Despite the Hotel Rural Las Tirajanas boasting some of the best hotel views we’ve ever ‘wowed’ at as well as a spa and swimming pool that were calling our names, we needed to loosen up our muscles in preparation for seven days of trekking across Gran Canaria. A short 6-8 kilometre walk to the Molino de Agua in Fataga seemed to offer the right stuff and the hotel conveniently had a map.
As it was already afternoon, the plan was that we’d walk to the Molino de Agua, enjoy a beer or two and grab a taxi back to the hotel.
The greater part of the route was disappointing as it stuck to the main road but things improved when we finally left the tarmac to head into the Fataga Gorge where, instead of cars, we were sharing space with wild flowers.
The scenery took on a distinctly South East Asian look when we arrived at tracks leading to the rear of the Molina and we emerged from a field of whispering cane to see leafy palms and wooden huts.
It felt a bit strange to enter the Molina de Agua from the ‘back door’ but nobody seemed to mind and we plonked ourselves down at a chunky, wooden table overlooking the swimming pool. Within seconds, a waiter appeared and took our order for a couple of cool cervezas.
The Molino de Agua has many personalities. As well as being a rural hotel and restaurant it has a wellness centre, an adventure park and a small farm with animals. There was also a wedding reception taking place and the grounds were filled by young Canarios in smart dresses (lilac seemed to be the colour of the day) providing a marked contrast to our dirty, sweaty hiker mode of dress.
The mix of activities offers a quite different rural scene to life at sandy Maspalomas on the coast not so far away. It is also good people watching territory.
Refreshed and rested, we resisted the temptation to sink another beer and asked the waiter to call us a taxi.
He didn’t blink an eye at the request but we noticed that when he returned to the bar there was a bit of a confab before the waiter went across to another table and spoke to a woman whom we had earlier decided must be the owner. There was a short discussion, then the waiter came back to our table and motioned for us to follow him.
When we reached the car park, instead of pointing us to a taxi, he jumped into a car and told us to jump in. He was going to drive us back to our hotel.
It turned out that whilst there were plenty of taxis at Maspalomas on the coast, they wouldn’t come into the hills. There were no taxis within 12 kilometres of Fataga or Tunte where our hotel was located. This came as somewhat of a shock to us as we’d spotted a taxi rank in Tunte earlier. Admittedly there weren’t any taxis at it which just goes to show that in the Canary Islands you can’t assume a town having a taxi rank automatically means it has a taxi.
We could have been in the mire. But, thanks to the friendliness of the waiter and his boss, we were being chauffeured back to our hotel instead of having to trudge all the way back on foot.
The waiter wasn’t in the slightest bit perturbed at having to drive us home; in fact he insisted it was a nice break from the routine and within ten minutes we were back safe and sound at the Tirajanas.
When I tried to give him some money for his trouble, he stubbornly refused before reluctantly agreeing to take a few euros to cover petrol.
We were quite overwhelmed by this act of kindness shown by the people at the Molino de Agua to two strangers who, let’s face it, hadn’t spent a lot of dosh at their place.
It was an unexpected introduction to our trip and it left us with the highest opinion regarding the generosity and friendliness of the people of Gran Canaria.
If you happen to be passing Fataga, it’s worth popping into the Molino de Agua for a drink or a meal. It’s an attractive place and they are very, very nice people there.
Molino de Agua, Carretera de Fataga Km31; +34 928 155 925; www.elmolinodeagua.com
Jack is co-owner, writer and photographer for BuzzTrips and the Real Tenerife series of travel websites as well as a contributor to lots of other places. Follow Jack on Google+