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Archive for September, 2009

El Puerto de Oro

El Puerto de Oro

Last night, as Jack was taking the homemade quiche out of the oven, I went outside to set the table on the terrace and found that the world had turned to a vibrant, rich, rose hue. The white walls of our house were luminous salmon pink and beyond, the Orotava Valley shone like molten gold.

When we spot one of Puerto’s trademark sunsets shaping up, we have an overwhelming desire to run to the car, drive two minutes up the hill to Humboldt’s Mirador and photograph the valley mid-crimson but we know that by the time we get there it will be gone.
Last night, with every passing second we watched the sky deepen into a painfully intense scarlet until it didn’t seem possible for such beauty to exist in the world. And then it was gone.

It’s said that in days of old, navigators christened Puerto de la Cruz ‘Puerto de Oro’ (the golden port) as night after night the setting sun bathed it in a mist of rosy light.
I think the Portuenses should consider changing their town’s name back to that because it’s so perfectly apt.
So here, albeit belatedly, is the sky for you to enjoy, courtesy of el Puerto de Oro:

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One of the delights of living in the north of Tenerife is that, although we’re now into our fifth month of proper summer (glossing swiftly over September’s propensity to cloud over in the afternoons at the moment) and looking forward to another six weeks or so of it, we do still have seasons.

With November comes the rain, usually tremendous monsoon showers which swell the summer’s parched earth. Then the nights grow cooler signalling time to put the quilt back on the bed. By late December or early January we’re ready for the winter’s first fire, when the logs are brought in to sit by the wood burning stove, the kindling is laid and the ritual first flames fill the living room with their flickering glow.

Of course, having a wood burning stove means you have to have wood, and lots of it. Stoves are hungry and can eat their way through a wood pile in no time. Last winter was the longest and coolest we’ve experienced since moving here and left our wood supply seriously depleted. So when a couple of weeks ago our neighbour gave us 18 small pine logs, the remains of trees that had been pruned to death last year, it was very good news indeed.
The logs were gratefully received and ‘temporarily’ dumped onto the back terrace where they made a great deal of mess of sawdust, pine resin and dirt.

Our new rustic feature...

Our new rustic feature...

A couple of days later we offered to host a meeting of our friends and colleagues John (Sorted Sites), Julie (Tenerife Tattle) and Colin (Colin Kirby). The weather was extremely hot and the shady terrace was the perfect venue so something had to be done – fast.
Laying the logs diagonally in front of the kindling store at the bottom of the path was the ingenious solution. We created an instant rustic feature that hid the messy kindling pile and provided a rather elegant staircase for Whiskas to use at the same time. Purr-fect (ouch).

Whiskas new staircase

...and Whiskas' new staircase

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