A weekly review of life as an ex-pat in Las Palmas Gran Canaria, the Canary Islands.
COVID IN THE CANARIES.
We now have had two weeks of substantial declines in covid rates in the Canary Islands. Last week new Covid cases were 45% fewer than the previous week.
After last Thursday’s restriction level review, only La Gomera changed when it went up to level 3.
Tenerife, Gran Canaria and La Palma stayed at Level 4.
Lanzarote, Fuerteventura and El Hierro remained at Level 3.
So where do we stand, and when are restriction levels going to go lower?
Covid rates are dropping significantly. The 7-day rate fell by 47% in a week. The 14 day Covid rate has fallen by 49% in two weeks. All islands are seeing declines.
The biggest issue stopping restriction levels from going lower is hospital capacity.
Covid in hospital on Sunday was at 610 up 11 on the previous week. Covid in ICU was at 93. Up 8.
Some islands capacities are at high risk. These numbers need to come down before levels can come down.
One of the key numbers now is active cases. This continued going up last week but at a slower pace. Once this starts to decline (if new covid cases are going down, it should do), this should mean lower hospital numbers eventually. Then restriction levels should fall.
The Canary Islands government are to investigate why deaths from Covid in January seem to be higher than in other Spanish regions. The islands have had more casualties than other regions despite having lower covid rates.
Last week there were 78 fatalities. The highest week to date.
My Casa is not your Casa. It is my Casa.
Am I about to buy an apartment in Las Palmas? It looks like it.
I had mentioned that I had sold my house in Ireland and intended to buy a place in Las Palmas.
It was a big decision as it means this is where I will see out the rest of my life. I had previously rented in Las Palmas.
I have been looking for about a month as I have slept on a friends sofa and now am living on another friends ship in the port.
The sofa of death nearly finished me. I am convinced it is made from 100% steel. If mobile phone screen protectors were made from the same material as this sofa, there would never be another screen broken.
I have enjoyed the ship, and it has been great excise walking up and down gangways and ladders. I have not walked so much in years as the port is a decent walk from most areas.
I do, however, feel a bit homeless. It is challenging to have a structure if you don’t have a base.
On Wednesday morning, I went to view a studio apartment. The front door is a five-second walk from the beach.
In a few hours, I made an offer. The way the process works here is you make a written offer. I had to lodge a 500 euro deposit with the offer.
If the offer was accepted and I pulled out, I would lose the 500 Euro. I set the offer low, so I knew they would not accept the first offer.
The sellers had two days to reply. The next day they made a counteroffer. After some fine-tuning, we agreed.
On Friday afternoon, I called the estate agent’s office and signed the agreement. So did the seller. I paid a deposit of 10% of the total price.
The way it works now is if I pulled out now, I would lose that 10% deposit. If the seller pulled out, they would need to pay me the same amount.
There are a few more things to do, and I will let you know as it happens just in case you may be thinking of buying here.
The agent thinks the process can be done in less than two weeks. Let us see.
I may be about to abandon ship.
It’s Carnival but not as we know it.
My first experience of Carnival in Las Palmas was in 2014. I did not expect too much. Boy, was I wrong. It was one month of non-stop craic.
If you have not seen the Carnival in Las Palmas, it will be difficult to explain it. It has to be seen.
The main events are at weekends, and almost everyone in the city gets involved.
The final weekend includes the grand parade, where over 100,000 people wearing costumes march behind bands through the streets.
I often wonder if people staying in the tourist resorts down south have any idea what a great event is taking place just over 50km away.
The stage is being built in Santa Catalina. It won’t be a regular carnival this year. There will be no parades, but it will be better than last year when it was cancelled.
Hopefully, next year, we will be back to normal, and I can dust off my batman costume.
I did it my way.
During the week, I walked down the promenade on Playa Las Canteras. I noticed some people around an elderly man sitting unresponsive on a bench.
It looked like the man had passed away as there was no movement. I initially thought about how sad it was, but the more I thought about it, I was not so sure.
He was well dressed. He looked at peace. I am sure he had spent many a day on this seat. If we had a choice to pick how we exit life, sitting well dressed on a bench on a beautiful beach is not the worse way to go. I would take it.
The weather last week was mixed. Some rain showers. A bit of Calima dust from the Saraha with some nice days in between.
There were some snowfalls on high areas of Tenerife, Gran Canaria and La Palma. That is not unusual this time of year.
Until next week hasta luego.