It may come as a bit of a surprise to the citizens of San Francisco, but for a few days last week, San Francisco moved its geographical location from America’s west coast to an island a couple of hundred kilometres off the coast of Africa.
I can’t understand why Tenerife isn’t considered a prime location by movie makers. There are ancient forests, mountain ranges, arid badlands, tropical beaches, quaint villages and a towering volcano surrounded by an enormous crater, all within the confines of one relatively small island.
The crater itself would be perfect for any number of sci-fi movies and is just crying out as a backdrop for velociraptors and T-Rex’s. Mind you ‘One Million Years B.C’ was made there, but that was nearly as long ago as the title of the movie.
I did literally almost stumble across a robot in the crater once. I’m still kicking myself for not taking a photo of it as later that day I read a report about it on the BBC news website and discovered it was destined for Mars (it just didn’t look that interesting – that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it).
So, when I parked my car beside the harbour at Puerto de la Cruz and noticed the four-mast schooner in the bay, maybe I should have paid a bit more attention. Instead I thought, ‘Hmmm, that’s not normally there,’ and carried on my way, my mind barely registering, first a 19th century horse and carriage and then a group of people kitted out in what looked like outfits favoured by early American pioneers as I hurried to reach the bank before it shut.
As it turned out, a Russian film crew were in town filming scenes for a new movie called ‘The Passenger’, part of which was set in San Francisco at the end of the 19th century, with Puerto de la Cruz, playing the part of San Francisco.
It might seem strange that these sights didn’t stop me in my tracks. What can I say? This is a town where I’ve seen men dressed as weeping widows following a 20ft sardine, herds of goats being dragged kicking and screaming into the harbour water, drag queens in fancy dress and 6-inch high heels running a marathon and gorillas on motorbikes. A few people in Wild West costumes just didn’t seem that out of the ordinary.