25 JULY 2010:
Tenerife, the largest of Spain’s Canary Islands, off West Africa, is dominated by Mt. Teide, which rises 7,500m above the ocean floor and is among the world’s largest volcanoes. Still, Tenerife may be best known for its huge pre-Lent Carnival, as well as its beaches (with sands from yellow to black) and busy, upscale resorts, including Los Cristianos and Playa de las Américas.
This was quite possibly the worst holiday I have ever had. Things just kept going wrong! However I was on holiday with my best friend so we still managed to have some fun, just not a lot of it.
We went to Playa de las Américas in Tenerife many years ago, back in 2010, long before I started doing this blog so I didn’t capture many details of the place but I do remember a few bad experiences…
Initial impression of the place was that it is suited to young people as there were quite a lot of bars and clubs on the main strip. Things may be different these days but I suspect not. Our hotel, and I imagine most of the hotels in the area were full of youngsters playing music loudly on the balcony whilst drinking and smoking. It was not easy to get to sleep!
We decided to rent a mode of transportation so we could explore the island, and as I was the only one that brought my licence I had to be the person to rent something. We saw so many people on motorbikes and scooters so we opted for something similar. The man at the hire place asked if I had ever ridden a bike, to which I said no but still tried to assure him that I would be fine. I didn’t really believe I would be, but I wanted to him to believe that we were responsible and wouldn’t cause damage to the bike. He watched me ride off and as I reached the end of the road, I tried to turn the bike round a corner and basically fell off. He came rushing towards me, checked the bike and after seeing the look on his face, I decided to suggest maybe we should rented some push bikes instead!
After an hour on a push bike, cycling up some steep hills in the intense heat, I decided we needed plan C, so I rented a car. Something with 4 wheels would be much better! However, driving in another country has always scared me – you don’t know the road layouts, the signs, driving on the other side of the road etc but anything had to be better than cycling up hills in that heat!
The next day we saw a flyer for a Bob Diving experience. I had never heard of anything like it before so we booked some tickets. B.O.B. stands for Breathing Observation Bubble – its an underwater scooter for individual use. Basically you are underwater on a scooter with a big bubble over your head.
That afternoon we were struggling to find the part of the island where we were meant to meet the Bob Diving group. Eventually we found it but couldn’t park so round and round I went trying to find a space to leave the car. I was in a panic that we wouldn’t be able to get to the group in time and consequently lose our money. In a fluster I ended up driving too close to parked cars and smacked someone’s mirror! Whoops! Stress plus more stress! I don’t think I caused damage to that person’s car, well I hope not!
In the end we parked in a private hotel carpark and spent the next 5 hours freaking out that we would get a parking fine or the police would be trying to find us for reckless driving! When you are underwater on a scooter with a bubble over your head and getting a bit freaked out and claustrophobic, you don’t really want to be worrying about the car too!
Despite being anxious and stressed, the Bob Diving was still quite fun. It was very different to anything else I had ever done and I have never really seen it elsewhere. One girl got quite sick though and managed to vomit in her bubble – not very nice! Afterwards my friend started getting very unwell when we got back onto the boat, the sea was pretty rough that day.
Back to the car – luckily no parking ticket! Thank goodness. No obvious damage to the car either from when I hit the parked car, although the driver’s side door was out of place and needed to be lifted slightly before it would close. Again, luckily when we returned the car to the hire place the next day, they didn’t notice! Phew!
That night we went out for dinner and got shouted at by the waitor in front of all the other diners. He was angry that we were taking too long to order, although in our defence it was only around 10 minutes. Then when I was ordering and asked if he could replace one item with a different one, he exploded. It was so strange! We should have argued back and left the restaurant and I wish we had. Instead we sat in silence hoping they weren’t spitting in our food.
I am sure there are some very beautiful parts of Tenerife and the weather was lovely but after quite a few bad experiences, I didn’t find it to be a relaxing nor fun holiday. I do enjoy reminiscing about that holiday though, it still makes me laugh years later.