*note- yes, this is from my 2014 trip. I’ve been neglecting this blog for too long*
The night before, after our exhausting day of travel, we saw that our hostel had free bikes to use and we wanted to be out and exploring Las Palmas. There were only two, so we made a plan to wake up early, grab the bikes and ride along the beachfront promenade. It was great in theory, until after riding along the promenade, someone one stopped us and told us in spanish that no bikes were allowed in that area. We tried to ride on the streets, but after I fell into several cars on the narrow, rocky sidewalks, I was over it. We walked the bikes back to the hostel and decided to just walk up the long promenade.
Las Palmas is an urban beach. It’s somewhat like South Beach. It’s awesome! During our long walk, we people watched, saw great public art, stuck our feet in the ocean and best of all, got to watch a men’s beach soccer game. Ya, that! Oh, and we also got to watch them strip down to their tiny euro mankinis and swim in the ocean. Let’s just say we weren’t bored!
After a cocktail and some tapas, we headed back to the hostel and decided that we were going to snorkel out to the reef. Now, I’m not quite sure just how far this reef is from shore, but to me, it looked like 1/4 of mile. No problem, right? I’m a strong swimmer. BWHAHAHAHA! I grabbed just the mask and not the snorkel. No Bueno. I did learn a fun fact: Ashley had never been snorkeling before this. How is she even from Florida?
Well not too long into us snorkeling, I was dying without the actual snorkel. This was the Atlantic Ocean and it was rough and FREEZING! But I was determined to make it out to the reef. After all, some people had passed us and told us where we might be able to see an octopus. In between me having to come up for air way too often and Ashley excitedly pointing out fish, we made. And there were rocks to stand on, thank God. We swam around for awhile and then realized that the tide was coming in and we better book it to make it back to shore. It was rough, both figuratively and literately. Let’s just say that I will never go snorkeling without the snorkel again.
We headed back to the hostel and chilled for a little bit; however, the whole “we never have wifi anywhere we go on this whole trip” issue came up again. We set out on a quest for wifi and ended with Ashley having to diffuse a crisis back home and me meeting the first of two people on this trip that had lived in my hometown of Vero Beach/Sebastian, Florida. Crazy!
We ended up at this random bar that had free wifi and cheap drinks. Perfect. As we settled into our seats at the bar and connected to their wifi, we started chitchatting with the bartender/owner. He was telling us his story about moving to Las Palmas and buying the bar and Florida came up in our conversation. I cannot remember his name, but it was a really simple, short name like Jim. Anyways, “Jim” asked us where were from and I told him originally from the Vero Beach/Sebastian area.
For those who don’t know, it’s a small beach town on the Atlantic coast of Florida. About an hour south of Cocoa Beach and an hour north of West Palm Beach. And one would think that it’s not everyday that you run into people that have lived there, but this happened twice to me on this trip and my trip to Costa Rica.
Ok, back to Jim. He starts telling me that he used to own a restaurant in Fort Pierce, but lived in Vero Beach. I was blown away. We started talking about the town and how much its changed since he had left. Meanwhile, this kept me busy while Ashley was trying to solve her major crisis back home, which isn’t so easy when you are dependent on a bar’s free wifi and you need to call an airline, a bank and your mom to help. After leaving this bar, we headed to the store for food and drinks and then back to the hostel for a much needed chill night.
When we arrived, people we starting to gather on the deck, drink cocktails and get ready for sunset. Overall, the evening was perfect. We chatted with people form all over the place, took sunset pictures and listened to some music. We were so tired and had to get up really, really early to catch our cab to the airport to head to our next destination- Marrakech!