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Thursday, March 31, 2005

A perspective of El Teide through the frame of rusting steel. Posted by Hello
We took a walk along the Geranium Walk (promenade) from Los Christianos up into Playa de las Americas. Not quite the stirring sites we have seen over the past few days, but some interesting beach sculptures punctuated the route.

Whilst lovely and warm, there was a strong south-westerly wind across the island which kept the edge off the heat, and made it very pleasnat for walking.

As we headed back to the villa, we got a texxt message from cousteau-cub. She had just got back to the UK. The flight had taken 18.5 hours for some reason. No further details at this point. Will call her for news later.

Quiet afternoon with our books.

C-c finally made contact. Her flight had been delayed 6 hours by a stop over in the UAE. Then (as usual) the baggage handling at Gatwick had taken 90 minutes to get the luggage off her plane. (Is there a less efficient baggage handling operation anywhere in the the developed world?)

A lively evening in Silver Vixen's world... no further comment needed!

The sclupture that Gf refers to as the paper clip. The frame at the bootom right is interesting as it gives different perspectives on the views that are visible through it. Posted by Hello

The Silver Vixen in front of one of the bizarre items of sculpture. Gorse Fox calls it the steel snowflake - somewhat incongruous for such warm climes. Posted by Hello

The view form Playa la Vistas, betwee Los Christiaos and Playa de leas Americas Posted by Hello
There's a bit more cloud this morning towrds the east, but here the sun is shining brightly and the temperature is beginning to climb. Loose plans for today. SV didn't sleep well last night, so we'll probably mooch round in Los Christianos, before heading back to the villa.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

View westwards with La Gomera in the background, and you couls also see Hierro. Posted by Hello

The Silver Vixen on Mirador La Centinela Posted by Hello

View up the west coast from La Centinela Posted by Hello

El Teide from Miradore La Centinela Posted by Hello
Another gorgeous day. Temperatures up to 28-29C, a few whisps of high cloud decorate the blue sky. No real plan for the day, but not feeling energetic enough for a long trip today. Not used to all of the gear changing!

Silver Vixen expressed her wish to visit the Mirador La Centinela. We headed off and drove up to San Miguel then turn left we headed along the route passing some of the oldest rocks on the island. From La Centinela the views are maginficent looking east, south and west along the coasts, and looking north towards El Teide.

After admiring the views we circled round through Valle San Lorenzo, and back to San Blas for supplies.

Quiet afternoon.

Heard from Cousteau-cub. She was at Bangkok Airport having just checked in for her flight home. She was feeling very sore, but was going to take a sleeping tablet once on the plane. Let's hope she doesn't find it too painful.

Faro de Dominating the westernmost tip of the Island, warning shipping of the dagger-like rocks that litter the sea bed in this area. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Towering cliffs dwarf the picturesque village of Masca. One of the the most special places the GF has ever visited. Posted by Hello

Looking south from Faro de Teno at the huge cliffs that dominate this part of the island. Posted by Hello

El Teide from the North-West. Snows still blanket the slopes as she dominates the view. Posted by Hello

Faro de Teno

The trip we chose was to Faro de Teno on the north western tip of Tenerife. It was a grive we were familiar with, so the 55 miles cames as no real problem. We had zigged and zagged up the coast and stopped to take photos at several points. Mt Teide, when seen from the North was still blanketed with snow. Near Tanque we again stopped to view the northern coast.

Heading west from Buenavista del Norte we did not panic at the sign that said "Road Closed" "Use this road at your own risk". We headed onwards passing the fallen rockes and through the tunnels to the westernomost point of the island.

Tearing ourselves away from Faro de Teno we headed back, diverting from our original route in order to take the spectacular mountain route through Masca. We stopped for a drink and a salad at a mirador overlooking the village of Masca. GF said to the Silver Vixen "I could watch this all day." The cliffs were awesome and as the sun moved round and the light changed they continued to change before our eyes.
Received a text message for Cousteau-cub to say she has managed to pick up a flight home and will collect her x-rays from the hospital en route to the airport.

Gorgeous start to the day. No cloud punctuates the clear blue of the sky at any point within our view. A pleasant breeze stirs the shrubs. All looks well for a pleasant day. Will probably take trip** today.
**In the car. GF may have been around in the 60s, but his idea of hallucinogens is a good curry.
The prescience of GF's reaction to C-c's first call yesterday morning was disturbing. Obviously, the news broke late afternoon regarding the earthquake in the sea off the west coast of Sumatra. We hadn't heard the news, but Urban-cub phoned to let us know. She was in a pretty bad state, convinced the worst was about to happen. However Cousteau-cub had already texted through to say she was heading for high ground, and not to worry.

Throughout the evening we watched Sky News (its no use trying to get accurate or timely info from the BBC, and their analysis is usually flawed) - and a blitz of text mesaages hurtled back and forth between Tenerife, Thailand, and the England.

Eventually we got a text from C-c to say they were all safe, and up on the Viewpoint above Koh Phi Phi and would spend the night there.

The threat of Tsunami subsided.

Meanwhile, we had ordered a Indian meal to be delivered. we were not going to move from the News channel. After 2 hours it still had not arrived. This really was serious. Eventually GF phoned the restaurant to find that had written down the apartment number incorrectly. They were most apologetic and brought the meal immediately and gave us a bottle of wine in retribution.

Monday, March 28, 2005


A word about Urban-cub. Urban-cub tends to be emotional, and can also assume the worst in any scenario. She is, however, reliable in a crisis. She gets on with what has to be done. She checks and double-checks... but she gets the job done. Acting as the intermediary throught the morning's problems with Cousteau-cub, and again during the evening when C-cub faced the threat of Tsunami - she got the job done. GF probably doesn't say it often enough, but Urban-cub is a star!

Interesting Times !

People often cite a Confucian curse "May you live in interesting times." I fear today has been interesting.

It all started when the Gorse Fox turned on his mobile phone first thing this morning. It immediately started to chirrup its indication that there were inbound messages. Nothing quite makes your stomach sink so low as a message from your daughter, the other side of the world, saying please phone URGENTLY.

Cousteau-cub had left such a message and so began a game of cat and mouse tring to get through to her on her mobile phone in an area that has notoriously poor signals. Given the recent tectonic history of SE Asia, the news was switched on and GF continued to try and get through... leaving texts and messages.

Eventually, we gave up. Vowing to try again after a walk the Silver Vixen and Gorse Fox headed down to the sea witha view to walking along to Los Abrigos.

As soon as we were en route the phone rang. It was Urban-cub. She had heard from C-c, and she was in a spot of bother. It turns out she had had a person-vs-concrete step incident and twisted her ankle and broken her jaw. The jaw needs to be pinned and wired.

Phoned calls batted back and forth between us and U-c, U-c and C-c, and eventually us an C-c. Fortunately, she is well enough to travel and is now trying to sort out flights home in order to get the jaw stabilised and set.

This rather took the wind out of our sails. We finished a nice 4.5 mile walk (never making it to Los Abrigos, and acquiring a small blister en route), had a cold glass of Sangria and despite the fabulous wall to wall blue sky, sat out in the garden with our books.

One of the many bays on the south of the island. The rocks at the sea's edge were crawling with crabs. Posted by Hello

Looking across (east) towards Los Abrigos with Montana Rosas in the background Posted by Hello

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Lookg back along the west coast to the south of the island. The sprawling metropolis that is Playa de las Americas, Torviscas, Playa Fanabe, Playa del Duque and so forth. (Also notice the angry clouds of Mordor as swoop like demented Nazgul over the south of the island. (Ok, that's a bit dramatic, but hey! the sun had gone in). Posted by Hello

La Caleta, the northernmost point of our 4.5 mile walk. The clear water made the sea seem very inviting. Posted by Hello

A boat is left as an ornament on the beach Posted by Hello

Bright sunshine bathes the west coast as the Gorse Fox and Silver Vixen pass one of the outcrops Posted by Hello

Yin and Yang

Light and Shade. White and Black. A day of contrasts.

The morning was bright and windy. The temperatures were in the low 20s, the sea was sparkling. Gorse Fox and Silver Vixen decided to head to the west coast - a drive of some 10 miles - and take a walk along the Paseo Maritimo. This is the long promenade that starts near Los Christianos and heads nort along the coast for several miles.

Not being in the mood to see the bloated red flesh that indicates a bunch of Britons** on their first couple of days of holiday, we avoided the southern end of the walk and joined in at Playe Del Duque.

We walked north passing some nice beaches, and interesting outcrops. All the while the bright blue sea pounded the shore. To the east, the mountains were shrouded in a heavy layer of cloud, but we continued in bright sunshine. At La Caleta, the end on the promenade, we turned round and headed back, promising ourselves a well earned, refreshing beer at a hotel on the route back. This, in fact turned out to be the only disappointment of the walk. The bar had changed hands, and was now using a different brewery - so no Paulaner Weissbier.

As we got back to the car, it was clear that the clouds were escaping their mountain eyries and slowly encompassing the whole southern portion of the island. The bright promise of the morning faded. The sky became dark. It remained warm, but a stiff wind blew across the island.

We headed back to our apartment for some lunch and quiet afternoon with our books.

**There are several facts that the Gorse Fox has noticed about his compatriots, over the years of coming to the island:
  1. There appears to be a correlation between weight and geography. The higher the home latitude, the greater the weight.
  2. The larger the body, the more the person displays
  3. The gravitational challenged always overdo their exposure to the sun. This has the advantage that you can see them coming even in the dark, as they glow bright red.
  4. The predominant objective for most people seems to be to smoke themselves to death (again there appears to be a correlation to latitude).
  5. Those who are not smoking themselves to death are merely pausing to take on alcohol
  6. The information regarding exposure to the sun, particularly for children, has never been broadcast north of London.
  7. Sun cream is not available in shops north of London

Each year he says that he should not stereotype people, and each year the stereotypes are reinforced

Saturday, March 26, 2005

After a trip to the supermarket for provisions GF & SV settled down in the garden to catch some rays and read some books. There is something immensely pleasant about sitting outside, feeling the sun warm your bones. As we reclined, GF was disturbed...

What was that?

GF listened intently

There it was again, a sound that was hard to pin down.

Where was it? What was it?

Leaping, cat-like to his feet, GF prowled the garden. No. It was inside. It sounded like someone calling, quietly. He slipped quietly over the threshold, held his breath... there it was again. No doubt. It was coming from the kitchen. Fingering his Swiss Army knife he moved swiftly to the kitchen. No time for hesitation. In a single move he swung open the fridge and grabbed the beer that had been calling his name. This was no time to take chances.

Excitement over they made lunch and settled back with the books until the football started. Good, workmanlike performance from the spectators, with commentary added by both cubs, on from Engaland, the other from Thailand, via telephone.

Pleasant evening spent at the pool bar barbecue. Good start to the vacation.

As a layer of cloud settles toward the mountain the evening light picks out the edges of the caldera's rim. Posted by Hello

Saw this on the back of a Tenerife newspaper. Wouldn't you just love to see the neanderthals that must turn up on Wednesdays? Posted by Hello
After a good night'ssleep we were greeted with brilliant sunshine, and temperatures climbing to the positively pleasant. Last night's panic over internet access was soon dispelled. Tried this morning and everything worked first time (albeit very slowly).

No significant plans for the day. Maybe an entralling trip to the supermarket, maybe a some quality time with abook by the pool, maybe a stroll in the sunshine... let's not be too hasty. Vacations are no times for decisions!

The gardens at San Andres Posted by Hello

It seems like home from home. We've seen this view many hundreds of times... but never tire of it. It the centre is peak of Mt. Teide. Posted by Hello

Friday, March 25, 2005


Gorse Fox and Silver Vixen were up well before dawn. Last minute preparation and then off to the airport. The BBC News had forecast 500,000 people through Gatwick on Friday, so we were pleased that we had booked early and odered an early taxi. Previous experience had alerted us to long queues at check-in and at security.

Michael Schumacher whizzed us to the airport. Check-in was scheduled for 07:30, but we arrived well before that... walked straight to the desk, checked-in and wandered on through to departure. Couldn't have been less hassle.

Flight was good, but leg room seemed to be less than usual. Gorse Fox had his legs wrapped round the chap in front. When he tried to put his seat back, it didn't move.GF was wedged in and held the seat upright.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

The aging process

Gorse Fox needed some foreign exchange. Simple process - find Bank, Post Office or Travel Agent with ForEx and check thaey have sufficient funds available. That's where it all went silly...
  • GF thinks Bank is good, but does not know phone number. (own branch is 120 miles away)
    • Uses directory enquiries (online)
    • Gets number for local branch. Calls.
    • Number turns out to be a national call centre. GF explains his requirement.
    • Call centre condescends to provide local branch telephone number.
    • GF calls local branch. Explains request.
    • Local branch no longer handles ForEx. Helpfully they suggest the GF calls a travel agent
  • Returning to Directory Enquiries, GF looks up name of very famous travel agent in local area.
  • GF phones said very famous travel agency and explains requirement.
  • Very famous travel agency explains her computers have just failed, and can she call back.
  • Always patient, the GF says "of course" and provides famous travel agency with phone number.
  • Time passes
  • Famous travel agent calls back. Yes she can help. Her computers are still down so will be unable to provide a receipt, but has phoned another branch to check all the numbers for the transaction.
  • GF says "Brilliant, I'll be there within the hour"

That was where it all went weird. GF had some lunch, posted some letters and headed for town. He parked and strolled along to the travel agency.
"I see the computers are up!"
quoth he. ForEx lady gives peculiar look and humours Gorse Fox. The transaction goes ahead.
"So I got my receipt after all"
said the Gorse Fox.
Gorse Fox gets another peculiar look, but bids his adieus concluding that at his age you have to expect peculiar looks. (Quickly check for wardrobe malfunction... no that's fine).
Gorse Fox heads home. Halfway back a thought dawned on him... he did not vist the very famous travel agency; he went to their nearby rival.
Mmmm. Nice feedback through a rather circuitous route. Seems that Teddy Bear had a meeting with various movers and shakers. The Gorse Fox was identified as the Esteemed Client's right hand man and should be nurtured... the Teddy Bear pointed out who the GF was.

GF has been tidying up lots of admin before a brief break for the Easter period. Things looking quite good and GF is very pleased with recent additions to the team.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Heard from both the cubs today.

Urban-cub is returning to work next week. Her back is no better, but she needs to try and work, as her mortgage offer is dependent on her return. Not ideal, but unlikely to exacerbate the problem.

Cousteau-cub is in on Phi Phi. very little left of the Island as she knew it. Little cover or shade. No intervention or help from Thai government, everything being done by volunteers. She has found it a bit of a shock so far, but sounds strong in herself.
Getting the contract signed yesterday was obviously quite a feat. The Gorse Fox is getting messages and emails from colleagues this morning congratulating him.
  • This is not an unique experience
  • This is costing the company money
  • This is wasting vast sums of tax-payers money
  • This is an exercise in trolls justifying their existence
  • Said trolls are merely bottom-feeders who serve provide no value in the complex food-chain of business

Now question is, when examining the putrefying slime at the bottom of the food chain, which of the following is worst:
  1. Project prevention trolls
  2. Nu-Lab Politicians
  3. Lawyers
  4. Journalists

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Contract Trolls finally beaten

Well. What can I say? We have a signed contract! I can hardly contain my indifference, after so long. The Business prevention Team have finally been beaten to pulp, and the Gorse Fox can get some real work done.
Gorse Fox heads for Starship Command today. Quarterly meeting with "The Poet" to make sure all is under control.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Long commute this morning. Traffic jam by the fridge added 5 seconds to my walk to the study. First call of the day was from Shadow, telling me the contract was being signed... The Gorse Fox refers you to his comments interspersed through the past 5 months... will not be holding breath.

Silver Vixen spent most of the day with Urban-cub. She's been having a rough time with her back, and needed a bit of help with some shopping.

Rebuilding Thailand's dream island

This report "Rebuilding Thailand's dream island" strikes a chord. Cousteau-cub is now working with the volunteers trying to clear the reefs and bays of Phi Phi.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

GF and SV had a great day in Midhurst with Betty and Barney Rubble. We all met up late morning and took a pleasant walk along by the pond and the river and made our way to the ruins of Cowdray House.

This was a superb site and must have been and imposing site in heydey. For more information on Cowdray House, follow this link..

We made our way back up the High Street (North Street), and stopped at an Italian Restaurant for a splendid lunch. Following lunch, a walk was called for and we headed off for a walk around Midhurst Common. Finally, after a pot of tea in the tea shop, we bid our goodbyes and headed home.

A fine day, but as nice as Midhurst is, GF found the traffic, and the traffic noise to be invasive.

One of the countless architectural treasures of Midhurst. Posted by Hello

The Silver Vixen with Betty and Barney Rubble looking up at the ruins of Cowdray House Posted by Hello

Ruins of Cowdray House (3) Posted by Hello