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Posts Tagged ‘guide book’

We woke up yesterday to cold, cloud and drizzle, cursing our luck that we’d chosen the week’s worst weather day to show a friend something he’d never seen, despite 30 years of visiting Tenerife.
As we were about to pull the front door, the electricity went off.
“I think a day out will do us good”, I sighed.

Bob’s not like a lot of the Brits who spend their winters on Tenerife, moving from their apartment to the beach and the beach to their favourite bar, the longest journey they undertake being the one from the airport to their resort and then back again when it’s time to return in the spring.
Bob likes to explore Tenerife.

Not being a driver though, his exploration has to confine itself to those places he can easily access by public transport in a day and so, in 30 years of coming to Puerto de la Cruz, Bob had never been to Masca; Tenerife’s Shangri-La and the second most visited place on the island after Mount Teide.
Yesterday, Jack and I decided to rectify that omission and to take Bob on our ‘Hidden Depths’ discovery drive.

Masca never fails to impress even the most hardened of travellers.
From the moment you begin to climb the narrow road that snakes its way up the mountainside out of Santiago del Teide, then crest to reveal the tiny settlement perched at the mouth of its ravine, surrounded by palm groves and towering monoliths, until you reach the end of the path at the bottom of the village, the ‘WOW’ factor never diminishes.

“They have quite a history of witches here, you know.”
“Really?” Bob looked suitably sceptical.
“Yup, shape-changers; women who become crows, or pigs or cats and play tricks on you.”
We were walking back along the narrow road towards the car.
“That’s odd”, said Jack, “the mobile phone won’t switch on.”
“My camera’s just gone blank”, said Bob, “it won’t do anything.”
We stopped in the road and tried pressing buttons and changing batteries but nothing would resurrect the camera or the phone.
Eventually we gave up and continued walking. After a few yards the phone came back on and Bob’s camera miraculously came back to life.
“Told you.” I grinned.

By the time we arrived at the valley, the sun had burned the clouds off and it had turned into a beautiful afternoon. We found a perfect table at the picnic zone, in the dappled shade of the fruit trees and ate our bocadillos while Bob filled the memory stick on his camera, completely seduced by the beauty of his surroundings.

After lunch we continued our trip to the Westerly town of Buenavista where Bob informed us he’d once gone, not known where to go and, disillusioned with the surroundings, had got straight back on the bus to Puerto.
Yesterday we took him to the old quarter with its pretty plaza and church, to the best cake shop on Tenerife and the old little store that sells local produce and handicrafts .

Later, as we sat in the sun by the Art Nouveau bandstand of another picturesque plaza enjoying a coffee, Bob asked if there were toilets in the café, there weren’t, but we knew where there were some and directed him to the courtyard of the old convent.
When he came back Bob said; “I can’t believe how many beautiful places I’ve seen today and all the things I’ve learned about them. You even know where the toilets are everywhere we’ve been!”

It was a great day; relaxing, enjoyable and fun and it was rewarding to share in Bob’s enthusiasm.
Sometimes we forget how few people really know this beautiful island and its hidden depths; it’s a joy to share that knowledge with those who want more from Tenerife than just a suntan.

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We’ve had a bottle of cava ‘chilling’ for months now and we still haven’t popped it to celebrate our book deal. Anyone would think it was a bottle of Krug Clos du Mesnil 1995 Champagne ($750 per bottle) which might go some way to explaining the dithering. But no, this is a bottle of Valle de Juy Cava; €2.30 a bottle at Al Campo.
So why the delay?

Well, to begin with, back in July when we were first offered the deal is probably when we should have opened it but then we thought; “let’s wait until we get the contract just in case anything goes wrong; many a slip twixt cup and all that.” So we waited.

The contract arrived and we thought; “we’ll sign it and send their copy back and when they receive it, that’s when we’ll crack the cava.” So we waited.

For some reason the contract got mislaid in the postal system and it was several weeks before the publisher acknowledged receipt of it, by which time we’d already started drafting the book. So we thought; “OK, we’ll open it when we finish writing the book.” And we waited.

We submitted our first draft at the end of October and waited with bated breath to hear if it would be accepted or if it needed more work. Word came quickly that the book was considered “really excellent” by the publisher. Unfortunately, along with the acceptance was a long list of additional things that we needed to produce; a biography, author photos, testimonials etc. so there wasn’t a clear cut ‘finished’ point.
We dutifully provided everything on the publisher’s list and then said; ”That’s it. The moment this baby gets to print, the cork’s coming out of that cava before it turns to vinegar.” But then the typeset text arrived for proof-reading, and then the cover, and then finally, we were told it was at the printers.

By this time, we’d decided the cava was getting opened on Saturday night and hang the consequences. Unfortunately, we had a ‘difference of opinion’ on the way to watch the match and then, as we only managed a draw, we decided we weren’t really in the mood to drink the stuff.

So, as I sit here writing, four and a half months later, the cava is still in its virgin state in the fridge, chilled enough to burn your fingertips at the touch.

Going Native in Tenerife is now on sale at Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk and in e book form at Book Shaker.com and as long as nothing untoward happens in the next 5 hours, that damn cava is getting opened tonight.

I don’t know what it is about us that drives us to work so hard and yet prevents us from celebrating our successes, something which we both know from our former lives as executives is absolutely paramount to maintaining morale and recognizing good work.

It’s time to re-learn some of our management wisdom; from here on in corks are going to pop on cava bottles at the least excuse.

Then again, perhaps we should wait until we get our first sale…

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