Let us tell you a story...

This is the little tale of a voyage that begins in the most populated country in the world and ends up at a Spanish island in the Atlantic, midway between the south of Europe and the north of Africa.

We would like to tell you the story of a quite unconventional woman, and her journey from China to the island of Gran Canaria. The tale of her personal journey to her own special corner of the world.

Her journey takes her to one of the oldest city on the Canary Archipelago, to the municipality of Telde. Here at this small city Echo Chen, the writer Sanmao, lived happily for many years on her fine weather island alongside her beloved José María Quero. 

The peaceful town of Telde.

At the peaceful town of Telde today they weave natural threads such as silk. At the same time an invisible kind of material was woven, one which cannot be seen yet which joined the island of Gran Canaria with the gigantic land of China in a straight line. This invisible thread was woven by Sanmao, dispite the long distance and the time involved.

In this numerical year of 2018 everything we see is measured and told and retold. The distance between two points has an exact and unshakeable number: this many kilometres, that many flying hours, so many years.

Yet Sanmao’s world flows against the tide. At the start of her first trip, there would have been many kilometres distance and many more flying hours that there are today, while in between lay a world of cultural differences between China and Gran Canaria, which are said to be many, but back then were likely to have been even greater and more difficult to measure. However, Gran Canaria was the place chosen by Sanmao. This happened over 30 years ago. 

The Olive tree of my dreams.

The Sanmao Route is an emotional, cultural and literary tour, created in honour of writer Echo Chen. It is inspired by the poem “The Olive tree of my dreams”, which she dedicated to her husband José María Quero; also by the “callaos”, small pebbles that Echo Chen picked up from the beach and painted, and which she then taught friends’ children to paint. Every step or season along the Route is signposted with a human value, written in Spanish and their corresponding Chinese characters.


León y Castillo House Museum


San Francisco, Telde


San Juan
Town Park


The Garden of Sanmao


The House of Sanmao


Sanmao Corner

Writer, journalist and adventurer Sanmao was born in China in 1943. She was full of life and travelled around Spain, Germany and many other countries…

In 1976 she had her first book, Tales of the Sahara, published in Taipei, a compilation work of her autobiographical narrations…

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