Tenerife December 2016

We left home very early in the morning on November 30th to drive to Manchester Airport to catch our Easy Jet flight to Tenerife. It was a very cold, frosty morning; there was little traffic other than HGVs on the motorway and we arrived at the airport in plenty of time. The flight left almost on time and we arrived at Tenerife South airport about 12.30.pm and picked up our hire car (Fiat 500). It was hot and sunny – a bit different from the weather we left behind at home.

We drove the short distance to El Medano and met Beate at the apartments. After showing us around the apartment and telling us a few details about Medano and Tenerife, she left us to it. I unpacked and Mel went to find TWS where he had hired his kit.

We were both a bit tired after the early start and long journey so we walked into Medano centre and had a meal at one of the restaurants on the main square (Plaza Central). We shared a whole fish with salad and potatoes. Not sure what it was but we enjoyed it. We watched a film (Saving Mr Banks) and had an early night.

The next morning Mel went for a run up to the top of Montana Roja (Red Mountain) and then we went shopping in the Mercadona supermarket in San Isidro. There wasn’t much wind today but it was warm and sunny so we had a lazy afternoon followed by a walk into Medano, a café con leche and back to the apartment. Pasta Carbonara for tea and then another film – we’re catching up on Tom Hanks’ films we have missed so tonight it was Captain Phillips.

On Friday morning we went for a run together up Montana Roja. There was more wind so it was a bit of a challenge running up the mountain and there was very loose rock under foot. It was warm and sunny though and good views around Medano Bay and across the island to Mount Teide. After breakfast Mel went to TWS to get his kit for the first day of windsurfing and I walked into Medano to get some bread. Mel had a good session, it was windy and flat water with a bit of chop, very similar to conditions in Vassiliki. He came back tired but happy!

In the evening we went into El Medano centre and found one of the recommended restaurants – Restaurant Familiar. We were lucky to get the last table, as it was busy and clearly very popular. We had a lovely meal – garlic prawns followed by Dorado fish and Canarian potatoes for Lesley and garlic mushrooms, steak with Roquefort cheese and chips for Mel. We were both very full afterwards and probably should not have had the potatoes and chips!

On Saturday morning we went for a run towards the town and out the other side. It’s not very picturesque that way, lots of apartments and a couple of hotels. It was another warm, sunny morning but there had been some rain overnight, which was evidenced by the wet ground. We stopped off at the Agua Café on the way back to have a café con leche and catch up on emails.

After breakfast Mel went out to windsurf and Lesley took photos from the balcony. The wind was between force 5 and 7, a bit gusty and a good session again. It was hot and sunny, lovely to sit on the balcony and enjoy the very different weather from the UK. In the evening we stayed in and had a chicken curry and watched a film. Mel had sore hands from windsurfing and a sore calf, not sure how he had done that.

There was a no wind forecast for Sunday so we decided to drive to Santa Cruz and have a look around the island’s capital. It is about 50km from El Medano, an easy drive along the TF1 motorway. We didn’t know much about it but we found the ‘Auditorio’ – an impressive construction on the sea front, which is a concert hall. There were lots of famous musicians’ names painted on the rocks in front of it, which looked like graffiti, but clearly it wasn’t.

We walked into the city centre and found a very busy market selling everything from meat, fish, cheese to plants, clothes and cosmetics. There were also some cafes and bars selling traditional Spanish food so we stopped at one and had tapas – squid for Lesley, tortilla for Mel. There were lots of street traders too, although some of what they had on display looked fit for a car boot or jumble sale. It was warm and sunny and we enjoyed wandering around the streets and sea front along with lots of local Spanish people and tourists. Many of the streets had flower beds filled with yellow and red poinsettias which gave the place lots of colour, not something you would see in England in December.

In the evening we went to the Agua Café just along the sea front where we had booked a table and a paella for Lesley. It was very busy and there was a DJ playing music, very similar to Wild Wind in Vassiliki. There was a lively atmosphere but mostly people were drinking, not eating. Fortunately they had saved a portion of paella but there wasn’t a lot of choice for Mel. He had a burger and oven roasted potatoes which did the trick!

The next morning there was little wind again but it was sunny and warm. We went for our morning run along the beach towards Playa de la Tejita, Mel going via Punta Roja. We called in at TWS on the way back and had a very large café con leche at Flashpoint café next to TWS.

After showering we walked into town to get some windsurf gloves for Mel as his hands were sore from two days on the water. Mel had managed to download Strictly Come Dancing so in the evening we had pasta and Bolognese sauce and caught up on the Saturday and Sunday programmes.

Tuesday 6th December (Mel’s 65th birthday) started cloudy with no wind forecast. Our plan was to go to Mount Teide, an extinct volcano in the middle of the island at 3718m above sea level. It didn’t look like a good day to do this so we went to TWS to do emails and FaceTime Tom. We decided to go for a drive anyway as there was no wind but as we set off the clouds over Teide had cleared so we headed in that direction. The road was narrow and winding but the scenery and views were excellent, the clouds disappeared and the sun shone with blue skies all around. The landscape changed from mainly forest to completely rocky and barren, like the lunar surface might be.

It took nearly 2 hours to get to the Teleferico (Cable car) to get up to Mount Teide and we had to wait about an hour and a half before we could go up. But it was well worth the wait as the volcanic landscape was amazing and the views over the vast area were incredible. It was sunny and clear at the top and a little chilly but there was a canopy of bright white cotton wool cloud below us. As we drove back through the volcanic rock surroundings we eventually passed through the cloud layer and emerged to see the familiar coastline again. A very enjoyable and interesting experience to be remembered for Mel’s 65th birthday outing.

In the evening we went to an Indian restaurant, Bombay Babu in Los Abrigos about 2 km away. We had a very tasty curry and the restaurant was very spacious and modern. There were lots of people enjoying the food and ambience there too and the service was excellent. This was a very good choice to finish off Mel’s special birthday.

The next morning we went for our usual run and after lunch Mel went out windsurfing. There wasn’t a lot of wind but he had a few hours on the water which he enjoyed.

There was no wind forecast for the next day either but it was a beautiful sunny, hot morning so we went to San Isidro, a small town a couple of km away. We had a walk around and stopped at a café for breakfast before going shopping in Lidl. We sat on the balcony in the afternoon enjoying the sun and views of the beach and Montana Roja. In the evening we went into El Medano and had a very nice, thin pizza at the Pizzeria Wairua.

On Friday morning Mel went for a run up Montana Roja again and Lesley ran to Playa Tejita; it was a very warm and sunny morning but no wind. After breakfast we went for a drive to Los Abrigos about 6km away. We parked up and went for a walk along the harbour front and bought some hand knitted cardigans for Ella & Layla and a sundress for Lesley. There are lots of fish restaurants here and we thought we should come back in the evening to sample one of them. This felt like a very Spanish town which would be good to stay in if we came for longer. We went back to the apartment for lunch and then relaxed in the afternoon as there was still no wind and it was a bit cloudy too.

No wind again on Saturday and after the usual morning run and breakfast we had another relaxing day around the apartment. It was a very hot, sunny day and lots of people on the beach and in the sea. We have been very pleasantly surprised with how lovely the weather has been and have really enjoyed the climate here at this time of year. In the evening we went back to Los Abrigos for a meal at the Vista Mar restaurant in the little harbour there. Very nice!

Another hot and sunny day on Sunday so we strolled into El Medano, bought a Sunday Times and had breakfast at one of the sea front cafes. After sitting and reading for a while we went back to the apartment and Mel went off to find out more about some of the other windsurf centres.