Sunday 13th Jan
13.01.2013 - 13.01.2013 16 °C
Not too early start today on the island of Tenerife in the Canary Islands of Spain. We had a tour in the morning which took us around to a small village and then up to I think the highest point on the island. We passed by black beaches where the sand is black due to the volcanoes that exist all over the island. Apparently they, that is a local council or something I assume, didn't like them black and wanted them golden and sandy like a normal beach. As a result they carted all this sand over from the Sahara to fill one of the beaches, possibly more I am not sure. More recently, they changed their minds and decide d the black was actually awesome and had to get rid of it all again! In the little village we were given some of the local produce to try; goats cheese, green olives, bread and a red wine. It was all very lovely and I was very surprised to see we were the only table to finish it all! I wanted to ask for all the cheese from everyone elses that they hadn't eaten.
The drive up to the top of the mountain was difficult, it was a very windy and thin one lane (shared by both directions that is), two way road for our bus to get up. There were a couple of corners and times we met other buses coming down where it required some tricky maneuvering to get through. All this with a massive drop to the side of the road a lot of the time. Our driver was very good though and made it all seem easy. How you would do it on wetter days where there is less visibility I have no idea.
The landscape is very pretty, although the mountains are quite scarce in terms of vegetation. According to our guide, in spring it is all covered in colour and butterflies.
We also went down to a university town on the way back to Santa Cruz by the name of La Laguna. There we had a wander through the local market. Lots and lots of fish, even saw some eel there. Had a look around the town which was quite nice. According to our guide apparently everything in the town was made from 'the wood from the trees of the forest we have driven through' which started to annoy Alicia. I found him annoying because all day he kept on talking about going to the toilet whenever we had a stop, but calling it 'operation lulu' and wouod generally spend 5-10 minutes on the subject of lulu. The really funny thing was though, he was showing us through the town and stopped and gave this big spiel about how clean the town was right infront of the only place in town where I had seen graffiti.
After the tour we decided to spend the couple of hours we still had there by going into the main port town, Santa Cruz. It was Sunday so by this point nothing was still open, it was like 2 or 3 in the afternoon. But restaurants and cafes were still open! After a short walk we had some lunch of fried cheese with caramelised onion, octopus and potato, potatoes with 4 sauces, and then of course paella. All very lovely. The mussels in the paella were massive though! Unfortunately, as a result I cut one in half to eat, umm I would not recommend doing this to anyone. The inside of a mussel does not look very appetising at all!
Back at the ship, dinner that night was foie gras on a grilled brioche with fig jam, ginger scented pumpkin soup, beef tournasos with a wine sauce and truffle scented potato (I was feeling a distinct lack of red meat lately so decided a good piece of beef would be great, and it really was, cooked at a perfect medium-rare!), and an awesome chocolate fondant which had this great hazelnut praline bit and lovely thick rich chocolate top. Unfortunately I could only manage about half of it until I felt I would explode.