by Patricia Spencer

Dear Readers,

My husband and I have just returned from our third visit to Tau-ito in Gran Canaria. It never disappoints. It was made even better when having booked our tickets at extra cost to be sure of aisle seats we found that I had two empty seats next to me so both hubby and I could sit in comfort both ways!

We always stay at the Taurito Princess Hotel right next to the beach. It is quite a small resort where the hotels are built into the cliff face. Down in the foyer there are grotto areas that look like caves, and this appeals to some of the children that go, you can see their little faces light up and I am sure it inspires their imagination.

We always ask for a low floor because taking the glass lift up to the eleventh floor can be quite traumatic if you do not like heights, although for those that do the views are magnificent. A couple of times I got in the lift to go down and it was on its way up and I would be standing in the lift with my eyes shut until we got back down again.

On arrival you are met with friendly staff – I have never met a member of staff in the hotel who would not do everything they could to make your stay as pleasant as possible.

The hotel is spotlessly clean. No matter when you visit one of the many toilets dotted around the hotel they are immaculate. The rooms are airy and comfortable all with wonderful views across the promenade and out to sea. The beds are basic, but comfortable, I slept better there than I do at home, possibly the sea air helped.

When we asked for two more pillows for the room they arrived within a couple of hours. The Taurito is a fully inclusive hotel and you can eat practically all day long. Breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner in the evening, all buffet style.

I have to have gluten free so that can sometimes be a problem, but they do have gluten free bread readily available and the chefs were quite happy to come out to check everyone has everything they require. I did ask that they put notices on the dessert counter to say what was gluten free and within a few days that was put in place. It made it so much easier as there were
quite a few people that this involved.

Most of the drinks are also free at any time of the day and not often is
there any queuing. They have live shows every night some of it good, some not so good, depends what you like, I suppose. I love it when they have animals you can hold and make a fuss of. This year I met a skunk for the first
time, and very pleasant he was too. He was not at all smelly.

The hotel also now put on a free bus every day into Port Mogan, which is a ten minute drive away from Taurito. However, it leaves at 9.30 in a morning and as I did not surface until the more accommodating hour of 9 o’clock we did not manage to catch it except for the Friday morning when you have to
book the trip because this is a big market day and everyone wants to go.

The market covers a vast area of the little town and there is not much you cannot buy from the stallholders. Port Mogan is a beautiful little town with a lovely harbour. They call it little Venice because it has a few bridges over little canals between the old harbour’s quaint houses. The houses are painted green and cream. The little alleyways are filled with the scent of the
colourful bougainvillea flowers. The harbour front is lined with cafés.and at least one does gluten free meals. I usually have a pizza on their veranda and watch the yachts gently bobbing up and down on their moorings.

From the gardens at the back of our hotel you can sit and look out over to Port Mogan just across the sea and watch the boats taking visitors to Porto Rico, submarines for anyone brave enough to go below the ocean waves – not me, I hasten to add – and a boat that goes out to take people Paragliding. I sat watching them floating in the air most afternoons wishing it was me up there.

I have done it before in Majorca with my daughter and it was fabulous, but unfortunately my husband, despite my mentioning it a number of times that I would love to do it again, would not agree to go with me. His passion is golf so we spent a couple of hours on the crazy golf course just up the road from the hotel. We have played this little course many times before and I am
getting better and nearer to his score each time we go. I will have to go back because I am determined to beat him at some point.

There is also a big water park opposite the hotel. Wonderful for the children, but the slides were much to high for me to venture in there, although I loved watching adults and children alike screaming as they shot down the chutes. I must say we spent most of our time on sun beds by the pool. You see human nature at its worst and best in that environment.

Adrian gets up much earlier than me in a morning and he would be out on the patio before it got quite light. One lady, I will not mention her nationality, was out there at half past seven every morning, rearranging the sun beds for herself and her friends, who I presume were still in their beds. She would then watch as others put their towels on the beds and left to go back to their rooms or to breakfast. Then along came the pool man and took them off again, leaving them a note.

There was a note on each one every day, in two or three different languages, to say no beds were to be saved before 10 o’clock.

We would go up after breakfast every morning and there would always be beds available. There was one lady there that amused us quite a lot. We heard hertelling someone she was from Milan. She always used to save two
beds for herself, one for lying on and one in the shade to put her clothes and property on. The first time we saw her she shot up from her sun bed to speak to a mum with her little girl. They were English. I heard the lady from Milan ask her the child’s name. The young woman, told her it was Lucy and that she was one year old and it was her birthday that day. The lady from
Milan then pulled the dummy out of the child’s mouth and then wondered why she started screaming. She then started screaming, which made the little girl scream even more. The mother then, very calmly took the dummy back and popped it into her little girl’s mouth, and smiling walked back to
her husband. She had a lot more patience than I would have had.

A few days later the same lady came to sit next to us by the pool. She had once more got one sun bed in the sun and one next to us in the shade. She then proceeded to put the sun bed to the angle she wanted for maximum effect. undressed under a shawl and put on a bikini.

The lady in question would have been about 75 years old. No problem with that, I hope I am still wearing a bikini when I’m 75 in the not too distant future! But she had the top off and on more times than a little before she was satisfied that it was on correctly. She then proceeded to put on her sun lotion, she obviously sits in the sun a lot as she had a suntan to be proud of already, although I would have been very concerned about all the moles on
her back.

All this time, about half an hour at least she kept looking at the angle of the sun and turning her sun bed. At one point, she picked up the ashtray at the side of the bed next to her, and walked away to put it by the bin. The lady on the sun bed was not too impressed by this and asked her to fetch it back. The lady from Milan told her to put it the other side. This was much more interesting than my book. She then took a wrap and sat with her back to the sun and wrapped it round her and tied it at be back sitting cross legged on the sun bed. She then put on a hat and sunglasses and proceeded to look through a magazine for about ten minutes and still obviously not happy she got up, got dressed and left both beds for two hours. When she returned she moved the sun bed again and lay down to snooze. We looked for her again the next day for the next instalment but she was nowhere to
be seen. Hopefully she had gone home.

However the next day we were minding our own business, honestly we were, when a young couple decided they did not like their sun beds as the sun had moved round and they were now in the shade so they upped and moved to the bed next to us which still had another gentleman’s towel on it as he had
gone for lunch. He had also left his own small portable ashtray under the bed. They threw his towel on to the floor and put their own towels on this bed and the one next to it. We waited in anticipation to see what happened when he came back.

After and hour the gentleman reappeared. He looked at the bed with all the couple’s paraphernalia now on it. He looked at us and shook his head. They had just gone for a drink I imagine. He left everything as it was and left. Within half an hour the couple came back and resumed their sunbathing. The elderly gentleman then came back and started shouting at them and an
argument ensued. The gentleman picked up his towel threatening them that he knew their faces and he would be getting his own back.

Adrian reminded him to pick up his ashtray, which he did thanking us
and he left. When the couple packed up to leave, they had obviously lost
something. This, turned out to be a cardigan, which the elderly gentle-
man must have picked up with his towel and carelessly thrown over
the wall into the garden. The couple turned to look at us as they left. We just shrugged our shoulders and thought, serves you right.

The gentleman was back in the same place the day after. We never saw the couple again. We thought they were honeymooners and probably had better things to do.

All in all we had a very relaxed fortnight and hopefully, God willing, we will be back again in a couple of years time. They are doing the hotel up this summer and will be closed for about two months. Apparently they are having new lifts, which they do need. You sometimes have a bit of a wait at
meal times. But that is all we can fault it for.

Thanks to the staff at Thompson’s in the Albion centre for all their help with the booking.

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