Sunday November 30, 2014
I have a new love. They are called Montanditos. I’m not sure if I’m in love with the sandwich or the chain…it’s just too hard to separate the two in my mind. Probably because in my mind there is no separation. But let me go back to how we got here.
Obviously we had a not so fun few days on the boat during a bit of bad weather, so when we woke up today and the sun was shinning, mission number one was to get out and do some real exploring. The kind that leads to you more than just a grocery store.
The morning started out beautifully with a cup of coffee enjoyed out in the sunlight and surrounded by local kids practicing their sailing. Masses of them engulfed our boat as orders were barked out in Spanish, and as Serendipity split them down the middle, they continued out into rising sun and the chaos of the harbor.
Slipping on a sundress and flats since we’re still in metropolitan civilization and these items always feel slightly out of place on the dusty dirt trodden paths of the Caribbean, we brought the dinghy into the marina to hit the town. It turns out that even though the marina here has a ridiculously low price tag of 7€/night, we can enjoy being at anchor in the harbor for only 2€/night. And since the marina is stern-tie only with no finger docks, it was a no brainer for us.
Strolling the sidewalk next to the harbor we came across a group of people slacklining on the beach between a few palm trees. We’d also seen this happen on the beautiful Playa Norte in Isla Mujeres, but these people were serious about it. Jumping onto the line without any assistance of hands and then bouncing over 5 feet in the air, we had to wonder if they earned their keep on whatever random island they happened to be inhabiting at the moment by either putting on shows or asking for tips. I wouldn’t have been surprised if they did well for themselves by either of those means.
As we wandered the blocks and blocks of this large city, we realized that even in a big city, everything in Europe still shuts down on Sundays. Except the Burger King. That was still open and calling my name although it was nowhere near time to eat yet. I memorized it’s location for our walk back. Surely I wouldn’t be forced to eat sandwiches on the ‘Dip just because we’d finally found the Hiper Dino chain that was basically staring us in the face during our grocery store hunt on Thursday yet we somehow still missed it.
Following the helpful street signs around town we honed in on the way to Playa Canteras, my main destination for the day and one of Gran Canaria’s most famous beaches. The sun kept deciding to play hide and seek with us and every few minutes I’d go back and forth between shivering and sweating.
As we finally came upon the beach the sky was still embedded with clouds, not normally the grand unveiling one hopes for…but this beach was so amazing that even an overcast sky could not hide all of it’s beauty and possibility. Cruising the boardwalk for less than five minutes, both of us were throwing out what could now probably be considered to be our catchphrase of “I wanna live here”. The beach had large crashing waves and yet was protected by a reef that sat a few hundred feet out. Dark rolling hills surrounded each side and lounge chairs and umbrellas dotted the sand while colorful buildings provided an eye catching backdrop.
Instantly smitten, we took off our shoes to traipse in the sand and see what else this coastline had to offer. Apparently one major thing that was coming up there was a grandiose sandcastle building competition. Maybe not so much a competition as an event? And maybe not so much sandcastles as just things built from sand? I’m still working on my Spanish, but the banner in front of one large sand-item under construction gave the dates of December 5th – January 4th or something, so we should be here to see it in it’s full glory. We’re allowing ourselves at least 10 days in Grand Canaria before we jump on the first weather window across the Atlantic.
Just when the sun seemed to be poking it’s way out from behind the clouds and my stomach was going into full grumble mode, just before it gets to I’m going to pass out unless you feed me now!, we started searching the strip for a place to eat a late lunch.
I’m not sure what caught my vision first, the golden rays reflecting off the draft beers of the patrons outside, or the golden rays shinning off the poster showing the 0,50€ coin, but my attention had been grabbed. Matt loves a good deal and I love a good beer, so this place was definitely worth checking out. As we wandered closer and looked at the banners with more detail, we could see that Domingos, todos montanditos solo 0,50€. Well, it was Sunday and we were sure we could eat montanditos, whatever they happened to be, for only 50 cents.
Trying to make sense of the menu was still like trying to read Greek to us, we had no idea the protocol on how to order a group off the offering of 100 different options, but luckily the chain was there to save us once again. They had put together four different categories of five sandwiches, leaving me only to have to go to the register and point at each one. I had been able to decipher enough of what each sandwich included to know that I wasn’t getting something I didn’t want to put in my mouth. Like that time I went for sushi with a few of my girlfriends and almost ended up with a nori roll including eel because I liked the name but never bothered to check the ingredients.
After sitting at a table with our tall drinks and waiting to hear “Yessica, por favor” over the loudspeaker, I went to pick up what would come to be my new obsession. I’m still trying to figure out and even remember what came in each of these little treasures, but let me tell you…they were all delicious! If the five of them hadn’t stuffed me to the point of almost having to be rolled out of the restaurant, I would have gone back for more and more. Both of us were in love with the food and and I even had to agree with Matt that the price was unbeatable. For 8€ we had gotten 10 montanditos and 2 tall drinks. But more than that, it was soooo gooood.
Add in some more beach strolling to work off all the food we’d taken in and finding the pedestrian mall on the way back to the marina, and we’re pretty certain that we could actually live here. Maybe we’ll just put Serendipity for sale in Gran Canaria and wait around here for her to sell instead of sailing her back to Florida to do it? I think that plan is sounding better every day.