We take off at midday, with the sun indicating the direction of our travel – south, directly south. 4.5 hours later, we land at Tenerife South Airport. This place is in the same time zone as Britain, but its in a completely different season. The sun seems to shine here every day and its seriously hot right from the start – you need sunblock for your 9am breakfast in the balcony. The first few days we laugh at all the red-faced didn’t-use-enough-sun-block holidaymakers. A week later I think we’ve become them – my forehead is burning as I’m writing this and just earlier today Gerda expressed a worry that her legs were getting too brown too quickly. And we are using sun screen, 50 point strong too!
Tenerife is always on holiday. The “town” we’re staying in, honourably named after a golf park the size of it just nearby, “Golf del Sur” (literally, “South Golf”), has more tourists than locals. And there’s a plane landing every 20 minutes with another load of pale north & west Europeans escaping the epic winter there. But even outside tourist spots, the atmosphere is the same – most shops close for a long siesta, banks simply shut their door at 2pm and call it a day. Bars and cafes are full of people casually enjoying a cold beer or the awesome baraquito especial (Canarian speciality, sweet coffee with liquor) for lunch. I think this is the southern lifestyle I’ve only heard about till now – life at a leisurely holiday pace.
Or maybe its something else – visiting the local registry office to register our camping arrangements (totally mandatory if you want to camp in the few designated campgrounds) we found a growshop next door. Inside a dreaded dude educates me about the local Mary Jane law – every adult can grow 4 plants and consume it at the privacy of their homes (no selling of course) – and the simply awesome local Club Social de Consumidores de Cannabis (in plain English – “The Cannabis Consumers’ Social Club”).
After a week in the south of the island, which is the hottest and driest part, we moved to a small town of La Victoria, situated on the west of the island and on a mountain slope about 400 meters above sea level. What great views of the sunset from here!
In a few days we head off into the campgrounds, which should be quite a change – there isn’t even running water there, not even mentioning electricity! Fingers crossed we can crash with one of the many Couchsurfers on this small island afterwards to sort ourselves out :) See you all then!