Hey, I’m Jo, a travel blogger, freelance travel writer and passionate explorer. For the last two years I’ve been travelling slowly around Europe, running my business on the road while exploring different places, experiencing other cultures, and trying lots of delicious food and wine. The Road to Wanderland is the home of my travel stories. Here you’ll, Read More
I arrived in Gran Canaria at the end of January, just as the island was revving up for the onslaught of Carnival. And February was certainly an experience – an explosion of riotous colour, outrageous drag queens, thumping drums, outlandish costumes, sultry hip action, huge dance parades, all-night parties, and a spectacular fireworks display.
But while Carnival is the big one, don’t be fooled into thinking the rest of the year is quiet.
Canarian culture is filled with a rich tapestry of customs and traditions, many of which involve some kind of party, and there are numerous fiestas held around the island throughout the year, with almost every town seeming to hold its own celebration at some point.
So imagine my delight when my friends, by now fully aware of my love of Canarian cheese, announced a Fiesta del Queso (yup, that’s right – a cheese festival!) in Montaña Alta de Guía. I was all set for a trip to cheese heaven! Read More
Psst… The locals won’t like me mentioning this because they like to keep it a closely guarded secret, but I was recently introduced to a delightful green oasis in the heart of Gran Canaria.
I’m a sucker for clear, fresh mountain air and a day surrounded by lush, verdant countryside, so when friends suggested a trip to the Finca de Osorio, close to the historical town of Teror, I didn’t need asking twice. Read More
For the first time in my digital nomad life I had a visit from my parents, and it was wonderful to be able to explore some of my island with them. On my recommendation they stayed further south because, although I love Las Palmas, the weather is generally better (which is my only bugbear with this city). But it gave me a great excuse to explore some of Gran Canaria’s southern resorts.
Overall, I have to say I wasn’t particularly impressed with the south, although I realise I only saw a fraction of it. The weather is generally better because of the Panza de Burro (Donkey’s Belly) – a natural phenomenon that sees low cloud hang over Las Palmas for much of the time – but the bits I saw were overcrowded resorts with large white, impersonal hotels, restaurants serving English breakfasts and fish and chips, and beaches with rows of sunbeds packed in like sardines. I know lots of people enjoy this and each to their own, but it’s not what I travel for.
But that’s not what this post is about. Unfortunately, the main tourist resorts are also home to a scam that’s doing the rounds in many tourist resorts across the Canary Islands. We learned about it the hard way when visiting Puerto de Mogán, a place described as picturesque and Venetian-like, but I have to say I found it a little like a Canarian Clacton-on-Sea with better weather! Anyway… Read More
My first month in Las Palmas was dedicated to getting settled, catching up with work, and enjoying the many delights of Carnaval.
But by the start of March, I was craving greenery and the chance to get out of the city and start exploring the island. So I jumped at an invitation to join a group of locals and another newbie in exploring some of Gran Canaria’s aboriginal history and archaeological sites. Read More
2015 was my first year as a digital nomad. It was a huge adventure, and a steep learning curve. While there’s little I would change about last year – because I learnt some valuable lessons – there are plenty of things I want to do better this time around.
So here are my goals for 2016. (Yes, I know it’s rather late for setting goals. I actually spent New Year’s Eve planning these, but I want to put them out there so I can hold myself accountable.)
Here goes… Read More