Melenara Beach, in Gran Canaria, makes us feel like kings of the sea for at least a day.
Sculptor Luis Arencibia carries the sea in his piercing stare, as did poet Rafael Alberti. The Atlantic glint in his eye has an explanation and an origin. As a boy, the artist used to swim out to the point of volcanic rock that poked out over the sea on the south side of Melenara Beach, in Telde (Gran Canaria). Many years later, Arencibia would create a four metre high bronze sculpture of Neptune that still towers over the area to this day, and which allows the lord of the seas to look out over his kingdom from his watch tower.
The story of the sculptor who elevated the king of the seas onto this stone throne on the water’s surface demonstrates just how each place possesses its own particular biography. In this case, the Melenara Beach can rightly boast of being a place for tranquil people, of still waters and a preaceful environment. The same tale is written daily on the fine sand of mostly volcanic origin along the coast of Telde, a coastline in which the sun is nearly an ever-present, illuminating upon a scenario of happy tales.
Neptune doesn’t miss a trick from his privileged position: the crabs, as red as the age-old lava rock, that scuttle about the breakwater of the tiny dock; people wandering leisurely along the boulevard, either towards one end at Taliarte, or the opposite way towards Salinetas; the boy digging away on the sand in search of long lost treasure; or the woman who stands with her eyes closed, invisaging in her own mind so as to make it come closer to her… Sometimes even people look like still sculptures in Melenara.
The Good Neptune is not the only ocean inhabitant to abound around the surface of the water. The restaurants specializing in fresh fish and seafood that look out over the avenue and the coastal surroundings are another of the top attractions at Melenera Beach. Sea bass, grouper, local fula fish, or a corvina fillet accompanied by some gofio maize meal can be the perfect climax to a day of splashing about in the water, for all those who wish to be a monarch of the Atlantic, at least for a day.
Melenara is a delicate sandy strip that runs for seven hundred metres, sheltered by large stone guards, that is to say, the two balalt rock arms that hug and provide the boundary for a beach that is also packed with a huge array of services and facilities. To start with, there is a spa, a children’s play area, plenty of parking spaces, all with easy access, perfectly sign-posted from both the south of the island and from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, and plenty of businesses.
As the sun sinks down, the water in Melenara takes on an almost surreal metallic blue hue, like a sheet of liquid out of which Neptune rises impassively as the first night time shadows begin to get caught up in his fork. At this point Melenara sinks into its inner self while the sunlight slips away to make way for the artificial lights in the village and the glistening golden tints of malmsey wines standing on terrace tables. A day’s fun on Melenara Beach now lingers in the memory, while many turn their thoughts to what will be going on tomorrow.