Several months ago I gave my view on the main resorts on the island. From those blogs I have been asked about other places that I regularly mention, one of these is Palm Mar.
People wonder what draws me to it and if I am honest I don’t really know. I find Palm Mar a rather mixed up place, a place of contradictions. When we moved to the island 9 years ago Palm Mar was the first place I looked at buying a house. There is, especially if you are retired and don’t need the high life, enough there for you to live easily. There are banks, a supermarket, bars, nice walks and for a small village plenty of places to eat.
These cafes and restaurants, I think, fall into three groups. There are a few select and chill out places, such as the Sea Lounge and the Cafe Mencey as well as the Bahia Beach Club with its breathtaking and beautiful ocean views. At the other end of the spectrum you get not only cheap but very cheap. Now don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with cheap, however, the people who appear to not only favoured but rave over that cheapness also seem to scorn and criticise the establishments that attract a smart crowd or feel they are only for that ‘special occasion’. The third group are the places that are mostly overlooked as these are neither dirt-cheap nor chic and trendy, they are just nice quality places like Baobab and Mix.
I am fascinated listening to people talk about their village – it is good to take pride in where you live but there is a minority that when talking about Palm Mar take on a ‘superior’ air. You know what I mean the voice changes from normal to posh and the head sways from side to side. I am not sure why because the place is prone to petty crime such as burglaries and you can’t walk more than a few steps without dodging dog dirt.
I was very conscious when visiting a bar to listen to music, that I kept receiving surreptitious glances. It’s a bit like those old movies – who can remember the bar scene in Straw Dogs? I remember when the bus service started residents were outraged as they thought it would attract tourists and these were the ‘wrong type’ and I have heard ‘but they only rent’ as if the renters are less worthy than those who own. Whilst that might be understandable if you own one of the magnificent villas, I find it rather supercilious coming from part-time residents or those who live in what can only be described as a 70s high-rise. Perhaps this attitude is because everyone is a stranger in town, the place is purpose built and there are no long established Canarian roots to ground it.
So for me Palm Mar is like a mixed up teenager, confused and contradictory. Not sure what it is or where it wants to be in life. Until it grows up, I am more than happy to visit but I wouldn’t want to live there because two halves don’t make a whole.