Top professional tennis star Carla Suárez gives us a few recommendations to help us fully enjoy our stay on her home island of Gran Canaria.
Long before the grass of Wimbledon began sprouting, or the hard court of Roland Garros was laid, there was the sand of Las Canteras, the favourite beach for top women’s tennis player Carla Suárez. “It is incredible to have such a great beach in the heart of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. I spent most of my childhood there”, she recalls. Carla also spent many of her early years around Plaza de Santa Ana, opposite the Cathedral, running after the pigeons that flew up into the air like dreams. Her dream indeed came true, as she became a player on the international professional circuit.
Carla Suárez sometimes changes her professional raquets for wooden ones and likes to have a gentle knock about with her lifelong friends while the cool Atlantic water laps around her feet at a range of different Gran Canarian beaches. Yet the ocean provides much more than that. “Here you can play all sorts of aquatic sports thanks to the fine weather all year round, but if I had to choose my favourite it would be surfing”, she stresses.
Also, if anyone is looking for a training area in the middle of town, Carla has a suggestion. “I would recommend the Parque Romano. I also spent much of my childhood around there, because the tennis club was right nearby and people go running quite a lot around there.” Carla also recalls taking part in the Purina tournaments at the Tafira Tennis Club, another of the stages where she began to shape up as a player and where the seed of competitive tennis was planted inside her.
And on the subject of competitions, believes that few nightfalls measure up to the one afforded by Pico de Las Nieves, the ceiling of the island standing at nearly two thousand metres altitude. “It is so peaceful up there and the views are unbeatable”, she affirms. With leaving the high lands, she suggests “visiting Cruz de Tejeda and finishing with a walk as far as Roque Nublo”, Gran Canaria’s grand geological emblem.
If we ask her about essential visits to be made along the coast of Gran Canaria, Carla Suárez highlights the special character of the shoreline along Mogán. “It is an enchanting coastal location, because strolling around its streets makes it so special”. For her, summer is written with two words: Maspalomas and Meloneras. The winter, meanwhile, is for “strolling around the cobbled streets the many typical Canarian houses at Teror”.
Carla knows very well what to do with a tennis raquet. And also with her cutlery. Whenever her competitive calendar allows, she comes to Gran Canaria, and says “I never miss my papas arrugadas potatoes and gofio escaldado maize meal”. Take note of everything she says, as they are recommendations and suggestions of the highest order (of merit).
Carla Suárez [facebook]