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GRAN CANARIA THE INSIDE TRACK:


With a great climate, superb medical care and English-style education, there’s much more to the island than the resort of Playa del Ingles, says the author of a new book, Matthew Hirtes


LAS PALMAS ARTENARA (DE GRAN CANARIA)


GRAN CANARIA AIRPORT


Left to right


Harbour, Las Palmas, Canary Islands, Spain


PUERTO DE MOGAN PUERTO RICO ARGUINEGUIN MELONERAS


MASPALOMAS PLAYA DEL INGLÉS


The great desert of Gran Canaria


Flower-lined streets of Puerto De Mogan


Matthew and family


I


t was not the lure of winter sun or an affordable island retreat that brought our family from Essex to Gran Canaria, but


events of a rather less idyllic nature. For in February 2003 our second


son Alex, at just eight months, was diagnosed with leukaemia. My wife Cristina, 38, is from the


capital Las Palmas so, following a half-year residency in London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital, we took the decision to relocate to the Canarian island for the extra family support. My mother-in-law, one sister-in-law


and fi ve brothers-in-law live on the island – all within easy reach of Cristina’s home town. Besides, we’d already spent countless summers visiting family on the island, so we knew that it was a popular choice for Brits to live as well as to visit. There are already about 5,000 Brits living on the island. So we promptly found a two-bedroom


fl at to rent in the central Arenales area of Las Palmas, and Cristina, who left a position teaching Spanish in David Beckham’s old school in Chingford, east London, took a job working in her family’s furniture fi rm in Las Palmas.


House husband, Canarian style Meanwhile I accompanied Alex to his weekly check-ups at Las Palmas’ Materno, the children’s hospital after taking his elder brother,


aplaceinthesun.com 47


GRAN CANARIA


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