Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Fri 4 Mar 2011 18:42
It is not easy to travel in a NE direction amongst these islands as this is the predominant wind direction, and, as previously mentioned, the wind tends to bend around the islands and accelerate, so we were pleased to see a small chance after a few days of waiting. We were getting used to the sailing conditions by now so decided to head off, around the southeasterly-most point and continue if the weather was behaving itself, otherwise to anchor in the shelter of the point.
On the morning of Fri 18th Feb we bade farewell to a lovely family on their boat Ocean Warrior, also on their gap year, with whom we had shared several evenings and a memorable bar-b-que. Although the wind was of good strength, it had much more of a easterly element than predicted but we decided to continue and made good progress motorsailing the 32 miles in order to stay closer to the wind. It is always lovely to watch the coast go by, this time noticing the change from dry and volcanic to more rugged, higher and greener as we made our way northwards.
The approach to Santa Cruz was dominated by a strange huge white structure. This gradually focused into the new concert hall built in the style of Sydney Opera House and is the home of the Tenerife Symphony Orchestra. (unfortunately there were no performances during our stay).
Tenerife did indeed redeem itself. We spent a week here enjoying the atmosphere of the centre with it's trees, parks, statues, art galleries and superb food market.
One of the two main shopping streets.
We discovered the thoroughly modern tram system and took a ride up to the old Capital of La Laguna to explore the old streets and buildings as well as taking the bus to the old port of Puerta de la Cruz on the north of the island.
In La Laguna
Puerta de la Cruz, although blighted by too many tourist-catering restaurants, all vying for our trade, was very pretty. Old narrow cobbled streets and an interesting old area around the original fishing port. The Lanzarotean artist, Cesar Manrique, had been employed to create a lovely, large Lido area in lieu of the lack of safe bathing beaches due to the exposure to the prevailing swell. Despite being drawn into most waters, even the intrepid mate of Green Flash didn't fancy a swim here!
A swim here...........
Although we would have liked to have spent more time in the north of Tenerife, and explore the national park of Anaga overlooking the port, a sudden decision on how to progress homewards from here arose, causing us to hasten east to Las Palmas Gran Canaria, on Thurs 24th while the weather was conducive.