SEEKING SOME SUN IN TENERIFE

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Grandad
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SEEKING SOME SUN IN TENERIFE

Post by Grandad » Tue Sep 22, 2015 4:44 pm

SEEKING SOME SUN IN TENERIFE

When looking for somewhere to escape to the sun for a week we again considered the Canaries. We have never been there and to be honest, after going street level on Google Earth, they did not appeal to us. When we holiday we aim to find cultural and national differences from our own daily existence. As purely holiday destinations we doubted that we would find that in The Canaries.

A chance meeting, a few weeks ago, with a couple who had just returned from Los Gigantes, a couples hotel in Tenerife, persuaded us to give it a try so here is how it went, with a small selection of photos (I came home with 350, that is down to 128 so far) but just 22 posted here. 8)

'Thomsons' are purveyors of package holidays, (we normally book our own flight, hotel and transfers so this was a new experience), we ticked the boxes for 7 nights, half board, sea view twin room, baggage and transfers. All booked, paid for and confirmed online in minutes. Even though we had checked in and reserved seats in advance we still had to suffer the manic scramble on our departure to get through check in, and security at Gatwick South. But after a comfortable flight with Thomas Cook we arrived at the hotel early evening. :up

The hotel is rated 4 star and is very comfortable with large rooms, tea and coffee, desk, chair and sofa and an excellent glass screened balcony looking across to La Gomera some miles distant in the atlantic.

There are two pools and most guests use the sea water pool above the volcanic rock cliffs. This was great fun and more like the dead sea in its buoyancy. A freshwater pool was at the other end of the hotel. So all good so far. :up The big let down was the restaurant. The hotel can accommodate up to around 450 guests and the vast dining room with rows of tables for two reminded me of the wartime British Restaurants. :lol: And the food although plentiful and varied was poorly presented and in most cases overcooked. But nevertheless, many people went to the trough and piled their plates high. :eat :eat

More like Butlins with sun 6996
View from pool looking north 6987
View from balcony looking south 6986
Room 529, right corner five up 6985
Room 529 6981
Glass balcony 6976
Sea water pool from our balcony 6983

I did not expect anything much of interest on the island but before departure I had decided on two excursions that I would arrange myself, not the overpriced Thomsons offerings. First was a short boat trip out to find whales and dolphins. The boat we chose, from an earlier Tripadvisor search, was the Ocean Explorer. A low in the water speed boat with a capacity for just 12 people. There were only 10 on our trip. :shark:

Ocean Explorer at speed 6982
Start of the outbound trip 6977

I really enjoyed this and after 30 minutes our young captain found a pod of pilot whales and then a pod of bottle nosed dolphins. Both are from the 'Dolphin' family with pilot whales a little smaller than killer whales. We spent about 30 minutes enjoying the whales coming very close to the boat, many with a calf.

Two that came close to the boat and a cow with her calf
6978 6979 6980

My only problem was that I took the wrong camera. Expecting to need a longer lens, I took my HS50 but with the rocking of the boat I would have done better with the smaller X10 with live viewfinder. So I just had to point and shoot and hope for the best, they don't pose and are gone in a moment.

The other excursion was to go to the top (well nearly the top) of el Teide, the volcano that formed the island originally. We hired a taxi to take us on the one hour journey up to the 6,500 feet crater level. The driver then waited for two hours while we took the cable car up near the 12,200 feet summit. At the summit we were above the clouds. From up there you can see the extent of the crater which is 30 miles in circumference. It was warm and sunny, no need for a coat, but the oxygen level was 40% down on that at sea level, and you knew it.

Teide from the crater 6992
Cable car 44 people max (3.1 tonnes) 6995
The peak 6994
Above the clouds 6993
My best pano of the crater 6975

Our driver then returned us to the hotel down roads that were reminiscent of 'The Italian Job'. :sd A fascinating trip through the black lava fields of the well known 'so called moonscape', through the cloud, and then when below the tree level, through the pine forests.

6991 6990 6989

Puerto de Santiago, which is the name of the locality, has little to commend it catering as it does for mostly British holiday makers. There is a small sheltered marina full of small private launches and motor boats. A few cafes along the quayside provide good coffee and very acceptable lunch time snacks.

The Marina 6984

The return home was uneventful apart from the scramble at a far too small Tenerife South airport and then, after the flight, the long trek from the aircraft to immigration on arrival back at Gatwick South. :xx

Oh! I nearly forgot. On the Monday afternoon we were about to leave the pool at around 4 pm when my wife stopped to chat to some people with whom we had become acquainted. As she walked away she knocked her lower right leg on the end of a lounger causing a 3 inch 'U' shaped gash. A bit of panic stations for a while, (not Mrs G or me I might stress, ;) just everybody else), with pressure applied to stop the bleeding. Within 15 minutes a doctor arrived. He applied a temporary dressing then by wheelchair to our room where he dealt with the injury and applied 9 sutures. So no more swimming for Mrs G for the rest of the week. The doctor revisited on Thursday just to check that the wound was OK and that she was fit to travel.

Before being sewn up ;) Edit: Image removed at Grandads request

So to sum up. We enjoyed the week with blue skies and temperatures in the low 30's. The injury did curtail our activities to some extent. :( Tenerife was all that we expected and I am sure the other islands of the Canaries are much the same. We will not be trying another package holiday and we will not be going to The Canaries again, too full of Brits. :lol: They are not for us I am afraid.....

PS: Forgot to mention. They even charge to use pool towels and for the use of the room safe.....never had to do that before. We never take towels anywhere and didn't pay to hire, we bought two outside, same price as the hire BUT we brought them home. One has already gone back there to Las Americas with a grandson who is there on holiday right now. :lol: :lol:


:gg:

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Re: SEEKING SOME SUN IN TENERIFE

Post by Ruby Slippers » Tue Sep 22, 2015 5:16 pm

Ouch! Poor Mrs. G! :( That looks nasty. The Canaries have never appealed to me either because of the reason it didn't appeal to you, Grandad - too full of Brits! :lol: One thing I noticed - where were your life jackets on the boat trip???

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Re: SEEKING SOME SUN IN TENERIFE

Post by Horus » Tue Sep 22, 2015 5:59 pm

Another very nice little potted tour of you holiday Grandad, thanks for posting. :up

Double ouch for that leg injury on Mrs G, it made me wince just looking at it, hope she has fully recovered, she really must have given it a good clout, it looks awful. :sd
The images are as always really good Grandad, I take it you also had your other camera with you, or were they all with the HS50?

I am not so keen on places such as Tenerife either, they seem too commercialised for my liking, however your hotel looked good, shame about the food though. Even with your limitations you still managed to see something new and that volcano crater and cable car ride looked well worth the trip and you even got to see the dolphins, all in all you didn’t do too bad. ;)
Image

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Re: SEEKING SOME SUN IN TENERIFE

Post by Grandad » Tue Sep 22, 2015 7:15 pm

RS, not that they would have been much good but before we set out we were told that life jackets were in the front locker :urm: I sat right beside the locker and made sure the door opened easily :lol:

Horus I did take both Fujis and in the end used the X10 most of the time including the el Teide trip. I have got quite a bit of video from inside the taxi but it is juddery and I need to go through it (about 30 minutes in all) to see what is worth salvaging. I did have the opportunity to use the long zoom of the HS50 and will sort a few to show just how powerful that lens is. I know you have done similar with your big Fuji. :up

Yes H, the hotel was very good and we did get out and about quite a bit. But we like to do our own thing in our own time with a noticeable change of culture. Probably had too many more exciting experiences in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, so something of a lesson learned.
:gg:

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Re: SEEKING SOME SUN IN TENERIFE

Post by Kiya » Tue Sep 22, 2015 8:12 pm

Lovely photos from you Grandad, it looks great to see sun & blue skies , I think we all could be doing with some at the moment :)

Your hotel room looks good & the pic/canvas above the bed or is it a painting ? what a cheek to charge for pool towels & room safe...........never heard of that before

Would love to do the cable car ride & the speed boat seeing the dolphins etc.

That looks a nasty cut Mrs G has, I do hope she is on the mend now :)

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Re: SEEKING SOME SUN IN TENERIFE

Post by LovelyLadyLux » Tue Sep 22, 2015 8:35 pm

Lovely photos Grandad and I bet it would have been super difficult for you to try and capture a whale using the long lens! They definitely do move super fast.

Towels in Mexico are really policed. You get a card and need to turn in your card to get a towel and if all doesn't equal out at the end of your stay you're paying a very hefty sum for a plain white towel. I don't bring my own. I do suffer through with the 1 card = 1 towel deal and usually I like 2 towels as they wet down quickly.

Sorry about Mrs G cut. I didn't see any photos of it but hope it heals up quickly and well.

Your actual hotel looks quite nice but, like yourself, I like to go to places that are different and to actually see things that are different. Don't like going to places full of Americans and Canadians (otherwise I'd of stayed home!)

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Re: SEEKING SOME SUN IN TENERIFE

Post by Jayway » Fri Sep 25, 2015 8:52 pm

LOVELY GRANDAD , THANKYOU. I have never been to Tenerife as I like beaches and old towns, even Benidorm has an old town ! Looks like you had some treats like the boat and the cable car. What did you mean by manic scramble at the airport? Last year I walked nowhere and carried nothing for more than a few steps, I rode on the little car thing and they did help with my bag. Did you get the little car, with Mrs Gs leg I cant think you walked? I think you may have found Gran Canaria more interesting with the old town, walking down one street there were a lot of friendly ladies saying hello - - - ummmmm. Even Lanzarote was good, with the cave and the black sand. Your forest looked interesting, you didnt see any farms or animals there ?

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Re: SEEKING SOME SUN IN TENERIFE

Post by LovelyLadyLux » Sat Sep 26, 2015 1:16 am

The scenery definitely looks pretty rugged and appeals to me. I live where there are mountains but I rarely go up to where the air gets thin. Amazing how it can really take the "oomph" out of you :)

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Re: SEEKING SOME SUN IN TENERIFE

Post by Grandad » Sat Sep 26, 2015 3:09 pm

Thanks for your nice comments on our trip folks. Mrs G was annoyed that I posted a picture of her unstitched wound so for marital harmony I asked Horus to remove it. She had the last of the stitches out yesterday but the nurse has steri stripped it because it is a bit slow pulling together. We take longer to heal with age I'm afraid.

@Jayway. I would have thought that if you check in on line and reserve your seats the check in would be fast and easy......it is with BA....but not with Thomas Cook :( We joined one of those endless congas going up and down and moving about 3 feet at a time as each passenger at the head of the queue goes to the desk. :xx

No we did not use the electric vehicle, there was a couple waiting but no drivers to be found. :( And the walk at Gatwick South is probably half a mile from aircraft to immigration :(
:gg:

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Re: SEEKING SOME SUN IN TENERIFE

Post by Jayway » Sat Sep 26, 2015 3:33 pm

I am so sorry you had to walk all that way, what a cheek after you pay so much to use the dam airport.I would have really kicked up a noise to get my ride ! I dont know about the conga line, I check in on line and have no baggage so I dont use it. Hope Mrs G. isnt in too much pain, no ski-ing this winter then?

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Re: SEEKING SOME SUN IN TENERIFE

Post by Grandad » Fri Oct 02, 2015 3:40 pm

I remembered that I mentioned a very poor and juddery video of our taxi ride back to the coast from the lower cable car station of the volcano el Teide. Certainly not up to Horus's standard but it really was very juddery sitting in the back leaning over with the camera.
So to close my Tenerife story, here it is ;)
phpBB [video]
:gg:

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Re: SEEKING SOME SUN IN TENERIFE

Post by LovelyLadyLux » Fri Oct 02, 2015 6:22 pm

Nice video and I love the music! That is one of my most favourite pieces of music. Love it.

That was some ride down!

How fast was the driver actually going and what do you figure his visibility was going through the clouds? A few of those shots didn't really show that you had that much visibility and speeding down a mountain with lots of curving roads definitely does make for a juddery ride!

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Re: SEEKING SOME SUN IN TENERIFE

Post by Kiya » Sat Oct 03, 2015 10:11 am

Great video Grandad :) I didn't think your juddering was bad at all considering your in a moving car :)

The music suits the video too :)

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Re: SEEKING SOME SUN IN TENERIFE

Post by Jayway » Sat Oct 03, 2015 7:05 pm

I didnt like it and thankyou for showing it as I certainly will NOT be going, made me quite nervous watching it. I dislike mountains, anything high and anything lacking in air, happy you enjoyed it . . . ooooo eeerrrr . . . . ................

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Re: SEEKING SOME SUN IN TENERIFE

Post by LovelyLadyLux » Sat Oct 03, 2015 7:36 pm

Actually did you find the breathing particularly difficult?

I personally don't like heights and I include 'heights' to be standing on top of a kitchen chair!!

We have Mt Washington here and years ago the road was gravel, full of hair pin turns AND you had to watch for logging trucks barreling down. Used to manage to me and the dtrs up there once or so a year as the alpine meadows were wonderful and it was also fun to go up the ski lift and see the views and vistas of all the little islands between here and the mainland. Now they've built condos everywhere up there, have year 'round stores - probably even have a swimming pool (not sure) and they've paved the road. You can go UP UP UP and through the clouds though and when you're having a dull day down here you can get sunburned UP THERE!

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Re: SEEKING SOME SUN IN TENERIFE

Post by Jayway » Mon Oct 05, 2015 1:11 am

Breathing would be a problem for me. On my USA trip I drove up from Tombstone to an Indian Casino on high ground. I woke up at 4 in the morning, could hardly breathe so got in the car and drove lower as fast as I could. Missed the breakfast . . huh. Just shows you should sometimes heed the doctors advice . . . .

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