One of the stated attractions of Tenerife is their markets. When we first arrived here the weekly market was on the roof of the buildings overlooking Puerto Colon harbour. It was a confusing jumble of stalls offering everything from trinkets to financial advice. It was there, in fact, where we first learned that Parque del Sol, where we have our apartment, was originally built by the infamous John Palmer who was convicted of timeshare fraud and eventually shot dead having been connected to the Brinks Mat Robbery.
About ten years ago the market moved to its current location, occupying a large car park overlooking the Hotel Fañabe that I’ve mentioned before. At the same time its character changed, becoming cluttered with small stalls selling illegal knock-offs of every fashion brand crammed together so tightly that humanity surges like a wave down the narrow corridors between the stalls.
Sometimes the press is so tight that it’s almost impossible to stop in front of a stall that interests you and it’s necessary to go with the flow until you can find a little eddy space and can fight back against the flow to find the little bit of tat which caught your attention. Some fools try to walk in the opposite direction triggering exclamations of annoyance in Dutch, German, French, Italian or English for most of that seething, roiling mass are tourisms lured by the prospect of ‘a bargain’.
There are bargains to be had; but very few and far between – unless you buy a pashmina bearing the Louis Vuitton branding for €10 and think you have struck fashion gold. I did get a bargain many years ago picking up two branded polo shirts for a reasonable price. The bargain wasn’t in the branding so much as the fact that they lasted, unaccountably, for years and years. That’s a man bargain for you.
From the market it’s only a short downhill walk to the Plaza del Duque, the undisputed fashion centre of Adeje. Here you can find the genuine Rolex, the real Balmain or the authentic Lacoste at a price which will make your eyes water.
Small wonder then that the tourists in their millions flock to the market and desert the fashion shops. Once, when I arrived on holiday without a watch, I haggled with a street vendor and came away with a Rolex that cost me €6. It was only later that I realised that the markings said ‘Rolex Perpual’ rather than ‘Perpetual’. No matter, it worked well for years despite leaving my wrist a confusing shade of green occasionally.
Tonight we plan to return to another old favourite, arguably the best Indian restaurant in Tenerife. I’m talking, of course, of the Bombay Babu; a strange name perhaps but the food is incomparably good – usually. I’m just hoping that I haven’t put a jinx on this place as I seem to be doing by extolling the virtues of other restaurants we have visited this time.
Good news, the Bombay Babu is as good as ever. On a personal bonus, walking back along the beach we came across a beach bar hosting an excellent rock trio that made the whole beach buzz. Two large amarettos later and I’m ready for bed.