A romantic off-road drive

Somewhere between the West coast and sunset we drove headfirst into a ditch. The secluded beach that sat just a few steps away had seemed like a romantic idea and now transpired into an impulsive wreck.

Luckily within the last ten minutes of kitting out the plastic, rather shoddy, triangles and ensuring we wore the glow-in the-dark-emergency jackets, six burley Spanish men were at our saviour.

People often talk about veering off this ´beaten track´ as though it´s some mystical whim for not doing the ´tourist´ route. I say not so much, as soon as I feel tired and lost (which can take a mere few seconds) the exciting pulse people write about just doesn’t come for me. Instead the track that has been trodden and can be relied on is the one for me. This will inevitably be different because it’s my experience, even if it’s been ´´done´´ before by many others – I feel there’s a reason for that.

Somewhere between the West coast and sunset we drove headfirst into a ditch.

When we went right into the downhill pit-hole and not straight forward onto the carefully laid tarmac we knew it was bad. But there was the romantic, secluded beach to get to, so no further thought about our situation just yet.

A 10 minute walk took us to a sign reading “Government Warning: no further entry beyond this point” and then a minor note detailing “landslides”. We continued our walk, thanking the government for their friendly guidance, and began climbing over large boulders – evidence of the landslides – realising this was going to take much longer than anticipated (and perhaps more dangerous?). Alas we settled in a secluded rock pool where we kissed as the sun warmed our skin and the sea life moved around us.

The West coast is a beautiful rugged colour and one I would suggest anyone take an afternoon to drive. West coast California wow’s you with varying hypnotic turquoises and whitewash, similarly Gran Canaria´s West coast details itself and I´m sad this hasn’t been spoken of much before. Despite its beauty, something about the place didn’t feel… how do we say in the UK? it didn’t feel ´right.´ The reason not being the landslide but our eventual discovery that the expression if you can get up, you can get back down likewise if you can get down, you can get back up – is a fictious belief when your journey up slams itself into a deep, unforgiving ditch.

Our triangles now placed themselves crumpled on the floor as we flagged down two curious Spaniards on there way home from a big food shop (frozen food melting every second). What we had flagged down were two of the most popular Spaniards on the island. Every car that now passed us slowed down to chat to the main man, while his wife smiled finding the whole disaster typical of tourist’s stupidity. We grimaced in silence holding each other. The fifth car that saddled up to our new companion stopped and parked. They were getting out. There were lots of them. They were men ready for a challenge and we offered them a car in a ditch, gladly.

varying hypnotic turquoises and whitewash

Our breakdown cover was on its way and would take an hour; it would also cost us more because this apparently wasn’t included in the insurance. A fairly essential element to any insurance, wouldn’t you say? It was with the appearance of these new friends that a rocky ramp was formed and each man found his moment in the dilemma, perhaps finding this more interesting than sitting at home. Either way, giving their time unquestionably for idiot strangers? What amazing men.

– realising this was going to take much longer than anticipated (and perhaps more dangerous?).

One nominated himself as designated driver, another negotiating the right degree to spin up or downhill, while the rest pushed and heaved the little car through spinning dust up and up. The main man’s wife advised me to stand back as dirt circulated our vision until after one final rev the car rallied itself out of the ditch and found its way back to the tourist track.

We only had a melon to offer them as thanks, but this apparently was unnecessary and just a bit shit in comparison. The men all stood proud of a days saving and sparked up, inhaling victory as we waved goodbye to our merry men and that seriously secluded beach.


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