Tuesday, March 31, 2009
The Gorse Fox collected the morning papers to read further revelations of the contempt with which the ruling classes view the electorate and their money. That moved the Gorse Fox to write... but more on that at a later date.
Eventually we decided to head for the hypermarket near Adeje. After stroll round and the selection of a few bits and pieces the varity failed to hold the interest and so we headed back to the villa. Fortunately we have plenty to amuse us there and made the most of the time.
Monday, March 30, 2009
We headed along to Los Christianos where we joined the sea of humanity that was wandering up or down the promenade. We decided to wander up towards Las Americas - taking our lives in our hands as we we dodged motability scooters, cyclists, and Police motorbikes - and that's to say nothing of the various vendors trying to accost us offering sunglasses (we were wearing them), caps (the Gorse Fox was wearing a hat), perfume (the Silver Vixen smelled nice anyway - Eau du The) and cameras (the Gorse Fox had his round his neck).
Near the area known as Veronica's we turned back and retraced our steps, stopping eventually for a fine glass of cold Weissbier and some lunch. The coast had remained sunny, but it was clearly foul inland -with heavy dark clouds dumping their contents on the mountain sides.
We returned to the villa for what was left of the afternoon.
Sunday, March 29, 2009
It was important that we could find somewhere appropriate to spend some quiet time to remember the Silver Vixen's friend. Many of the local churches are kept locked - except when services are scheduled.
The Gorse Fox suggested a trip to Candelaria - some 30 miles up the east coast. It is a nice town and the home to a major Basilica dedicated to the Blessed Virgin. As we got closer the forecast showers turned to reality as thick clouds rolled across the mountains dumping their contents in short sharp bursts. We strolled through the town and across the main square - guarded by huge bronze statues of the Guanche kings. Passing the Basilica we continued along the promenade to where it ended at a couple of caves - a deep grotto where the image of the Virgin Mary used to be kept and where the Guanche natives were baptised, and the much larger Camel cave which is still used for votive candles, and memorial flowers.
We were back inside the Basilica, inside a small side chapel at the time of the funeral and spent a quiet 30 minute of rememberance.
Moving on, it was clear that it was far from clear - cloud-wise. It seemed that a a bit of touring was the best plan so we continued from Candelaria round the top of the Island and along the north coast past La Oratava, Puerto de la Cruz, Icod de los Vinos, and on to Guarachico. The north coast was pretty clear of cloud and certainly dry so the drive was quite pleasant. We stopped outside Guarachico to take some photos, then headed on. We had to climb over the north west corner of the Island and from Guarachico that meant taking the switch-back road straight up the cliff side to El Tanque. We had climbed back into the cloud at this point and the traverse of the north west pass across to Santiago del Teide was like driving through thick fog. As if a light had been switched on, as we arrived at the west coast the skies cleared and we were bathed in bright sunshine for the rest of the journey back to the villa.
The round trip is only some 108 miles - but it is well worth the effort.
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Over the past few years they have been building a new marina near the villa, and on Fridays they have a small street market nearby. This seemed like a plan.
The Silver Vixen checked her notebook and we walked down towards the marina stopping in at the market on the way. It was surprisingly busy and blistered holiday makers tried to jostle for position without rubbing their sunburn against the next person. The Gorse Fox is not one for markets - if God wanted us to shop in markets why did he invent eBay. GF stood to one side, out of the way and treated the whole event as an anthropological study.
We moved on towards the marina, turning west along the coastal path. This leads past a number of small developments, up and round outcrops and skirts a golf course. Eventually it leads to a long and wide pebbly beach. When the Gorse Fox refers to pebbles - these are not like those we find on the beaches of Sussex. These are the size of rugby balls - and what isn't clear is whether they are natural (which he assumes they are) or were placed there deliberately. This is as far as we could go as the surface was too uneven for the Silver Vixen to traverse it safely and so after stopping for some photos we turned back.
We followed the coast all the way back to San Blas then turned inland to head back to the villa. After a brief sortie to the supermercado we settled in for a quiet afternoon.
Friday, March 27, 2009
The mountain only sported a few fluffy clouds and the day seemed perfect. To the uninitated the route up the south face through Villaflor would be the obvious choice. The Gorse Fox would admit it's pretty. However our favourite route is more interesting and involves driving down the spine of the island. We headed up TF-1 towards Santa Cruz, then looped onto TF-2 across to La Laguna (once capitol of the Island and home of its famous University - and Ikea!!!). We then turned south west, passing Los Rodeos airport and heading up through La Esperanza into the Coronal Forest an up onto the spine of the mountains.
As the road loopd first one way and then the other, stunning vistas of one coast then the other open up before you and to the south the peak of El Teide dominates the skyline.
Well, that's how it should be. Actually, we headed up into ground hugging cloud. It started to rain - heavily, and visibility was a few hundreds of metres at best. As the temperature plunged past 4C the rain turned to hail and the car was pounded by huge hailstones. In minutes the mountain road was covered in huge hailstones and driving became "interesting".
We continued to climb, passing the observatory at Inaza and then as we broke through the wall of the crater near El Portillo the clouds dropped away and the skies were blue and the sun shone. The journey through the crater was as spectacular as we have come to expect, and we stopped here and there to take photos... and to get some lunch.
Eventually, we moved on and eschewed the southern route, turning north west at Boca Tauce and heading down towards Chio. This is a gentle and easy drive, and virtually the whole descent can be achieved without a touch of the accelerator and the occasional dab of the brake.
From Chio we headed back along the west coast and back to the villa for a quiet afternoon with our books. All-in-all we had only covered 121 miles but we had seen some pretty unique weather - certainly it the first time we have seen the like in the 20-odd years we have been coming here.
As a postscript - there was heavy rain during the night. Looking up at El Teide this morning many of the slopes of the mountain and those that rim the crater are dusted with snow... yet down here it's pleasantly warm as usual.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
The exhausting pace of relaxing on holiday caught up with these intrepid travellers. An early decision was made to spend a quiet day reading in the privacy of our garden. And so it was that the Gorse Fox and Silver Vixen spent the day without seeing another soul - but demolished books and sewing projects respectively.
The Gorse Fox's mind was getting restless - but this had been catered for. On his iPod nestled a collection of traing videos for some of the more esoteric functions of Excel, Joomla, and Open Office Draw and with his netbook at hand he was able to scratch the intellectual itch.
The evening saw a trip to San Blas to share in the pleasure that is the Chinese buffet before returning to the villa for a flurry of txt msg, email, and telephone activity.
The pace is relentless!!!! The Gorse Fox may have to lie down.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
We strolled towards the town along the boardwalk. Whilst that was busier than the Gorse Fox would have expected, the beach was quiet. This beach is remarkable for the sandstone dunes that divide it into lots of little private bays, and the way in which the sea has eroded the sandstone leaving precarious overhangs where sunbathers shelter from the wind. (This area of Tenerife is also known for its windsurfing and kitesurfing).
At the far end of town there major pipeworks were underway, forcing a detour from our normal route, but we settled down on the rocks for a while before turning back and retrieving the car. We moved 10 miles further along the coast to the little harbour of Abades. This will become a purpose-built village at some point. All of the roads and services are laid out - but only one third of the houses are built. The rest is silent - waiting for the potential owners to come. There are several beaches at Abades and we strolled past the few souls who were making the most of the comparative solitude. Sitting by the water's edge we watched as the tide retreated from the rockpools and a little fishing boat chugged into the bay.
After a spot of lunch we returned to the villa for an afternoon in the garden.
We received an email for the Silver Vixen telling her that her dear friend had just lost her battle with cancer. A light that had once burned so brightly had flickered and was now gone. It was sad, but at least she is at peace.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Christianos up the coast is called the Geranium Path... and here and there a daisy is etched into the pavement. Confusing really!!
Yesterday we decided to traverse part of this path and so headed some 13 miles along the coast to place where we knew the car could be left and headed down to the shore.
We headed away from the main connurbations - with the Gorse Fox stopping to take photos at various points along the way. The tide was out so the blow-hole that we have watched in past was silent. Eventually after some 3.5 miles we stopped in La Caleta for a refreshing glass of sangria before retracing our steps. La Caleta is a tiny harbour with several nice restaurants perched precariously on the harbour wall. Sitting overlooking the harbour the swirl of the tide of the slabs of bed-rock was hypnotic... and we lingered longer than planned. As we lingered we discussed what we had learned along the way you immediately identify the nationality of all tourists; a) Germans are deeply tanned, and the ladies drip with gold; b) French are well dressed, and the men tend to stick to Chinos rather than shorts; c) Spaniards are identifiable by the gold that that the women wear and the fanciful reds that they dye their hair, whilst the men are always immaculately presented in open neck shirt and smart slacks over loafers; d) the Dutch are distinguished by the walrus-like moustaches (predominantly but not solely sported by the men); e) the Irish are identified by being bright red in colour; and f) the Brits are distinguished by a total absence of dress sense or decorum, the huge expanses of flesh that they share with all and sundry and various bright red strips that indicate that they use SPF-stupid. It makes you proud. (Where are the crisp white shirts and smart sports coats over light linen trousers and deck shoes)
On our route back the Silver Vixen dragged tghe Gorse Fox (under protest) into a Tony Roma's Ribs Restaurant forcing him to try some of the Carolina Ribs coated in honey. Out of politeness he forced himself to finish the aforementioned snack and sat licking his lips whilst the Silver Vixen delicately worked her way through hers.
Monday, March 23, 2009
The harbour at La Caleta. It is lined with small restaurants. We sat down to a refreshing drink in one across the bay.
A bit of exercise was order of the day and so the Gorse Fox and Silver Vixen donned appropriate gear (i.e. decent trainers) and headed out from the complex.
It is remarkable how little things have changed since our last visit - and yet how much building is under way (though being Sunday it was hard to see if they had been abandonned or were just having the day off).
We ended up at San Blas looking down over the old barranco. This has now been developed and has a hotel, play area, and plenty of houses filling the valley between San Blas and Los Abrigos.
A refreshing cider set your intrepid adventurers for the last stage of the walk - back up the hill to the villa. All done it was just under 4 miles, and very satisfying. A quiet afternoon with our books, iPods, and sewing (no, not the Gorse Fox) saw out a most pleasant day.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
We picked up the hire car, popped along to the supermarket to get supplies and then retreated to our villa. Whilst out, the Gorse Fox noticed that he had somehow donned a cloak of invisibility as he had to take avoiding action on several occasions as elderly ex-pats tried to drive him off the road... or infact just walk straight into him in the supermarket. It was like being at home in Sussex on pension day.
We stayed in the villa for the rest of the day (it was probably safer) - fending for ourself from the wide selection of foodstuffs we had collected during the earlier trip.
Acccording to the local paper Tenerife has had the wettest winter for 30 years. You can certainly see that is much greener than usual, and the valleys of the south are looking quite lush. So far we haven't seen any rain, but we are getting the strong winds that tend to pick up in the afternoons here in the south.
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Urban-cub dropped us outside the terminal and the Gorse Fox and Silver Vixen wandered into a near-deserted Gatwick. Silver Vixen asked - "Are they closed and nobody told us?" But no. Staff were there, but very few travellers.
We went to check-in and dropped our bags, drifted through security - where they seemed interested to have something to do at last... and continued through to departures. Again, it was almost deserted.
The flight was called on time and we were almost the first on the plane and settled. This gave an opportunity to watch the other passengers board. The Gorse Fox is concerned by how many ugly people are being allowed to travel, and how many have been allowed to breed.
Landing early, we queued for a moment or two to get through passport control - then wandered along to the baggage belts to see our baggage there already. From touch-down to the point that we were outside by the taxis was 20 minutes.
When travel is that easy it is a pleasure.
Friday, March 20, 2009
Thursday, March 19, 2009
- Pigeon stuck in chimney of Worthing bungalow
- Worthing home-owner fights for fence
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Monday, March 16, 2009
Sunday, March 15, 2009
- Tape measure,
- Stanley knife,
- Chisels (freshly sharpened),
- drill with spade bit and normal bit,
- banged thumb,
- and some soto voce swearing.
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Friday, March 13, 2009
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Monday, March 09, 2009
Sunday, March 08, 2009
Saturday, March 07, 2009
Friday, March 06, 2009
We headed for the restaurant and stopped for a snack. Some cheddar and leek flan and some teas and coffees were quickly demolished and then we headed back across the gardens.
We headed across to another part of the garden. Here there were a number of small sample garden settings. The one that really caught the Gorse Fox's eye was the Japanese Bonsai garden.
Needless to say, at this time of year, many of the specimens weren't at their best. These were the ones that really stood out.
Up on Battlestone Hill Gorse Fox looked through the still bare branches and was entranced by how the underlying skeleton of summer trees can be even more interesting when dormant than the brash colours they don for the summer months.
The arid zone had some interesting specimens - and the cactii showed some astonishing geometric patterns.
In the humid zone it was like wandering through part of a rain forest (without the rain, the wild animals, or the creepy-crawlies). In general it was the foliage that caught the eye... but here and there there were some eye-catching specimens.
We had picked the perfect day for the trip and after meeting up at the coffee shop outside and taken on fluids we headed on into the gardens.
Thursday, March 05, 2009
- Any computer must be able to get to the core data and files that the user may want
- Other computers may be switched on
- Any computer must be able to access the data and files whether the network is working or not
- All data is backed up
- The Gorse Fox signed up for a Live Mesh beta account (from the devils in Redmond).
- Each of the computers was added to the Mesh
- Each of the key data repositories was added to the Mesh
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
Tuesday, March 03, 2009
Monday, March 02, 2009
What made the trip even more pleasant was that The Gorse Fox and Silver Vixen were among a few tens of visitors, at most (and the school party that had been clambering all over the place, left soon after we arrived).
The traditional NT Teas Shop had plenty of free tables - and no queue; and the NT Shop was empty.
Excellent day out.
Now a kindly NT Steward checks your membership, provides a guide, and points you to where a video loop retells the story of the castle.