A month ago if you asked me where the Canary Islands were I wouldn’t of had any idea, but today it’s one of my greatest memories.
Thursday night I left class early to take a bus to Madrid for an early flight Friday morning. Alex and I met Mackenzie at the airport. It was cloudy, it was cold, it wasn’t a good start.
Once we got to the hostel in La Orotava we met with the owner, Mr. Manfred, who ended up being the biggest asset to our trip. He gave us a quick tour and answered our many of questions. We told him about how we wanted to visit Mount La Teide, which is the highest mountain in Spain.
“You three can come with me tomorrow if you’d like”
Having just met Mr. Manfred minutes earlier, we were a little uncertain.
“We’ll think about it!”
We went off to explore the little area. It was very quaint; the supermarket was about the size of my room, cash was only accepted, and the roads were all one lane. We went this this little restaurant that Mr. Manfred suggested. We got there right when it was open and were the only ones there the entire time. We had beer, yummy bread, their famous potatoes, meatballs, and chicken. No one spoke English, but everyone was patient with us and so nice. Plus the food was amazing. One point for Mr. Manfred.
We went back to the hostel, told Mr. Manfred we’d join him the next day, jumped on a bus to Puerto de le Cruz where there’s supposed to be a bunch of beaches and walked around.
- Our perception of beaches and their perception of beaches, completely different. We think big, white sand, water with wave beaches and their beaches are very small and the sand is black
- Open container is not a thing
- Dorada is the beer of choice
- A lot of English people spend the their winters in the Canary Islands so a lot of restaurants offered traditional English meals
- They eat rabbit, quail, and squid
The next day, we join Mr. Manfred and three of his friends (we were basically third wheeling a double date, which was fine) to the top of Mount La Teide. We drove through all four seasons; including snow and the sun. We drove above cloud level and looked at the 3rd tallest Volcano in the world, the same Volcano Christopher Columbia wrote about on his journey to find India. (I think I got all those facts right, but don’t quote me) We only almost got in three car accidents while riding in Mr. Manfred’s red mini van but one thing we quickly learned was that the brakes worked and the brakes worked pretty damn well. He drove us to Teide National Park where we got to the see the rock that was on the Peseta, which is what they used before the euro. We got to see where Clash of the Titans was film.
After another pit stop at another amazing view, Mr. Manfred drove us to our AirBNB.
Lesson #8: Mr. Manfred is the man
That night we were visiting a more touristy part of the Canary Islands. We had drinks along the water, ate dinner on a marina, and checked out their “beach”. Our Airbnb was in the best location I think it could have been (thank you Mackenzie). And yeah!!! Great night.
New morning. Another adventure. Today we were going to Garachico to visit their (small, black sand) beach and see the natural swimming pools. First stop, food of course. Walked up this mountain a bit and found a nice little place to tan. We were basically behind a cactus farm on the ledge of a cliff. Then after, we went to the natural pools. That was breathtaking. Grabbed some food; a bread bowl mushroom dip, a salad, and pork loin. All so so good, until that night when I thought I had food poisoning. That was until the food poisoning lasted 5 days and I could only eat bread did i realize that I had a stomach bug. But I’m (mostly) healed now, waiting for my cousins arrival and ready to take on Spring Break!!!!
Canary Island, best experience of my life. Best views. Nicest people. (some abuelo on the plane even offered me his head pillow because I guess after a night of dying and the idea of having to travel 9 hour with food poisoning, I wasn’t looking too hot) Great time.
Next Stop: Amsterdam, Budapest, Vienna, Prague, and Barcelona
**I did not proofread this because I’m too eager to watch the next episode of Suits so you’ve been warned