Firstly, this might not be a typical day on Tenerife – there isn’t really such a thing for us – but neither is it untypical.
It’s still dark when we drag ourselves out of bed. A shot of black coffee gives the brain cells a jolt and I turn from an unintelligible caveman into something resembling a human being. Whiskas purrs happily – he’s had his breakfast nearly two hours earlier than normal.
We hit gridlock just outside Tacoronte. It’s like driving to work in Manchester. The traffic crawls all the way until the motorway opens into three lanes just past the north airport. A 20 minute journey takes 50 minutes.
We reach Las Caletillas in Candelaria and the smell of fresh bread from little bakeries is intoxicating. The sun is out and the only people about are Canarios of all ages running, power-walking or strolling gently listening to their iPods whilst kidding themselves they’re doing exercise. It’s got a nice atmosphere.
We’ve got about 30 minutes in Los Abrigos to take photos and to check that restaurants haven’t changed etc. It’s only a small fishing village with good fish restaurants, so not a lot of ground to cover. I don’t find it particularly picturesque, although it’s got quite a nice harbour area. Still the sun’s shining and there’s one old guy mending fishing nets whilst five more watch – this is a typical Tenerife work scenario.
We meet Nikki from Tenerife Dogs in Los Cristianos and head to the Mestizo bar for a meeting with Colin Kirby and John Beckley to discuss how we’re going to continue our mission to make Tenerife Magazine the most interesting, original and best looking magazine on the island. This takes three hours and more black coffee than is good for us.
We haven’t eaten so we stop off at a little café where the music is jazzy cool and the lomo in the bocadillos chunky. A plan to also visit stockists of Island Drives is disappearing out of the window.
We’re in Chayofa, a residential area above Los Cristianos. Some parts are very green and picturesque and the area around the Finca del Arte is charming. But the cloud has descended over the whole area, draining colour from the scene – it isn’t looking at its best, but photos are required pronto.
Some more work in Playa de la Arena and a short meet up with another friend. By the time we head up the hill towards Santiago del Teide we’re flagging badly.
The Erjos Pools are bathed in late afternoon sunshine revealing that the pools, which were desert-dry after the fires a couple of years ago, aren’t actually pools anymore…but small lakes. Unfortunately we don’t have time to stop to take any piccies.
Reach home, have a quick check of email, jump in the shower, get changed, feed the cat and go out again.
Pick up Bob, a friend who spends three months in Puerto de la Cruz every year. It’s his last night before returning to the UK and we’d arranged to go to a restaurant where the garlic chicken was supposed to rival Adeje’s. All Bob knows is that it’s up a steep street and has big chimneys.
Thanks to some inspired navigation we find the restaurant Casa Francisco above La Victoria first time. We’re the only non-Canarios in the place.
The waiter is a mind reader – he tells us we want vino tinto before we ask and also that we want garlic chicken. We order a salad, morcilla and some croquetas de pescado as well. The mind reader bit turns out not to be so impressive – everyone is eating big plates of garlic chicken. It’s so good that Bob orders a second portion. The waiter fills up the carafe of wine without being asked.
We’ve managed to munch our way through the mountain of food and ask for the bill, the waiter brings it – €39. As he hands over the bill, he brings another small carafe of wine on the house. It looks like we’re never going to get out of this place.
Shattered, we drop Bob off to party away his last night in Puerto and head home. We reach the car park at the same time as our taxi driver neighbour who, despite having lived for 6 months in the little casita which we pass daily, we’ve never actually said hello to. In the pitch darkness we introduce ourselves – he’s called Pierro and seems like a really nice bloke.
Stretch out on the sofa, ignore the cat at the window who has got a face like he’s sucked a lemon and turn on the telly to catch the last 20 minutes of ER before collapsing into bed hoping to sleep the sleep of the dead – which doesn’t actually happen because of the super strength coffee earlier.