A few months ago, Marilynn purchased one-way airline tickets to Madrid, and then onward to accommodations on Spain’s Canary Island of Tenerife. That was back when international travel opened up to several places in the world with great discounts. Since then, she has spent countless hours on the internet and phone, changing flights to coincide with the unpredictable world condition. Complicated, confusing, and frustrating. Meanwhile, I have spent countless hours doubting that our adventures will ever happen, preparing my mind for disappointment. Call it covid craziness, blame it on whatever, but all of us hear that inner voice. Mine received a promotion to chairperson of a world committee meeting that discussed a morose agenda covering issues that range on a continuum from flight cancellations to death. I will not get my hopes up until we are sitting on a plane. Well, after 4 days in Madrid here we go, on a half empty plane to Tenerife Island! We welcome you to join our adventure as we go with the flow.
After landing and passing through yet another health control checkpoint, which require vaccine credentials and a QR code, we are on the road in a rental car enroute to the Cliff House, a place that we rented for one month. Actually, it is the one-bedroom basement apartment of the owner’s Cliff House, and home to his “three-headed-family,” plus two cats, and one turtle. We have a bedroom with a view and a private yard with a pool. Wowzah!
A ten-minute walk straight uphill to the village of El Toscal rewards us with an array of small cafes, mini grocery stores, bakery, etc.
We are so excited that Marilynn takes photos of our first meal, a club sandwich, which we order because it was the only thing on the menu we could understand (via picture). I get laughs with the phrase “Hablo Espanola como Tarzan.” This type of experience defines our love for international travel. We jump into a different culture and stumble around like idiots trying to figure things out. This experience somehow fulfills a craving that we both share. Striving to be comfortable in an uncomfortable environment. However, sitting outside our new dwelling with adult beverages throws us deep back into the comfort zone.
Our fantasy pad sits steps away from a coastal trail which hugs steep sides of volcanic mountains.
We traverse a plethora of heart pumping trails, and roads for that matter, which climb up and down this volcanic island.
We can see snow atop the large active volcano, Pico del Teide, which boasts the highest point in all of Spain, and the highest point above sea level in the Islands of the Atlantic. (3,715m; 12,188ft.) We shall hike and explore its trails on a different day.
For now, it is time to figure out crazy city driving in search of fresh seafood at the market in the big city of Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
Mission accomplished. The two-burner stovetop back at la casa shall get beneficial use tonight.
But first we will indulge in grilled scallops in the shell, cold-smoked salmon, and local wine. We foresee more visits to this massive market, “Mercado de Nuestra Senora de Africa.”
Anything can grow in this rich soil if you add water. Nutrient rich dust flies over on wind currents from the Sahara Desert, which sits about 365 miles across the Atlantic. They call this dust current the “Calima,” and super fine particles hinder visibility as well as your lungs. It can last for weeks, but we have only seen two days of it on this lush island thus far.
A long walk to Puerto de la Cruz, the closest larger city to us, takes us past black sand beaches covered with tourists.
Cool seaside restaurants and houses line the sea walls where waves crash below and Pico del Teide towers above.
Man, these hills make for serious incline walking. Huffing and puffing, we be grateful for no Calima at the moment.
Whipping around the most twisty, narrow mountain road I have yet seen brings us through the Anaga Mountains.
When we descend into the village of Taganana we almost wedge our small car between dwellings. No wonder most folks park outside of town and walk in. Lesson learned. Fortunately, there is a less twisty, less narrow, less scary way back which includes a fine restaurant where we dine on a Canarian version of fish and chips next to the sea.
Ferdinand, our new friend, and host who lives upstairs, moved his family here from Vienna. “I was tired of the winters in Austria,” he says. “Plus, everything on the Canary Islands is half-price compared to mainland Spain.” He and his son Theo prepare Weiner schnitzel for us.
The view from our table looks unimaginable, and the food tastes beyond delicious. Let the beer and wine flow freely, mi amigos. Good thing we did not plan to drive that twisty mountain road the following morning!
Our adventures continue as we explore the rest of the Tenerife Island. Thank you, Abundant Universe!