Archive for December 18th, 2013
Icod In A Slumber As Playa San Marcos Shines

Self inflicted at least in part, Icod de Los Vinos gave a poor account of itself on my pre Christmas visit. Almost a year on to the day from a bustling main shopping street and plaza overlooking the Drago tree, the decorations were subdued, there was no piped carols from the speakers and plenty of empty restaurant tables. Maybe the fenced off, closed again Mariposario butterfly house, and the glaringly unfinished Drago visitors centre have something to do with the lack of tourists.

Even with that concern aside I still found plenty of ho ho ho on a wonderful days tour that started with the early bus to Icod from Playa de Las Americas. The weather was magnificent for my favourite route around the tight mountain roads above Tamaimo and Teide’s coating of snow added to my anticipation. The bus was running a tad late so my first choice of a quick transfer from Icod to Los Realejos fell away but deciding to walk down to Playa San Marcos I was soon rewarded with some great views. It’s years since I made the 2 km walk but I remembered the small margins to squeeze in as the occasional car went by, the crime scene stencils are a graphic reminder of the need for caution.

What a beautiful place Playa San Marcos is, looking over the small bay to the Garachico coast beyond was a sheer pleasure. They have had their problems with crumbling rock faces and lower down I could see the wire netting and pegging added for protection and a supply of large concrete blocks ready to further bolster the defences. The little beach was busy even though the encroaching tide was eating away at it and the clutch of restaurants were doing a decent early coffee and snack trade. The pocket church looked in good form with the doors flung open to encourage visitors and a walk up the far rock path gave me more inspiring views of the bay with Teide glinting down from above.

I cheated and got a bus back up the hill to Icod and set about a sweep through the streets and a quick nod towards the Drago tree. Underwhelmed by the general effort made I called my friends George and Ingrid at Artlandya and George nipped down to give me a lift back to their idyllic former finca in Santa Barbara, home to an amazing collection of 600 dolls and teddy bears, all looking smart especially the Christmas bear. Sat on the café terrace with the sun bright and the flowing gardens in their prime we had a nice catch up over some home made walnut cake, coffee, and beer. They are expecting a momentous arrival in February – no not that sort –something even more miraculous, the new ring road section from El Tanque. It’s all been a slow process but it looks nearly ready so hopefully the money won’t run out again.

My return lift to Icod was just in time for the bus to Tejina in Guia de Isora, although it was a little late out of the station as the nice young lady driver forgot to fill up with petrol. By now it was getting dark and chilly, I thought the jeans would prove their worth in the evening. An hour later I was in Tejina to see my old friend Kath at a local bar before heading on down south to Los Cristianos for a few cheeky beers. You can’t beat the traveling life in Tenerife.