: Robbie was a bit jealous this morning, he went to talk to Mark and he was getting the treatment from Jennifer – a manicure! I think Tori was hoping for some attention too? After Robbie got over that we walked into town with Mark and Jennifer and had a wander through town. There were a lot of people around as there was a cruise ship in port. We found the market area, which is a 2 storey complex with lots of fruit and vegetable stalls, butcheries complete with whole baby piglets, and the bottom storey was mainly a seafood market. The produce all looked very fresh and appealing. I brought a whole pumpkin which I will make some more pumpkin soup with at some stage. The last batch I added what I had left in the fridge which was pumpkin, leeks, sweet potato, onions and garlic and it was the best batch I have made yet. There was only a small hole in the fruit and vegetables for the lady to serve us! It was even above her head.
We had lunch a small street café where there was a very dynamic waiter except that he got our orders wrong! Jennifer ordered chicken coquettes and she got spinach, I ordered calamari and salad and I got calamari and chips. Eventually we got the right meals and they weren’t bad. We had a couple of drinks and of course a game of 500. Robbie and Jennifer are on a winning streak still.
We walked back to the boat with all the produce and then Jennifer and I took off for a bit of beauty time. We found a hair salon that also did pedicures and manicures. I got a haircut, a manicure and an express pedicure for 51 euro and Jennifer got a deluxe pedicure for 26 euro. Very good prices and they actually kept the salon open after closing time for us which was very nice of them.
Back to the boat for more 500. We got visitors a French couple and their 18month old daughter who stole our hearts. They are leaving tomorrow morning to cross the Atlantic on their yacht, and were just having their final walk on land. We had brought fresh strawberries at the market and the little girl just loved them, she ate a few while on board and we gave them the rest to take with them. He is a healer and it was very interesting to hear about his work. We said farewell and then over to Starlet for a quick meal of shrimp with noodles which was very quick and easy but also very nice.
January 3rd: We got early as we hired a car to do some sightseeing but luckily Mark realised we had to pay the marina before we left as they close at 2pm and we are leaving early on the 4th. So I managed to catch up on the blog while we waited for the office to open at 9am.
We set off for El Teide, the highest mountain in Spain. It’s a 3717 metre volcanic cone and is often snow-capped. It was about an hour’s drive, through forest and steep ravines and with stunning views over the ocean, where we were actually above the cloud line. We got to the base car park and then a short steep hike up to the cable car which takes you to the peak of the volcano. After about 20 minutes in the queue the guy behind us asked an official how long it will take, and upon hearing it was a 2 hour wait we decided to skip it. We figured it would also be a long wait to get back down again as there was basically only 1 cable car operating at a time, and it holds 38 people. It was a really interesting landscape with lava plains stretching out from the cone, and large areas of volcanic rock. You could clearly see where the rivers of lava had run down the slopes of the volcano.
We drove another route down the mountain, through some gorgeous villages with narrow paved, curved streets (Ha not as narrow and windy as the medina in Marrakech!!) and stopped at La Orotava for a short stroll through town, lunch and a quick game of cards. They had some very elaborate Christmas Nativity decorations with life size models.
We saw a family with a whole tribe of kids, they had 6 girls and 1 boy. We had to get a photo, the girls were all dressed in the same skirts and tops. Boy I bet the Dad was thrilled to get that boy!! We then stopped at the world famous botanical gardens, (Jardin De Aclimatacion De La Ortotava) on the outskirts of Puerto de la Cruz. The gardens were created on the orders of Charles III of Spain in 1788. The planting began in 1790. It’s a beautiful collections of tropical and sub-tropical plants with spectacular specimens of Bromeliads, Palm Trees and many others. We saw a lot of plants that we have had in Australia and there was an amazing Mammee apple tree which is like a giant fig tree with many protruding limbs and roots. It reminded Robbie of something out of Avatar, I thought it looked like something out of Robinson Crusoe. We all really enjoyed our stroll through the gardens it was very peaceful and relaxing. Jennifer wears a pedometer and I am fascinated now by how many steps we are taking. Today we did over 9,000 steps – the goal for the day.