Archive for March 26th, 2010
Playa San Juan, Where Even The Chairs Hold Hands

Like a broody hen I seem to find myself popping in to Playa San Juan on the west coast of Tenerife, to check on the welfare of the beach. Ever since new sand was imported a couple of years ago, each wave of storm damage sparks off a row between local politicians about how good, bad, or indifferent the repairs are. Well it looked mighty fine to me this morning.

As a former west coast dweller I am drawn back at regular intervals and boarding the 10 am 477 direct Titsa bus for Los Gigantes, I nipped out at Playa San Juan (1.90 euros on a bono ticket) and headed for the shore. Walking down through the gap where the barranco gushed rain water a few weeks ago, I was greeted by a gorgeous scene. The promenade has never looked so beautiful, a darker patch was the only evidence of where the sand had been replaced but the beach shimmered in the heat, the sea twinkled, the pergolas and flower beds overflowed with colour, and a sprinkling of people sipped cold drinks at the new kiosks.

Wandering out on the quayside that juts out between the two beaches, I had to do a double take to check the wooden chairs holding hands in an oh so polite and genteel way. Moving further round to the shady area, the old gents of the town were sat leaning over their walking sticks like old Canarians like to do. Stopping off for a coffee and cake I noticed the council workers tending to the grass verges as the sprinklers gently watered the plants. At ease with the world after seeing that all was well, I grabbed the next Titsa for the short jaunt to Alcala (just a euro this time) and a snack down in the plaza.

It’s all go, no sooner had my spicey papas bravas landed in that cavern known as my stomach, I was off into Los Gigantes to see what they were all up to. The main beach is still sealed off after the tragic rock slide, the word is that repair work will start this summer, the marina was drawing a few people in though to enjoy the scorcher of an afternoon. Overall it was pretty quiet in the village, the screaming headlines in the British press about a vomiting bug at two local hotels can’t be helping.

It wasn’t planned but I found myself in Tipsy Terrace by the tennis courts with my former Western Sun colleagues, editor Roger Diss and Richard Dobbins, President of Santiago del Teide Lions. All pretty relaxing, the sun beating down around our shade as we staggered down memory lane – I was in short trousers in those days – oh hang on, I still am. Even Cardiac Hill failed to phase me, well I did get a few breathers stopping to talk to more old friends. I’m a stickler for tradition so headed down into Puerto Santiago’s Bar Plaza for my usual tuna treat as the sun fell low bathing the statue of former mayor Pancracio Socas in a warm rosey glow. Suitably stuffed I took the roundabout route of the 473 Titsa (2.30 euros) back to Los Cristianos, spotting a few changes in Playa Paraiso and Adeje on the way. As lazy days go this was a pretty busy and satisfying one.