16th to 22nd July 2018
We anchored in 8m closer to the cruise ship terminal than the pier protecting the beach. The anchor set quickly after Charlotte felt a couple of “jumps” in the chain (presumably it had landed on a rock and needed to find some sand) and we were secure. The bay is well-sheltered from the prevailing NE wind and swell; but does roll a little when the wind swings to the East in the afternoon. We mulled over moving closer in – there was a space between a couple of other anchored boats – but in the end were comfortable enough.
The nautical training centre, which owns the slipway visible from the anchorage and which you can land your dinghy on, looks awesome – very well used by kids doing everything from sailing to snorkelling. There is a BP petrol station pretty much at the root of the slipway, so refuelling by jerry can would be easy enough. Also worth mentioning for fellow cruisers is the large and VERY well stocked Hyperdino (the best supermarket we have come across since Lisbon) in the shopping centre, around 10 minutes’ walk from the slipway.
We had read in a pilot book that you can land your dinghy on the beach, so one afternoon we set off. It is much easier to stock the dinghy with all of the toys your kids might want (as well as a tent, coolbag, etc. etc.), rather than to carry a selection over-land… On arrival the lifeguard walked over to tell us we were not allowed to – pointing at the yellow balls which adorn most beaches in Spain/Portugal to demarcate swimming areas in which motor usage is prohibited, and here indicate that no boat use is allowed at all (which has not been the case everywhere). Lesson learnt, and next time we know to take less with us! Theo is now back to loving the dinghy, by the way – he seems completely over the crashy wave incident.
The bits of the town we visited were not particularly inspiring, though some of the sculptures (visit the tourist office for a map) were worth a view. There wasn’t much to keep us here, in short. The only reason we stayed as long as we did was that I (Charlotte) was trying to sort out vaccinations for Hector.
With us considering travel to Senegal and The Gambia, we felt that it was important to get Hector’s routine immunisations started. I visited the tourist office to enquire about hospitals and clinics, then walked to the health centre. They referred me to a private health clinic saying they wouldn’t do the immunisations- my Spanish is very limited and the phrases I’d learned or saved into my phone were soon exhausted, which didn’t help. The private clinic recommended the emergency department of the hospital as they didn’t have a paediatrician. It was already very hot by this time, so I ran a couple of other errands and tried the hospital the next day. Being British, visiting an emergency department for routine treatment seems ludicrous, so I went to main reception, who sent me to ‘Urgencias’ anyway. Full of guilt, I went through triage, then to the doctor, who crossly explained that they do not provide immunisations, but softened when I explained that I had already tried everywhere he recommended. He wrote me a summary of care including a note to the health centre that effectively said that they should provide the immunisations- they refused. A different employee explained that my passport and EHIC weren’t enough, I needed Hector’s passport (the application still required photographs- my attempt in the photo booth is below, in the end we took our own!). I even offered to pay. No luck. We’ll have Hector’s passport soon, so the immunisations will have to wait until Lanzarote.