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The Canary Hitchhiking Adventure

unconventional roads

SPAIN | Wednesday, 27 May 2015 | Views [89] | Scholarship Entry

If you go to the south of Gran Canaria, the biggest of the Canary Islands, I’m sure you won’t like it.
It has been so exploited by the God of Tourism that everybody there is tall, blond, white/red-skinned and enjoy playing golf in the only fluorescent green field available on the whole island.
We were in that young rebel age dreaming of adventures and hidden treasures and we were very disappointed at first. We wanted to do everything to escape that demonic side of the island.
My guide book wasn’t really helpful, so we decided to discover the real Canarian soul by ourselves.
We divided into two teams and set a destination. The last couple to arrive had to buy a round of beers for the other.
The real travel began.
Canarians are crazy drivers that like to make you fear for your life at every bend. I found them genuinely friendly and adaptable to ensure you arrive at your destination even if it involves a change to their own. Time is no matter here. Nobody is in a hurry, despite their fast driving.
We mounted on a hippy van, full of faded Tibetan flags, on a sweet old man’s car who picked us up because he wanted to talk to someone, on a musician’s jeep that agreed to carry all six of us in one go, on a weed smoker couple’s car, who stopped to steal mangos and avocado from a private field. We found ourselves walking for hours under a burning sun, planning to assault the next car that didn’t have the pity to stop. We smelt victory when we were the first to be offered a ride straight to the destination, but we lost because the drivers were a Swedish couple. We got overtaken three times by our rival team, even if they had to split their journey into various stages.
Freedom was blowing our rides: we planned our travel on the spot, just after talking with all of these people. The more people we met, the more our journey was taking shape. It was thanks to each one of them if we discover the most beautiful and isolated beach of Gran Canaria, Playa del Guigui, and we got involved in a village fair at Agaete, celebrating the Aborigine god of rain, waving dead branches in the air.
When our last day came and we headed to the airport full of sand and dirty hair, everybody on our plane was smelling good and travelling with a clean suitcase. Looking around, I had the sensation that we have been to a completely different place and that that airport was like the gate to reality after a long fantastic dream.

Tags: 2015 Writing Scholarship

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