Greenpeace See Red Over Canarian Eco Sins

Battling for hearts and minds, the Greenpeace ship, Esperanza (Hope) welcomed a surge of curious visitors aboard on a three day stop over in Santa Cruz. But there was no sugar coating for their message of concern over the over active development and pollution of the Canary Islands in general, and Tenerife in particular.

The crusading organisation was founded in Vancouver in 1971 and has always taken direct action against what it sees as assaults on the environment. Before I could skip up the gang plank, spokes person Paloma Nuche flicked through a thick report book full of findings from surveys into the ongoing state of land and sea through Spain, and pointed out some key figures relating to Tenerife. “ In the last 30 years, the growth of urbanisation has been 130% compared to the Spanish average of 105%. Canarian government records show that of 394 waste output points around the islands, 277 are not legal. In Tenerife 113 of 172 are not legal. ”

That last point had been brought home in the preceding week when the west coast Playa Chica in Puerto Santiago was closed for bathing due to a large stain floating in the sea. Then there´s also the on going drawn out legal cases against years of unapproved quarrying in Guimar, and countless cases of legal fights to close illegal building developments. All fuel to the Greenpeace cause. But the visit of the Esperanza was not just to raise red flags, it was also a chance to recruit further members and donations, Greenpeace point out that they don´t accept donations from political or economic organisations.

The ship struck a defiant note with its dark green livery and rainbow logo but I was keen to join the tour to find out more about the vessel. The biggest of three owned by Greenpeace, Esperanza was built in Gdansk, Poland in 1984 and worked for the Russian army fire service as well as seeing action in the arctic due to its ice breaking capabilities. Greenpeace bought it in 2002 and gave it an eco makeover, removing toxic paint, and replacing the original engines with electric motors capable of producing a speed of 16 knots. The bridge looked impressive with its mix of manual and digital controls, and as publicising and exposing unethical practices is part of the aim of Greenpeace, the communications are top notch, even on the high seas Wi Fi is always available.

The full time 16 strong crew do long shifts of up to 24 hours at a time and rotate three months on board and three months off duty. The rest of the crew are volunteers, up to 35 at a time. As the ship can run into any situation, they have a heliport and sometimes hire a helicopter, monitoring illegal fishing was one use that called for the chopper. The Zodiac boats became famous in the early 1980’s when they tried to stop Spain from dropping nuclear waste barrels into the sea by diving the Zodiacs under them, photos of those encounters are displayed on the bridge. Esperanza also has four pneumatic boats, two of theirs saw action when confronting Repsol oil exploration ships off Gran Canaria in 2014.

The stop off in Tenerife posed some uncomfortable questions, whether the right answers can preserve the unique qualities of the Canary Islands in time is down to radical changes in long standing habits. Meanwhile Greenpeace are not about to sail quietly into calmer seas.

Santa Cruz Likes Water Off A Ducks Back

Don’t worry this isn’t going to be one of those awkward talks like the birds and the bees, it’s a much more relevant and inspiring tale of ducks, turtles, and a whole chorus of frogs. Santa Cruz is as bustling and busy as many other capital cities, so it’s nice to know there are some delightful, shaded corners where the pace of life slows to a drip.

Parque Garcia Sanabria is a particular favourite of mine, an oasis of greenery, fanning out from a central fountain. It was only a couple of years ago that I finally made the short stroll up the left hand street as you face the park entrance, to find the beautiful Plaza de Los Patos. It’s famed for it’s centre piece, a ceramic tiled pond, overlooked around its circular edge, by eight frogs,all spraying water towards a large duck doing likewise from the back of a turtle. It sounds like a strong cheese enduced hallucination but it’s a wonderful work of art.

This 1,330 square metre haven of peace was originally called the Plaza de 25 July, after the defeat of Nelson when he tried to invade Tenerife with the British Navy in 1797, one of the official surrender ceremonies was made in the plaza. The alternative name, plaza of the ducks, is a little misleading as only one duck stands guard, the fist time I glimpsed the area it was looking tired and run down, well it was built from 1913 to 1917. A recent makeover has restored the glory, not only to the pond, but also the 20 benches surrounding it.

The benches, also covered in ceramic tiles, depict popular advertising campaigns. I bet they could tell a tale or two about courting couples, and I;m sure they have calmed many a hassled shopper having a stressful day in the big city. The sun filters through the trees that surround the centre piece, so you get a choice of sun or shade. Five roads (or frog and toads) converge on the plaza, and the cute former English church of San Jorge (Saint George) is on hand for another taste of history. It was so good to see the plaza back to its best, another hidden gem that´s well worth seeking out.

Women Jumping For Joy Since 1893

From Northampton to Tenerife may seem a strange connection, but the Northampton in question is the one in Massachussets, USA, and the journey is the growth of womens basketball from its birth in 1893. Arriving in Tenerife, the 2018 Womens Basketball World Cup will showcase the strides the womens game has made, as well as bringing international media interest to Santa Cruz and La Laguna where the elite 16 countries will battle for the trophy between September 22nd and 30th.

To back up the tournament, a free exhibition, 1893 From Northampton To Tenerife, is taking place at the Casa de Capitanes in La Laguna. I popped in to stroll around the display cases of memorabilia from those early days of the sport. James Naismish had only invented the sport two years earlier in Springfield, Massachussets, using peach baskets and a very heavy looking ball, so the ladies were quick to recognise the attractions of the game. A Lithuanian immigrant, Senda Berenson adapted the basic rules, and the first womens game tipped off between two teams at Smith College in Northampton.

All this was news to me, and well presented in the roomy hall with plenty of exhibits supplied by the Spanish Basketball Federation. Spain has taken the sport to its hearts, the first womens international in 1963 setting the nation on its way to a bronze medal at the 2014 World Championships in Estambul, Turkey, and onto the gold medal at the 2017 European Championships in Prague. There was a nice selection of shirts, medals, programmes and other souvenirs in the exhibition.

La Laguna is a good setting for the display, basketball is big in the town, the mens team Iberostar Tenerife play at the Pabellon Santiago Martin, known locally as the hamburger, and compete in Spain´s top league. The CD Canarias club , founded in 1939, has youth teams at all ages, and of course womens teams, the Iberostar games attract near 4,000 crowds with families making up a big part of the attendance. The exhibition is part social history as well as a celebration of sport for all. It´s open daily until 5 pm, a short hop from the tram terminus and next to the Tourist Information office, entry is free and the information is in Spanish and English, it will run until the end of the World Cup.

 

 

Memories Pour Forth At Alcala Craft Beer Festival

Some lunch breaks back in the Oxford meant a cheeky beer, but when my Tenerife office base was Alcala while working for The Western Sun newspaper, lunch break meant a refreshing dip from the quay side and a few sarnies as I dried out in the sun. No wonder wild horses were not needed to get me back up the west coast for the Alcala Craft Beer Festival.

How different from my mid week swims was the scorching Saturday crowd of local families that filled nearly every speck of space on the quay and in the sparkling sea water. The festival stands were squeezed together by the harbour wall with a few marquees and a food truck when I arrived early afternoon. I started with a familiar brewery, Tacoa, I had visited their pub restaurant in El Sauzal years ago to write a review and was mightily impressed by the five hand pump ales on offer. Surf Beer at 4.5% seemed an appropriate first tipple. The festival beers were mainly in 33 cl bottles with a few on draught in half pint (caña) plastic glasses ranging from 2.50 to 4 euros. The Surf Beer rode my tonsils smoothly as I mentally booked a few later drinks from the Tacoa menu card that proudly proclaimed 0% Bullshit, 100% Craft Beer.

Next call was the Aguita Brewery from Santa Cruz for a 5.1% Dead Bully, American Pale Ale that went down nicely as their brewer explained that they brew 500 litres a week for 1,500 bottles, he also told me there are at least 20 micro breweries spread across the seven Canary Islands. The Jeito Brewery from Los Realejos grabbed my attention next, a 6% Oatmeal Stout became a firm friend as I took it walkies to enjoy some of the fine views of the bay.

At this early stage there was at least some joined up planning to my beer choice. La Armada Brewery from La Laguna ticked several boxes, Armada Sur being my CD Tenerife football family, and my choice of a 5% Nelson Sauvin golden ale seemed very appropriate just a few days after the 121st anniversary of Admiral Nelson´s failed attempt to take Santa Cruz and Tenerife. At this point I discovered one of the less well planned features of the festival, no toilets, there were some portaloos on the far side of the quay but picking my way through the dripping wet swimmers and sun bathers was already proving to be a challenge.

Back to the stalls and ready to refill my bladder, I picked on a 5.4% Irish Red from the Vagamundo Brewery in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria. Ignoring its unfortunate football origins, I was pleasantly surprised that the claims of aromas of malt, caramel, and light buttered toast were at least close to the mark, and it had no qualms about pleasing a CD Tenerife fans taste buds. A couple of my football friends, Gordon and Kirsty arrived and pushed the pace a little. A 5.9% Honey Palm Ale from La Palma was a smooth treat before I peaked with a Tacoa 6.2% Tajinaste Ale, technically the highest brewed in Spain as it contains floral honey from Mount Teide, at 3,718 metres, very nice indeed.

Things, and my notes, were getting a bit hazy by now. A 5.5 La Ginga from the Nomad Craft Brewery came and went rather quickly before I made a repeat visit to the Tacoa stand, firstly for the 6.5% Bock Beer, red for danger and for strength, and then another instalment of the Tajinaste Ale. That was basically my lot before wobbling back to the south. Thank you Alcala, and thanks for those micro brewery tour invites which are safely filed away and will be followed up.

 

Sunday Strolling From La Caleta To Los Cristianos

Even a day of rest is just calling out for a walk when the weather is as hot and nice as it is in Tenerife. So armed with a new Ten Mas bus ticket I headed off to La Caleta in Adeje. Half hour later the sea was glistening and families were spreading out on the cracked rock slabs that stretch into the sea like broken shortbread. The old fishing village has retained its charm despite the luxury hotels that are bearing down on it, there’s even a huge portrait homage to an old fisherman, on the side of an ancient dwelling.

Fish restaurants hug the side of the narrow walkway that winds around the corner to the long promenade. On many previous visits I had taken time out to watch body boarding from the point, out to the big waves that roll in. The tide was fairly low on this trip, revealing rock pools among the large expanse of interlocking, eroded rocks. The wind was light, confirmed by a local weather vane, giving just a hint of contrast to the scorching sun. The dark sand beach of La Enramada spread out up ahead, enticing swimmers into the cooling sea, as families enjoyed picnics among the shingle at the rear of the beach. Paragliders swirled overhead, their pilots precision at landing between groups of sun worshippers was something to admire.

Pushing on past the delicately stacked piles of pebbles, led to the narrower stretch of shingle backed beach in front of the four and five star hotels. The promenade is smooth and level there, no wonder so many families were wheeling cots and prams, best to start the next generation of tourists young, they will keep coming back with so many attractions on the horizon. Smaller, steep sided bays marked the transition to Playa Fañabe and Playa Torviscas with their tiered promenade packed with shops, bars, and restaurants. Torviscas was a good place for a swim, evening was creeping in but the water was a perfect temperature.

Passing through Puerto Colon and into Playa de Las Americas, sun bathers were swapping sea costumes and shades for light informal evening gear as they watched the sun taking a slow, downward arc, a perfect backdrop to their meals. By the time I approached Los Cristianos, the sunset was stunning, my legs were gently reminding me of the three hours of walking, and I had a thirst for a beer or two. Yep, there´s nothing better than a Sunday stroll – and a few Doradas topped the afternoon off nicely.

Brexit’s Coming, Dont Be Angry, Be Ready

 

In March 2016 Brexit became official, at the end of March 2019 it will be a done deal, and after a transition period it will be legally signed as a binding treaty by the end of December 2020. That’s the time scale so it’s time for British citizens living abroad to look at how it will affect them and take steps to protect their interests. On that basis a team of British Consul staff came to Adeje on Thursday 5th July to outline the facts to date, the road signs already in place, and sound advice on potential potholes along the way.

Charmaine Arbouin, British Consul for the Canary Islands and Andalucia, headed the meeting, aided by Helen Diaz de Arcaya Keating, British Vice Consul in Tenerife, and Lorna Geddie, Regional Consular Policy Advisor for Spain and Portugal. Round the table were 13 representatives of local media, and advice groups, ready to pass the message to as many people as possible. Charmain started by tackling the biggest expressed concern, citizens rights. We learnt that basic agreement had been reached as a priority last September. We were advised that the key to protecting our rights as ex pats is to be legal. “The NIE and Padron are both important but the main need is to be registered as extranjeros (foreign citizens), that´s the old green A4 form or the more recent card. It doesn´t have an expiry date and it doesn´t need to have the permanent status.” This was music to my ears as I still have my green A4 form ( and so does Charmaine). However it is a good idea to check if your form is still on your local councils system, paperwork here can be a little “elusive” at times.

Voting rights for the UK was another hot topic but the Consul told us. “There is a private members bill going through the UK parliament to ensure all UK citizens abroad could still vote in UK elections. “It has reached the second reading and is on course to become law next June and it wouldn´t have the 15 years away cut out anymore. Talks are going on between the UK and Spain to allow Brits here to continue voting in the local and EU elections. Again checking with your local council in Tenerife to ensure you are still on the voting list is important as they don´t all contact you automatically pre election, council elections in Spain are in spring  2019 so you need to be on the census by the end of this year”

Lorna Geddie told us that her role had been created to engage and influence the other EU member states, particularly in countries with a large UK ex pat population. She also underlined the fact that citizens rights was the number one concern mentioned by all sides in her departments discussions. “even the new Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez had raised the matter and stressed how important it was to him, during his first telephone conversation with Theresa May.”

Driving licences were also raised, Lorna said there were no changes planned and it was still the plastic card with a photo until it expired, and then change to the newer paper version. All three consul members stressed the importance of people power. Officially there are only 280,000 Brits living in Spain, if more are visible and committed to the country then they will have more influence in any proposed changes.

As always there are many ways to keep up with all the unfolding changes on the Brexit road here are some useful British Consul sources. www.gov.uk/livinginspain www.gov.uk/world/brexit or on Facebook www.facebook.com/BritsinSpain or maybe the local Tenerife office Spain.Consolate@fco.gov.uk and for healthcare issues www.healthcareinspain.eu

The British Consulate´s role is varied and the next morning there was another meet up, this time at the Arona Gran Hotel in Los Cristianos get the lowdown on the new Travel Aware campaign encouraging safe tourism. The leaflet below explains the four main areas it deals with so in keeping with the short sharp messages designed by our host, Consular Officer, Penny Gomez, I will just add a few extra points. Help is available in English in the case of reporting stolen passports, and emergency calls. The crime report you collect is not enough to get you on your flight, follow this link to see how the Consulate office in Santa Cruz can get you a quick replacement. Think of the British Consulate as a safety net for the rare times when things may go wrong.

 

Stands Back In Amazement At Royal Hideaway Resort

I got to La Caleta in good time for the opening party at Barcello Hotels new baby Royal Hideaway Corales Resort in Tenerife, so why did I hesitate to go in? Maybe because it makes such a stunning impression on the Adeje coast, I felt the need to skirt around the outside to appreciate the design of Tenerife architect Leonardo Omar. The spiral starwells, and bold white layers are very impressive. Before the January opening it had already won an award as Best European hotel in construction from Hotel Management magazine.


Two five star hotels embrace each other, one the family friendly Corales Beach, and the other the adults only Corales Suites. As I entered the Corales Suites reception area, with a big cavern, bubbling fountains, and a multi coloured rock face wall.,James Bond and Thunderball came to mind. Welcoming speeches were made in the Alice cafe, that specialises in an exotic range of teas and coffes. Simon Pedro Barcelo, Co President of the Barcelo Group spoke proudly of the resort and predicted a bright future for tourism in Tenerife. The resort employs 250 staff, another big boost for the island economy.



The walkway led to a shopping arcade but I was destined to a quick lift up to the fifth floor of the luxury suites. La Caleta is a smashing old fishing village bordering on the five star hotel boom, it can´t help looking good, but on this night a procession of hang gliders landing on the beach added a classy touch to the view from the terrace with its own spa pool. As singers welcomed party guests from a rocky perch below, the suite had my full attention. There are 160 of the suites and they all redifine the word luxury. A chef and his assistants stood ready to receive behind the in suite kitchen counter, just one of the mega extras you can book. After relaxing on the comfy bed, purely for research, I had a peak at the pillow menu, feather, thermal memory foam, or petit plus, the choice is yours.



Lets talk pools, up to the fifth floor I glided up in the lift to see the infinity pool, it was worth the ride, great views over to El Puertito were the backdrop to the roof top restarant El Maresia, run by the Hermanos Padron who have the Michelin Star El Rincon de Juan Carlos, in Los Gigantes. Back down to the piano pool, where music was wafting through the air. I had already noticed some metalic sculptures by local artist Yaron Lambez of La Musa in Adeje, there were many more surrounding the pool side to be admired as samples of culinary creations were served.



Local politicians including the presidents of Tenerife, and the Canary Islands formerly welcomed the new addition to Tenerife´s holiday attractions. and Pilar Rumeu of TV Canaria hosted the presentations. It was good to see the resort acknowledge all the services and workers who are the life blood of the resort. An earlier buggy ride gave me a guided tour around the grounds and perimeter of the huge building. One of the most impressive things about the resort was the passion, knowledge, and friendly attitude of all the staff. Back at the pool the water shimmered as the guests all mingled, the Cava, wine, and Dorada flowed, and the sun set to a gorgeous fanfare of colour.

 

Shared Heritage On Living Tenerife Tours

Ask British ex pats and residents what they know of our country’s relations with Santa Cruz and they may know a little about Horacio Nelson’s failed attack on the island capital in 1797. A very civilised surrender showed the mutual respect between the two sides and led to over two decades of historical links between the UK and Tenerife. Living Tenerife Tours is a new English language window on Santa Cruz that uncovers those links, plus the lesser known buildings and characters that forged a bond between the two countries.

Leaving our super cooled people carrier at the higher end of Santa Cruz, we climbed the stone steps to the imposing facade of the Colegio Escuelas Pias catholic school, a former castle built in 1870 and greatly extended in 1943. Our guide, Jorge Ballesteros set up the new tour to share his passion and knowledge for history. Educated in Sussex and London, he has lived most of his life in Santa Cruz. The school is not normally open to the public but Jorge knows the great and the good in the capital and we were soon enjoying a potted history and panoramic views across the city. There’s a great story behind the British influence on this building, one that Jorge enjoys telling.

Versatile and informal, the tour lets the guests set the pace, our trip was just a dip into Jorge’s vault of knowledge, La Laguna, and Puerto de la Cruz are also destinations for similar small, intimate groups of around 12 people. The back streets and plazas of Santa Cruz had plenty to divulge, Why on earth would a gothic revival Anglican church dedicated to St George nestle in a quiet Tenerife back water? The brick by brick account was quite an eye opener. As we travelled between stops, Jorge pitched in little teasers about a famous UK politician visiting Tenerife, and a British hand in kick starting the Spanish Civil War.

It wasn´t just the older times that we were enlightened on, as we passed through the modern part of the capital, there was plenty of information on how Santa Cruz had re-invented itself. A stop between the Auditorium, and the Palmetum plant park helped us to piece together the new landscape. Another big favourite was the Military Museum, again Jorge smoothed our extended stay, as a working military barracks they only have limited opening hours and thee is so much to see. The canons hugging the courtyard wall were just the start, upstairs a model landscape with commentary took us through the battle for Santa Cruz. The city coat of arms bears testament to this and two previous failed British assaults.

A short trip past the port brought us back to the Plaza de España and our lunch date at the exclusive Royal Casino members club. Opened in 1840 it still has reminders of its casino past, and offers splendid views of the Plaza and port. Our food and drink reflected the best of Canarian cuisine, gofio, Canarian black pig, and an award winning Fuerteventura cheese to name just a few. It was a special way to round off the day, all the trips can be tailor made to suit your needs and it will give you a new appreciation of the culture of Tenerife.

Titsa Changes Buses From Bono To Tenmas

Was this a bus journey or a guilt trip? I felt so disloyal and a little bit dirty as I clutched my new Tenmas multi ride bus ticket for use on those jolly green Titsa buses around Tenerife. Friends all leave you in the end, how fondly I remember sterling, pesatas, and those Zoom ice lollies with their three fruity flavours. But hey, I´m a modern man and not just ready to embrace change, I will even take it for a slap up dinner and declare my undying devotion if it does it´s intended job.

For those unfamiliar with the public bus (or Gua Gua) and tram network in Tenerife, they have for years had a floppy multi ride card called a Bono that gives the holder around 30% discount on journeys. It was like a Willy Wonka golden ticket for me on my journeys around the island, so I was a little apprehensive when I heard of the new fangled Tenmas, contact less travel card. Initial thoughts of chaining myself to the railings of the Titsa head office soon subsided and this morning I purchased my reusuable plastic Tenmas card for 2 euros at a kiosk near the Los Cristianos bus station and got the seller to put a 10 euro top up on it. These credits can be added at 447 outlets around the island in multiples of 5 euros up to 100 euros.

It´s also possible to get your photo added to your card, nudging the one off price to 5 euros, I felt it unfair to inflict my mush on the public so got a plain card. My 10 euro top up came with a 50 cents charge, I´m not sure if that is standard or fluctuates depending on how much you load up. The big push for the launch of the new cards was to get people to register at the on line site before the cut off date, 40,000 people quickly joined and this meant a free card was sent out to their homes. Now that period has passed, there is still a push to get people to register their card bought at one of the outlets around the island. Then special discounts and offers will be whizzing to you through cyber space, and you can top up online, and check your balance.

One of the down points of the card is that unlike the Bono, your transactions are not printed on your card by the drivers machine. Tenmas has to be swiped when getting on, and validated again when getting off, and if you only use it rarely, you may well not remember how much credit you have left. As you validate your card when getting off, the reader does show your balance (saldo) so you could scribble it down, creating a marriage of convenience between old tech pen and paper and your new plastic friend. Like the nearly departed Bono (still useable until August 2018) you can still use your last bit of credit and pay the driver the difference at the discount rate. As I understand it, if you don´t validate your card on the way off, you will get automatically charged to the lines final destination, presumably after a time limit or at the end of the day. Drivers are still real human beings with their cheery smiles and snazzy green and grey uniform, so they will be able to nurse us through teething problems. While we are on the subject, Titsa have just celebrated 40 years and committed to spending 17 million euros on 74 new buses for Tenerife. This could be the biggest revolution since they changed from their original red buses, I can feel a new era of random bus journeys calling out to me. My new plastic card is going to clock up some serious kms. Pop by again soon and I will be explaining how to split the atom.

Downhill Is Uplifting On The Camino Real

Had I sleep walked in the night to set the scene in Santiago del Teide? I don´t think so, but the Tenerife town was pretty near perfect as I hopped off the 460 Titsa bus from Costa Adeje bus station. The church clock chimed 11 am, and whispy clouds edged across the tops of the pine forest as the sun burst through for a very acceptable 17 degrees.

A coffee and cake in Bar Soto set me up nicely for a stroll down the main street, flower crosses survived from the recent Day of the Cross, even Meatloaf vowing to do Anything For Love from a nearby bar seemed to fit in with the romantic setting. The unpretentious opening to the Camino Real walk drew me in, this old trading route had seen my plodding feet before. Each 6.7 km walk down to Puerto de Santiago had been different due to season, time, and weather, and this one followed that pattern. The first part of the stroll was just a few feet away from the main road but felt like another timeless kingdom, serenely quiet with tunnel vision to the high mountain my bus had skirted around and down. Faint bird song, gently swaying grasses, and beaming flowers competed for my attention.

The trickle of water in rubber clad pipes led me gently down to the first crossroads where two elderly locals sat chewing the fat at the base of a sign post pointing up to Roque Blanco. I gave the hour long detour a miss this time and followed the steep descent down to the old water pumping station. Tamaimo lay ahead in the distance, the sound of mobile PA announcements for the Adeje rally that would pass through later drifted across on the breeze. I passed a party of around 20 French walkers as they were taking a short breather, normally it´s not a busy route but maybe it had picked up a few that had found out in Santiago del Teide that their Masca barranco destination was temporarily closed.

The art of stone wall building dominated the route and guided me onwards and down through the dry river bed near the Tamiamo exit. I have never seen anything more than a few mini gulleys of water through this stretch, just as well, it needed some nimble footing to follow the marked signs through the rough stone floor. A few stray cats seemed quite at home leaping from rock to rock but their claws looked none too friendly. Further down the coast loomed into distant view, stretching through Playa del a Arena and on to Alcala. The steep sided valley showed openings for old cave dwellings, and on the other side the barranco funnelled water doen to sets of ever larger reservoirs that fed farms. Four ostrich’s wandered aimlessly in one yard far below, I bet the cats keep well away from them.

The final leg involved a slight descent to a commercial banana plantation, as the route skirted around the edge of netting covered groves before emerging just above Puerto de Santiago, around three hours after my start. The afternoon heat was stronger nearer the coast but the thought of a cold Dorada encouraged me to push on down past the Mirador over looking Los Gigantes.