FROM MIJAS PUEBLO TO CALAHONDA 5-19 SEPTEMBER 2017

MIJAS PUEBLO

TUESDAY 5 SEPTEMBER

After an early start, at 6am, we are taken to the airport by our friend and luckily the roads to North terminal at Gatwick although busy were not too bad. Although our flight wasn’t until 10am we made sure we were there by 7.30am and dropped our bags off at the Norwegian drop off point – their automatic check-in (despite having checked in on line) gave us the labels for the cases. Dropping the bags off was quick and efficient (our first time with Norwegian) and they didn’t query my CPAP bag either so that was good.

Going through security was a bit different with a couple of automatic things we’d not done before but we both went through OK. We decided to look for somewhere to have breakfast and honestly because it is a captive audience some places were really expensive so we ended up at good old Wetherspoon’s Flying Horse and had a nice breakfast butty and a cup of tea for £17.40!

What is it about the free Wifi in airports? It never seems to connect properly for me but was impressed to see lots of free charging points around.

When the flight was called we made our way to the departure lounge and realised that were were flying on a 737 (usually fly Easyjet Airbus) so it felt a bit smaller. Good seats (included in the price) and a drop down screen to show the safety information. No proper explanation of how to log on to the free Wifi and it took me about 15 mins of trying to suss it out. No in-flight magazines, the crew brought them round and we had to share with the lady in the aisle seat in our row! We had take a meal deal from Boot on with us so didn’t try their food and was surprised that they didn’t take cash, only cards! Didn’t think the crew were as friendly as the Easyjet and BA crews we’ve had in the past. We took off a bit late but nothing to worry about.

Got to Malaga and it was easy going through security , used our e-passports and had to give a finger print to exit through the barrier but didn’t take as long as we’d thought. Text Helle Hollis and the minibus was waiting for us when we reached the pick up point. Less than 20 mins later we were in our little pale green Citroen C3 and on the road and realised that it had a built in satnav (we always take our own), air con and touch screen controls for the air-con and radio and engine settings! All very new to us! As we got to the outskirts of Torremolinos we realised that the fuel tank wasn’t full (HH do full/full fuel policy) so I text them and they agreed to refund us the difference when we took the car back.

Hire car

We made our way up to Mijas Pueblo and had real problems trying to find our apartment (turns out I’d missed some attachments on the last email the owners sent me!). Picked up the keys from the key safe and eventually got into the apartment. We had booked a studio apartment – we don’t need much room for the two of us. It was over a restaurant/bar called The Fiesta which became our local during the week we were there.

They have a Facebook page –   https://www.facebook.com/Fiesta-Bar-Resturante-138378316339091/?rf=267325630032464

The property was lovely and clean but they’d changed the layout and it didn’t look quite as spacious as the pictures showed, but it was nice and so we unpacked. There was air-con and a TV but we could only get new channels and you have to pay for Wifi, although the bar downstairs has free Wifi and if you sit by the window you can still, just about, pick it up! Only real problem was the beds had no bedside table and the wall light above the beds didn’t have a switch that you could reach and I had to put my CPAP on the floor and plug in the wall about 3-4ft away :(.

The apartment is in a little urbanisation which has a pretty old world look and has a swimming pool which we had a look at and it has fantastic views but, and this is a big but, if you have any mobility problems the steps up to the apartment are bad enough (I have dodgy knees 😉 ) but the pool is at the top of about 40 steep steps which I wasn’t prepared to go up more than the once (I have a problem with coming down steps too) but hey, we were there for Feria week so there was so much to do in the centre of the pueblo we didn’t need to swim.

There is very limited parking outside the apartment, if you go in and out a lot you are liable not to find a space when you come back! Parking in the multi storey in the centre is €1 a day and you can put your car into the car park for longer in the secure parking on level 7 and its still only €1 a day – we moved the car there on Thursday when we couldn’t get a space after a day out in Benalmadena.

After settling in we took a walk up into the Pueblo, and liked all the new layouts in the plazas and the two new glass lifts. Everywhere looked very festive and we were soon into the spirit of it all. Stopped off at Mayan Monkey (chocolate factory) and had an ice cream, it was nice but the pistachio wasn’t as good as our last visit.

Found that the Tuk Tuk was still running (it was gone 6pm) so we took a ride around with Natalie at the wheel, we have been to most of the places but it was good to see it from a different view and she took us to the top of the village where we could look down and see the roof tops. It should’ve been €30 for the 45 min trip but she gave us a €5 discount 🙂 result. I really do recommend this trip.

We had a beer at a little bar in Plaza de la Constitucion which was decked out in little paper lanterns all ready for the start of the feria on the 8th. Back to the Fiesta Restaurant for dinner – a fantastic BBQ platter and wine with great service.

Decided to take it easy in the evening as we’d had a long day but couldn’t wait for the Feria to begin.

IMG_20170905_212424_HDR
BBQ Platter at Fiesta Restaurant

WEDNESDAY 6 SEPTEMBER

Late start to the morning, that hour forward makes a difference! Had a quick coffee downstairs in the bar and walked to the Tourist Office for a programme of events in English for the Feria (unfortunately, it doesn’t give a lot of information and there were things missing that we would’ve liked to have know about in advance.). Also, despite being full of tourists during the week the office was closed for the duration and although there appeared to be a kiosk that you could access by pressing buttons etc, it was difficult to know how to use it lol!

Went into the Rustic museum, which we visited last time and it was still €1 each to get in and a few new exhibits, it is really worth a look around.

Had a tapas lunch in Oscars tapas bar, John had a toastie and burned his finger on the hot ham and cheese! He should’ve had what I had – Russian Salad, Mediterranean seafood salad and garlic bread!

https://www.facebook.com/OscarsTapasDrinksBarMijas/

Then walked up to the Muralla at the top to see the views and what was going on for the feria.

Popped up into Calle San Sebastian to book our table for the 11th in the Secret Garden restaurant and then. We walked back to the apartment taking a detour to see the donkeys. I feel so sad about these poor animals, standing in hot weather with muzzles on, tied up tight to a wall, some in the shade some not, waiting to either have obese people ride them around the pueblo or to pull people around in carts (supposed to be 2 people per cart but often they have 3). Others have seen these donkeys beaten and kicked and their stables have no windows and no air vents. They are treated very badly and there are lots of people trying to effect change. Unfortunately the local town hall don’t seem to take much action. There is a vet from the local animal sanctuary who comes once a month and they now do have some shade, but they are working long hours and the owners don’t like people to complain about the treatment of the donkeys. So, I ask everyone who reads this, by all means go to Mijas Pueblo, it is fantastic, but please don’t ride the donkeys. The people who are trying to change things hope that one day only children would be allowed on them and that they will be looked after much better. Some of the things I have seen on the internet about the poor treatment makes me cry.

At around 6.45pm the children’s parade started from outside the town hall, didn’t seem as big as last time but still lots of fancy dress, princesses on a float and some Beauty and the Beast characters. There was a really strange man watching in opaque taupe tights and his bits were sort of on show, with funny hair and a stick. The local police moved him on but I seem to remember him from last time too – a local eccentric I think.

In the evening we walked back up to Oscars for a quick drink and then had a lovely meal in the Pizzeria that over looks the coast. I had fruitti de mare and John had pork fillet in a lovely Roquefort sauce followed by apple tarte and I had chocolate mousse, add a jug of sangria and we had a lovely night.

In the main square there was a huge dinner put on for the elderly of the pueblo with a lady singing to them. As it ended the Mayor presented prizes and when he left he passed by us and said Hola to me. He is a rather handsome man, ;), but I sort of wished I’d had the courage to talk to him about the donkeys.

We then went on to see the Mayor switch on the feria lights, which were really pretty and I had my picture taken with the man who demonstrates the sherry (last time we got lots of freebies, not this time 😦 ). Back to the bar at the apartment for coffee and brandy (I could get used to this!).

THURSDAY 7 SEPTEMBER

We decided to stay close to the apartment as we were meeting friends in Benalmadena at lunch time.

Love the drive into Benalmadena, we were meeting in Paloma Parque, with a couple of people I know through Trip Advisor, Mantalk (and his wife) and Alinbenalmadena. I’ve not posted their picture here as we Al wants to remain anonymous ;).

We had lunch in the bar near the entrance and it was great to put faces to names. After lunch we walked through the parque to move onto another restaurant Pedro de Cordobes down near the Windmill Roundabout where we were meeting friends we made a few years ago. Fiona and Ivor live and work in the area and we met them when Ivor was drummer in a local group and we just hit it off. He’s now with another couple of bands so keep an eye out for Spiders from Marbs (Bowie songs) and a punk band called The Reinfected! It was lovely to catch up with them both although it was a bit sad because Fiona had recently lost her dad.

We walked back to the car through the parque and saw the various chickens and cockerels and a rabbit running free and some beautiful hibiscus flowers. Had dinner back at the Fiesta restaurant and walked into the pueblo to see our favourite feria band A Compas! Poor John’s tinnitus was bad but he stuck it out and we had great evening watching the locals and visitors all joining in the singing and dancing.

FRIDAY 8 SEPTEMBER

Tonight is the night of the big parade of the Virgen de La Pena so we decided to chill a bit today and have lunch in the apartment and walk up into the Pueblo later. The top part of the Pueblo has a big area that they turn into a day fair, with bars that sell cheap drink and paella and other tasty snacks.

Today it was Spanish Pop and Rock music day, very loud and played havoc with John’s tinnitus. There was a stand from the Spanish Red Cross bringing awareness to domestic violence issues and giving out free orange coloured fans and information that would really help someone who needed to know about reporting and dealing with domestic violence. Man or woman, everyone was given a fan, we ended up with 4!

After awhile we decided that we would have our evening meal in the Pueblo and went to Bar Carmen where we’d eaten on a previous visit. Very Spanish and the food is excellent, the tapas and a drink for €9.90 was a very good deal.

Decided to keep walking around a bit longer and had an ice cream in a cafe (PlayaBajo) close to La Plaza de la Constitucion and then we found a seat to wait for the procession. It was a bit different to the one from 2 years ago but nonetheless very moving and I for one felt like a local? Brass bands, local dignitaries and locals walking in traditional dress and carrying candles and then comes the Virgen on her throne and carried high above everyone by what must’ve been at least 40 men on their shoulders. I’m not at all religious but it gave me goosebumps and a tear in my eye!

As it went on its journey around the village we moved onto a newish tapas bar called Pampa for a coffee and a brandy and to wait for it to return to the shrine, which was going to be around 1am (this was about 11pm). We sat in this very nice bar that mixed modern and vintage for about an hour and then walked up to the shrine. There were lots of people milling around and lots of young people inhaling nitrous oxide and drinking and smoking (I thought I’d left all that back in the UK!). There wasn’t any trouble with them and they seemed to be polite and respectful of the adults there. We were beginning to feel tired and decided to give it a miss and go back to the apartment and if there were fireworks (as there was 2 years ago) we would just be able to see and hear them from the apartment. We waited up till nearly 2am but no fireworks which was disappointing but never mind, there’s always another year and we’ll try and stay closer in ;).

SATURDAY 9 SEPTEMBER

Another easy morning, coffee downstairs in the bar and then a walk into the old part of town. The back streets of the Pueblo are full of little surprises, little bars and restaurants, view between houses down to the coast, lots of pretty flower pots, horses tied up outside house and we went to find the new fountain by the church in the Santa called the Hermitage of our Lady of The Remedies. There used to be 7 water spouts coming out of the wall but last year they decided to move them to an underground setting which you had to walk down into. On our TukTuk ride earlier in the week we’d seen it from above but it was protected because of the number of processions that would be taking place over the week. When we got there today it has a big iron plate over the top so we couldn’t see into it but the walk was lovely seeing all the decoration hanging above the streets, some made out of plastic bags looked really effective.

We walked back to the apartment after that to rest up before the “bull run”. We didn’t know what to expect so took up our place in the Plaza de la Constitucion once more and looked towards the place where there were lots of people milling around. We had no idea what was going to happen but there were children and adults with red neckerchiefs, reminiscent of the Pamplona bull run. Suddenly we heard some music being played, YMCA of all things, and then came the people running in front and around the “bulls” 3 or 4 huge “black and brown beasts”. LOL! It was fabulous, they were inflatable bulls and the Matadors in all there sparkling suits followed behind in a small cart! So glad we didn’t miss it.

Next we were looking for somewhere different to eat and got attracted into La Reja by the PR lady on the front. The building was said to be 200 years old and was very rustic inside and over looked the square where the music would be in the evening. Food was lovely, I had rabbit stew, which was wonderful and John had pork in an orange sauce, followed by a nice cheesecake and a crème Brulee Then on to the music of A Compas in the Plaza again. Just love them, quite cheesey but they get people up dancing and they play at most of the ferias along the coast. Back to the apartment because John’s tinnitus was playing up again but we had a great time.

SUNDAY 10 SEPTEMBER

Both of us had a bit of a dodgy tummy this morning (all those 2 and 3 course meals and alcohol we’re having taking its toll 😉 )so stayed close to the apartment for a bit. The Wifi in the apartment is pay as you go so we try to make use of the Wifi from downstairs in the bar but it is intermittent and annoying!

After lunch we both felt better but my eyes had started running (think I got some sunscreen in them) so we spent part of our walk around the Pueblo looking for an open Farmacia (avoiding the Parafarmacia which is a health food and very expensive option). There were churros and chocolate in the day feria area at 6.30pm but we never made it up there as my eyes were so bad. Found the Farmacia near to the apartment was open and got some eye-drops that worked really quickly.

Had a lovely meal downstairs in Fiesta bar followed by coffee and brandy and restaurant and an early night.

MONDAY 11 SEPTEMBER

Last day in the Pueblo, eyes a lot better but now John’s shoulder is hurting! LOL! A pair of old crocks comes to mind!

After morning coffee at Fiesta, we went off to the Pueblo to check on the donkeys. I belong to a Facebook group that is fighting for the rights of the donkeys and I promised I’d have a look at how they were doing. During the week I’d not seen any bad treatment but they did look extremely unhappy and didn’t have much shelter and a couple of them had very dipped backs.

We walked up to the Pueblo to do some shopping, chocolate from Mayan Monkey, and some more of their ice cream (John had the Malaga wine one and I had turron). The fairground was in the process of being dismantled and loaded onto the lorries and trailers, it was sad to see it all going. We stopped for a drink at Los Arcos and after a walk around we returned for lunch and them made our way back to the apartment to change for the evening.

On our last visit we ate twice at The Secret Garden restaurant and it was fabulous but had seen some rather disappointing reviews lately. As usual the place is magical and the menu inviting. We ordered our meals, I had the pork cheeks that I had had before and John had a well done steak. We had a nice bottle of rose wine and dessert was cheesecake that was lovely followed by one of their Baileys coffees. Perfect end to a great week in the Pueblo, except the service wasn’t as good as our previous visit. We had a waitress at the beginning but then a waiter came along then another waitress who took our dessert order and it never came till we mentioned it. We noticed that all the staff were working lots of tables rather than concentrating on the ones they started with. However, the food was still good and we would go again 🙂

We then took a slow walk back through the Pueblo and had a final coffee and brandy at Fiesta before going up to finish packing (I now realise I brought too much again!). . Little did I realise till I was unpacking in our next stop that I’d lost one of my jackets somewhere in the Pueblo 😦 ).

Early start tomorrow, pick up the car from the car park and off to Dona Lola at Calahonda..

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MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I’m not doing a round robin letter in my Christmas cards this year, I’m pointing everyone to my blog! LOL! Hopefully everyone will find it interesting.

So, things since our holiday in September have moved on a pace! New adventures, grandkids growing so fast and apart from a couple of health scares we have had a great time getting back into the swing of things after such a great holiday!

First of all our middle grandson started school, our oldest grandaughter went into year 1 and our youngest is becoming a completely amazing little character. Both Charlie and Katie are doing so well at school and she is showing her little brother Joshua how to read and do the things she learns at school.  Everyone says that being a parent is the best thing in life that you can do, and that’s true up to a point. When you become a grandparent, everything else changes, your love expands to grab hold of these tiny human beings who are part of you and your life history. I just love my three to the moon and back and can’t imagine my life without them, they are just so precious.

Rob, our son had a health scare but all was well in the end and I’m grateful that he wasn’t scared of going to the doctors to get it checked out. Our daughter has been diagnosed with an underactive thyroid and is now on meds but it explains a lot of things that have happened to her over the last few months so its good we’re not looking at something far worse. John’s Prostate Cancer is still under active surveillance and Guy’s hospital are happy with him.

My own health is ok, diabetes is well under control although I’ve had a lot of trapped nerves in my wrists and it seems like each bit of me aches in turn each week! Still I’m standing up and breathing and that’s a bonus in a world full of so many poorly people who will never get better, so I count my blessings every day.

I exercise with my Body Blade and walk every day (apart from the last month when I had a virus that hung on for 4 weeks!). I am trying to stick to Freedom Eating principles and re-reading Debbie Flint’s book Till The Fat Lady Slims 2.0 – The When Diet. (available on Amazon) and I belong to several supportive groups on Facebook to do with keeping healthy using the Body Blade (by Bruce Hyamanson) and Leslie Sansone Walk at Home DVDs. Hopefully I will be doing a blog on them in the new year.

Life is moving on a pace, we’ve got plans for redecorating the downstairs of our house (kept putting it off but now it must be done!).  I’m getting back into crafting and trying to get my craft room straight (although at the moment its full of Christmas presents and craft stuff I want to get rid of.

A confession from a lazy blogger!

NEW START!

I start this new blog with a confession! My name is Ceejayblue and I’m a lazy blogger! I haven’t blogged since the very beginning of the year and I feel really guilty about that. So much has happened but I won’t go over old history and will start again from now and try to be better lol! So, please forgive me and be gentle with me! 😉

First of all, I have been trying to eat more healthily and also do some execise every day. I started in January and I follow the Freedom Eating way of eating as set out in Debbie Flint’s book Till The Fat Lady Slims 2.0 The “When” Diet. It has been changing my life, I follow the 6 principles but mainly I am eating when hungry on a scale of 6 and cutting back on my carbs (it helps with the diabetes too!) and stopping eating when I reach the satisfied stage and not trying to clear my plate! I will do a proper blog on it later. I am also exercising with a Body Blade and doing Leslie Sansone in home walking – more of those when I do my healthy bit.

So, what is the main reason for this blog today? Well my first priority is to do a trip report of our recent holiday to Spain. I love Spain and always feel at home there but this holiday was one of the best we’ve had and so I kept a diary.

It will take a few days to finalise everything, but I hope you enjoy reading it and looking at the pictures I will try and add to make it more interesting 😉

Tenerife 22-29 June 2012

Well, here goes my first proper blog!

TENERIFE 22-29 JUNE 2012

FRIDAY

Set off on the 7.40am flight from Gatwick to Tenerife with my friend Annie. Having got up at 2.30am to wash my hair and to get to the airport for 5.30am we were both extremely tired but very excited. The flight was uneventful except for a group of very loud middle aged men who had already been drinking before getting on the plane! They were loud but didn’t cause any trouble except keep the rest of the passengers from catching up on some sleep!

On landing we found our way to the taxi rank and got a taxi to our resort – Club La Costa, Sunningdale Village at Golf del Sur. We checked into our apartment and were so pleased to see that it was beautiful and although it didn’t have a good view it was immaculate. The bedroom had a king sized bed and a TV in it and good cupboard space.

The kitchen was small but well equipped with a washing machine (including some washing tablets!) and we found a great welcome pack in the fridge. The view from the kitchen and bedroom was onto the rear of the bar and so wasn’t great but to look up slightly, above the safety fence and you could see Mount Teide in the distance. The living room had a great TV and a DVD player and a pull out bed and opened onto the patio area which had some beautiful garden furniture on it, which we put to good use.

Somewhere to relax

The gardens around the apartment were beautiful and there was a gorgeous tree with red and orange flowers on it which lit up the view. We were on the flight path to the airport but it didn’t bother us, in fact we did a spot of plane watching!

The tree that made me smile everytime I saw it.

The restaurant, Zacary’s, on the resort was excellent. The food wasn’t the cheapest but it was some of the best food we had on the island and well worth it.

Zacary’s bar and restaurant – good place to chill

The entertainment was basic pub type singers and a Bollywood night (not very authentic) and a Flamenco night which was better but I think that the true Spanish Flamenco wouldn’t have appealed to most people there.

At the resort was a small shop (Sam’s Pantry) which sold all the essentials at good prices, a crazy golf course, table tennis, foosball table and an air hockey table for the kids. The swimming pool was great with good areas for children and adults and it was a constant 28°C so really good to swim in. The whole resort was beautifully maintained with great staff.

Lovely pool area

The weather when we arrived was clear blue sky but very windy, although it was a warm wind and we decided to make the most of it and spent Friday afternoon getting our bearings and finding bus stops etc. We ate at Zacary’s on Friday night and had their version of Chicken Cordon Bleu with Canarian potatoes – so yummy! We had the soup of the day which was a vegetable one and delicious, dessert was an almond tart for Annie and a Chocolate fondant for me – again so yummy.

SATURDAY

Today we went for another walk near the Marina (more of that later!) and found some shops and a supermarket where we bought some fruit and supplies to keep us going after the welcome pack ran out. We started to walk back to the apartment a different way to the way we’d got to the shops and realised we’d walked a long way out of our way, in fact my toe post Birkenstock sandals ended up rubbing a blister between my toes! Ouch! Didn’t mind though, we saw more of the area and got very, very hot! We also attended the Welcome Meeting and had our free Sangria and found out about excursions and entertainment etc.  Luckily there was no hard sell and they didn’t send the resort salesman round to get us to try and buy a week.

We ate at Zacary’s on Saturday night again, more Canarian potatoes and I had seabass but can’t remember what Annie had! I do remember we had strawberry cheesecake and another chocolate dessert!  The entertainment was laid back and Rat Pack style but the guy had a good voice and so it was a pleasant way to spend an evening and drinking sangria.

Golf Del Sur itself is a bit out of the way and although there were bars and restaurants nearby there didn’t appear to be any atmosphere to the area. The sea front was pure volcanic sand and rocks and the restaurants and bars along the paseo looked tired and in need of some customers but unless you were in an apartment overlooking the sea there was no real signage to show how to get it so it’s easy to miss.

Beach and Marina area at Golf Del Sur

The buses were only 5 mins from the apartment and we could get the fast 483 for €1.50 each to Los Cristianos or the slow and longer 470 which went around the La Gallettas area so we got to see more of the island and cost €2.45 each. We could’ve got a Bono ticket but couldn’t find anywhere to buy one near the resort and even in Los Cristianos we didn’t see any signs where to buy them and when we were at the bus terminus the info desk was closed when we were there!

SUNDAY

We went to Los Cristianos market this morning, getting up early to make the most of the day and got the 483 bus. The market was good fun with lots of things to buy; we both bought handbags, mine white and Annie’s turquoise in the same style. Annie and I both love to shop but were careful not to get too carried away, especially as there were a lot of things that we could also get in the UK . However, we did get some pretty glass necklaces and earrings too! I’m just a magpie and love shiny, sparkly things!

Paseo at Los Cristianos – near the market

We then went on a walk around Los Cristianos, we stopped for coffee at a small bar and enjoyed a bit of people watching before going along the paseo. I have to say it wasn’t quite what I was expecting and initially I was a bit disappointed but it did grow on me and when we went back 2 more times I did come to like it.

We had lunch at a restaurant called Fados, only omelette and chips but the service and the flavour was exceptional. So much so we decided to go there again another day.

So good we went back twice!

We continued to walk along the paseo to the end and saw some amazing sand sculptures and then walked back to the bus station through the town and past the church.

Now that’s what I call a sand castle!

Looked in a small shop and ended up buying 2 cheesecloth dresses in red and black, managed to knock the guy down from €40 to €36 for the two, not sure I did get a bargain but they are lovely dresses. He tried to sell me an HD card for my camera but I refused, tried to tell me my £250 camera needed another card!

The weather was extremely hot and the sun was shining all day so when we got back to our apartment we went for a swim to cool off before getting ready for a relaxing evening watching the entertainment. As we’d eaten earlier in the day we just had a snack in the apartment before going to the bar and listening to another male singer, again laid back style and basically almost the same set as the guy the night before!

MONDAY

We decided to stay close to home and have a swim in the pool, it was so good, we then relaxed and another walk around the area and decided that we would book a tour to Mount Teide on the Wednesday and go on a whale watching trip on Thursday, before we went home. We ended up finding our way down to the Marina at Golf del Sur and as I said before it was a bit disappointing. The volcanic rock was so black it looked like the beaches of Northumberland where the coal mines dumped their slag into heaps. There were some people sun bathing but by this time the Kalima had arrived and the sky was very grey all day and it was impossible to see the horizon!

Kalima haze spoils the view out to sea

However, it was still very, very hot. Didn’t stop us having a walk around though, the bars weren’t busy at all and it was quite depressing to see. We stopped for a drink in a bar and had Sangria and a coffee just to give them something to do!! Then we had a look in some of the shops and Annie bought another bag!! She’s such a shopaholic! LOL! There were a couple of other shops with lots of goodies in but some of the owners were a bit pushy and I can’t stand that, mind you the stuff was nice!

Camel display outside restaurant

As we walked back to the apartment we saw a pub called the Old Mill up a side road. There were no signs to it and it was quite new. We went in and had fish and chips – they did 3 sizes and we went for the small which was enough for us as we both had dessert – me sticky toffee pudding and custard and Annie had bread and butter pudding and cream. As we were having trouble at the resort with Wi-Fi I logged on to their and managed to get hold of John on Skype! It was so clear and although I couldn’t see him, he could see from the camera on my phone where we were eating and we were able to have a good conversation with him. The owner of the bar has been in Tenerife for 14 years and owned the bar for 2 years. I’m amazed he gets any trade as its not signposted or advertised at all but he is really a good host and the food was great.

We then went back to Zacary’s to see the Bollywood show. We were a bit disappointed as it wasn’t very authentic – one of the other diners was Asian and she said it wasn’t authentic at all! After the dancing there was a guy singing who fancied himself as Neil Diamond but he did include the audience and one of the holidaymakers got up on the stage and do a sad dad dance!

TUESDAY

Got up and had breakfast and decided to go for another swim, could get used to this! The pool is just the right temperature and we swam and did water aerobic (well our version) until we’d had enough and went back to get dressed and go off to Playa de Las Americas on the bus. Well that’s what we thought we were doing! We ended up at the bus station which is a long way from the beach! We asked a couple of English people and they said we should’ve got off at least 3 stops back! So back on the same bus and the driver told us where to get off!

Playa de Las Americas – Part of a resort with a music venue

We were going to look for the Safari Centre which we’d been recommended to see as in the evenings there are dancing fountains and lots of shops. We found the area and had a quick drink in a bar called Harry’s which was undergoing  renovations  but we were desperate for the loo so it was worth putting up with the noise and the dust! Then we had a great walk around the shopping area and decided that we wouldn’t stay for the evening as we weren’t sure about the last buses back to Golf del Sur so we walked down to Playa La Vistas and walked along the paseo and into Los Cristianos for another walk along the paseo. The beach along this stretch is imported sand and a lot more like what we’re used to and we saw some more sand sculpture along the way.

When we got into Los Cristianos we had another great meal at Fados. We had the Menu del Dia for €8.25. We started with Salad and Annie had the tuna and I had the calamari followed by fruit salad for Annie and Crema Caramel for me. It was a really lovely meal and I’ve recommended it on Trip Advisor. Back at the resort we decided to stay in for the night as we were exhausted from all our walking!

WEDNESDAY

Off to see Mount Teide on an excursion which took us around the Island looking at some amazing sights. It certainly made me think more about coming back to Tenerife to see what more it can offer. We started off being picked up at Golf Del Sur and going off to Los Cristianos and La Americas to pick up our fellow travellers. We had a mix of English speakers and Russian so our guide Artis had to do his talks in both languages.

Our first stop was a small bar in Guia de Isora, which sold Canarian coffee made with an espresso with milk and condensed milk. We didn’t try it and stuck to water! There was a Russian girl who decided she wanted to have her picture taken sitting in the middle of the road on a blind bend! She and her friend seemed to like to take odd shots of each other!

First stop – Guia de Isora

There was also another tour bus following us with a girl who was dressed in high heels, pretty summer frock and carrying a big camera and tripod and it seems she was taking photos of herself in various poses – assume for her portfolio, although she wasn’t beautiful I suppose she had a good figure but it did look odd the way she preened herself and then posed for the photo!

We then went onward to the pine forest and on to the Mount Teide plateau – it was amazing and awe inspiring! Unfortunately the pictures show the sky as grey as the Kalima was still hanging around and again it was hot, hot, hot! Apparently it was hitting 38°C at least!

Annie and Chris conquer Mount Teide!

Must go back just to go up the Volcano and see the views on a clear day. Artis was very good at telling us all about the area.

We went onto see the Oratava Valley, Icod Los Vinos where we saw the biggest Drago tree in Europe and had a wine tasting.

Largest Drago tree

Then on for lunch at the Oasis de Valle restaurant. It was a little gem of a place with a funny little garden area, and a small zoo which we didn’t have time to look round because we were too busy enjoying the amazing food. For  €13 each we got unlimited wine and soft drinks, a fantastic thick vegetable and meaty soup, followed by the best chicken in a sort of BBQ sauce with Canarian potatoes, followed by fruit and a gorgeous coconut ice-cream!

Stopped here for a great lunch.
Annie & Chris in national dress!

Back on the bus Annie couldn’t find her purse so she and the guide went back to the restaurant and the staff were mortified but there was no sign of the purse. Then Annie realised she’d only taken her money and card out and left the purse at the apartment! She felt really silly but didn’t say anything!

Next stop was Masca, a small village on a very windy road that was only built 50 years ago. The little bar there charged 50c to use the loo if you didn’t buy a drink but it was a nice little place with lovely views and we saw buzzards flying high above us.

I can see you! Lizard at Masca

We also saw a lizard hiding in the wall and managed to get a good photo. Then off we go up and down the windy roads and the bus driver was fantastic, a car nearly went into us as we were going along but again the bus driver coped brilliantly. I know he does the trip regularly but it’s still a very difficult road.

View down to the bar at Masca

Next stop was a place call Garruchio where the last eruption in 1706 had caused rock pools to form and now the residents use them to swim in, although as there’s no beach at all there they’ve also built a swimming pool for those who don’t what to dive in off the side of the lava flow.

More lava at Garruchio
Lava Swimming pools – really weird

Finally we made our way back via Los Gigantes, which again because of the Kalima wasn’t very clear to see.  All in all we had an amazing day and feel the €30 was well worth it and would recommend it.

Back to the apartment to freshen up and get ready to go to the Flamenco show which was better than the Bollywood one. Discovered Brandy Alexanders! Oooh so yummy. After the flamenco show there was a good Spanish guitarist and it was a great way to end the day.

THURSDAY

Well, our last day has arrived and we’re off to Los Cristianos to go on a Whale watching trip. We got up early and had a wander around Los Cristianos again and then at 11am onto the boat The Travelling Lady. It was a motor boat and the crew were excellent and took us off out to sea to find whales. The swell was a bit higher than I would’ve liked but I didn’t get sea sick unlike Annie who felt unwell but stayed staring at the horizon. However a lot of the people on the boat were ill and the crew were busy handing out and retrieving blue sick bags to dispose of them.

The crew of the Travelling Lady

We saw a pod of pilot whales including a baby, having a wonderful time in the water, although we didn’t get really close we did get a good view (despite what my pictures show!) On the way back to the harbour we detoured to the cliffs and the water was so blue and turquoise it was beautiful. We passed a fish farm where they breed sea bass (I think) and there was a dolphin in the area but we only caught a glimpse.

One of the pod of pilot whales off Los Cristianos

Back to Los Cristianos for lunch at a restaurant on the front and a nice walk back to the bus to go to home.  Stopped off in the shop at the resort to get some cake and went back to the apartment to get ready for a nice swim to cool off.

Back to Zacary’s for our last meal, We both had the carrot and potato soup which was delicious and Annie had the Chicken again and I had the most amazing seafood – prawns, mussels, sea bass, salmon, tuna in a wine sauce with Canarian potatoes and the shredded sautéed veg which they serve with everything. Dessert for me – strawberry cheesecake again.  The entertainment was a Scottish singer/comedian. He was so sexist, racist and just plain rude that we didn’t stay to the end. Still we had a lovely day and had to finish packing for our flight the next day.

FRIDAY

Up early, breakfast, checked packing and off to reception to get the coach to the airport. Arrived at airport and checked in and went off to find shops and duty free. I have to say I don’t like Tenerife airport – its expensive, the duty free prices were more than in the shops in Los Cristianos so all I bought was some rock with Tenerife written through it for my grandson in there but spend a lot on Canarian biscuits and a some wind chimes for my baby grand kids.

Wasn’t impressed with having to queue in a dark, hot corridor with no info on which queue was what. Annie and I got accused of jumping the queue but it was only because we went on the queue that was moving fastest!  Had to walk down a fire escape to get to the tarmac and walk to the plane – not my idea of fun but at least we had a tail wind and we got home early and Easyjet sold a litre of Bells for £10 which is cheaper than in duty free.

Landed early and John met us in arrivals and we got home, tired but happy. I had a wonderful week with my best friend Annie and hopefully next time we can persuade our other best friend Jayne to come with us!