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A Letter from Las Palmas.

A weekly review of life as an ex-pat in Las Palmas Gran Canaria. 

Covid in the Canary Islands.


The return of the mask.


Wearing masks outside returned on Christmas Eve. Hopefully, this one is for Christmas and not for life.


I have to admit I don’t particularly like wearing a mask outdoors. Not for any ideological reasons. It feels uncomfortable in a warm climate, but if those are the rules, then those are the rules.


It is interesting to see how many people are wearing masks outside this time around. 


Looking around Las Palmas, I guess about 20% of people are not wearing masks outside. Down south in the tourist resorts where I spent a few days over Christmas, it looked like only 20% were wearing masks outside. 


A few years ago, I walked into a bank in Paraguay. Due to the intense heat, I was wearing a sombrero. I was quickly surrounded by four security guards pointing their guns at me.  


Seemingly people rob banks in Paraguay by putting guns under their hats. I can’t help to wonder what my survival chances would be in that bank if I had walked in during covid times wearing a sombrero and a mask.

Tenerife Gran Canaria managed to hold on to level 3 restrictions this week despite rising Covid numbers. For people whose main priority is beer, it’s level 4 by stealth.


The government cut back by an hour hospitality opening times. Level 1 is now 3 am closing. Level 2 is 2 am. Levels 3 and 4 are 1 am.   Compared to many places at the moment, it’s not so bad


On Christmas Day, the new law requiring people to have covid certs to access hospitality and leisure areas came into force for islands on level 3 and above. Here in Gran Canaria, not many places were asking for the certs initially, but after a few days, most were


The government of the Canary Islands has asked the court’s to allow a curfew on new year’s eve and the 5th Jan for islands on levels 2 and 3. For level 3 islands, it would be from 1 am to 6 am, and level 2 from 2 am to 6 am.

Water water everywhere but not a drop to drink.


There have been, many lows during the past two years.  Lockdown.  Curfews.  Covid restrictions. I thought I had seen everything by now but things got a lot worse this week. 


There is a shortage of Guinness on the islands.  Finding a pint of draft of the black stuff is like seeing someone wearing a mask outdoors in Playa Del Ingles.  Extremely rare.


Bars are even running out of cans.  Supply issues are been blamed.  This has to be rock bottom.  Surely things cannot get any worse than this. 

If Ryanair made beds.


As I search to buy an apartment a friend has kindly allowed me to stay with them.  It is a fine apartment, but I am currently sleeping on a couch.  If Ryanair ever went into the making beds business, I think this couch would be how they do it.  

After many sleepless nights, I purchased an airbed for fifteen euros. It was the best thing I brought for years.  I feel like I have been upgraded to business class.

During the week some friends and I visited  Galdar on the north coast of Gran Canaria. 


The town puts on an amazing Christmas display on its main shopping street. 



Galdar was an important location for the original settlers of Gran Canaria.  The town hosts the Painted Cave archaeological centre. 


The museum is well worth a visit to see how the original settlers lived before, during and after the Spanish conquest of the islands.



I would like to wish everyone a happy New Year.  Until next week hasta luego. 



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