Carnival on the lunar island

After 4 months in Africa I felt as a lost stranger, walking with a backpack through the first drops of rain. Trying to remember: what is the rain exactly? It is mercy, they would say in Morocco.

Island. It could be on the moon. Streets full of young people in the colourful, more showing than hiding costumes, sitting and celebrating around the bottle. Many bottles.

It was the time of the Carnival. They were choosing Gala Queen on the sold out stage of Parque Santa Catalina in Las Palmas. In the old city centre we bumped into surreal celebration of Los Indianos, everybody was wearing white vintage clothes and throwing powder to each other. At the same time on the main stage one of the world’s biggest drag queen contests took place. Check one of the provocative previous winners here.

The theme of this year’s Carnival was ”Rio,” feathers and tropical fruit everywhere. Disappointingly, almost every mask or costume I encountered on the street was bought in one of many Chinese shops, cheap and plastic contrast to the volcanic scenery surrounding the city.

In our hostel works Kaja, an energetic Slovenian girl. Talking to her we got new ideas and soon arranged a cultural project with the local Atlas Asociacion. But before we start to work, we want to discover the island, Gran Canaria. It is small, so let’s go by foot!

We didn’t come far uphill when Eva’s knee injury enforced us to continue by hitchhiking. In the mountains around Artenara people live in the cave houses. Miguel kindly invited me to see his home in Acusa Seca, next to historical site known for its ancient wheat storage caves. Majestic solitary rock sculptures reign over the valley as solitary inhabitants do in their caves.

In the evening few days later we reached Maspalomas in the south without exact plan where to sleep. Anywhere. The beach at the base of the famous sand dunes looked just fine. Wind was blowing and carrying grains of sand in our eyes. Waves were breaking and stars shining … Until 4 a.m., when we realised the tractor with strong illumination is driving up and down the beach just few meters away. Up and down till the morning. When masses of people from hotels poured out. Exhausted we escaped with the first bus.

Directly to Tasarte, a remote valley with only one bus daily and closest shop 7 km away. Finally at the seaside without any obligation, reading and sunbathing. Prolonging eternal summer.

Why is it so difficult to stop and do nothing? I sit in a cave with four entrances and the waves are crashing inside while I am thinking about the waves crashing inside, nothing else.

Text and photo: Uroš