Those of you who know me, you will also know that a couple of decades ago we bought a timeshare here in Tenerife. The negatives didn’t faze us, the horror stories left us unmoved. We had already stayed at this apartment complex for three years on package holidays and when the opportunity came up we snatched this two-bed apartment from a French couple who seemed eager to sell. The lease is ours until I’m 125, at which point I may well opt for Club 120-130 holidays instead.
Then we got to thinking… Every year we come out here for a week (we fell in love with the island) and it costs us £X pounds for the flights. But if we came for two weeks… the flight costs are the same, obviously. So we bought another timeshare week in the same block. And so it went on…
Last year MBH said to me “You know dear, how every year, we fly out for two weeks? What if…”. And so, MBH got to work to find another week – this time at the other end of Playa de las Americas so we could sample the nightlife at the same time. When it comes to finding a bargain MBH cannot usually be beaten and before too long she had booked us a week in Parque Santiago I directly with the owner and close to the Golden Mile and about three and a half miles from Fañabe. I have to admit I was slightly nervous. The busy end of Playa has a reputation for entertainment and fine restaurants but liveliness also means overindulgence in drinking. We English seem to have a problem with alcohol in that the only way many of us can tell we are having a good time is if we cannot feel our tongues. It’s a little embarrassing to be surrounded by groups of people often old enough to know better but who have taken advantage of the €1 per pint of local beer to the extent that they can barely walk in any sort of line, straight or parabolic.
We arrived at Parque Santiago I, one of oldest apartment blocks in the resort. The place is beautiful and retains a lot of the Spanish style of the area with red pantiled roofs, white plastered walls and dark wood balustrades and furniture. The apartment was classically Mediterranean with kitchen leading to living space leading to french windows and louvered doors opening on to a small balcony. Sleeping space was accessed by a staircase and we found a large main bedroom with a small double bed. A door at one side led to another bedroom with two single beds nestling under the sloping roof. To the other side was a door leading to a good sized bathroom with… a bath! At home we have a shower room but I know MBH prefers a bath and I can guess that this apartment was ideal for her.
I’m conscious that I’m beginning to sound like an estate agent so let’s nip that in the bud. Suffice to say that the apartment looked comfortable and was ideally placed for us to enjoy a different third week. One good feature was the view. To one side of the balcony we could see the sea, the surfers’ waves audibly crashing against the pebbles. To the other side we had a good view of the Teide volcano and the hillsides below the caldera.
The location meant that we had the option to walk easily into Los Cristianos or back towards Puerto Colon. Which we did. Again and again. Returning tired and hungry we had an extensive choice of restaurant to satisfy our needs. The apartment lacked an oven so we were obliged to eat out most nights.
- Golden House – cheap and very popular Chinese. Food good, free bottle wine
- Scampis – English fish and chip restaurant. Food excellent, reminiscent of home
- Bianco – Italian restaurant. Food very good, service impeccable but pricey
- Empire – English restaurant. Food very good, service impeccable but pricey
These last two are part of the Venture Restaurants chain. Clearly their staff training is excellent and their cellars identical (although Empire charged us a couple of euros more for the same bottle of wine we chose at Bianco).
Every evening there were activities for those who wanted them. This week was a festival dedicated to the elderly so the street was lined with stalls selling aids and support for the infirm or opportunities for pensioners to part with their cash on investment ventures. We gave that a miss.
One this we did catch was the nightly fountain sonne et lumiere display at the Safari Centre. The fountains are spectacular and when lit provide an exciting display.
All too soon it was time for us to leave this paradise and return home to England. Only 49 weeks until next time. Counting….