Tenerife – El Medano

4th January to the 3rd February

When we first arrived we went to the tourist shop and spoke to a lovely man called Peter, we were actually asking about things to do when my Dad and his partner arrived, sadly in the end they were unable to come due to an illness, but I remember Peter saying once you arrive into El Medano and Tenerife you find a little piece of paradise and you never want to leave, well as cheesy as that sounds it has a bit of truth to it…El Medano was hard for us not to fall in love with..It’s so relaxing but yet got a lot of buzz, it’s a very hippy, surfy town…with no loud clubs or pubs just restaurants and very cool cafe’s along the beach front.

This suited Grant and I almost perfectly, there is a good mix of young and old, couples and families so you never get the extremes of feeling like you’re in a pensioners home or a creche for 20 somethings, also there’s a great mix of Europeans, certainly plenty of English but often you wouldn’t hear English as a first language all day.

If we were surfers or more especially kite/wind surfers then this would surely be the perfect spot. The breeze is consistent without causing issues to the brown bodied sunbathers strewn all over the town beaches, the rock outcroppings which give added privacy to little patches of beach also cut the wind down. On the windiest days people would nestle right against the rocks in natural sun traps.

El Medano has 4 main Beaches and lots of those little bays in between..the first beach protected from the prevailing breeze by the Medano Hotel which juts out into the bay is the sunbathing & swimming town beach, which was the beach we could see across the town square from our Airbnb sunroom, it is a very protected beach and total sun trap and was busy pretty much every day.

The second main beach was the surfing and wind surfing beach and then just beyond the end of the boardwalk was the largest of the town beaches this is the kite surfing beach, this was, on the right day, the busiest and most colourful beach..tourists everywhere trying to get that perfect photo of all that colour and action, walkers meandering carefully through and around what looks like a scaled down music festival’s tent village made of parked kites often sheltering their resting pilots.

People crossing the Kitesurfing beach need to keep one eye on the Sky for fear of a dive bombing kite (Grant did see one lady take a Kite to the head, no damage done thankfully) the main danger is from the learner kite surfers, not yet ready for the ocean they wrestle with kites on dry land, usually with an instructor from the numerous surf and kite schools, once safely past this beach you can continue up the Volcano or on past the Volcano to the 4th and biggest beach, Playa de la Tejita note this is the Nudist beach, many of the naturist men seem very keen for you to see them in all their ‘glory’ the oddest of these would just stand in the knee high bushes just off the walking paths, I’m fairly certain they enjoy this much more than passersby do.

Kite Surfers, Wind Surfers, Surfers and Paddle Boarders

 A walk to the top of the Red Mountain/Volcano (Montaña Roja)

Sadly our Jakes wasn’t feeling well this week so missed out on the big walk up the Big Red Mountain, but we dragged our Lucas up there 🙂 think he was pretty proud of himself when we got to the top..the view was pretty spectacular..even though I did have to walk around the ‘instagram’ couple and dangle on the edge to get the photo I wanted as they positioned themselves right in the very spot for the best photos, they sunbathed and took a million posey photos of each other….well done to them for getting up there early and what a beautiful sunbathing spot, just made me laugh though cos when you make your way up there you don’t really want them in your every photo..

It was well worth the long and sometimes quite difficult walk, difficult mainly because you were worried you were going to slip on the loose volcanic stones, Lucas actually did slip on the way down so he walked the rest of the way down with his legs shaking, bless him…

The red colour by the way comes from the volcanic scoria which, normally pebble sized, is strewn everywhere, this reminded Grant of his Mum’s garden when he was young, she used it as a ground cover to keep the weeds at bay.

A Walk up the Small Mountain

This walk is a nice easy walk, with some stunning views..

El Medano Beach Life

How could you not fall in Love with El Medano..Beach Life is whats it’s about, not many days here throughout the year would be spent anywhere but the beach, the weather all through January was in the mid 20’s sometimes higher…no complaining from us, it was perfect with that little breeze most days to keep the Kite surfers happy 🙂

Grant and Luke went for regular swims, swimming out to the yellow Buoy that guided windsurfers away from the swimming area, they always wore snorkel and mask and along with many fish they were lucky enough to see a full grown, critically endangered, Angel Shark lazing on the bottom, Grant luckily didn’t dive down to have a closer look as he found out later on the web that they have been known to attack if they feel threatened.

Playa de la Tejita

This beach has a nudest section to the left hand side, from the top of the Big Mountain we could see this really Crystal clear part that Grant and Lucas were keen to snorkel so one day we headed over and went to find a spot for me to sunbathe whilst the boys had a snorkel..well, I really am fine with anyone who wants to sunbathe naked, but wasn’t really up for snuggling up to them and this beach was pretty packed…so we found a slightly quieter part for me, even though it was still very much a nudest beach and the men were really fine swinging away down to the ocean :/

On this same day, on the sand Grant spotted a blue jellyfish (A bluebottle), and later during their swim they found another..Grant was trying to make sure Lucas didn’t swim into it so scooped it up into his goggles and plonked it on the beach next the other other one…whilst trying to get it out of his googles he actually got stung on this thumb…

Note Grant is allergic to bee stings, luckily bluebottle stings, while painful and lingering, are not anything like a bee sting so he was fine, he described it like having just touched your hand to a hot pan where the part that touched gets a sudden jolt of pain which then continues to sting for half an hour or more afterwards while gradually lessoning. So glad Luke didn’t get the 10 foot long tentacle wrapped around him when swimming 😛

About Town

I loved to sit on the steps just in front of the beach, listening to the pan pipes being played every Saturday during the bustling Market in the square, feeling the hot January sun beating down on me..

We would walk along the, sometimes quite uneven, wooden panelled promenade, past the always busy cafe’s, everyone trying to grab a front line table in the sun, past the alternative life stylers carving the stones they picked up from the beach, making some pretty cool jewellery from stones they had polished, one guy in particular had some amazing pieces, some making their friendship bracelets.

One drunk ‘character’ was always trying to sing his one verse of ‘Bailando’ at an unlucky passerby which he would pursue while furiously strumming his guitar all in the hope of getting some beer money, we didn’t see him succeed but no doubt some people paid him to go away.

It was a funny site sometimes, one oldish lady laying on the promenade bench with her bikini bottoms half way down, in full view of everyone sitting enjoying their drinks in the cafe’s.. perhaps she hated the sand but suspect the sun had gotten to her already and gone far deeper than just her skin.

Finally we liked to stop in our favourite cafe, Agua Cafe for a Clara Limon (Shandy) for me and a Grande Cerveza (Large Beer) for Grant and a little complimentary bowl of Garlic Olives where we would then watch the world go by and talk about fixing the world of their problems.. Grant’s favourite tapas snack is the deep fried green Padron Peppers with sea salt, and we both still love prawns in garlic and chilli butter/oil.

Agua Cafe

Not really sure why this particular cafe became our favourite but it did, think it was just a combination of many things, great position, friendly waitresses, complimentary olives and the totally relaxed feel and set up…day and night this is a great cafe.

Day Trip to Los Cristianos

Los Cristianos / Playa de las Américas is probably the Benidorm of Alicante, maybe not quite as built up and nowhere near as tacky (the bits we saw at least)…the beach is stunning, the sand is so soft and the ocean is incredibly clear, it has everything you could want and more for a fun packed family holiday but we were so glad we were staying in El Medano.

After predicting that the weather was going to be cold we dressed accordingly only to find out it was probably one of the hottest days yet…so as soon as we arrived we had to find slightly more appropriate clothing, luckily Los Cristianos is basically a shopping mall on the beach so we had every store we might need (even picked up a lovely new top for 3Euros in Zara) after the fuss of shopping with teenage boys we managed to get better outfitted and did have a really lovely day, finished off with a fun and lovely evening meal.

Grant even taught us the art of coaster flipping, and stacking.

El Medano at sunset

Familiar Restaurant

I actually saw the reviews of this restaurant on trip advisor and was really keen not to miss out on eating here..

Definitely glad we booked in advance as it was busy all night, the menu wasn’t huge but the food we had was incredible if not maybe on the too over generous side, Jake had Steak and said it was perfect, Lucas had a chicken dish and Grant and I shared a fish casserole which was divine..

Pizzeria Wairua

Our Host Ines actually recommended the Pizza here, she told us that we had to have their hot oil…every Friday has always been Pizza night for the boys, so Jake was keen on trying this Hot Oil…he wasn’t disappointed, so Jacob had Pizza from Pizzeria Wairua every Friday, Lucas on the other hand preferred the smaller pollo kebab pizza from the supermarket next door…not sure what thats all about…strange kid :)….(still Luke’s was half the price)

img_0293Lucas’s Carrot Cake

Luke loves to bake, we suspect it’s eating the end product that drives this but at least it get’s him off the computer, he found a Carrot Cake recipe online and with a little help from Grant (mainly to grate the carrots) he made the richest moistest carrot cake ever, maybe the Tenerife carrots helped, the idea of making a carrot cake came up as we kept saying how sweet the carrots here are. Presentation was lacking but that was mainly due to cooking it in a casserole dish.

Head over heels for El Medano

Grant got back into his running in El Medano, trying to chip away at his stubborn spare tyre, he stopped drinking Coke at the start of December, though we still have plenty of treats, cutting Coke out has likely knocked a million calories off his diet since then 😉

He has also been taking Luke out for small runs trying to get him a little fitter, but all of this came to a screaming (he assures me he didn’t let out so much as a whimper actually) heap when on our second to last day he was just finishing a 5k run and decided to check his iPhone app to see if he’d passed the 5k mark, unfortunately running on rocky paths doesn’t go well with unlocking iPhone screens, his foot landed on a loose rock and the next thing he knew the ground raised up and viciously attacked him.

The phone survived unscathed and when finally checked told him he had indeed completed the 5k’s, his body unfortunately had taken a battering, bruises to his temple shoulder and ribs, both palms and knees grazed, left knee swollen, two fingers gashed one of which, his ring finger, is (2 weeks later) wrapped in a home made splint to encourage it to go back to straight. He whisked his Titanium wedding ring off as soon as he realised the finger was starting to swell, not sure how you’d get it off otherwise 😛

So everyone please don’t text and run, or even look at your phone and run, Grant’s hoping to ‘hit the road’ again soon, but hopefully this time just with his feet.

Apartment in El Medano

dsc07312 Airbnb El Medano – a fantastic location, you were right on the main square and could view the ocean from the sun room.  This place was great, the kitchen had almost everything we could want, including that AirBNB rarity a potato peeler, and I would so recommend it to anyone wanting a chilled out holiday, beautiful beach, cafe’s and restaurants galore. The Apartment has 4 bedrooms, 2 twins, 1 single and a double, a sunroom, living room and a well stocked kitchen.  You have supermarkets all around you..Awesome.