3.17.2019

Bajo el sol Canario.

Tenerife. But not as I thought it would be.


It's 20:01pm and I am on a very cold Thameslink train to Gatwick airport. Sniffly and exhausted from the hours earlier, I let my body fall into the blue flecked chairs and I drift. I am tired but I am filled with a childish bubbling kind of ardour because Kristabel and I will be flying to The Canary Islands, Tenerife to be specific. Tenerife, for me, has always been: Drunken Brits, House music, Cheap Alcohol and Hook up Culture, I suppose because that's what I've been fed, particularly at school where after sixth form most of my school mates did exactly the above in various islands around Spain, including Tenerife. When we arrive at the hotel, I lay in bed googling all things authentic Canarian, and I flit in and out of sleep dreaming of churros, beaches and sunshine. I wake up sans alarm at 4am.  A quick shower later and we are dressed and hastily dragging our luggage downstairs. We breeze through the airport and then we're on the flight,  we’re off, the plane propels upwards and it's goodbye London, and hola Tenerife. Every time I travel, be it by car, train or plane,  I am softly reminded of the sheer beauty of this world and I marvel joyously at Gods creation as our transfer car hurtles through smooth roads surrounded by deep blue Atlantic ocean, lapping hungrily at shiny grey rocks. 
Once we arrive at our hotel, unpack and take in our surroundings, our excursionist's feet carry us to the old district in search of a strong drink and authentic Canarian cuisine and we end up at a beautiful restaurant called La Hierbita. The first thing I order is a small glass of house red wine, reader what I received was an extra large glass of red wine and a few sips later I was feeling relaxed and ready to eat. The speciality black pork with patatas for me, and grilled squid with wrinkled potatoes for Kristabel. The speed at which we wolfed the food down was quite frankly inhuman, but we were mere weary and very tired travellers. Post lunch Kristabel asked for a cappuccino to help wake her up after travelling on about three hours sleep, and instead the waiter insisted that she try the Barraquito - A Specialty coffee of Tenerife, layers of condensed milk, an espresso shot, frothed milk, some lemon peel and liquor 43 and topped with a sprinkling of cinnamon. A delicious blend of sweet, bitter, caramelly goodness. After lunch, we took some photos of the interior of La Hierbita - A member of staff exclaimed that we must see the upper dining rooms and we shuffled through the thin corridors whilst he explained that the restaurant used to be a brothel back in the day.
As I was taking a photo of a dilapidated door, an older gentleman stopped to talk to us. Balentine the architect was his name, and his dog Rocky. Balentine, Kristabel and I express our thoughts about Brexit, loss of jobs, gentrification in Tenerife and loss of culture in broken Spanglish, filled with passionate gesticulation to show our thoughts. Balentine kindly invited us for a gin and tonic with his partner, but we had to places to explore so we bid he and rocky adieu but not without me planting a few kisses on Rocky’s nose and giving him a big squeeze.
In between eating a whole lot of seafood (an obvious specialty), tapas and drinking a lot of Dorada, the local beer, which came in a delicious lemon 'Radler' flavour that I would highly recommend and drink forever, we spent a lot of time just walking, somewhat aimlessly around the streets of Tenerife, be it in Santa Cruz where we were staying, or in La Laguna the university town which is also a UNESCO world heritage site, and it felt wonderful and was something I vowed to do more in London. Just to walk and get lost. 
Sometimes heaven feels like warm soft compact sand beneath your feet, the Spanish sun on your back and the Atlantic Ocean quietly lapping at the shore - gently asking you to be at one with her. Playa de Las Teresitas is a beach a short bus ride away from Santa Cruz, located in the San Andres municipality. Think over a mile of beautiful golden sands, like an effulgence. As a self-confessed city girl, the beach was something that truly felt *needed*, just dipping my lower half into the salty blue sea felt like a type of ablution that absolved me of some of the worries and fatigue that had crept into my brain over the trip.

It was a simple and short visit, but Tenerife, I will be back. Volveré pronto...

2 comments

  1. I love holidays like this, wandering about, meeting & chatting with the locals and eating good, authentic food. For a lot of the same reasons that you mentioned, Spain has never been very high on my travel bucketlist but my mind has definitely changed after reading this. Love the pictures, they're beautiful. I love that grainy, scratchy effect , it's my favourite way to edit my pictures. xx

    Coco Bella Blog

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  2. Spain is my favourite country, I think. I love the culture, the language, the people and I cannot wait to spend my year abroad there. I had the exact same impression of the Canary Islands and the Balearics, (read: brits abroad, getting super pissed and rowdiness) but I guess that's just an ugly cover to a wonderful book. There's a huge Moroccan community in the canary islands too, which makes sense considering it's only 62 miles away, so I'd love to visit some day- I'm sure that between the Spanish culture and Moroccan community I'll feel at home.

    Dalal
    dalaltahira.com

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XOXO Sade

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