Tenerife (02-17 October)

We arrived to Tenerife, Marina der Sur of Las Galletas, on 2nd of October. Its a small marina in a little town Las Galletas. We selected this harbor, because its relatively cheap. Next to the harbor is an anchorage area. Although its sort of an unofficial anchorage area, it still seems to be widely used by so-called bohemian lifestyle people – sort of like us 🙂 This port became our home for the next two weeks. The little town does not fit a lot of tourists. But fortunately, there were not too many of them, so we could still enjoy ourselves. Most tourists are here to go for dolphin and whale watching which seems to be the biggest attraction. A lot of people also enjoy scouter ride or diving.
We also found an Estonian who lives in Las Galletas. He keeps his boat at the same marina which he uses to take tourist at sea for whale and dolphin watching. As Hemingway has said, “In every port in the world, at least two Estonians can be found.”

 

There is a fish market right next to the port. The main promenade is also full of nice restaurants. All of them offering a variety of seafood. The beaches in Las Galletas are rather stony or with black-grey sand. There are also many souvenir and cheap Chinese shops. Unfortunately, we also noticed that there is not much to do in this particular town unless you want to just stay at the beach or enjoy water attractions. Despite that, this town became quite cozy to us. We rented a car or either used public bus to move around and to see other parts of the island. Bus tickets are quite cheap as well as renting a car.

 

In October the temperature is pleasant 27 degrees Celsius and water temperature around 23 degrees. We also had few cloudy and colder days which was actually a pleasant change.

 

In Tenerife we planned a few things for ourselves. The biggest of them was climbing on top of Mount Teide – you can read all about this in our separate blog post by clicking here.

 

After conquering the Teide we needed some rest from walking. Our muscles were really sore. Since we had a rental car for another 3 days we used it to explore the whole island and see some of the sights. First, we drove to Los Christianos which is one of the biggest holiday center in the southern part of the island. There were considerably more tourist in this town than in our “home” town. We noticed that there were also many elderly people and many of them drove around with electric wheelchairs. There was good road network for this as well – even at the beach there was a wooden path and special wooden platform to park the wheelchairs. We did take a look at the marina as well and from the beach you could see some of the yachts staying at anchorage area. We walked along the beach promenade with other tourists, enjoyed the McDonald’s ice cream and sea view.

 

By googling we found the town called Garachico and the natural pools among lava rocks. This place had many positive reviews and we decided to visit the place. It was a long drive but worth to visit. The drive was long because the road takes you to through the curvy mountain roads but the views from the mountains are great. The pools were as awesome as we thought they will be. The pools provided natural protection from the big waves which are common there. The poolside area was quite crowded but this time it didn’t bother us much. There was still room for everyone to have some fun. It was possible to do cliff jumps, snorkel or just soak in warm water. There was even separate shallow water pool for small kids. We enjoyed the pools and jumping into the water. Some pools were more extreme than others by being more open and bigger waves still had some effect and created a current which at first carried you on and then tried to pull you into the ocean. A caution had to be taken in order the wave not to smash you onto the rocks. Despite that, there were many kids playing in the waves and jumping into the water and into the waves, so it did not seem so dangerous after all. We spent there about an hour but we would recommend to reserve at least half a day because it’s a nice change to the regular beaches. You can also enjoy restaurants in Garachico or bring your own picnic.

 

 

 

Next, we went to possibly the nicest and cutest small village in Tenerife – The Masca village. The road to there is narrow and takes you through the mountains. We approached from the northbound road from Buenavista. Another way is from the south through Santiago del Teide. We read from reviews that for smaller and not so powerful cars approaching from the north is recommended and our Fiat500 definitely fell under a category of “small”. Our microcar roared like a bear but dragged us through every ascent.
Masca village is located in between mountains, in sort of canyon at heights of 650 meters. From there an amazing view opens to the sea through the canyon. The village certainly is tiny and as per some sources only 90 people or less lives there permanently. There is also a monument to the former mayor who introduced the electricity to the village and started to build proper roads. However, his monument seems to be more popular among tourist and hikers who rub the nose of the mayor for the hope of good luck during the hike.

 

 

  

Hikers are common visitors in Masca village because along the canyon there is a hiking trail. It runs until the shore of Atlantic Ocean and is said to be with very beautiful nature – lot of palm trees and other flora and fauna. Its about 8 km long and can be demanding. Since we were still tired from our hike to Teide,we unfortunately had to skip this time.
The views from the village to surrounding mountains and sea were indeed beautiful. During our stay, there was some festival and in the village center there was a local theatre performance. Although we did not understand a word, it was still humorous. Later on, after the performance, the festival continued with a dance party.

 

 

We also visited Los Gigantes, which means in English “The Giants”. Its famous for its giant rocky coastline. The cliffs reach as high as 500-800 meters straight from the sea. Down under the cliffs there is a small beach which considering the height of the cliffs is miniature. Los Gigantes is as touristic as Los Christianos with many souvenir shops and other tourist traps. Among latter there are few and very nice platforms on the cliffs providing nice views onto the sea and the sunset. We were also lucky to witness the sun setting right behind the La Gomera island on the background.

 

Our most expensive tourist attraction to us was the Loro Park. It is popular place to visit among all tourist. In order to have full experience of all installments of the park you need to consider a whole day. Loro Park was established for parrots at first, but today it is a huge zoo with all sorts of animals. It differentiates from other zoos by giving performances with the animals. In order to avoid big masses of tourists we woke up early in order to be one of the first visitors. We managed to see all the performances and those were with parrots, seals, dolphins and orcas. The park advertises itself as the most sustainable and treating animals with respect it has also got some critics from different animal protection organizations. The ticket was relatively expensive, 37 euros, and all profit is said to going for keeping and developing the park and for the wellbeing of the animals. Especially protecting the species which are in danger of extinct. The park claims that they have spent somewhat 10 million to preserve rare species of parrots. We are not the experts, because using animals for show is always questionable. But for us, it seemed that animals itself also enjoyed this. Afterall animals also play with each other in the nature as well. We did not notice that any of the animals would have been taken bad care of. The most positive thing was, that before and during all the shows there were some educational videos explaining to the visitors how bad the plastic is to the oceans and sea life. There were many families with kids and for better future it is definitely essential that youngster learn in their early ages how to properly handle the garbage. Thereby we encourage everyone to visit the park and support the animals and the preserving of the rare species.

  

During our stay in Tenerife, Kaija made a short visit to Liverpool due to an ad hoc work-related conference. Jaanus and Margus explored the capital city of Tenerife, Santa Cruz. The main goal was to find some specific spare parts for the boat and to visit the marina where the famous wooden boat Martha was staying. Martha is famous in Estonia because it sailed around the world during 2007-2009. First goal set was unsuccessful and second goal successful. We also had a wonderful 3 course lunch for 7.5 at local industrial area workers diner. To summaries, Santa Cruz seemed to be the industrial city because there was a big industrial area and also the coastline was full of oil and gas product tanks. We did not however visit the old town, so we can’t comment on that.

To conclude we spent long 2 weeks in Tenerife. We would have left earlier but we also waited for a package which was sent by Kaija’s parents. We had a tracking number so we could tell the package is on the island but for one week nobody in local post office could give us any prospects for delivery. So we had lot of time to have some rest and look around on the island and finally, also the package made its way to us.

  

Most of the time we were in Las Galletas anchorage. There were many boats at the same bay and next to us was one family from Netherlands with their 3 years old daughter. They are those real bohemian travelers who live on their boat and the daughter of theirs was also born on the very same boat. They are living off from the inheritance and the boat and the seas of the world is their home.  

Despite spending long 2 weeks in Tenerife there are still places which were left to discover. For example, Siam water park which is one of the largest in the world. Hike from Masca village along the mountains and the canyon. In addition, the Pico Interno waterfall since its reasonable to visit in wet season. Also we did not do any diving or surfing which seems to be popular around here. We would definitely want to come back, perhaps when we have a family or retiring age.

We did not find any Estonian restaurants in Tenerife thereby we had to visit the Russian restaurant Baku in Los Christianos in order to enjoy some of the cousines we have not had since we left Estonia.

  

On 17th of October, we will sail forward to El Herro island. We will be there for the couple of days or more and wait for the right winds to continue sailing to Cape Verde which takes about 1 week

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