13.06.19 — Travel


As mentioned in my previous post, the next instalment in my series of crazily busy weekends involved a weekend out in Tenerife with my friend Cami and her family! Technically I have been in Tenerife before, but I believe I was two years old at that point and hence have zero recollection…

Anyway, my weekend began on Saturday morning, as I took the train line up to Terminal 4 of Madrid airport. This terminal is somewhat famed for its colourful design which, due to my getting lost looking for my gate, I didn’t have chance to take many photos of – but here’s an attempt I made:

The departure lounge of Madrid Airport's Terminal 4.

The flight that ensued was a bit longer than I’d expected – as a European it seems odd to be able to fly for two and a half hours and still land in the same country – but I closed my eyes and, before I knew it, walked out of the arrival gates in Tenerife. There to meet me was Cami, who then drove me down the island and to where she and her family live in the south.

After being welcomed in by her family and receiving a noisy salute from Cami’s dog Luke, we headed out for some lunch at a little local spot. Here we enjoyed a wonderful meal during which we tried a wealth of local dishes, with one of the highlights being a potato dish known as “patatas arrugadas” (literally “wrinkly potatoes”), consisting of roast potatoes dressed with a powdered type of cereal called “gofio”. This dusting has a unique flavour which I can’t really describe, but it was tasty!

A plate of patatas arrugadas.

I also have to laud the wine we were served during our meal, which was one of the fruitiest and freshest white wines I have ever tasted. I wondered whether it was unique to the island, but Cami informed me that it was in fact unique to the restaurant, being made in-house! I’ll have to get some sent over at some point…

Anyway, after a slap-up meal and plenty of fun with our merry waiter, we headed back home to be reunited with Sam, Cami’s partner, who I hadn’t seen since one of my previous trips to Asturias! Once together we head out for the beach, which involved a wander past a rather fancy looking hotel complex…

I enjoy walking past hotels I will never be able to afford to stay in.

A pink hotel surrounded by palm trees.

After a perilous descent down some uneven steps, a journey not helped by the flip-flops I had adorned, we reached the sand and spent a few hours taking it easy. Once we’d worn tired of nipping in and out of the sea, Sam graciously made the journey upwards alone and picked me and Cami up in the car right from the back of the beach.

From there, we headed further down the coast and to a little ice cream parlour favoured by the two of them. The company and the sights were all great, but I was extremely excited to find something on the menu which I haven’t eaten since a trip to Germany around four years ago: spaghetti ice!

A view over to the sea from an ice cream bar.
A bowl of spaghetti ice.

Spaghetti shaped vanilla ice cream, crushed nuts, whipped cream, and a strawberry sauce.

Once we were peckish, we headed to yet another coastal spot and tucked into a lovely meal of Lebanese food, with some of the most stellar hummus I have ever tried. The plan afterwards involved going for some drinks along with the rest of the British tourists, but now that we’re all boring old women, we decided to head home instead!

The following morning meant that it was time to take Luke, Cami’s dog, out for a walk. During this little wander I snapped a couple of photos of the lovely area surrounding Cami’s place.

Small palms line a road with the sky in the background.
A yellow wall looking up to the sky.

With Luke worn out and our appetites nagging, I, Cami, and her mum all headed out for breakfast together. We headed to a lovely little coastal spot and ordered a big shared breakfast between the three of us. This was served beautifully on tiered platters – very much like the high tea I had just before leaving England – and was all absolutely delightful!

Unfortunately I had left my phone at home during the trip, and so I didn’t get any photos of the breakfast – or did I? I did take my film camera along, so we’ll have to wait and see if I can get those developed over here soon and what the photos come out like, if indeed they do come out at all! In the meantime I leave you with this lovely snap of me and Cami taken by her mum.

Me and Cami by the sea.

Me and Cami then headed out together once again, making for yet another beach for an extended afternoon of sunbathing, paddling in the surf, and chatting the day away. At a certain point in the afternoon, however, we had to head back to Cami’s house, but for a very good reason: her parents were throwing a BBQ!

I didn’t take many photos during our delicious BBQ lunch as we were much more concerned in enjoying the food, company, and delicious wine. Cami’s dad opened a bottle of red which his relatives had sent over from Chile, and it was absolutely delicious, almost as delicious as the various cuts of meat that he kept serving from the grill. I’m not usually that fussed about chicken, but words cannot do justice to the succulency of the chicken breasts we were served – all washed down with some lovely Chilean salad and enjoyed between endless jokes!

A BBQ spread of meat, potatoes, and salad.

After lunch, there was talk of “heading up Teide”, the name of the volcano which dominates the island. With our stomachs ready to burst after so much food, I wondered how on earth we would manage to walk to the front door, never mind up a bloody volcano! To my relief, said trip was to be made in Sam’s car, and so we piled in and started our ascent with the sun already low in the sky.

The sun sines down a curve on the side of a mountain.

The sun, low in the sky, bathed the area in a lovely light.

The tops of trees are bathed in yellow sunlight.

We’d soon climbed up through the clouds, and made a few stops to admire the view over the blanket of them below.

I look over a sea of clouds, silhouetted by a low sun.
The vegetation and landscape of the Teide volcano on Tenerife.
My shadow against the cliffs of Teide, Tenerife.

Moving further still up the volcano, we reached a plateau which had the look of a lunar landscape. Stopping to take a few of the photos below, we found a plaque which revealed that the area was in fact used to test a lunar rover due to its similarity to the surface of the moon!

Passing through a valley on the ascent up Teide, Tenerife.
The lunar-like surface of the Teide volcano, Tenerife.
The lunar-like surface of the Teide volcano, Tenerife.

We then pushed further towards the summit of the volcano, reaching the lower station of a cable car to the summit before deciding to turn back. This cable car, it turns out, only runs upon request, as permission has to be granted to visit the crater of the volcano itself. 

A panorama from the base of the Teide volcano.

After this we began our descent back towards sea level, and it was during this return trip that one of the most breathtaking things I’ve ever seen presented itself. Looking down into what I assumed was the sea, I asked which island I could see in the distance, and the response came that what I was seeing was the tips of the mountains of the neighbouring island. At that precise moment, I realised that I wasn’t looking at sea, but rather an uninterrupted blanket of clouds floating below a spectacular multicolour sunset.

I’ll leave the following photos in large and isolated – I implore that you take a moment to look at the detail and appreciate what a sight it was to behold!

A sunset over the layer of clouds, taken from the side of the Teide volcano in Tenerife.
A sunset over the layer of clouds, taken from the side of the Teide volcano in Tenerife.
A sunset behind trees taken from the side of the Teide volcano, Tenerife.

After admiring the view during the rest of the journey downwards, we soon found ourselves in a restaurant near Cami’s place for tea, and then back in bed ready for my last day.

During my final day, we didn’t really do all that much, sitting through a power cut and enjoying a pizza for lunch at another local spot. This was followed by the journey back to the airport, and then a flight back to Madrid which seemed to pass rather quickly.

I had a wonderful time in Tenerife, and I must thank Cami and Sam for showing me around the island, as well as Cami’s parents for being so welcoming and hospitable. I’m definitely looking forward to another visit sometime very soon!

To finish, I must once again admit that this post comes to you all rather late, as I’ve been in Madrid for nearly a month since. In this time I’ve enjoyed three more visits from friends from all over the world, and of course I’ll be bringing you all the latest on those whenever I get a moment! Until then…