Monday, September 7, 2015
Today was quite uneventful.
I must stay off my feet as much as possible and rest. Lazing about is not really that must of a chore. I can be quite good at it. Ken went for walks by himself while I was a lazabout.
Being in Spain I am again realizing how much I must work at learning Spanish. I have been using the app Duolingo now for about a year. I have come a long way and feel it is such a worthwhile way to learn Spanish. I am now also using a Telenovela (Mexican soap opera) made especially to assist you in learning Spanish called Destinos. It is from the early nineteen nineties . So far the story is engaging enough and I can understand lots of what is going on. That is my goal, to hear Spanish be spoken in a conversation and understand it. I am going to look for more resources that might support my goal of being conversational in Spanish.
A week or so ago I bought some dried soy tidbits. They are about the size of a grape, but less uniform. At that time I had not found any tofu for protein so I thought this might be a great substitue. I have had these in my pantry at home and never used them. They are not appealing to look at or smell. I decided to experiment by making these dried bits and putting them into a stir fry. I reconstituted them by putting an equal amount of boiling water in a bowl, example, a cup of soy bits to a cup of boiling water. I used veggie soup bouillon mixed in with the boiling water. I let it soak for about ten minutes. These dried bits soak up flavours. I put oil in a pot with the Thai curry paste. Once hot I added the drained soy bits and mixed it up the the curry paste and oil. I also added the coconut milk and other veggies. It was delicious. Ken even liked the soy bits. By the time the whole thing was cook it was very tasty.
I rested my foot, ready to do a bit of walking tomorrow.
Tuesday, September 8, 2015
Our plan was to get up early and go to the neighboring city before it got hot.
I woke up around five and changed the alarm clock. I read for awhile then fell asleep for about forty-five minutes. Somehow my iPhone did not cancel out the original alarm clock setting even though I did shut it off. That is maddening because I was up at seven after falling asleep shortly after six. At any rate I did not get up early.
We drove into Santa Cruz de la Tenerife to walk around the main plaza. It had huge trees on the outside of the square. Inside the square from the trees to the gazebo was plain earth or dirt. I am imagining that this area does not have the water to grow grass, thus the dirt. The gazebo was like many you would see in a Mexican plaza. I was surprised that for such a big city the plaza principle was not bigger. We did find many other lesser plazas. One little area had trees with crotchet wraps, that seems to be a thing here in Europe. It is colourful.
We amused ourselves for hours in the city. The Parlamento de Canarias was an interesting building, a mix of old and new with a bit of art thrown in for good measure. We found several stores that were like what we would call dollar stores in North America. Once was so unique with items from housewares to art supplies. After walking and looking for a long time we ended up hungry and tired. We resorted to eating at Subway - yes, they are even on the Canary Islands. It was a great sandwich at a reasonable price. Just like at home!
I found a store with even better Oriental foods and veggie foods than anything I have found previously on this Island. I am very impressed with what I can get here.
Once home I was laying by the bedroom window. I could see hang gliders almost able to touch the top part of the Tarahal courtyard. Not a sport for me, but it looks amazingly fun.
Wednesday, September 9, 2015
Physiotherapy was on the agenda first thing in the morning.
I know this physiotherapist is competent and is helping me but I am still not walking correctly and my foot still hurts. Today she works on both my foot, my big toe mostly, and on my hip, which needs loosening up. The massage is rather painful on my leg, the muscles connecting to my toe, and so is the massage on my hip. A previous massage therapist worked on this muscle before so I know this is what must be done. I also had ultra sound and TENS therapy done on those areas.
We drove our blue rental car to the northern most airport to exchange it for a smaller, less gas hungry car. There would be a charge for such a transaction we discovered so we drove to the southern most airport. We got ourselves a Fiat Panda. It is a bigger, four door model compared to the Fiat 500. We had plans of driving to the other side of the island but in the end only wanted to get back home quickly. We were both tired.
Reminder, never go grocery shopping hungry and tired. Why do we always seem to do this? We know better. Anyway, we were not too bad considering our state. We did not buy a bunch of junk. In hind sight we bought lousy mangos (bag of four), lousy tomatoes and bad, frozen raspberries. Other than that we did ok.
Thursday, September 10, 2015
I do not like to start a post by saying that this was a lousy day but I am afraid that is what I must do.
We are in this lovely area, in this beautiful city on a Canary Island and I still had a bad day. I feel like I am being very ungrateful for all the good things, I am not. I still had a less than stellar day.
I was sore from my physiotherapy yesterday. My dermatologist appointment was fine but I opted to not get any work done, I will wait until I am in Canada. I did not have 100% confidence in the doctor, so best to wait. I did ask her if that would be ok and she felt I could. Spanish was not sinking in very well and I am realizing how much more I need to be practicing. I will not bore you with the days negativity, suffice it to say I even cut my thumb on a tin can after supper. That is the kind of day it was.
On a bright spot, Ken phoned my Dad and I got to talk to him. He was just getting ready to have Fern come over and they had plans. We did not talk long but it was nice to connect. He still has his great sense of humor.
Friday, September 11, 2015
Today we mostly sat here at the apartment and did work.
We are suppose to be resting so this was not torturous "work" is was light and somewhat fun. I, of course, was doing my Spanish and Ken was sitting on the computer, too. He was making arrangements for having the tags for our van renewed. We have to have our van moved out of Fern's garage very soon. She is moving to where my Dad is staying (same apartment building, so to speak, not same apartment). The tags should be at her house soon. My Sister has kindly volunteered to move the van out of Fern's garage and on to a garage where they will do some maintenance on it. Ken is also trying to make arrangements so he can go to a radio conference in Geneva, Switzerland on our way back to Canada.
Now I will take you from Tenerife, back to Gabriola where our house is located. A group of the neighbours got together to encourage the provincial government to pave Canso Road. They would not as they are not taking on projects such as this anymore. The group of neighbours saw as we did that the job of paving was long overdue. All the neighbours are putting thousands of dollars together to get the job done. Somehow it seems a bit odd that our tax dollars are not being used to pave the road, but no, we have to come up with the money and make the arrangements for paving. Anyway, we were sent pictures of the road being paved today. Hurrah, it is finally being done. No more road dust or filthy car from the gravel road.
Later on for a break we return to San Jeronimo to the big mall. Once we discovered this mall we found it such a great place to buy groceries and just look around.
Saturday, September 12, 2015
Eating breakfast out on the deck presented us with a very unusual cloud formation against the far away mountains.
It looked like someone had gone in with white cotton candy and placed it just under the mountain tops so the tops would show through. After breakfast we went walking around looking for a breakfast buffet for tomorrow morning's breakfast. When we woke up we really felt like going out for a meal but did not really know where a good place was in this area. We went out looking for something but did not find a good place to go. Incidentally we did find a place "The Best Hotel" buffet looked good and we will likely go there in the near future.
It was a laze around day, me doing Spanish and Ken working on this pitch that needs to be sent in as soon as he can. He is using iPhoto for the slideshow and Audacity for the audio. It was a very hot day and later on we decided to take a dip in the upstairs or rooftop pool. We had the whole thing to ourselves except for one man who was on his cell phone and was not interested in the pool at all. It was so fun to just float around the pool and cool off. I just can not say enough about how enjoyable our dip was that afternoon.
We could not even go for a walk until it was dark and the sun had given us respite from the heat. We took the back way down into the city of Puerto Cruz, mostly on pedestrian only walkways. It was cool and refreshing with lots of others out doing the same thing we were - cooling off. The pathway that was on the incline going into the city was lined with benches, trees and few small shops or cafes. At the bottom of the hill were open air pubs full of people enjoying the evening. About a block away was the Casablanca Hotel. From the street this white building with wooden balconies looks big but not huge. We went inside where there was music playing and families enjoying drinks and supper. There were walkways in the courtyard and glass top roofs over the foyer. Great atmosphere! Surprisingly when we went inside to the courtyard we could see that his was a huge complex holding hundreds of people. Interesting place to go if you are a RCI member.
We left the Casablanca, crossed the street and went up the hill about a block to another hotel, Hotel Puerto Cruz. It seems to be an all-in-collusive as people were wearing wrist bands. The main area had the most wonderful wicker couches and chairs. Off to one side people were listening to musical entertainment while enjoying drinks or food. The outside pool surrounded by tropical plants was open for people to cool off in the water. It was such a lovely atmosphere especially because it was evening and the lighting was just right.
We did get a bit of a change to cool off and do something completely different on this warm, September evening.
Sunday, September 13, 2015
We enjoyed our walk so much last night in the evening we thought we would go for a walk this morning. It was quite cloudy so we thought this would protect us from the heat.
This area of Tenerife is so built up but then some areas are even more so. It is a volcanic island or an island formed of volcanic rock. It has many stunning plants and trees that have been planted here, plants that grow in tropical and subtropical areas. Oleander bushes grow like weeds here. They are particularly great as they love being close to the ocean. I noticed the varieties here often have double flowers. Walking close to our apartment we saw paddle cactus and the tall skinny cactus called Cardon but we have also seen Prickly Pear cactus, the ones with "tuna" fruit. We have seen a plant like an variated form of agave and even one that might be blue agave. Hibiscus are seen everywhere, including double flowered varieties. Bougainville is also used everywhere as hedging, etc. Bird of Paradise flower is seen here frequently. We frequently see plants that are house plants back home be outside plants here, like what my Mother called "Moses in a Basket".
Continuing on our walk we could overlook the bay that is edged by black sand and rock. It is stunning with the white waves rolling into shore. There is a black cat that always seems to be sitting, walking or sleeping on a rock wall near the upper cliff looking down to the ocean. He obviously get fed often but might have this area as his home. He is friendly and sweet.
The sidewalks here are very well built and maintained. Sometimes built of square blocks of rock or maybe cement blocks. The blocks are often stamped to give a more artistic look. We went back into the Hotels we checked out last night looking for breakfast buffets that we might like to indulge in. Nothing caught our fancy. I did get a few shots of the insides and outsides of the buildings. Casablanca, which is a RCI property, has lilies brightening up their foyer. You could see the daylight streaming in through the glass top roof above. As we walked to an hotel not far away from it the Hotel Puerto de la Cuz and you could see the spiral staircase, used for a fire escape, built on the outside of the hotel. Inside the place was decorated with wicker couches and chairs. The walls had old, wooden doors and lumber pieces to add to the decor.
It was hot and sunny by this time which was close to noon. You would think that would be glorious but it was not. It was really annoying and way too hot. I was very glad to get back to the apartment and try to cool off.