When we first came to Tenerife we stayed at the Hotel Fañabe just next door to where we are now 20 years later. In those days we came on package holidays and we were met in a group by a chirpy, underdressed, over-cosmeticised holiday ‘rep’ whose job it was in those days to make sure we were comfortable, unlikely to sue the tour company and at least able to negotiate the paths and language barriers that being British threw in our way.
At that time MBH and I were in our mid forties but fit and active in every way. We sat down with the group and listened patiently to our welcome information and get together. The gist of it seemed to be that we should be wary of leaving the grounds of the hotel but those more adventurous tourists might make it as far as the beach.
We were advised that there was somewhere called The Veronicas which had some nice restaurants and night clubs and it was only a short taxi ride away. Finally, she told us, there was another resort, far away, called Los Cristianos which was a long bus ride away but which we should never attempt to visit on foot because the distance and the heat would likely kill us all.
We listened. We ignored their advice totally. We survived.
To be fair, the walk to Los Cristianos is quite long, around five miles, and the heat can be quite sapping but that’s what they made bars for. We found we could walk for half an hour, sit at a bar and nurse a soft drink, carry on for another half hour, sit at a bar and have something to eat, and so on…
Now, sometimes the soft drink might have been made by San Miguel rather than Pepsi. Often we would get to Los Cristianos and then turn round and walk back again. Yes! Both ways! In this heat! Being honest, occasionally we got the bus back from Los Christianos but the service is infrequent and we end up at the Americas bus station with still a good long walk to our apartment.
Today was one of those days. We headed off after breakfast in the warm fragrant air. We had decided to take the long route which takes us to a point after Parque Santiago 2 to where some half dozen massive sculptures dominate the headland. From there we carried on towards Los Cristianos until we came up against the Vista Sur Shopping Centre. We realised that lunch was needed so we headed down the side of the shopping centre to a group of restaurants recommended by brits on holiday. There is Friends 1 then The Surfer’s Bar then Friends 2. We chose the middle of the three and were served good inexpensive food by friendly English waitresses. I can see why the brits would love it.
This left us technically inside the Los Cristianos boundary so, feeling smug, it was a simple matter of retracing our steps past the designer shops and up towards San Eugenio to get food at the Mercadona for tonight’s dinner. Down Heart Attack Hill and then across the top of the imposing Bahia Princess Hotel and we were home.
On a technical note, that’s 18,500 paces and 8.7 miles or so my clever little watch tells me. Simples!