22nd November San Miguel for a few more days.

Sun 22 Nov 2015 18:04
It has been a busy week since our friends left us. Thanks to Rafael we received the solar panels from Marlec without any hassle and booked a car for a day to go to Santa Cruz at the end of the week to obtain clear out documents. While we were waiting in the queue to see Rafael we met Poitr (Peter) from Jean de la Lune and he invited us aboard late afternoon as he was going to be in the engine-room sorting out his engine water intake pipe. In fact he gave us a whole hour of his valuable time, starting with a mug of tea and chat and following up with a tour, showing us all the changes and improvements he has made with his partner and team.
On Thursday we made an early start to the Aguamar Hotel to meet our coach for a half day trip to Mt Tiede. The day was clear as a bell and the volcano looked her best. The coach had come from Los Christianos and all points west, so it was nearly full. We would not have minded the fact we could not sit together if it had not resulted from a couple splitting up so each of them could have a window seat. The guide insisted we did not change seats, afraid of contratemps no doubt. We ascended through hills covered in cushion succulents and stopped at a typical old Tenerife village for a drink. Then onwards through pine and fire trees, some of which are so efficient at retaining water they resisted a forest fire in the spring and sprouted new leaves within a couple of months.
While most of the coach load paid to go to the top in the cable car we, along with a German couple, set off along one of the many tracks into the caldera. The colours of the rocks and flora were so rich in the bright sun we could happily have spent the day wandering through the landscape, which reminded me of the semi deserts of North America, but without the rattlers and scorpions, just rabbits, lizards and small deer.
The return journey took us along the south west coast of the island, past acres of covered pineapple, tomato and banana groves and with a fine view of La Gomera beckoning us forth.
On Friday morning we discovered a double problem with one of the windows at the front of Zoonie’s deckhouse. I noticed that it did not close fully, instead resting on the rubber seal. It turned out the seal has come away from the rubber on the frame. Well that was just a case of glueing the two together, but during the inspection Rob noticed that one of the pot rivets holding the hinge to the frame had shed its head. To re-rivet would mean taking the window off and ideally both windows need to be removed and all the rivets replaced, but now or later? It has held so far so we decided to make it a job for maybe Peru or New Zealand.
Later that day our Fiat Panda hire car arrived and we sped along the motorway, TF1 in 45 minutes to Santa Cruz. When I came here to join the Stavvy for the trans Atlantic the journey took much longer as our road then was a windy one through the lava deposits. The new motorway has been cut easily through sandstone. On our second attempt we found the Harbour Police in the office complex beside the Fred Olsen terminal. Fortunately a lady interpreter was present and she helped us cut the red tape. The police chief would not forward date our clearance document, even for a day, so we suggested we would go straight back to the marina and leave that same day. He was happy with that and couldn’t care less if we stayed on another week or so. As long as he had done his job a little white lie on our part was acceptable.
Rob has successfully installed all the new solar panels but needed some clips to fasten the cables on the deck. We walked across Santa Cruz for nearly and hour to a chandlery, but when Rob showed the seated assistant behind the counter what we needed she shook her head. Meanwhile, back at the marina, we showed the one clip we had to Rafael and his response was, “What colour?” and “How many?” Still our walk did allow us to see old Santa Cruz and we lunched in a nice bar under the shade of mimosa trees.
The hire car was due to be returned the following morning at 11.00 so we were up with the lark and off to LIDL and Mercadona to victual up enough supplies to last until the Caribbean, expecting to get only fresh supplies in Cape Verdes.
On our return to the marina the car hire guys helped us carry the shopping bags to Zoonie to sped up the delivery to the next client. Last evening we were enjoying a quiet drink in the bar when two very talented guys entertained us on their guitars and singing irish ballads, sea shanties and favourites from the likes of Rod Stewart, Johnny Cash and Roy Orbison. The bar filled up and we joined in when we could. Both of them had good voices and we stayed for the duration of this surprise concert.
Today the cloud over Teide has been deep and dark and the wind has blown hard as it usually does around here. We plan to leave on Tuesday for La Gomera, the last island we shall see in our sojourn in the Canaries.