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Archive for February, 2015

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In terms of Holidays 2014 was a bit of a treat for me as I managed to shoot away to sunnier climes twice in one year, which is something I’ve not had the luxury of for a while. I managed to get away in the Spring with my Parents to visit my Sister who lives out in Gran Canaria, and I also went to Croatia with my girlfriend for a nice summer break. Both were great and it also gave me a chance to play around with my camera again. I’ve not been great at taking photos recently and tend to just take photos of the bread I make and not much else, so I really enjoyed taking some holiday snaps. Getting away last year has also inspired me to save up for more adventures abroad in the future. I’ve been to a fair few places around Europe but there are many more I’d like to see. Obviously getting out of Europe would be amazing too but that would take a fair bit of saving up – one for in a few years I think!

First off was Gran Canaria. I went there in March last year and, as bad as this may sound, was surprised at how nice it was. Whenever I heard of Gran Canaria I tended to think of lairy Brits Abroad. I think the South of the Island is possibly a little bit like that, but my sister lives in Las Palmas which is in the North and is very different. It’s a proper working city so it’s not just people on their holidays, and there is a great promenade called “Playa de Las Canteras”. It was a stones throw from my sisters apartment and a great place to have a wander along in the morning sun.

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We also hired a car so we could escape up into mountains where there are some spectacular views of little villages set against some pretty imposing rocks. The most famous of which is Roque Nublo, which is this little chap below.

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I didn’t know a huge amount about Gran Canaria but I did know it was meant to be dry and dusty. Surprisingly it was actually cool and rainy on a couple of days when I was out there, and had been for a few weeks prior. Not ideal for giving my pasty body a bit of colour, but it did mean that the mountains were a lot more lush than I was expecting.

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At the beginning of our mountain exploration day I was determined to get some photos, unfortunately as we rose higher and higher the fog became thicker and thicker. When we arrived into Cruz de Tejeda for a coffee we could barely see 20 meters in front of us. I was wearing shorts and a t-shirt, ready with for snapping away with my camera hanging round my neck and I was bloody freezing! I thought my chance to get any semi decent photos were long gone. However, as we slowly decended on our way to Roque Nublo we started to see glimpses of green grass and grey rock. Eventually we appeared to be driving through falling clouds, a surreal feeling but unfortunately one difficult to capture in a still image. I did however capture some of the impressive rock formations through the clouds which helped with the atmosphere if nothing else.

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After escaping the clouds we stopped and looked back and were treated with the view below. For the sense of scale click on the image for the full size.

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During the time we also visited the Cocodrilo Park. I’m normally quite wary of places with animals kept in captivity, for the pretty obvious ethical reasons. However this one does appear to do quite a lot of good work. A lot of animals are rescued from captivity by  SEPRONA, the Nature Protection Service in Spain. I imagine due to being held in captivity prior to being rescued they can’t be released back into the wild, so they are brought to the park to recover and live. I’m sure it’s not perfect, these things never are, but at least it does some good!

The bus stop for the park was in a pretty impressive location – I liked the contrast of the wild terrain and the mundanity of public transport.

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Despite the name Crocodrilo Park they do take in other animals too, although the primary occupants appear to the cold-blooded type. It’s hard not to take photos of interesting looking animals, so I was snapping away during our trip.

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I couldn’t resist including this guy. _DSC0003

We also visited Cenobio de Valeron – a series of caves built into the rocks which were used as grain stores. I didn’t get any particualrly original photos of the caves themselves. A quick google image search will bring up lots of photos though. As well as the impressive caves, there were also loads of Lizards – mainly Gran Canarian Giant Lizards. They were huge and because there were so many, lots of oppurtunies to try and get a photo of them. My favourite is the one below, I managed to get within a few metres of this bad boy.

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All in all it was a really enjoyable holiday and not what I expected at all. I can’t speak for the South of the Island, but in the the North if you can hire a car then you can visit some amazing place and see some spectacular views.

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