If you are visiting these pages for the very first time and you are in a hurry.......... do yourself a favor and click on the 'Hymno de las Islas Canarias'... (just below) It will give you an "Insight" into the Pride, Full Heartedness and generosity of the Tinerfenians..........Merry Christmas everyone.

Thursday, 31 December 2009

A Rare New Year Blue Moon to Greet 2010

When you hear some say "Once in a Blue Moon.......... " you know what they mean:- ie Rare or Seldom, or maybe even Absurd.  After all, when was the last time you saw the Moon turn Blue?
Tonight, New Years Eve 31st December 2009, you should look, because there is going to be a 'Blue Moon'
According to Modern Folklore, a Blue Moon is the second Full Moon in a Calendar month. Usually months have only one Full Moon, but occasionally a second one sneaks in.

For the technically minded:-
Full Moons are seperated by 29.5 Days, while most months are 30 or 31 days long, so it is possible to have two full moons in the same month. This on its own is quite rare and only happens every two and a half years, on average.

BUT, FOR THE SECOND FULL MOON TO FALL ON NEW YEARS EVE IS VERY RARE !   The last time being 1990 and the phenomenon will not repeat until 2028..................

Will this herald in the beginning of  a Fabulous Year?   I hope so!     After all, isn't it always the tiny, non related things that change our futures......   Enjoy Tonight for all its Rarity..........

Monday, 28 December 2009

Superyacht "A" visits Tenerife (Beauty or Beast? ...You decide)

On the odd occasion Santa Cruz is graced with the presence of  "Special or famous" boats that are on their way to the Carribean.  A little while ago we had the Royal Clipper which is the largest 5 masted (square rigger) and luxury Cruising Ship afloat.   What a Beautiful Sight.  It attracted lots of locals who came out especially to see this wonderful ship and envy the passengers that would leave on her.

A lot of  local people also came out to see "A" but mostly for all the opposite reasons! This 400 ft  super yacht is owned by 36 year old Russian Billionaire Andrey Melnichenko. There is supposed to be some rivalry between him and Abramovich (owner of Chelsea football Club).
This yacht is some 23 foot longer than Abromovich's  "Pelorus"

It is a 200 million pound stealth ship built by the same yard
that built the "Bismark"

It's maiden voyage was to Norway to pick-up three Monet Paintings.
It has a compliment of 42 crew members, But takes only 14 Guests.
At the Aft there is a Disco with a glass bottomed Pool directly above.

For most of us standing by, it looked more like a military machine than a Luxury Private yacht. However, Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. You decide!

Saturday, 26 December 2009

Santa Cruz Christmas Market (+ Effective Marketing)

Well, the Santa Cruz Christmas fair is in full swing and strung out along the the 'Avenida' close by the Plaza.
This comes at the time that our English Christmas and Boxing Day are over....done and dusted!
But, the Spaniards are just starting their Christmas shopping and the City is gearing up for the next ten days. The Three Kings will arrive in the City on the 12th day and that is when we all get our gifts.  Yes, the shops are open all hours and lots of bargains are out there.
Now, I am partial to a packet of nice hot 'Garrapañadas'.
(these are Almonds covered in ground almonds and caramelised sugar) You really must try them ... they are hot, crispy and chewy at the same time.... oh! and ever so more...ish!
Every night market here has loads of these stalls but one caught my eye!!
He had a very discrete sign that simply said "No hay Cucarachas en Mi Garrapiñadas" (You will not find a cockroach in My Sweets)  When he realised that I had seen the sign he beckoned with his Head to another stall down the road!   So, needless to say; I bought from him as against the almost certainly innocent vendor down the road...... But I am a sucker for Clever Marketing.
By the way, he also told me that they 'know if a cockroach has been covered and found its way onto the Hotplate' because "They are the ones that try to run away"....    He had me in hysterics.

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Photo Blog of Nativity Scene in Santa Cruz

Most Towns on the Island Have their own Nativity scenes (Belén) as part of the Celebrations. A Plaza in Orotava presents us with a life sized, walk around Belen, which was quite notable given the high winds we have suffered. However, I was very impressed by the model that Santa Cruz is displaying. The 10" tall mannequins are all hand made and the detail is quite staggering. (Double click on any image and it should come up Full Screen)   Thank you Santa Cruz for this tremendous labour of love and Yes, I gave generously to the Charity Box........ Well Deserved.

Monday, 14 December 2009

(A little Tip) Always accept the small, humbling gifts from Tinerfenians

I am well known for liking my food, maybe it is my body mass or maybe I always seem to end up being a very appreciative audience when confronted with "Cocina Canaria".  Home made cheeses, Local wines, Deep Sea Fish, Superb Deserts, Exotic Fruits, Wild Mushrooms and even freshly picked Snails have all ended up being devoured with gusto by 'yours truly'.
The other day, friends were just going off to get some bread and asked if I wanted some. "Por favor" was my quick response but they were gone before I could give them any money.   On their return they had several full bags and promptly handed me one of the biggest and by way of explanation; "Un regalito". 
But, this 'little' present nearly got dropped as it was a lot heavier than normal and I mean A LOT Heavier !!
Completely intrigued, I ripped open the paper to find the heaviest and biggest bread I have ever seen, complete with lattice work detailing........Gosh! 
Believe me, it was 20 inches long and 10 inches round.

When I got to cut it open I found that it was full of Ham, Olives, Raisons, nuts and melted cheeses!!!  The bread itself had a lovely yellow hue and tasted sweet like breakfast buns. The photo above shows the last uneaten half, as it got eaten in very short order between us.      Well, the diet went out the window !!!

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Worlds Greatest Diva to sing in Tenerife

Whitney Houston will hold a concert in the South of Tenerife.

Her new Album, "I look to you" is in the shops now.

The Venue :-  El Campo de Golf in Costa Adeje

The Date :-     30th of April 2010

Remember that you read it here...... First!

More details as they come in.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Marauding, Looting Armada Invades North Tenerife

Dutch, Germans, French and English buccaneers are wreaking havoc in the North of Tenerife and systematically sacking the town. They seem to have taken over Santa Cruz and are to be seen plundering the Supermarkets, Liquor stores and Fresh Produce Markets. Fresh (out of the Oven) baguettes are snatched out of the hands of the locals and complete shelves of wine, beers, Hams and a multitude of canned meats are swept into the carts of these marauders.
You cannot visit a Cybercafe without having to wait for various of these intruders to finish boasting about their exploits and sharing plans of future conquests with all and sundry back home. Their Banners, Flags and Privateer Pennants are flying high as they gather together and swap stories of frontiers crossed, Officialdom circumnavigated and How far their Chest of "ill-gotten gains" is holding up.........
I am of course 'having a little fun' by describing the annual assembly of "Round the World" sailors that use the Islands as a vital victualling stop before they launch themselves across the Atlantic in the wake of Christopher Columbus. Most years there are about 1000 Sailing Yachts that launch themselves from our shores. That really is a small Armada. Although a lot of them have only skeleton crews [moan], there are still 3000 odd souls out there pursuing  their dreams.The Middle of November normally heralds the start of the "Christmas Trade Winds" which take them across to the Caribbean.

                                                            I know,  their hearts are in their mouths as they prepare to confront the unknown. Anything could catch them out; an unpredicted storm, a breaching whale, a lightning strike or a ' Floating Container' just below the surface. Each and every year there are incidents; a sinking, serious damage and sometimes loss of life!
So, whether we take the Mick or brand them as misguided fools lets just wish them "A safe and happy transit"......."May the Wind be always from behind"........ and.......... "May you remember our 'Fortunate Isles' with a smile and a grin"

Friday, 30 October 2009

"The Good times" & identifying them as you have them!

The smell of Bourgainville invaded the flat as I sat back in my new and very comfortable 'Directors' chair and perused my recent computer efforts. Spinning the chair around and leaning forward thro' the veranda doors I could still hear the sound of crickets over the din of the Plaza below. Nestled in my hands was a glass of Pernod and fresh squeezed orange..... but it was late and time for bed.
The morning was still and tranquille with that clarity of air you only get on Islands. Nestled in the leather of my car I glanced across at Gran Canaria, it seemed one could almost reach out and grasp it. Even at 8-30am it was hot enough to have the top down and my hair barely knew we were doing 100kph. The sea was bright blue and what waves there were glistened brightly in the Sun. A few small fishing boats bounced at anchor; the owners 'feet perched up against the rail with an early morning beer in hand' hoping that the fish would leave them alone for a while!
This is my daily commute to the South of Tenerife along the Motorway and I enjoy every second of it.
Today there is a small ring of white clouds around the mountain slopes that manifests their true height and casts little moving shadows on the dark green slopes below.

The outside temperature increases significantly as I speed South and I look forward to having breakfast with clients.
Question:- I have sometimes looked back and thought, Gosh wasn't '84 great and that sailing holiday in '90 was fantastic.......and I know you have too......but did we know "at that time" that we were having a an absolute ball?      I suspect not!
Part of life is learning to identify that one is having a great time, in the present moment...... Is it not?

Thursday, 29 October 2009

"Winter Clock Change" and "Clouded by Determination"

The walk was nothing special, I would have done it on my own but Natty wanted to do it with me and worked until 2pm on the Sunday (yes I had changed the clocks)        The walk was going to be from the village on the right across to and around the "Roque Taborno" that you see on the left. (2 hours max)
All three of us did not arrive until 3pm (equivalent of 4pm) and as the day was dull we started out walking just below the cloud base. We took the obvious path when we hit the mountain base but half way round we nearly walked into midair!
So, we backed up and tried the other path in the opposite direction, which took us upward and more into (by now) dense clouds.
"Reasoning is the better sense of valour" so they say but 'Determination' had taken hold!  No Problem, though as there were plenty of Green paint marks and piles of stones to follow. But, slowly and surely these dwindled and suddenly we were disorrientated, semi-lost and it was getting dark....... there were three different opinions as to which way to go etc etc etc.  Bursting out in nervous laughter we renewed our efforts to escape. (for that is how we felt and by now it was dense fog)
Because, you are reading this you can gather that it all worked out fine but we only regained the car a little before dark!!! (now 7pm, as it took us over 3 hours)
Three large Cognacs, Three black coffees and three Fresh Rosquettes refreshed our humour at the nearest bar.     Take heed.......Because of the Clock change. go early if you are walking in the Mountains.    Hic! [sic]

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Three flew over the Cuckoo's Nest (Teide)

This formed Front Page news in the newspaper Diario de aviso (this  link will take you there, then just scroll down for more fotos) foto credit, DiariodeAvisos.
Fancy, jumping out of a perfectly serviceable aircraft and planning on doing a circuit of Teide without using a parachute..........No!
Well, three adventurous types did exactly that, yesterday. They did it over Teide, "just for fun". Although, reading between the lines it formed part of a World Record for Human flight in freefall (6.42 mins). They wore special suits that allowed them to glide but because of the rareified air, gliding was more difficult.
Now, please remember that Teide is more than 2 miles high, and the last time I was there; I was watching the tourist aircrafts coming in from the North; below me!
Oh! how i wished that I had been there to see these guys dropping in. Incredible!  Pretty Cool huh!

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Getting to know the language......the embarrassing way

So, I had just arrived in the house and was greeted by the words  "¿Estas vendiendo Vino, Señor?       Well, I understood that I was being asked if .....I was selling wine...... but what was the context? Had I forgotten something....perhaps a birthday....should I have brought some wine for tonight......  So, I had to ask  "¿Que?"...." ¿Que pasa?" The reply was very slow and very deliberate with a lot of mirth from all the Tinerfenians, "¿Estas vendiendo Vino, Señor?"           Now, hopelesslly confused by..... by a lack of understanding.......it was one of those moments!!       A long pause ensued.......... while sniggers and embarrassed laughs abounded.       Then Alexis sidled up to me and said "Tu cremallera esta abierto, Señor"  .....   it took a second or two for me to realise that I had walked in with my ZIP undone !!!     OMG..... the room erupted and I went bright Red............                  So, now you know what     "¿Estas vendiendo Vino, Señor?" really means....      What a great language!    So descriptive!          Now where's the nearest bottle, I need a drink.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Chestnut Recipe (Wild Rice and Aniseed)

Here is that Great Recipe that I promised for all of you that have harvested your own Chestnuts. It is a fantastic accompaniment with Pork. Hope you Enjoy.

1 tablespoon Virgin Olive Oil
1 cup fresh, peeled Chestnuts (also take off the hairy & bitter inner skin)
5 medium Shallots peeled and finely chopped
2 Celery ribs (chopped up finely)
1 cup Wild rice (rinsed in cold water)
1/4 cup Dried currants
2 teaspoons Aniseed
A pinch of Sea salt (Or:- big lump of Salted Butter which is my preference)
4 cups Water
1 teaspoon Finely grated Orange zest

Directions: (this method uses a Pressure Cooker), but if a stove and Pan is used you will have to soak the Chestnuts in fresh water overnight.
Heat the oil in the cooker. Add the shallots and celery and cook, stirring frequently, until softened slightly, about 1 minute. Stir in the rice, chestnuts, currants, aniseed, salt, and water. Lock the (pressure cooker)lid and over high heat bring up to pressure. Lower the heat just enough to maintain this pressure and cook for 20 minutes. Allow the pressure to drop without the weighted valve. If the rice or chestnuts are not quite cooked, return to high pressure for a few minutes. Drain (reserving the liquid for stock) and return to the pot. Cover and let steam over low heat for a few minutes to dry out. Fluff up as you stir in the orange peel. Break up chestnuts into 2 to 3 pieces with a fork, if desired.

Yummy Yummy Yummmmmmy !!!

The 2009 Orionid Meteor Shower

October 21, 2009: The Orionid meteor shower peaks this week and it could be a very good show.
"Earth is passing through a stream of debris from Halley's Comet, the source of the Orionids," says Bill Cooke of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office. "Flakes of comet dust hitting the atmosphere should give us 60 or more meteors per hour."

Orionids appear every year around this time when Earth orbits through an area of space littered with debris from the ancient comet. So, if clouds interfere on the 21st, try again on the 22nd or 23rd.
The phase of the Moon favors a good show. The Moon is almost new and completely absent from the pre-dawn sky at the time of the shower's peak. Bright moonlight will not be a problem.
Last but not least, the display will be framed by some of the prettiest stars and planets in the night sky. In addition to Orionids, you'll see brilliant Venus, red Mars, the dog star Sirius, and bright winter constellations such as Orion, Gemini and Taurus. Even if the shower is a dud, the rest of the sky is dynamite.
Set your alarm and enjoy the show.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

The Almond Fair.... Sunday 25th October

This is a Traditional Fair that takes place in Plaza de San Pedro, Aripe,  Guia de Isora   every year and keeps alive the family work traditions for the younger generation. Open from 10 in the morning til 2 in the afternoon.
The Almonds have been shaken from the trees down onto nets and collected.  Now, it's all hands on deck to break open the dried Nuts.
This fair is by way of celebrating an abundance and is a lot of fun. So, why not take a morning ride, and immerse yourself and the kiddies into some real Tenerife Culture?           See you there.

Friday, 16 October 2009

Teide's Last Eruption (100 Years Ago in Nov 1909)

This is an authentic photograh (courtesy of :- Colectivo Arguayo) taken 100 years ago on 18th Nov, when Teide last erupted!   It shows farmers watching the Eruption quite close by.
It took place at "Chinyero" which is close to "Santiago del Teide" on the Western side of the Island. The lava flow was somehow diverted out of harms way.          I am wondering two things here:-
  1. Will there be any special "celebrations"?  Knowing Tinerfenians they 'will' organise something .... so, watch this spot!
  2. Secondly, of course; When will Teide Erupt again?  !!!

Monday, 12 October 2009

"Buried treasure" on Tenerife

I have always been fascinated by pre 1900 Leather Bound Books, Old Maps, Lythographs and specifically Old Charts.              The smell, the romance and knowing that someone has put pen to paper; largely guessing as to its import and then lovingly painting it with now; fading water-colour.               Over the last few years, I have been doing a lot of research (mainly on the Internet) regarding just how many reported Treasures, troves or caches have been stashed on this Island alone.  There are more than Seventy!     These are very well documented, authentic and are the original places where caches have been hidden and are to be found.     Anyone can ask the correct  authorities for this information and go Treasure Hunting themselves. What it takes is a lot of patience, skill, correct equipment and Luck.

In the olden days, Treasure was hidden well above the High-Tide Line. Somewhere remote and hard to find even with the help of a fading, parched and cryptic map.  If you were superstitious you had to get a fearless crew together and cross their palms with silver before they would even think about the expedition. More recently, you still had to decypher a forgotten language, find the rough area to search and then break out a metal detector. Then, walk a search grid for hours; even days before you would stand a chance of success.

Well, the good news is that things have changed dramatically for all those budding "Treasure Hunters" out there. The 21st century has brought us a Global Positioning System that can place us within 6 feet (2 metres) of a given Co-ordinate!    Handheld gps can be bought for €100 and can be found on many mobile telefones nowadays.              So, Now the only thing we need to know is exactly where our "Cache" can be found.
The old maps cannot serve, so we have to resort to the new generation of maps and these are readily available on the Internet... and it is here that you will find a fantastic "authority" on worldwide caches.      Before I go any further you must by now realise that I am talking about a Modern Day Version of Treasure Hunting that has become a fast growing Worldwide Hobby of enthusiasts that have planted Caches in the more interesting, beautiful and inspiring parts of the Country. (sorry to kid you along a little but, please read to the very end)    The Internet site    http://geocaching.com/   then publishes the gps co-ordinates of each and every cache for us to visit. (click on the link and look around... You will have to log-in, it is free, and then you can download all 70 + co-ordinates on Tenerife) I placed a "treasure, yesterday, which will be published very soon....... It is in a remote part of the Fabulous Anaga Mountains...    I am publishing this for a very good reason.  I have found that most of the caches have been put in places that I would not have thought of even visiting. Yes, they are remote but each and every one will take you somewhere special. With Fantastic Views or Great Walking. You will learn so much about the local culture and be able to visit some out-of-the-way Restaurants/ Bars.            Good Luck, Fun Hunting and Happy geocaching. (more to come.... so please re-visit us)

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Snail Mail (The Old Two Centamos Postage Stamp)

Here's a nice Postage stamp from the past....I suspect from the thirties or forties.    (If anyone can come back with the actual date I would be grateful.)   I do not have one but wonder how much it may be worth to the right collector.

The point for me is that it is obviously for International Mail and secondly:- What great advertising! (and so true)

The prices may have changed but the temperatures certainly haven't.

The Postage stamp is breathing it's last as the Net takes over........ RIP

Chestnut season has arrived!

The castaña (chestnut) season has arrived!          These were picked by the roadside, yesterday, in the South and are lovely eating.     So..... get out there and take a few for the barbecue and enjoy.             To find a lot of them; Take the Road up towards Teide from Guimar. This Road has some tremendous views and some nice picnic places to stop.          About halfway up there is a " Mirador" of special interest.      Then above that point, most; if not all the land on the right hand side belongs to the Cabildo and as such is "owned by the community" so you will not be Poaching, scrumping or anything like that. (Anyway that is what we were told by the forest fire people (Brifor) when we were digging around.          There is a local Recipe that includes Chestnuts and  Aniseed....... but where did I leave it?          If, anyone has the recipe, please let me know.
They are just a little different from the English variety! Mind out for the prickly kernels.........Suerte!

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Where Eagles Dare and Hunters Lair

When you look up at the skyline from Adeje you can spot white houses on the skyline. My question was this "They are on the edge of a Precipice, so how do the people get there?" The answer was simple..... Ifonche!
The other week I was up on "Roque del Conde" and observed a Pyramid of a mountain to its North called "Roque Imonde" (the highest part of which looked highly challenging)so that was where I was going.....  The easiest way to it was via Ifonche. Now let me explain about Ifonche..... there is one road in and the same road out. On my first visit the owner of the bar asked me to move my car 3 meters along. I found out why when horsemen turned up and used the wooden rail that I had blocked, to tie up their steeds. (we took a lot of horse manure home that day for the window boxes.)   Today, there was a gathering of Hunters, runners, rifles and their dogs,,, so I did not stop, but carried on passed towards "Roque Imonde".  I stopped where I could see there was a fantastic view over the whole of the South of Tenerife.

I was alone with the wind and the clouds; that was until a minibus turned up and out poured a dozen or so Para-Gliders. Well, my climb could wait, couldn't it? To be right beside these guys when they launched themselves off the precipice was too good a 'photo challenge' to miss.   So.... here's a few shots.

It only takes them a few minutes to get organised, uncross their lines, cross their hearts and wait for that all important little puff of wind that will transform them from ugly ducklings into soaring eagles.

The hunting dogs that were running around did not perturb them in the least.... and suddenly they had all taken flight and I was all alone again!

Well, there you go...... Out of the blue...... pretty cool!   huh!        I wonder if I'm too overweight to have a go?  (stop daydreaming son)

The day was still young so I turned on my booted heels and dragged myself towards that Peak I wanted to climb. It looked more and more impressive the closer I got. The ridge I followed was easier than I thought and there was only a few places where I had to scrabble and finally I got to a point where I could get no further without some rope and climbing gear. Prudence is a marvellous thing. Especially as I was on my own!

To complete my day, I did as much of a circuit as I could and took in the breathtaking views. The camera was always busy and ready as was my handheld gps. (I was hoping to get to the summit and record the height.) All the hunters were way below and only little dots of mischief ....but their whistles and calls were still carried to me with the bay of the dogs as they caught a sense of their prey.

I came down with something nagging at my mind, but what was it? It persisted all the way to the bottom, until I realised that I had left my gps .......up ....there.... somewhere.   Yes, there were a few expletives on the way back up and it is always at these moments that your mobile rings.... and what is the first questions they ask?
Its always, " where are you and what are you doing?"
So......   if ever you ring me and ask similar questions ...... be prepared.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

No mobiles to disturb the Peace just Goat bells

This is a Satelite shot of the extreme North East of Tenerife. The Main Roads can be seen in the lower left corner coloured yellow. The other lines are mainly just tracks (some passable by car/ small bus). It is great walking country! But, be warned there is no mobile phone coverage....so.....Do not go alone!

The idea was to scout-out the hills to the East of "Lomo de Las Bodegas" so we left the car beside a 4X4 "Forestry Commission" Truck and took the Cementary Path where the first and last sign we saw was "Pelegro Veneno" ie. Danger....something around here is poisonous! (Clearly meant to discourage visitors) There were also Red Laces tied to some of the trees.....noted!
A little phased, we picked our way through the bushes in a South East direction down into the valley and towards some derelict houses, picking some large Blackberries on the way. The local Frogs were very vocal and resentful of our presence, as we took fotos and gloried in the sun.

On the way down to this Croft we could smell but not see a nearby Donkey.(curious)
The stained Rock above the Croft turned out to be a small "Waterfall" which was chilled and refreshing. This was turning into Paradise.
Wondering what delights there were ahead; we pressed on.... to find that there were more hidden Crofts and more running water!
Coming away from one of these we found the perfect spot for a picnic! We were astride a High ridge looking one side into a valley full of distant goats and on the side a perfect track led down into Igueste. (The end of the tarmac road up to the North)
High up as we were, whilst eating goats cheese, blackberries and red wine. we could take it all in properly and suddenly realised.... that the goat track below...... would take us down into "Antequera"!  (I thought that it was only accessible from the sea and the boats had stopped going some time ago.)
Unfortuneately, time had beaten us.... this time!
But, we will be return.
Back, at the car we wonderered what the "venom" sign was trying to warn us about...... we hope it wasn't the blackberries... No, surely not.         Hasta La Vista. Por favor Dios.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

The Rock with the "WoW Factor" Roque del Conde

The climb wasn't going to be easy but the views were going to be worth it!       I had been at its foot twice before but did not want to "sweat in the Mid-day sun", so I had opted, instead  for a meal and a pint down the road. This time it was hazy and perfect conditions for the upward slog. The Pueblo de Venta was still half asleep as we slipped between the cottages and down into the Barranco. On the the way we stopped at various fig trees (it is a passion of Nattys') and were totally preoccupied with them.  So, when we turned a corner, we  stopped in out tracks....WoW... we were deep in the barranco and looking down at a vertical 30 foot waterfall. What must that look like when there is a downfall, Impresionante!
Now. here is an idea...... I want to go back when there is a real downpour and we all know them.....How Cool would that foto be?
Meanwhile here is one with Natty to show the scale of things...... cameras never do the scene justice. So, I will leave it to you imagination. We had to force ourselves away and climb the other side into the Sun and the we were immediately overtaken by a youthful couple going at twice our pace! (One wonders what their experience was) They shamed us by bounding out of view as we took our first (of Many) water stops.
At the Saddle the mists spoilt our view down into Los Christianos and Las Americas so we carried on. They both seemed truly miles away but almost touchable from our Eagles Nest:.

Yes, it was hard but enjoyable and the heavy dew kept us cool as the going got easier towards the top. (OK, I admit it.....  The youngsters met us near the top, on their way down.....presumably having had a picnic)
Actually it was too cold for a picnic so we took some fotos in the mist.  That is Pueblo de Venta through the Clouds in the foto!  There are some formidable Rock formations up there but for us we were most impressed that the Flat Peak had been terraced and Cultivated in the past!
That is a long slog (2 hours) to work and back each night, with a full load. Those workers have my respect!
If you get the chance, bite the bullet and go.... you will be richly rewarded, and who knows we may meet you there in the Clouds.
By the way, I had a couple of (richly deserved) beers and we both ate formidably in Valle San Lorenzo.

Friday, 11 September 2009


The day was free. I had no work and nothing planned, which was the problem; What to do.....................
So this became our "Delightful Dilemma" ....... A choice  between Guimar and Vilaflor, which is one of our favourites.    We solved our plight. We decided that a leisurely Lunch up in Vilafor at the Restaurant "Casa Pana" would go down well.
During the ascent we slowed to enjoy the scenery and suddenly realised that the figs were ripe at the side of the road and if you have never eaten figs "straight from the tree" you are in for a delight.
Trying to park on this wildly winding road is almost impossible, but, luck was with us. Natty was out the car and scrambled down to a magnificent Tree with loads of Figs and before I could get there, she had disappeared into its centre!
Following was my downfall!
A little bit of advice here.
DO NOT go near Prickly Pears without long trousers, and keep away from the tall slender, dried and dead plants under all the Fig Trees. These are called "Cardos" and have spines that one can breathe-in. Take Care. These horrible plants are the guardians of the most treasured fruits and will not be denied! You will come away itching an' a scratching......for hours....      "Vale de Pena"

Thursday, 10 September 2009


This is where I must confess that going out for a meal after 10-30pm leaves me cold. But, our Spanish friends would not take "No" for an answer. I knew the Restaurant was good and so I reluctantly agreed. Having walked the Mountains above "Los Dos Barrancos" numerous times we left giving ourselves only 15 minutes to get there. Well, you have probably guessed.........Thanks to the construction people I got waylaid in a one-way system that would not get us to our destination! However, persistance eventually prevailed. We arrived late and hangry. (OK... you got it)
The Restaurant has grown with its clients and its Price List. However the fish (panga) was sweet and complimented by a decent wine. The beefsteak were more than adequate with a strong red, earthy wine. The bread was fresh from the oven and the coffee came around all to fast. Complete, we entered the fresh air outside and spying the moonlight night with its host of stars, instead of feeling tired; we all felt invigorated and the conversation continued easily. Our Spanish Hosts then asked us if we would like a "chupita" in a little place they knew further up the Barranco.
Feeling suitably refreshed, I heard myself say "Why not!" The next few minutes passed as a blur of fast corners, vertical drops, rocky outcrops,broken barriers and Prickly Pears in the dancing headlights of their car.
Well, I could possibly find the place again.....but then again.....perhaps not.
It was, completely off the beaten track and consisted of a selection of Shacks. The only sign that there were people about, was that we had to block-in two other cars to park. Our car being the fifth.
There was only a frightened goat. No other signs of life. No Lighting. No dogs barking. No noise. No voices........... nada!
A hidden side door eventually opened. A mantel of light, the smell of beer and some welcoming faces seduced us into an unexpected World. It seemed that half the village was packed into one small room with five musicians complete with guitars, a timple and acordian. These guys were simply making great music, catchy and rhythmic. A lady took my hand and suddenly I was dancing [sic] with a complete stranger whilst my feet were trying to catch up with the rhythm. Making my excuses I found a seat with my friends and found a second friend in a Terracotta Jug of "vino del casa" which was simply excellent. The musicians were exchanging instruments. The men were singing. The ladies were joining in chorus. And, I..... I was joining them in spirit!
What a Great Night. When I next glanced at my watch it was 3 in the morning and I had an early start in the South the next day (sorry ugh, That day).............so........... we had to begrudgingly leave. The latch on the door was heavier than when we gained entry; echoing our reluctance to call a halt to the evenings entertainment! No wonder......What a night! Bravo!
Yes, We had to force yourselves to go out late... But, a lot of the time it's THESE evenings that surpass themselves; isn't it? And, by the way...I did get to work on time, just. Thankyou Tenerife.