Alone Like a Rolling Stone

In the Year 2525

Dunes of Maspalomas 

Descending the stairs, we approach the dark building complex, which in better times was once a shopping center. Today, only a few open stores remind us of it. Whole building segments are dark and the stores are barricaded. Signs that were placed above the entrances are partly hanging down or have already fallen off completely and are mixed with the trash that is otherwise lying on the floor. In the night-black corridors slurp the jump boots of the security, which is present everywhere here. The display of his cell phone shines in his face, showing a mystical diabolical grimace. The baton dangles from his right side. He doesn't use it to attack people, there's no one here but us, but he has to keep the many rats at bay, who make their presence known through loud squeaking. When he notices us, he looks up briefly from his display, turns away from us and continues to slurp boredly until the darkness has swallowed him up again.

Hotel in Maspalomas

It is the year 2525 here in Maspalomas, the tourist resort of Gran Canaria. Together with the town of Playa del Ingl├ęs they form a huge number of hotels and apartment buildings. We have been around the world a lot, but we have not seen anything like this. Almost all the hotels are closed. Apart from a few German pensioners, you hardly see people on the street. In the aforementioned shopping center, we only meet a Moroccan who wants to sell us a polo shirt. His desperation is written all over his face. He has been here for a year and a month, but the situation is not improving. He just wants to get out of here, he admits to me. For 30 years, the business has fed him and his family, but now almost everything has been used up. In the year 2525, no one needs shopping centers anymore; Amazon has long since taken over the reigns of consumption and money. Street vendors are obsolete. Only the ruins show that things were once different before 2019.

Faro del Maspalomas

We leave this place and beam ourselves back to the year 2021 and do what we actually came here to do. The dunes of Maspalomas are a natural spectacle worth seeing. We walk to the lighthouse Faro de Maspalomas and walk along the beach to the dunes that reach the sea. Our goal is to walk inland through the dunes. A sign stops us and tells us that we are entering a nudist area. Good I think, then we just walk naked through the dunes. 

Dunes landscape Maspalomas

The landscape is really impressive. By footprints we find our way through a labyrinth of sand hills. Steep ramps are difficult to climb because the sand gives way again and again, on flat surfaces the sand is as hard as concrete. Over numerous hills we enjoy the view again and again and finally reach the land side of the dune landscape. Somehow one looks at us, presumably because of our appearance, somewhat puzzled and we assume that we have left the nudist area long ago, but simply have not seen the sign. But we find another sign on which it says that the dune landscape may be entered only on the marked paths. Oops! We assume that the footprints were the marked paths and except for the nudist sign there was no other sign to be discovered, word of honor! The sand dunes of Maspalomas will remain for us in any case in memory and are certainly worth a visit. 

Firgas, Gran Canaria

A completely different picture of Gran Canaria can be found in Firgas. By bus we reach the small mountain village in the north of the island, about 25 kilometers from Las Palmas. Tourism is a foreign word here. Here you find the original Gran Canaria. The people are friendly and open-minded. Marked hiking trails are not to be found here. Only questions and a good sense of direction help. To reach the gorge "Balneano Azuaje" you have to go steeply down the slope from Firgas. Already to catch the entrance to the slope proves to be a challenge. Standing in a courtyard, a mongrel barks at us and clearly explains what he thinks of our presence here. The master joins us and kindly explains the way. We thank him and leave. Because I once again did not listen properly, or because my innermost balked at the steep slope, and I wanted to avoid the discussion with Gaby, we initially ended up again in a dead end and had to go back quite a bit. Finally we found the way and arrived at the entrance of the gorge. A ruined hotel from earlier times is left to decay. The hotel was built in 1856 as a spa and, after being abandoned, served as a dance hall for the surrounding people until 1955. In 1955, after heavy rains, a flood swept away large parts of the building and then made it unusable. Since then, nature has been reclaiming the land piecemeal and the building has been considered in danger of collapse for years. A mystical place and a unique gorge where, rarely on the island, there is running water. The flora is lush and the gorge appears green. As part of the nature reserve "Parque Rural de Doramas" the gorge is under special protection. After an extended hike we reach the town of Buenlugar where we wait in a bar for the bus back to Las Palmas and enjoy some excellent tapas.

Las Palmas, Gran Canaria

What we will do next week, we will tell you as usual here on Until then, we wish you as always, fair winds and keep a stiff upper lip.