, like very lonely. It’s basically just been the two of us now for the past six months. We just don’t see the outgoing cruisers we did in the Caribbean, and forget any young people to hang out with. We’ve seen a few more in the Canaries than Portugal, usually with a French flag flying, but being a little shy as well as knowing there would be a language barrier we never do more than wave as we pass by and half the time get a wave back.
Now that we’re in Gran Canaria there definitely are more people gathered in one spot and sometimes we can even get a wave from a passing boat or a dinghy…and even though there are a few bars in the marina’s grounds that are always full of sailors throwing back a few beers and having a good time, again, I’m still always too shy to go up and make first introductions.
So when I found out that an online blogging friend Kit and her boyfriend Alex were going to be making it over to Gran Canria, it was like someone threw me a lifeline. Finally someone to hang out with that I’d already been chatting online with for a few months and I knew wanted to hang out with me as well. At least, I hope that was the case. I might have been just a little obsessed with Kit’s arrival, constantly looking out the port to see if I could make out their little Camper Nicholson among the boats arriving in the harbor.
My friend Jackie was joking online with me that I should call Kit up on the VHF as soon as I saw them coming in and say ‘Thank god you made it, my eyes were getting sore from staring through binocculars all day’. Matt, getting the full brunt of my obsessive measures, went even further and joked that I should meet her at the dock with a homemade banner that featured the two of us Photoshoped in together with BFFs written next to it.
I did miss Kit’s arrival last night, even though I was tempted to leave my VHF on just to listen for when they called into the marina, but even my stalking has it’s limits and I tried to busy myself with blogging instead. As I was enjoying my coffee this morning though, I did see their boat Berwick Maid pass us by, and a petite blonde at the bow. My new BFF had arrived!
A little bit after that Matt and I thought we’d try for an afternoon at the beach since the sun had actually been out all morning and we wanted an afternoon there admist all the rain we’d been getting through the week. Taking the dinghy in to the marina we passed Berwick Maid at the reception dock and took a chance that someone might be aboard. Knocking on the hull we were promptly greeted by Kit, or Emma Stone’s doppleganger. The resemblance is astonishing.
Kit was very friendly and I immediately fell in love with her cute British accent. She told us that Alex had been busy trying to check them in for the past hour, and while she waited for him to come back, invited us onboard to chat. The sun had suddenly disappeared again and the wind was building so it looked like our day at the beach might have to be aborted anyway. For the next 45 minutes we shamelessly took up space on her boat as the three of us got to know each other better and swapped stories of our travels thus far. Knowing that she would eventually want to get back to resting after their trip over from Tenerife though, we left, but not after inviting them out with us that night for whatever music festival we found out was going on at the Santa Ana Plaza.
We we got back together a few hours later we grabbed a quick beer at one of the marina’s watering holes before making the 20 or so minute walk to the Old Town. Having been there once now ourselves we fell into immediate tour guide mode, pointing out all the interesting things we’d found the previous day. Such as the most stylish clothing shops, the most interesting looking bars, and of course the McDonald’s.
The cool evening air was refreshing, and along our walk we made the normal cultural difference jokes as Kit and I talked about how a door in Europe may be labeled as WC, but you never ask where the water closet is if you’re trying to find one. You just as for the toilet. Or maybe the shitter. Apparently ‘loo’ isn’t very common which depressed me just a little bit. We were still on this topic as we wandered into the plaza and found it was not quite what any of us were expecting.
Because the person I originally asked about the event spoke very little English, all I knew was that there would be music at 8:00. We thought there might be bands or chiors performing live on stage, either would have been fine, but this was just a few speakers playing terrible Spanish hip-hop music. Tents were set up throughout the plaza as vendors peddled their goods, much like what we saw at Horta’s Sea Week. It wasn’t bad but it wasn’t exactly the scene we were looking for either. Grabbing a Heineken from one of the vendors we took a spot by the church just to see if things got any more interesting the longer we stayed there.
It turned out the answer was no. Luckily for us I had taken note of a bar earlier that had cheap buckets of beer. Who would say no to that on a Friday night? No one in our group. Apparently not a lot of other people either. After we tracked down this specific bar we had to wait for a table to open up and even then we had to squeeze the four of us into a spot meant for two until another opened and we could pull it alongside.
Through the next few hours we enjoyed three buckets of beer and some great company. Even though Kit and Alex have only started cruising a few months ago, we all have that impending Atlantic crossing coming up so there was never a shortage of things for us to talk about.
And who would have guessed that on our walk back we would have passed a movie poster featuring Emma Stone. There was no way we couldn’t force Kit to stand next to her doppleganger and get a photo. What do you think? I wouldn’t be surprised if we see her fend off unknowing fans during her stay here.