My first morning on Tenerife, in Costa Adeje, was late, lazy, lovely and started off with two good impressions. An amazing breakfast and a German girl on the top bunk. Blonde with blue eyes of course. Too bad she was flying back home that morning.
The breakfast was rich and varied, so at least I knew I wouldn’t starve by skipping all the other meals of the day, which happens to me quite often on vacation.
After breakfast I went on to accomplish my main goal for the day. Flip-flops. Because nobody sells flip-flops in Romania in November. Did that fast, went back, dropped my shoes, grabbed the camera and went in the straightest possible line to the ocean.
Full exploration mode.
The ocean was wonderful but a bit cold, so I left the swimming part for another day.
While strolling around I realized that life in flip-flops is harder than I thought. I prefer my hiking boots, but they would’ve been out of place there and of no real use. So I continued barefoot, only to notice that I was the only one walking barefoot around those fancy hotels and oceanfront restaurants where elegant waiters poured wine in glasses for nicely dressed people. The first sign that I had come to the wrong place. But nobody knew me, so what the hell?
I continued to ramble between the clear blue water of the ocean and the black sand of the beaches, palm trees and fancy hotels until I got hungry. Then back to the hostel, quick shower to save the planet, shoes on and back out again to find something to eat. And to achieve my second goal for the day, buying a bono bus card which was supposed to give me some discount when using the public transport.
I found the card in a small shop, tried my Spanish with the seller, it didn’t work, bought it in English and then decided to get out of my comfort zone and try the local dish recommended to me by Karen, the girl at the reception, who wasn’t a local either, but a Brazilian. She had given me a map of the area writing on it the name of a restaurant, one of a fish and another one of a sauce. All that in Spanish. I didn’t understand much but I went for it. My Spanish didn’t work too well again so I showed the written recommendation to the waiter.
The fish got me scared a little bit with his ugly face, lying there split in half on my plate. What saved me were the baked potatoes. They looked… comfortable. I stared with unease at my dish for a few minutes waiting for an excuse – like the local beer that was supposed to come and didn’t – then gathered my courage, took a small bite of the fish and… surprise. The fish was tasty and the sauce with the local potatoes were delicious.
The price was as well a surprise. The girl had said 10-12 euro, beer included. The ugly fish was 15, the beer, which they brought after I asked for it a second time, 2.5, plus the tip, 20 in total. The conclusion? Skipping breakfast is not an option.
Back at the hostel I found Marios, a cool Greek guy playing his nation’s traditional musical instrument and the lazy cat named Milka lounging by the pool. She’s not as big as a cow but big enough for a cat. And she’s always begging for food.
In the evening my mind was so full of ideas and impressions and I realized that my two weeks and a half there won’t be enough. I would need at least three months.
The rest of my days in Costa Adeje were more or less the same. Minus the ugly fish. Plus more beers. And dozens of kilometers of wandering around.
On the second day it rained. For like 10 minutes. In total. A light rain. The worst weather there in 8 months they said.
And I did what I knew best. I walked. A lot. Because that’s the only thing I know how to do well. I explored the famous Los Cristianos and Las Americas, but only because they were there and I’d heard about them. And because I was curious and wanted to see everything.
For me, all that area is like an immense mall. Full of modern hotels, sterile alleyways, level-cut green grass, fancy restaurants and colorful, flashy shops. And retired people – at least this time of the year when the winter in Europe makes them chase the sun on Tenerife. After one hour, I couldn’t take it anymore and took a bus back to the hostel, tired and hungry and thinking about a nice hearty lunch.
But there was no time for lunch because at the hostel I met Charles, a crazy french guy in his fifties, photographer as well. Cool man. We ended up on the beach for some sunset photography, but not before spending a good amount of time having fun explaining to a cute Russian girl how to get to the mighty volcano in the middle of the island.
The other day I tried my luck with Roque del Conde, a prominent peak in the area, rising 1001 meters above the ocean, all excited to get up there and see everything the way I like it. From above and from afar.
My hosts told me that it’s not possible to walk straight from the hostel and that it’s too long to go around and that I need to take a bus to another village and hike from there, but my map said it is possible, so I went for it all excited and happy and adventurous.
About two hours later I was changing my mind. A warning in Spanish and many signposts with the figure of a dog made my mind come up with a translation like area guarded by dogs. Which wouldn’t have been too nice, especially alone on an unmarked trail that wasn’t used anymore. I know how to deal with dogs in Romanian, but in Spanish? My Spanish?
I continued a little bit until some nervous barking in the distance by some buildings I was supposed to cross convinced me that my translation was accurate. My adventurous spirit quieted down in no time and I started to find excuses like the light that was bad for photography or the atmosphere that wasn’t too clear to see much around. You know, the grapes were sour that day for me.
Later I found out that the sign said something about domestic dogs, not guarded by dogs. Oh well, shit happens. But I still got to explore some other interesting areas around and the day wasn’t lost so I went straight to the beach because the weather and the water were just perfect.
For lunch, since I was lazy, I chose some sandwiches with salmon from a supermarket recommended by Charles to be cheaper. His 10 minutes away were actually half an hour – and I don’t walk slow, the food didn’t seem to be cheaper and while eating I found out that the salmon in my sandwiches was actually simple ham. I wasn’t surprised anymore.
Afterwards, me and Charles decided to go to a special place to photograph the sunset. Yes, again. We had heard about a hippie beach near La Caleta, one hour of walking north of Costa Adeje and we had seen a wonderful place for photography nearby, in other photos.
The place was perfect. But we couldn’t find it. So we ended up watching the sunset from above the hippie beach and laughing like crazy for the whole evening. Charles almost found himself a girlfriend, some local businesswoman it seemed. For me, nothing.
It didn’t matter anyways, because the next day I was heading north to the little village of Masca in the Teno Mountains.
But that in the next post. Until then, enjoy some more pictures.