At the end of part 1 of my adventure recollection I was just recovering from a problematic bottom in the middle of the night… which I suppose is not a good way to start a blog post! Luckily my medication acted swiftly and by the next morning, Wednesday, I was fine.
Wednesday was a free day with no group activity scheduled. Some people decided to laze by the hotel pool all day, some decided to swim in the sea pools, and some did a bit of shopping… but I was doing my practically shopping in the evenings when it was too dark to do anything else, I don’t swim, and I get bored lazing for more than about half an hour… but above all I am Andrea The Explorer and so I headed off out for a day by myself, catching a bus to journey an hour west to a lovely small town called Garachicho. This town was formally the principal port on Tenerife, but it was obliterated by a volcanic eruption in 1706 – I had read in a guide book that some remains do exist of buildings sticking out of the old lava flows, but they were obviously well hidden and not at all signposted. However, there were still plenty of lovely things to see – impressive coastal vistas beyond the lava rocks that the waves crashed over, a pleasant traditional old town centre with cobbled streets and lovely churches, and the old town gate. I spent much time on the coastal rocks patiently taking photos of the dramatic waves from various angles, pleased not to have people that I was holding up with my photographic hobby. After a walk in the town I headed west, along the main road for a while and later along quieter coast roads, past a natural sea arch, a sleepy sea side town, banana plantations, ending up at
a whale skeleton! All the time the weather was splendid, it was November and yet the sun was bright and hot; I was glad to have applied my factor 50 and taken my sun hat. I walked up the town I had reached towards the bus stop but alas saw it already at a stop to the right of me about to set off, and so I hurtled along the road in the direction it was going and managed to reach the stop as it filled up with a party of hikers… but alas all that exertion has left me in a bit of a state with hair all over the place and I think I was read by a curious late-teenage girl sitting opposite me who stared at me several times; oh well, if that is what it was, I won’t see her ever again.
Back in Puerto De La Cruz I had much time to spare and so I walked some of the back streets, finding some interesting buildings… as well as a menu with a rather unusual sounding dish on it, which I decided to give a miss. I went in many other shops, clothes, perfume, souvenir, and jewellery… though eventually only ended up buying some perfume, which I haggled for playing one shop off against another; I was happy to be addressed as Senora in many. Returning to the hotel in the dark I met several of my walking group who were surprised that I was only just returning from my day out; they waited for me to hurriedly change and then we headed off in smaller groups to a restaurant overlooking the sea. I was on a table of six with five other women and we had a fun time, with lots of enjoyable conversation, as well as quite a bit of joking around with our amusing waiter… who called me ‘honey’ and told the others to shut up when I was ordering my meal! I asked him about a cocktail, and when he joked in response he playfully patted my arm. We left about 10.00 and went to bed.
Thursday was the final full day of the group’s holiday, and the walking activity ended on a high with a splendid trek of about six miles along the coast. The first thing of note was as I was applying my makeup after my shower… because I noticed that the sun had caught my skin a little and, for the first time in my life, I had strap marks!!! Yes, I had been wearing a dress with thin straps and took my cardigan off during the afternoon in the increasing heat… and despite the sun cream it was not enough to avoid a little bit of sunburn… though a sunburn I will remember for some time! We caught a local bus west for about half an hour and walked back to our hotel with our guide who told us some interesting facts about some historic houses, ruins below the cliffs, as well as the plant life. I spent much of the walk with Barry again, as he patiently waited for me photo-taking and sharing tales and tips for assorted holiday destinations. Back at the city we had a late lunch at a restaurant famous for serving a good paella, and it was indeed pretty good, with a wide variety of seafood and rice of a lovely creamy consistency, washed down with a nice cool beer. I departed before some of the others but with another woman and, after chatting with her walking back to the hotel, I went for a peaceful walk to the beach as the sun went down behind me and then started to pack my bags. For our group’s final evening out we went to a good tapas restaurant a short walk away; a lady I chatted to quite a bit said “you’re like me, you like to put on a nice dress and feel feminine”; yep… though for much of my life I never thought I would be able to, how thing’s change.
Friday morning we said goodbyes to the holiday organiser, and I also said goodbye to Barry who gave me a hug. On the journey back to the airport I chatted for a while to our group leader, and we all had a few tales of our adventures – we arrived at about midday in Departures… and at that point I said farewell to my group because my adventures were most certainly not at an end, for there was much of the island still to be discovered… and so much that I feel the group missed, as I will recount in my next post.