Highlights from a family holiday on the Spanish isle...
I seriously needed a break from England so I took the opportunity to jet out to Tenerife with my parents and extended family. Los Claveles is a beautiful sun-kissed resort in Los Christianos on the south corner of the island. The staff are friendly and the food is great. The waiter even looks like Paul Sorvino, or Paulie from Goodfellas. The apartment was great although in it I did find a gecko on the wall the size of my fucking forearm.
I realise this is massively nerdy, but I learned here that wine glasses make great sound amplifiers for use when playing music on mobile phones. Give it a shot yourself.
It was by this pool that I hammered through Surface Detail by Iain M Banks and generally got scorched by the sun.
It's certainly a better-shaped pool than this one we found a mile or so down the coast:
Here's some slightly more intricate artwork down by the beach:
And here is the Pièce de résistance of the holiday: Mount Teide, an active volcano, which I climbed.
The 3,718 metre ascent was a killer, even when we left the car in the designated park halfway up the mountain. Starting it from sea-level would take about three days, I was told, so the route we took seemed like a tough but attainable challenge. On the way up we found small sulphur vents, kicking out hot air that stank of eggs.
Further proof that there's no corner of the world untouched by the Coca-Cola Corporation...
I climbed with my dad, uncle and cousin-in-law. We're all in reasonably good shape, but we were all whacked with altitude sickness somewhere around the summit.
For info on what you didn't know about Teide, including NASA, pirates and mass graves, check out the Expedia Tenerife Property Blog.
In 1909 Teide erupted, covering the town with molten lava. Here's where the lava flow stopped. Someone with again questionable architectural taste managed to build a house inside the solidified lava.
When we arrived back at the apartment, the air pressure had imploded my water bottle.
To round off the holiday, we took an ecological expedition off the coast to see pilot whales in their natural habitat.
Hearing them clear out their blow-holes while they swam in formation was incredible. Seeing whales in the wild is something I've always wanted to do.
I was a little hesitant about the price of the holiday before I went, but I have no regrets. I had an awesome time.