Dragons, Facelifts, Fiestas, Big Guns And Bears In Icod

Rising above Santiago del Teide scorched brown pine trees were a dramatic reminder of the recent fires in Tenerife but nestled alongside them their greener cousins stood proud, nature is already fighting back. I don’t need much excuse to make the Icod run, the Titsa bus trip from Las Americas bus station is always a favourite, climbing above Adeje the film crews were warming up for another days car wrecking for Fast & Furious 6. For me it was a more sedate pace and good to see clear sunny skies as the bus cruised into Icod.

My main mission was to visit the newly opened Hotel San Agustin. I soon found it in the main street and as the music speakers tempted shoppers with a mix of Swan Lake and Latino dance I put down a mental marker and went for a mooch around. Plaza de Andres de Lorenzo – Caceres was set up for the Fiesta Santismo Cristo del Calvario, coloured bunting formed archways along the main walks and one of the best stage sets I have seen dominated one side of the plaza. Right on schedule a Red Admiral from the Butterfly Park did a mid air display to complete the scene.

The Hotel turned out to be very impressive, they even had CD Tenerife fixture cards on the reception, but more of that at a later date, next on my list was a bus up to Santa Barbara about 4 kms above Icod to see my friends George and Ingrid at Artlandya the teddy bear and doll museum. This time I got off at the top of the village to see the two churches but found a surprise in the nearby plaza. An artillery canon was set up as a monument looking out over the Garachico coast in the distance. Closer inspection showed it was an English design built in Spain by Vickers in 1920, originally carried on the navy ship Galicia it was retired to San Andres just beyond Santa Cruz in 2006. For the technically minded the canon weighs 8,738 kms can shoot to 21,600 metres away and pounds out four shots a minute.

Walking down to Artlandya I spent a pleasant few hours tasting home made food and drink with George and Ingrid, their former finca was bursting with flowers as always and the lizards were scuttling across the paths.George gave me a lift back down into Icod and I jumped out at the smaller church on the edge of town to grab a photo of the wonderful fiesta decorations outside. A young couple were posing for wedding shots a few days after their big event, it certainly made a stunning combination.

With impeccable timing my bus to the south was waiting for me, another pleasant trip with a stop off at Tejina to have a drink and food with some more friends – a great end to a fun day of new discoveries.