Escape to Las Palmas

The Canary Islands tourist board sent me an email asking if I’d mind an all-expenses-paid trip to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria to help promote the Canary Islands. Fly out on Sunday for a practice on Sunday afternoon, stay the night, appear the formal presentation on Monday morning and fly home. I’d never been to Gran Canaria. Did I mention all-expenses-paid? So I said yes first, and asked what they wanted me to do second. They said they’d explain once I got there. I’d only have to say a few words, and they were asking me because I was in the promotional video. (The one they filmed at the Roque in March.) Hmmm. Curiosity killed the tour guide. So I asked for the first flight out on Sunday, and the last flight home on Monday, in order to have some exploring and shopping time. Fine, a chauffeur would meet me at the airport. Chauffeur? This was getting better and better. It turned out to be a 4 star hotel, too. And even though it was only 10 am, they let me into the room. that meant that I could grab a shower before I set off to see the sights. The street map had a concentration of museums some distance away. I concluded that it had to be the historic city centre and set off. Las Palmas is quite a bit bigger than Santa Cruz de La Palma. It took well over an hour each way, but it was worth it. For one thing, I needed the exercise. For another, the old town is lovely. I even found a street market, complete with live folk music. I took lots of photos, and then found a bar in a side street for lunch. And walked back to the hotel. I just had time to drop things off at my room and comb my hair before we were collected for the rehearsal. It wasn’t exactly difficult. They’ve created a video for each island, (good videos, too) which ends with, “We have a message for you. You must come here,” and for Gomera, they whistled it in Silbo. So at the end of the compilation video for all the islands, they want us to come out on stage, someone will whistle, “We have a message for you,” and then we it all together, “You must come here.” Four words. I think I can manage that. And now I have to go for my expenses-paid dinner with the other film stars. I could get used to this.

Posted by sheila

Sheila came to La Palma with a six month contract and has stayed 24 years so far. She used to work as a software engineer at the observatory, but now she's a writer and Starlight guide.

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