Archive for September, 2011
Calmer Seas And Sizzling Sights In North Tenerife

A few days of wild seas around the Tenerife coast left San Andres and Las Galletas with a big mopping up operation, even Las Tarajales (above) was lively but the show must go on and with my Bournemouth friends Neal and Karen over that meant the traditional Titsa bus trip in search of the beautiful and the bizarre. Puerto de la Cruz was the start point so we caught the 9 am number 343 express from Las Americas bus station and our speedy driver had us nudging Puerto in just under 90 minutes.

Normally it’s a few degrees cooler up north but the sun was stoking up at 30 degrees as we jumped off at La Paz. The mirador deserved a visit to scan the sea below, it was surprisingly calm and there was little sign of any damage. Zig zagging down the walkway it seemed fairly quiet, a strange living statue hadn’t quite worked his angle out and seemed a cross between a tramp and one of Robin Hoods merry men, but the scrawny parrots being held out for photos seemed far from merry. At the bottom of the hill Playa de Martianez had a good scattering of swimmers and sun worshippers, a totem of gurning masks looked like the Armada Sur after a CD Tenerife defeat, their creator and seller was having a crafty kip on the beach.

I like to give my friends a guided march on these visits and we did Puerto proud scurrying through the back streets venturing out to Playa Jardin past the El Penon football ground and the public swimming pool where a big gala was taking place. All that splashing made us even thirstier so we adjourned for a cold drink in the church plaza. With plenty of time on our hands we flashed the bono bus tickets and made the 10 minute journey up to La Orotava, normally it feels a bit chilly there but if anything it was hotter than Puerto especially with another route march around the back streets. Even without the annual flower carpets display La Orotava is extremely pretty, the Jardin Botanico provided a shady respite, I hadn’t been in there before and although only small it was a place of concentrated beauty.

After feasting our eyes in the mighty Iglesia de la Concepcion it was time to feast our stomachs and the bar restaurant La Duquesa came up trumps with a filling mix of albondigas (meatballs) and Canarian potatoes with plenty of bread and mojo sauces. The next stretch was downhill to the Iglesia Santa Catalina and along through a newer area of thoughtfully developed housing that didn’t look out of place in this historic town. Of course after all that walking down comes the inevitable uphill turn, well a bit more sweat wouldn’t hurt us and more by luck than good geography we came out not far from the bus station.

Back in Puerto de la Cruz we sat outside a bar with cold drinks lamenting the lack of curious people to entertain us, we usually attract them like a magnet. As if reading our minds a young man lurched into view, gave a parked car a free hose down and then tried to enter the bar at the same time as trying to sell the owner a lighter, needless to say he wasn’t on the guest list and moved on only to fall between two more parked cars before scrambling up and stumbling on. It was at this point gazing at the clear blue sky that i noticed an Indian chief staring down at us from the top corner balcony of a housing block. I think he used to be on a lower floor but then he became Hiawatha. Just time to drain our glasses before boarding the Titsa back to the south, we parted company there for a quick wash and change only to emerge later for some food at Malabar in San Telmo and a few late night Doradas – lovely.