Posted by: glenswatman | April 11, 2007

200412 1 Tenerife Grand Canary Fuerteventura

WEDNESDAY 1 DECEMBER 2004 – I rather fancy doing the Miller tour to Masca on the most dangerous road in Tenerife.  Steve’s not keen so he heads off to the beach whilst I go to the nearby hotel for the pick up.  The bus drives all around Los Cristianos and Playa de las Americas picking up passengers.  We then have to wait whilst they compile numbers and for me to be told they are not running the Masca trip as only 7 people want to go there.  I opt for the Island tour instead.  In fact there are so few people going with Millers today that they merge the two south coaches.  Heading up towards Santa Cruz the weather changes dramatically into torrential rain.  At one point the trip to Mount Teide is cancelled but reinstated at the last minute.  The presentation is for a similar product of a mattress and accompanying bedding.  Dinner for the Island tour is a paltry slice of French bread, dollop of red cabbage and a lump of meat loaf – nowhere near as good as the fish meal last week.  Once on the coach we head west along the north coast with the road running high above the rugged cliffs.  In Icod we get to view the oldest dragon tree in existence, it looks rather like a sprig of broccoli.  From “Mirador of Garachico” we get a good view down to the town that was rebuilt after the most recent volcanic eruption less than 100 years ago.  Once we have crossed the pass of Erjos we emerge into bright sunshine.  Apparently it is typical that the northern part of the island has clouds and rain whilst the south stays sunny.  Having merged some of the tours there are now too many of us to fit on he boat from Los Gigantes so we are taken down to Los Cristianos.  We board an old wooden sailboat and under engine power chug out into the ocean.  This part of the trip is where we should see dolphins and possibly pilot whales but all we see is the coastline.  Back in port we have to wait for the Teide trip coach before we are split up into north and south coast return groups.  Having merged the two southern coaches we have to do the entire drop off points.  I am last after a grand tour round Los Cristianos, Playa de Las Americas, Playa de Fanabe, Costa Adeje, and Playa Paraiso.  It’s 8pm and Steve is worried about me and anxious to go and watch his football match. 



THURSDAY 2 DECEMBER – Heading back towards El Medano we call in to shop at Mercadona, a large store with reasonable prices.  By the “red rock” we park up for Playa de la Teijita.  We passed over this before as it is parallel to the airport runway, dark brown sand and very exposed so unlikely to be suitable for nudity.  Now that we have lowered our expectations it seems quite acceptable and definitely so when we find people naked.  It’s rather strange in that the whole way along the large beach people are in various states of undress and all totally comfortable with the situation.  Even more strange is walking along the waterfront watching the planes taxi along the runway.  The water is a very warm 22C and easy to get in and out off so I have lots of dips.   We are hoping to stay parked up for the night but a man comes over to the van and says we can’t, however he concedes that we can stay for just 1 night.



FRIDAY 3 DECEMBER – There’s a network of paths in the area and we use them to walk around the red rock to El Medano.  Luckily the mail I am expecting from Australia has arrived meaning we are free to leave the island whenever we want.  A week ago we would have been off like a shot but now that we have found a couple of reasonable places to stay (and heard from John and Maureen that Grand Canary is not good in a motorhome) we may stay longer.  Back to the beach for the day.  Walk to the end near the rock then over a wooden bridge to find a cove that is completely naturist.  This must have been the original naturist beach but it has now over spilled into the main section as well.  We’ve realised that the man who told us we couldn’t park is only the sunbed attendant so we risk another night.



SATURDAY 4 DECEMBER – Spend the morning on the beach but once it clouds over early afternoon we head back to Costa del Silencio for Steve to get his fix of football.



SUNDAY 5 DECEMBER – It’s a cloudy start to the day and although lots of Germans come down for their early morning swim I don’t join them.  It’s my 48th birthday and we intend to eat out so walk around the area deciding where to go.    We end up having a traditional Sunday dinner (Euro 6 – £4.25) and it’s delicious.  Continue our walk and end up within one of the complexes walking along the cliff top all the way to Los Galletas.  In the car park with a “no caravan” sign there are about a dozen Spanish motorhomes so they obviously don’t consider it applies to them.  They are probably here because it’s a bank holiday weekend with Monday and Wednesday being days off for different reasons.  Back at our parking spot we are joined by a Spanish van and a bit annoyed when they start a generator and attract attention from people in the nearby apartments.  In the evening we go to “Woody’s Way” where he holds a pool competition.  It costs Euro 5 (£3.50) to enter and the winner gets Euro 40 (£28) prize.  Steve does really well and is the winner out of the 8 entrants.  We get back just after midnight and the Spanish motorhome still has the generator going and they are all sat outside making a noise, hope this doesn’t cause us to get moved on.



MONDAY 6 DECEMBER – Off around the rocks to the beach.  Steve does lots of snorkelling before we return mid afternoon when it clouds over.  We’re rather happy to see the Spanish motorhome leave.



TUESDAY 7 DECEMBER – Walk to Les Galletas where we deal with our Christmas mail and Internet.  Head to the “beach” late morning and settle down just before a big black cloud arrives.  We get chatting to an English couple and Mike and Thelma come back to the van for a drink to warm us up.  Having a good chat the time flies and takes us through afternoon drinks, happy hour and finally a meal that I cook for us all.  After eating we head round to the Alondras where they are renting an apartment for a month.  Thelma has offered me use of their washing machine and I get on with a couple of loads whilst Steve catches the last of the football at one the of the bars in the Coral Mar shopping centre.  He calls in afterwards and we stay chatting until after midnight,


WEDNESDAY 8 DECEMBER – Cloudy day so we stay in the van.  Mike and Thelma join us in the afternoon then we have an evening meal at their place.  Thelma kindly offers to put a colour on my hair.  Steve once again nips out to watch his football. 
THURSDAY 9 DECEMBER – Another cloudy day so we walk to Golf de Sur through the cactus desert.  Wander round the resort with mainly timeshare accommodation and lots of golf courses.  The sun comes out on the way back so we detour to the naturist beach where Thelma and Mike are sunbathing.  Evening meal at Joney´s restaurant where we are surprised to see Chateaubriand on the menu for Euro 19.99 (14.00) and it´s delicious.
FRIDAY 10 DECEMBER – We can´t motivate ourselves to move but return to the beach in the afternoon. Thelma and Mike join us for an evening meal.  
> SATURDAY 11 DECEMBER – Put a last lot of washing in
> at
> Thelma´s as we will definitely, maybe probably be
> leaving tomorrow but it´s good to stay today so
> Steve
> can watch all his football matches.  Evening meal at
> the Don Jose where we partake in the buffet at Euro
> 7.20 (5.10) including wine.
> SUNDAY 12 DECEMBER – Wake to heavy rain so after a
> last shower we say farewell to Thelma and Mike.  At
> a
> motorway service station we are approached by David
> and Pat who have just sold a home in Tenerife and
> taken a motorhome as part of the deal.  They stay
> and
> chat for ages and say they are on the way to
> Carrefour
> as it is the only place open on a Sunday.  Further
> up
> the motorway we turn off for Carrefour at Anaza and
> park on the main road as the car park is
> underground. 
> It will be busy with Christmas shoppers but I
> persuade
> Steve to join me, at least he can carry the bags of
> shopping.  After buying the groceries Steve returns
> to
> the van whilst I continue shopping.  I return about
> half an hour later to a messy van, Steve informs me
> we
> have been broken in to.  When he got back he turned
> the alarm off and entered the van then noticed
> cupboards open and next the smashed passenger side
> window.  A few moments later he sees a Police car
> drive past on the other side of the road and waves
> to
> them but they indicate they are already heading to
> us.
>  Apparently 3 people reported the break in and the
> Police say it is a very bad area despite that fact
> it
> doesn´t look it.  We drive round to the Police
> station
> where no one speaks English.  Manage to make and
> statement and contact our insurance company. 
> Unfortunately the small print says we are not
> covered
> for the laptop which seems to be the only thing
> taken.
> The insurance company say they will find somewhere
> in
> Santa Cruz to do the repair and text us the details.
> Drive to Santa Cruz port to await instructions but
> nothing comes.  During this time we realise that
> other
> items have been stolen including binoculars,
> telephone
> and chargers.  I walk to the Police station where
> they
> contact Anaza station and make arrangement for us to
> return tomorrow to add to the statement.  They also
> say we can stay on their car park overnight as our
> van
> is not secure with a missing window.  Phone the
> insurance company who say nothing can be done on a
> Sunday but they will text us tomorrow with info. 
> Spend a sleepless night.
> MONDAY 13 DECEMBER – Drive back to Anaza to add to
> our
> statement.  It has occurred to me that the computer
> needs a new battery and there is only one place that
> sells them in Tenerife.  The Police phone the
> company
> and agree that should anyone try to buy one in the
> future it will be reported.  Drive down to the
> seafront for a drink but we can´t settle and have
> heard nothing from the insurance company so decide
> to
> set about finding a glass place ourselves.  Park
> back
> at the port and I spot a tow truck nearby and ask
> the
> driver for info on glass repairers.  He tells us to
> go
> to "Parabrisas Rivera" on the main road between
> Santa
> Cruz and Laguna but it´s not on my map.  Head off to
> try and find it but end up on the motorway.  Take
> the
> first turn off and find we are near a couple of
> windscreen dealers.  Neither can fit an American
> window but send us to Ford.  Ford can order one from
> America but it will take 1 month to arrive. 
> Meanwhile
> Steve has had to move from his double parking spot
> outside the Ford garage to the BP station at the top
> of the street.  The Ford garage suggests I try the
> conventional glass factory next door, they can´t
> help
> but give us directions to Rivera.  Return to Steve
> and
> just as I get to the van I see and American car pull
> up for fuel.  Speak to the owner and he says he
> knows
> a garage dealing with American vehicles.  He makes a
> call on his mobile and puts us on to Carlos and
> American.  Carlos tells us to follow the man in the
> American car who will help us.  We end up going down
> back streets to a small garage and from there spend
> a
> lot of time whilst phone calls are made.  Meanwhile
> the insurance company text us with the words Auto
> Parabrisos in one message and Liberty Car in the
> next.
> Not much help when we are in a capital city!  Anyway
> the garage man says Liberty Car don´t stock glass
> and
> would have to order it.  He knows a place that can
> make us one today so I contact the insurance company
> to check this is OK.  They say they will call us
> back
> on the garage mans mobile.  It rings twice and he
> talks to someone but the call was not for us. 
> Carlos
> then arrives to help with things getting lost in the
> translation, the garage owner is Venezuelan and the
> boy who works with him a Columbian!  The garage man
> says he has received two phone calls asking to speak
> to Fat Man and as he is fat he assumed they were for
> him but wondered how they knew - in fact it was the
> insurance company asking to speak to Swatman!  We
> all
> have a really good laugh about this.  Eventually
> agree
> that we will pay for the work and claim back from
> then.  Everything then stops for lunch until 3.30pm.
> At 4.00pm Mr Thomas the garage owner leads us to the
> glass makers and this turns out to be Rivera where
> we
> were originally heading.  They work for a couple of
> hours but don´t get the work done so send us off
> after
> dark with plastic over the hole.  It´s really hard
> driving when we don´t know where we are or where we
> are going and Steve has difficulty seeing in the
> wing
> mirror through the plastic. It´s a real nightmare
> working our way through the city full of tiny cars
> and
> motorbikes.  The Christmas decorations are superb
> but
> can´t be appreciated under our circumstances. As
> much
> by luck as judgement we make it to the coast road
> and
> head out to the fishing port to park overnight. 
> Another night of little sleep as the van is not
> really
> secure.
> TUESDAY 14 DECEMBER - Try to find a different way
> back
> to the garage avoiding the city centre.  Get a bit
> lost but once again luck gets us to a place we
> recognise and can negotiate from.  Arrive at 8am and
> they start work soon after.  We know it will be a
> long
> job so I go off to do some jobs.  Return to find the
> first window was almost complete but then they broke
> it.  Just before 12am Steve comes in to the Internet
> to say the job is done at a total of Euro 500
> (350.00), boy am I relieved as we can now feel safe
> and also get the ferry tomorrow.  Park by the Santa
> Cruz opera house for lunch and have a walk around
> the
> building but you can´t see anything inside.  Move to
> Teresitas beach for the afternoon then the fishing
> port at night.

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