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April 1, 2013
Playa de Tasarte

Road kill

Walking along the GC-200 to the Cruz de Tasartico from La Aldea de San Nicolás is one uphill slog. Trekking alongside it, it’s no consolation to dwell on Newton’s law of “What goes up, must come down”. Sure, on my return from Tasarte, I’d be doing it in reverse. My ascent’s not made any easier by Canarian spring temperatures being 40 degrees higher than UK ones. Nor by being subject to taunts of “animo”, essentially “look lively”, from passing motorists.

Level playing field

After passing the turnoff to Tasartico, the GC-200 flattens out as it snakes towards Tasarte and beyond. So I’m able to pick up a bit of speed. As I continue my training for a forthcoming hike of Portugal’s Rota Vicentina.

Football crazy in Tasarte

The Spanish famously love the beautiful game. And Gran Canaria’s shores gave birth to veteran midfield genius, Juan Carlos Valerón and Manchester City star, David Silva. But it’s still some surprise to see the spanking new stadium of UD Tasarte San Clemente, think UK village team. Costing 500.000 Euros, it was constructed in 2009. Yes, pre-crisis Spain.

Beach bums

Taking the right into Tasarte, I continue down, down, deeper, and down to its playa. Where a good number of Las Palmas’ population seem to have migrated from for their Easter holidays. There are no hotels of to speak off in Tasarte, though there are some basic beachside apartments and a campsite too, as well as Blablabla Tasarte hostel 15 minutes walk up the road.

Standing room only

It isn’t my being vegetarian that’s the only thing stopping me sampling Restaurante La Oliva’s legendary Ropa Vieja de Pulpo, a Canarian dish classically prepared with chicken. As there’s no room for me inside or out, let alone my rucksack. So I piggyback my companion to the beach instead. If I’m unable to beat the heat with a cubata, a dip in the Atlantic’s the next best option.