There is a nice little shopping centre above Puerto Colon harbour in Playa. From our cosy apartment in Playa Fañabe it’s a good walk culminating in a steep hill climb. Many tourists have nicknamed this hill ‘Heart Attack Hill’ for good reason. There is a restaurant at the bottom, Harleys, and anyone who shovels away one of their burger meals washed down with a few beers and then attempts that hill at a brisk pace is likely to need the attention of the local soccorista before too long.
Walking up the hill with unaccustomed ease I realise that the regular short walks round our local lake at home have paid unexpected dividends. Out target is San Eugenio and the brick built shopping centre it houses.
The shops in San Eugenio are little different from the shops in other parts of the island with a couple of exceptions. First there is an excellent jewellers who have, in the past sold me diamond jewellery and fine watches at a discount I wouldn’t have believed possible. I trust them implicitly to make a profit but not too much of a profit so I always visit their shop whenever I can though, at the moment, there is nothing I need to buy.
The other attraction in this place is the two cantinas in the centre, forming a pivot around which the rest of the world revolves. The bar we pick is run super-efficiently by a large Spanish woman who keeps one eye on her customers and two more on her bar staff. She makes doubly sure that no-one is short changed and tops up the lager glasses herself leaning over the counter to get at the taps. We take two coffees, espresso for me, a tiny amount of liquid in a miniscule cup. We used to joke that when I had Greek coffee I was only happy if the teaspoon could stand up in the coffee grounds in my cup. Like Jack Reacher I want it strong and black.
We settle back to watch the world go by. The bars are frequented as much by local business men and women as by tourists. The table on one side is currently occupied by three swarvy men, two intent on selling the third something he doesn’t need at a price he cannot pay. To the other side is a pair of English couples commenting on the price of everything – but knowing the value of nothing. In this part of the world I can get a massive breakfast (desayuno bumper) for a couple of pounds, let’s say four dollars. That is value!
As the day wears on we tire of our people watching and head towards the beach. We walk a little further than planned and end up settling for lunch at another bar/cantina. I’m on a salad kick and notice they do a ‘fruit breakfast’ or desayuno frutas. When it comes I realise I have got my five-a-day in before lunch and I settle down with gusto to taste the delicious banana, melon, kiwi, strawberry and apple slices before me. Could I be happier? I think not!
My half eaten breakfast. – courtesy of Cafetería Mayte, Veronica III, Playa de las Americas, Tenerife.
After lunch we head back slowly towards Fañabe calling in at a few favourite bars including Wolfi’s until we are back in our warm but quiet apartment overlooking the glistening blue swimming pool. We decide to eat frugally tonight after yesterday’s profligate spending at Rosso sul Mare and we end up buying from our nearest supermarket some cheese filled fresh ravioli and a bottle of Neapolitano sauce, we add some home made garlic bread wash it all down with a bottle of Sangré de Toro.
Later, gorging ourselves on reruns of Chicago Fire we slouch on the couch with chocolate and whisky. Try the combination – it works!