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Posts Tagged ‘beach’

I’ve heard it said that Puerto de la Cruz in the north of Tenerife is a quiet, traditional town favoured by elderley Brit and German holidaymakers who choose the resort for their holidays on Tenerife. In fact, for some regular visitors to TripAdvisor, that image is promoted as a selling point. But in reality, Puerto is probably the most misrepresented resort on Tenerife.
You see, it just doesn’t fit the mould of other popular Tenerife resorts.

For one thing, its character is essentially Tinerfeñan. Although the first resort on the island and the victim of mass tourism development in the 1960s and 1970s, the town has never given up its identity to fit in with tourist expectations. The vast majority of its almost 32,000 population are Tinerfeñan, Canarian or Spanish and they live, work and play in the town year-round.

Nightlife in Puerto doesn’t fit the mould of other Tenerife resorts either. Conspicuous by their absence are cabaret bars (with the notable exception of the excellent and hilarious Bitter & Twisted), tribute bands and Karaoke bars. Absent too are über-stylish lounge bars where the beautiful people gather to pay extortionate prices for their vodka and Red Bull. Instead, Puerto prefers to conduct its social life the same way it does its family life – in the community; sitting at one of the tables beside the harbour or in one of the squares people-watching over a carafe of wine; chatting in a local bar with a glass of vino del pais and shots of brandy; open air concerts, fiestas and entertainment at the harbour and dancing in night clubs that don’t open until midnight and unless you knew where they were, you would probably never find them.

But more than anything else, the thing that separates Puerto from other Tenerife resorts is that it’s at its very liveliest in summer when Spanish mainlanders and Canarios descend on the town in their droves to enjoy a non-stop party. Beaches become a busy playground of brightly coloured sun umbrellas at the water’s edge; the harbour, streets and squares buzz day and night with holiday makers strolling with ice creams, candy-floss and almendras; tapas restaurants fill the streets with candlelit tables and the night air with irresistible aromas and there’s barely a Brit or a German to be seen.

Puerto de la Cruz – about as sleepy as a convention of insomniacs.

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You may imagine that living on a tropical island I must spend a great deal of my time lying on a beach topping up an all-year tan. You’d be mistaken.

For one thing, I’m desperately trying to make a living which is proving particularly difficult in these times of ‘economic crisis’ and for another, my standards for what I consider to be a beach day have changed somewhat. In other words, I’ve become fussy.

Before I moved to Tenerife, any small break in the clouds would have me stripping off and lying prone until the cold became intolerable and I’ve spent many an hour on some beach or in the garden, wrapped in a towel waiting for the sun to reappear.
Nowadays, when the rare opportunity to spend a day on the beach presents itself, nothing less than unbroken sunshine in an azure sky and air temperatures of at least 24°C will hack it.

Our local beach,Bollullo...bliss!

Our local beach,Bollullo...bliss!

For those two reasons, as I sit here I’m as pale as milk and haven’t been to the beach since early November.

Well this week was post-Carnaval week; a period traditionally dedicated to R&R after the excesses of alcohol, the disrupted eating and sleeping patterns and the physical demands of repeatedly walking the 3 kilometres to town and back, partying until morning and spending hours on our feet parade watching. Coupled with an impending visit from our friend Jo en route from the UK to her home on La Gomera, this week presented the perfect opportunity to put in some beach time.

Unfortunately, having spent all day Tuesday cleaning the house and converting the small room from office to guest bedroom, when Jo arrived my visions of two days feeling the warmth of the sun on my face and the heat of the sand beneath my toes vanished in 18°C temperatures and cloudy skies. By way of a double whammy, the now abandoned hope of beach time was replaced by Jo’s busy schedule of ‘things we could do instead’.
Cleaning, shopping, cooking, baking, gardening (including weeding our neighbour’s garden while he played golf!) and walking, plus a few hours of essential work is not my idea of complete rest.

Admittedly watching football, Mamma Mia! and Blackpool went some way to compensating and it’s always a joy to spend time with Jo, but nevertheless, as far as I’m concerned I’m OWED beach time. So I hope the weather Gods have enjoyed their R&R since Carnaval ended because at the first sign of sun next week I’m beach bound …provided the thermometer’s moved up about six degrees of course.

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El Medano; where the breeze is constant and the views hold some surprisesYesterday I was in the kite-boarders’ and wind-surfers’ paradise resort of El Médano and I’ve never seen so many naked men in one place.

That’s not to say they were wandering around the streets, nor even stretched out on the town’s main beach. No. I had to walk quite some distance to find them.

‘Walking’ and ‘hiking’ would probably not be at the top of most people’s list if you were to ask them what Tenerife means to them. But the island is in fact a kaleidoscopic matrix of trails that take you from tropical coastline, through arid badlands and heavenly scented pinewoods, to a 17 kilometre wide volcanic crater and climbing the World’s third largest volcano – Mount Teide.
There’s enough variety of terrain and spectacular scenery to keep even the most hardened of hikers whistling “Happy Feet”.

I’m currently making a concerted effort to hike as many of Tenerife’s trails as I can, and yesterday I opted for the bohemian, laid back resort of El Médano for a spot of coastal walking.
Leaving the town and heading out towards the red mountain which landmarks El Médano and is imaginatively named “La Montaña Roja”, it wasn’t long before my first naked buttocks came into view, beside the lagoon at the end of the dunes.

Continuing along the beach and following the path up Bocinegro, I diverted onto a lesser trodden path that took me to some amazing wind-sculptured sand and salt rock formations amongst which, I slowly became aware of a large number and variety of more flesh toned scenery. Naked men were wandering along the white pumice giant’s causeway; sunbathing and swimming in the small coves below the rocks, and generally standing around with their hands on their hips and their willies looking out to sea.

I’d clearly breached a favoured naturist, and presumably gay, location. Either that or it was the local ‘tackle-out fiesta’ and I hadn’t spotted it on the calendar.

Feeling oddly out of place and keeping my eyes more or less straight ahead, I continued on my way, skirting the base of Montaña Roja and then scaling its 173 metres just for a change of scenery.

It’s amazing how much variety you can see in one short hike on Tenerife!

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