December 05 – December 30 2020; 3767 nm and 650 days after departure from La Rochelle.
Here it comes, a little late but still! The view of how our dear daughter felt about visiting us😁:
After a long 1.5 years you once more get the pleasure of indulging into one of my famous pieces of creative writing. So get your 6th coffee of the day ready, put on a fresh pair of lockdown-sweatpants and settle in for this special, and very relevant Christmas edition of “How to survive a holiday with your parents!”. Jokes, since we were very good kids this year, it wasn’t just surviving, sometimes we even had a little bit of fun 😉.
As already described with loads of emotions and frustration in the previous entry, the process of making it to Gran Canaria wasn’t exactly as Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy as we imagined it to be, but rather Difficult, Difficult, Lemon Difficult. In hindsight we couldn’t care less however since in the end we made it to (not so) sunny Las Palmas (more on this later). Upon arrival I was very very happy to finally see some sun and also a little happy to see my parents again who I haven’t seen since Christmas 2019 – except for mum for 3-4 days in summer. Once outside the airport a quick glance to the sky revealed… clouds. Well, ok we just arrived, it’s a lot warmer than in Paris so I’m not complaining. After a quick stop to say hi to Altimate we went straight to the city to get a view on the beach and the water and to FINALLY enjoy a nice drink on a terrace in a bar that was open!! Coming from lockdown Paris, Benoit and me haven’t seen such wondrous things in a while.
Just when we sat down to enjoy our first portion of Papas Arrugadas and an Aperol Spritz we were formerly welcomed by… rain. As it just so happens, the weather on our first day was a very precise prediction of our next two weeks on the island. During the week we were spending most of our time working under deck and just as it always must happen: it was sunny and warm while we were busy; and cloudy, even rainy during our 1h lunch breaks. This was a suspiciously consistent behavior but my parents as well as their friends ensured that this type of weather at this time of the year is highly unusual and should be over very soon!
High with hopes poor Benoit took off both of his Fridays to enjoy more of this hopefully soon sunny and warm weather. Surprise, surprise on both days we did not see one ray of sunshine. Nevertheless, we got to enjoy a trip around the island, watched the sunset on the beach (yes we did get lucky with sun sometimes 😉 ) and even did a small trip on Altimate out on the water.
The day that Benoit went back to Paris, we solved the mystery about the weather: When we left to the airport with Benoit in the morning, the sky once again was cloudy. We dropped him off and on our way back we could already see some first spots of blue sky between the clouds. Only 2 hours later we were back at the airport to pick up Luis who, after an also not so easy process including waiting 4h to do a Covid test and forgetting his wallet at security, made it to Las Palmas safely. We walked out of the airport and guess what? It was SUNNY! We quickly understood that it was just Benoit who is haunted by the weather gods, doomed to live with nothing but clouds and rain causing us those 2 weeks of bad weather before.
Well, lucky for us now with Luis on board and finally the sun in the sky it was time to start our Christmas preparations. Original plans to anchor down in the south had to be abandoned due to an upcoming storm that would have turned our Christmas dinner cooking into a nightmare of flying meat and vegetables. Luckily in 2006 somebody in America had this amazing idea to launch a small but helpful platform called Airbnb, which provided us with plenty of options to spend our Christmas time in a safe environment. Therefore, on the 22nd we moved from the boat to our lovely Airbnb apartment in Puerto de Mogán.
The days before Christmas Eve were filled mostly with heated discussions about what to eat during our time there. Raclette, Fondue and co. weren’t possible due to lack of the necessary equipment, much loved Parmesan Grieß by Tim Melzer also had to be abandoned as we were missing a suitable pan for the oven. Finally we settled on a not so Christmassy, yet incredibly German winter dish: “Gulasch mit Semmelknödel”! On the 24th we made sure to spend some time at the beach and made plenty of pictures of us in shorts and T-Shirt to be able to make as many people as possible jealous. Coming home from a day at the beach and eating Gulasch however was a little unusual, I have to admit.
Even though we are pretty old now (Luis is almost 30 – what a grandpa), celebrating Christmas with our parents turns us back into kids. Which is why we were especially happy and surprised that even with just us four, far from home in an Airbnb somewhere in the Canary Islands, our parents managed to organise a tiny, yet beautiful Christmas tree and loads of presents to unwrap. Because let’s be honest, Christmas is all about unwrapping presents. Even though we were not able to physically spend Christmas with our grandparents and the rest of the family, we made sure to unwrap all the presents together (online). It was a different, but still fun experience and it’s always great to see everybody’s face in response to whatever they get to unwrap that night. After all the present excitement and our nice dinner we ended up being slightly too ambitious by making my favourite French dessert, a “moelleux au chocolat” (I seriously recommend to try this). Since we weren’t able to do much more than holding our bellies and be sleepy after this super light dessert, we finished off the night with a proper Christmas movie.
We spent the rest of the holidays driving around the island, chasing some sun and warmth and of course celebrating my dad’s birthday! Our parents got us a buggy ride for Christmas which we all did together on El Capitano’s birthday, it was very dusty, very loud but loads of fun to speed over the sandy hills of the island. After a final dinner at the restaurant, Luis and me had to make our way back home on the 30th just in time for New Year’s Eve. After all those months more or less being stuck at home, it was amazing to spend more than 3 weeks with the family in the sun, exploring some nature, enjoying fresh air, the beach and the sea and of course: going out to bars and restaurants again! 😉
(the normal translation would be “Im sorry” but in Benoit’s perfect German it means bye bye 😉)