Hols with the Family

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Monte Afi, Anfi Del Mar

Flag of Spain  , Canary Islands,
Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The family holiday to Gran Canaria has arrived.  It seems ages ago since I booked it.  I think all of us are ready after suffering various bouts of illness over the past couple of weeks.  The respective wash bags contain enough medicines, antibiotics etc to keep a mobile pharmacy in business!!!

After a trouble free drive to Gatwick Airport, courtesy of my taxi driver friend Dave, we followed the instructions given on the Easy Jet on line check in and 'proceeded to the baggage drop'!

The 'we' are my wife Hyacinth, my daughters Naomi and Camille, my grandchildren Lamiyah and Remae, my mum Barbara and Naomi's boyfriend Lewis - so 8 persons in total.

When we got to the drop, there was a queue a mile long and only two staff booking the luggage through.  Fortunately others joined these staff and the process, that is supposed to speed things up, took about 30 minutes in total.  Mind you, it is a good job that I had checked in on-line as we later learned that the flight had been 'over booked' and that some customers who had not checked in on-line, were being denied flying!

There was then a long walk to the outer regions of the North Terminal where we had to queue up like cattle about to be slaughtered.  It was then a 'free for all' to get seats on the plane.  Because of Easy jets ridiculous policy of not assigning seats we were spread all over the plane. At least Naomi, Lewis, Lamiyah and Remae were able to sit together and the flight was on time.

Okay, having so far slagged Easy Jet off, I have to say that the flight was very good.  The service was excellent and the 3 or 4 stewards worked very hard.  The drinks trolley was 'on the go' all the flight.

On arriving at Las Palmas, we caught the complimentary transport to our accommodation which is at Anfi Del Mar.  We purchased 'vacation ownership' here about 10 years ago.  Okay I know that this is just a fancy name for 'time share'.  But we have no regrets and have had some wonderful family holidays here in that time.

At this time, Sunday, 8th April, we are half way through the holiday and it is a week until I venture on 'The Big Trip'.

So far we really haven't really done a lot apart from relax.  It is quite amazing how tired you can get doing absolutely nothing!!  The weather has been just about perfect, mid 20's, sunny and a cooling breeze.  There was a little rain this morning but by 11am it had gone and it wasn't heavy in the first place.

We have also had some great meals with our old favourite 'Canarios 1' at Aquinequin, being the standout meal so far. 

It is Monday 9th April today and we caught the water taxi up to Puerto Mogan.  This a beautiful little port although over the past couple of years it has somewhat reinvented itself and is now designed to attract the tourist and the tourist euro with all the designer shops and overpriced goods.  Having said that it was a pleasant couple of hours and we had a nice Tapas meal at one of the many restaurants.

The weather has been superb today with hardly a cloud in the sky.  It is now 6.45pm and the sun is still shining brightly.

On Tuesday we had a totally lazy day just laying around the pool.  I had a few dips in the water with Lamiyah.  But that was the extent of any type of physical exertions!

In the evening we went into Puerto Rico to have a meal.  After getting out of the taxi the first place that caught my attention was 'The Big Horn Steak House".  It was on the third floor of the Commercial Centre. What a meal it was!!  I had the 14oz ribeye and it was superb.  Everyone else was happy too.  The best meal of the week without doubt!!!

On the final day we had (another) lazy and relaxing day around the pool until 5pm when the taxi collected us and took us to the Las Palmas Airport.

This time the nice man from Easy Jet gave us priority boarding due to our party having two children.  So we were able to board the plane early and we were all sat together.  The flight home was quick only three and a half hours and everything seemed to be flowing nicely.............

However all that was going to change on arriving at Gatwick!  After what seemed like a mile long walk, not much fun with two young children with no pushchair for the baby and my Mum who is 76, we came to a large queue of people.  This turned out to be the queue for immigration.  No official ever did give us an explanation for the delay not even when we passed through immigration an hour and a half later.  There appeared to be plenty of immigration officers on duty although they were not quick.  Are they working to rule again, I wondered!!

We had arranged to meet Dave the taxi man where he had dropped us off which was at Departures. When we reached the entrance there were metal barriers stopping access.  People were coming back up the walkavator's and it was absolute chaos.  Good old Lewis jumped into action and put his weight training to good use by pulling the barriers open. 

Dave was waiting for us and we set off around the M25 and onto the M1.

Everything seemed to be going smoothly until we hit junction 11.  Without any pre-warning traffic came to a complete halt.  I also noticed that there was no traffic travelling south bound.  There was nothing on the radio or the traffic alert application on my iPhone.  After about 40 minutes traffic began to move again and we saw what the problem was about 5 miles ahead.  There was a big crane in the middle lane which had obviously put a traffic sign gantry into place across the motorway.

I certainly won't be using he M1 to get to London on Sunday!!

We arrived home at 5.15am and went to bed!!!

A great holiday and a great way to spend a week before 'The Big Trip'.
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