Wednesday, August 26, 2015
We started the day off in the Hostel Reina - Cho, Tenerife, Spain on the south end of the Island.
Can't believe I am on one of the Canary Islands. I have wanted to come here since I heard of it in about 1975 when I saw it on an enlarged map of the area in the restaurant in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan called Smugglers Cove. Anyway, here we are in the Canary Islands, just had to say it again. Considering we stayed in a hostel, this is a nice place. It is someone's home and it is very nicely appointed.
Costa de Silencio was where we drove to. It was our first place to check out and we decided to just move on and check out somewhere else. The area did not seem to be what we were looking for.
Next area was Playa de Los Americas. This was a touristy area, designed to move cars around. It was crowded with cars and people. Everyone seemed to be in beach attire, many sporting regrettable, sunburnt skin (perhaps a Glasgow tan). We parked underground to keep our little Fiat 500, whom we named Vino Blanco, nice and cool. We toured one hotel/apartment with a pool. We saw two different place - one nicely decorated but warmer with air conditioning and one not so nicely decorated but was cooler. Both were up many stairs. We decided we could do better especially when the manager doubled the price from the internet price. What was with that, does he think we are that stupid? By the way we were not struck on this area of the Island either - too busy and noisy.
Ken got his cell phone hooked up with Vodaphone. We needed a map and generally needed the internet. I can tether with his phone, meaning I can share his internet. Worked for awhile then not.
We drove the forty-five minutes up to the north-eastern part of the Island to Santa Cruz de Tenerife. It has charm with buildings from the late nineteen hundreds. Ken found us a great hotel to stay at - Taburiete Hotel - Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain (can't believe that we are in Spain). We were given the keys to our room and I hit the bed almost immediately and quickly fell asleep. I guess I am not as use to the heat as I think that I am. Unfortunately, I woke up to ants crawling on the crisp, white sheets in front of me. Getting up was almost instant. We had a room on the ground floor with double doors opening to a courtyard, complete with a fountain. Very desirable until we realized we got the upgrade because of the ants being on the first floor. As soon as we told the front desk of our visitors they had a different room for us on the second floor. This room overlooked the street. Not as elegant but minus the six legged, tiny pests.
The Hotel's lobby faced onto the park across the street. This park was a tropical paradise with palm trees, rubber trees, even Romanian Orchid trees - a real beauty. At night when they were watering the fragrance filled the air. We walked to the Centro Historico for a bite to eat. People were out walking their dogs and enjoying the warm evening. We ate our meal under the guise of privacy - our umbrella - close to families out with their children. We thought we would see this area often as we planned to stay in the city of Santa Cruz. This might not be the case.
Thursday, August 27, 2015
Now that I am reflecting back on the day I realize how busy it was.
We decided right away that eating granola in our room was not that appetizing today. We wanted a breakfast experience outside our room. We walked part way around the block and found a different hotel's desayuno buffet. Wow, was it great! The Spanish omelette (more like a frittata), the canned mushrooms with garlic and parsley, the huge helping of raw tropical fruit, expresso machine and the little oven to heat up the chocolate croissant were the highlights. Best breakfast since full English in Britian. We left with smiles.
Off to Puerto de la Cruz in the little Fiat 500 that we rented for the week. It was a little tricky leaving Santa Cruz de Tenerife. The streets on this Island are definitely not laid out in a easy to follow grid patteren, They are rather windy, often narrow and there are glorietta traffic circles. We were going to visit the Tarahal Apartments and Martina, the manager. Well, Google Maps did not have the apartments in the correct spot. We were than left to our own devises to find the flats. Ken had given up and wanted to go onto the next place. Just then Marina came running from the opposite direction to find us. Ah, now we can see the flats. The place is like a Mexican Villa with a courtyard and pool. She shows us four apartments, all different but similar. It was easy to eliminate one but the other three all had good features. The rent was very reasonable and the place seemed quiet and clean. We had checked out the neighbourhood and would describe it as White Rock, BC meets PV or Mazatlan, Mexico. We loved it.
We decided we should check out other places down the hill, more in the city. We had several to look at. Some were awful, not well kept but not any less expensive then Tarahal. Some were just moderately better but way more expensive. We tried to find a slight up grade to Tarahal and could find only a lot more expensive. We decided we liked the city and where Tarahal was located so we have a good option.
In the evening after returning to Santa Cruz we went to see a flat we had our eye on since we were in Porto, Portugal. Our walk up the few blocks to the flat was lovely. We saw a few Art Deco style apartment buildiings and lush tropical gardents. The flat was on the second floor and it was someone's home. She had guests staying for the next few days but still allowed us to check out the flats. It was very nice - clean, well maintained, cool and well decorated. Then the owner told us about a spa nearby and then offered to do something about that sore foot of mine. I thought sure,why not it could not hurt to try something new. She told me what the treatment was but somehow in the translation, etc. I missed what she said. She sprayed me with lavender, my head and feet. Then she layed her hands on my head, eventually doing tapping. I was a bit out of it by this point and not sure what she did to my feet. I continued laying down but once I got up my foot felt much better. I could not believe it. She gave me a little couple of positive aspirations to say. She also advised me to get a doctors opinion of what was going on with my foot. I think I will take her up on that piece of advise. I was really impressed by what she did and that she offered her assistance so willingly to a stranger. Plus my foot felt so much better after what she had done.
We went back to our hotel room to discuss our options and make a decision. In the end we could not resist the allure of the Spanish villa - Tarahal won out. Then we had the decision of which flat. We picked the one with the best internet which was the first one she showed us. We are both pleased with having made a sound decision about our home for the next month.
Friday, August 28, 2015
We moved from the city of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain to the city of Puerto de La Cruz, Spain which is about a forty-five minute drive.
We moved into our new digs which we will be residing at for about the next month. The building is called Tarahal and it used to be an RCI property, so a place that people booked on sort of timeshare points. The manager gave us the keys and, I must say, gave us a good deal on the price and the booking arrangements. We went and looked yesterday and found nothing nearly as good in the price range.
We love our new place. It is a one bedroom flat on the second floor. The style of the building is very Spanish, but to us it is totally Mexican. It has an inner courtyard with plants. Each flat has a balcony of courtyard/patio with a railing made of cement ballisters. Our individual flat is a one proper one bedroom with a kitchen/living-room and a bathroom. The kitchen has more counter space then we have had in a long time and we also have an oven. Our kitchen is well equipped with pots, pans, dishes, flatware, kettle, etc. We were missing a couple of things and the housekeeper brought them by while we were away. There is a pool on the roof. We love our new place.
Our walk to a few grocery stores was more than we bargained for. We went out our parking lot, not to the main type street but to the back street. We found a nice walkway. Not more than five minutes away we found a classy hotel the rich wood paneling with silk paintings that complimented the colour of the wood. We looked around checking out the restaurant (huge buffet for about €15,00) and a bar. There is also a hairdresser there on the weekend and a masseuse. This place was a bonus we never knew about, plus it has exquisite ocean views either from a deck or the lobby, our to be able to enjoy and so close.
Continuing the walk we found a few other well priced little restaurants that we might frequent should we feel too lazy to cook. Awe, that could never happen! By this time it was quite hot and humid and I was fading fast. We walked to two different grocery stores as we need to do a little stocking up. Ken actually left me in one store and went and got the car so I did not have to walk too much. Our pursuit of food took us down to Mercadona, a supermercado. Good price but often big containers of food.
After supper we strolled up to the pool. We became acquainted with Peter who is here on holidays from Berlin. We chatted for awhile and he invited us to his flat for drinks. Him and his wife made us feel quite welcome. It was great chatting to new people and hearing interesting stories of someone else's life. She had her Grandmother and Aunt travelling with them. In the end we just had to walk upstairs to our flat and go to bed.
Saturday, August 29, 2015
Happy Anniversary Precious!
One this date thirty-three years ago Ken and I met at Pat and Rob's party in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Plus our little grand-neice, Rory, is four months old. That makes this a special day.
Our cupboards are now not bare after yesterdays shop but we do want for a few unusual items which we have yet to find. The internet is such a source of unusual knowledge such as where to buy the items we are seeking right here in Puerto Cruz.
From our perch on our second floor balcony we could see a path leading away from our hotel, along a dry drainage ditch, up to the street that parallels our's. We decided to walk up that path, which very much a parklike setting. Once to the street we went into the big, all inclusive resort - Hotel Riu Garoe. It is a four story building with rooms built around courtyards. Each courtyard section is unique. One had some of the railings made of wood and cement, another had railings made of wrought iron and cement. Plants and flowers are plentiful along with art on the walls. It has salt water pools and restaurants for the all inclusive guests wanting posh meals. I will return to take pictures.
We continued down the street discovering patio garden restaurants. We found where the botanical garden is located where we will go another day.
This parallel street led us to a big mall and grocery store. This time we were not so hungry so we could really see that we had a great store close to our flat. After getting the car we drove into the downtown area of Puerto de la Cruz. We located the Oriental/veggie food store - Saroj Supermarket - near the Marcadona. It was mostly well stocked but we are so spoiled where we live in BC that we could not find everything we thought should be there. Some basics were procured.
Sunday, August 30, 2015
Ken is starting to unwind or decompress.
Relaxing was one of our reasons for coming to this place and staying for a month. We both need to take it easy from the fast pace of sight seeing and travel. I know for those of you who are at home wishing for your own travel experience it is hard to imagine "too much" of a good thing like travel. The downside is constantly looking for a place to hang your hat that is suitable to meet your needs. It you are moving often you have to make travel plans with airlines or trains. Do not forget that somehow you have to familiarize yourself with that "new" place each and every-time you move - finding good, reasonably priced restaurants or grocery stores. Apps like Yelp help but are not always very active in the place you are visiting. Certain areas with lots of English speaking visitors might have expat forums. If you are tired or needing to rest even using the internet as a resources seems like work.
Long ago regarding this travel lifestyle we became sick of eating out. I was always seeking that wonderful restaurant that serves food both Ken and I will marvel at, enjoy and will be healthy, something out of the ordinary. It is a lot of work to find that type of place. Some cities or even countries lend themselves to this kind of food search others do not. At any rate we are sick of looking. Too often the place does not meet one of our expectations and seems like a waste of time and money. That is one very good reason to find a flat with a kitchen no matter how small. You can eat a breakfast of granola in nearly any room but making most meals requires a way to keep food cold and a way to heat it up. The bare minimum could be ice for keeping, for example, yogurt cold. At one place we would just go down the street for a salad bar and bring it back to the room for supper. Our present place with a sink, half a fridge with freezer, microwave, oven and cooktop is luxurious. It has become such a treat to have home made food, especially made for our dietary requirments. Plus we know the food is fresh, clean and good for us.
Travel is wonderful! Just find the method of travel that suits you - your budget, your aesthetic and does not require you to take a holiday from your holiday. Slow done and smell the roses or jasmine or whatever the flower might be. Have fun!