La Pedrada de Noemi Residency Journal 4

Silviu's partner was still in the hospital on Wednesday, so I had another studio day.  Then the following day I caught a ride into Las Palmas with Noemi and explored the old Vegueta district where the Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno (CAAM) is located - which currently has a very nice exhibit of feminist modern art on the 1 1/2 floor.  Then I walked through the more modern commercial Triana district, found the San Telmo guagua station and took guagua 12 to Playa De Las Canteras which is a rather touristy beach area on the northwest of the city and walked all the way down the beach toward the auditorium.  Playa De Las Canteras is very pretty; there is normal sandy beach, rocky sections, and some small spots of black sand beach.  It seems particularly suited for surfing, or at least that's what I saw most people doing!

After all of that walking I was kind of pooped by the time I got home that afternoon!  I decided I wanted a bit more adventure, though, so the following day I took a guagua to Las Palmas and another to the Jardín Botánico Viera y Clavijo.  This botanical garden is all open air - no greenhouses - and is carved into a mountainside, so there's rather a lot of climbing to get from one side to the other.  My bus stop was on the tall side, so I had to descend to see the bulk of the park.  As I entered and was preparing to go down, I noticed some people taking photos in a direction that was not very interesting... and then saw they were taking photos of a largarto, a type of lizard native to the Canary Islands.  So I joined in but after I'd captured a few pictures it skedaddled.  Another man who seemed to be a frequent visitor mentioned that if you had some bread or fruit you could lure them out.  I had some old croissant in my bag, so I gave some to him to try, but none seemed interested at that time.

So I made my way down, exploring the mountainside vegetation at the same time while passing by several signs warning of rock slides and disclaiming liability on the park's behalf.  It felt like a really long descent, but eventually I was more or less on the bottom level of the park and I explored the ponds, small forests, palm section, the cactus area, a waterfall, and so on.  Then I considered finding a bus from the bottom as ascending seemed like a lot of work, but I thought about the largarto sighting and decided to return to my own bus stop and hope to see more lizards along the way.  I did spot a couple from afar, but they were quite skittish.  But once I made my way up to the top (and the way up surprisingly seemed like much less work than the way down - I think because I knew where I was going this time!) I tried the bread strategy again and actually enticed one!  Sharing my old croissant with that lizard was a real highlight, and there will certainly be at least one painting that comes from it.

I hiked back up to the bus stop, and took a bus back into San Telmo.  Noemi had told me that she might be able to take me back and also that we could see an exhibition opening that evening in Las Palmas, so I wasn't in a big hurry to go back to Agüimes yet - so since she prefers to meet near the auditorium I took guagua 12 to Playa De Las Canteras again and ate a very late lunch there, sat on one of the black sand beaches for a bit, explored a local shopping mall, and then met up with Noemi at a nearby cafe.  She said the exhibition opening had been misinformation - it actually wasn't that evening - but that there was a concert starting at 9pm if I wanted.  I was pretty tired from all the hiking and walking around, though, and live concerts aren't actually my jam (give me nature any day over being crammed into a space with a ton of other people jostling around) so I said I'd prefer to head back if it was all the same to her.  So we stopped by her mother's place to pick up some things and say hi, stopped by a cafe to chat with some of her friends, and then returned.

The next day we had planned to go up north as she was going to show me a town called Agaete, but Noemi had slept poorly due to anxiety about upcoming exams she has so she begged off.  Instead I had another studio day!  The following day I had arranged to go back to Arinaga and see Silviu, who I was missing since we had spent four days together and then a week away.  He has a German friend, Helmut, staying with him for a few weeks.  When I got to Silviu's we thought we might go snorkeling, but then realized we really didn't have time as we had plans to go to a different barbecue in Moya that afternoon and watch the World Cup game between Germany and Mexico.  So I had a non-work day (neither painting nor getting firsthand experiences/taking reference images) but it was a really enjoyable one.  Our hosts were very nice, and their daughter is a cosplay artist and I enjoyed seeing her work and discussing it with her, plus of course Silviu is so nice.  Monday Silviu had to sing and also his partner was finally getting to come home from the hospital, so I stayed back in Agüimes and had another studio day.