Candelaria Blessed With Beaches, Boats, And Beauty

Find a bit of beach and a stretch of water to swim in, that seemed to be most peoples over riding thought as I headed into Candelaria from Las Caletillas. The sea was a bit lively but calmer than the four metre high waves of two day before and it was another scorcher that even the breeze couldn’t totally disguise. Heading down the slip road off the TF 1 motorway brings you straight into the heart of the old town and the main plaza but approaching along the coastal road and weaving in and out of the small port and taking the old steps down to sea level gave me a nice feel for the history of this popular area.

Looking across from little quayside the waves were rolling in lustily just in front of the ornate basilca church and the closer I got the more imposing the tower looked. The tight street leading into the plaza was packed with souvenir shops – some of them rather tacky, it seems you can buy the black madonna as everything from a doll to a bottle opener. The row of Guanche kings with their backs to the sea is always impressive but they stand firm oblivious to the thousands of people posing away in their shadow. The small beach behind them was almost totally eaten away by the tide but there were still a few people sun bathing, later in the day it was closed off as the tide increased in power.

Heading back in the shade of a side street it became obvious that big efforts had been made to make sure that Candelaria doesn’t just dwell in the past, a large new cultural centre led onto the main Avenida de Los Menceyes where a large modern sports centre sits opposite the Punta Larga commercial centre. After a quick inspection of the sculptures of the Guanches, a modern twist on the plaza theme, I took a long cool drink in the Punta Larga. I sat outside the Forum Cafe under their large awning and was surprised to find it had three sets of piping inlaid in the roof that sspurted out clouds of perfumed mist every 20 seconds. I know I was a bit sweaty at this stage but ater 20 minutes snacking I left smelling like an air stewardess.

The plan was to catch the Titsa bus down to El Medano for some more fun but after a fruitless wait at the bus stop it became clear that the bus wasn’t coming – cancelled, an old timetable, or maybe it only goes down the motorway and stops at the Candelaria turn off – despite what the timetable says. Never mind, a scramble up the bank and I was overlooking the TF1 motorway and could see the bridge I needed to cross and catch a bus southward. Closer inspection showed this was a discarded bridge, the central part still standing and isolated with no walkway leading on or off. A few dead end paths and back street detours later I found the new connected bridge and got over the flowing traffic

Oh well just another adventure and at least I got to see one of the amazing artily decorated bus stops up close – that’s another story to chase but by now my thoughts were on a cold Dorada back in Los Cristianos.