Having spent the first days of the trip exploring the east coast, it was time to move over to the west coast. The island is absolutely amazing in terms of weather. It can be cool and windy in one place and full sun 10 km down the road. The west side is so very different to the east. Tall cliffs face the ocean with luxuriant vegetation sprouting from every crag & crack – cacti, palms, bougainvillia in full, intense blooming bloom. The ocean beats itself up against the base of the cliffs, its soft, perpetual, roar providing a calming influence to all that goes on. The view from the balcony is serene.
The sun comes up. The sun goes down. The sun sets in glorious technicolour to set expectation high for the next day.
For a change the next day brings some cloud so it is off in the car to explore the west coast of Tenerife. Every hillside seems to grow terraces of Angel Delight-coloured villas and apartments. Butterscotch and Caramel seem to be the favourite with chocolate and vanilla thrown in. Blocks of Neapolitan ice cream also provide variety.
Every bay is home to the resort hugged around every sandy patch of black sand. But look hard, really hard, and that bit of Tenerife history can be found. Although there’s nothing much that can be found in Puerto de la Cruz but I took a picture to share anyway.
Lunch is at a restaurant overlooking Rambla de Castro which is a route through a vast banana plantation. A derelict building marks Tenerife’s first steam engine which was used to draw water to irrigate the land. It also home to St Peter’s heritage and the fort of San Fernando, built in 1808 to protect the area from harassing pirates.
San Juan de la Rambla is situated at the end of an excellent beach. Founded in the early 16th century, many of the buildings, and the church of San Juan Bautiste, date from this time, built by the first European settlers. They were drawn here by the good agricultural land which is still seen in the plantations of bananas that are found on the outskirts of town.
Garachino was the island’s largest port handling local produce and wine in particular. In 1706 the port was filled with larva following a huge volcanic eruption and trade moved elsewhere, leaving it to develop as a day-tripping destination. Convents, monasteries and colonial buildings still share the space with squares and churches and houses of the previously rich and wealthy.
Dig deep and the history on the west coast can be found. All good stuff.