A nine hour coach excursion around the rural extremities of Tenerife including a meal for just 12 euros? There must be a catch. Of course there is, but as I found out, it’s not much of one. Tours like ‘Teide with Pirate Ship’, ‘Candelaria Pyramids’, ‘Wine Bodega and Santa Cruz’, or ‘Masca with Garachico’ are also on offer and really open up Tenerife to visitors with inquiring minds and cameras.
Referred to by locals as ‘blanket trips’, the Miller Travel brochures which are so abundant around the main resorts do mention an “info show about our therapeutic healthy sleeping woolen products”. Just over an hour after paying, as I boarded the Mercedes Forest with Taganana trip, we arrived in Tacoronte. The coach guide had already announced that the info show would last around 90 minutes and is basically what underwrites the trip.
I feared a large hall and a hard sell but us 60 or so Brits from the two coaches were led to a very cosy café type room with the walls draped in pillows, quilts, and blankets. In one corner two beds showed off mattresses and other products featuring Icelandic wool. We sat four to each table with a good supply of wine and coffee. The talk was very informal and focused on the health advantages of these sleeping aids.
I wasn’t looking to buy any new bedding and the others seemed the same but the talk was a trade off everyone seemed happy to make for the day out. After an hour people were getting fidgety and were free to use the en suite toilets or popped onto the small balcony for a crafty ciggie. The products are dispatched to home addresses from the German HQ, no bank or card details are taken in advance and they also pay the delivery costs. After the talk there was a further 30 minutes to bounce on the beds, cuddle the covers, and plump the pillows and fill out order forms, I didn’t notice any takers.
So that was our obligation over and our coach headed back through La Laguna and up the steep corkscrew roads to the Anaga mountains with a stop at the Jardina mirador viewpoint to take in the views of the small settlements in the folds of the hills before heading on further up into the laurel forest.
Trees linked branches over the road to make a leafy tunnel and tight turns made us slow down to squeeze by the odd oncoming car. All the time our guide kept us informed of the history and geography of the area. It’s easy to see how the rock formations have inspired myths and legends, gaps in the trees as we rolled along kept offering glimpses of small farms terraced into the steep hills, remote houses caught in a time warp, and then the sparkle of the ocean up ahead as we zig zagged down into Taganana. The rugged and lively beach and the Roque de Las Bodegas was our view from Restaurant Casa Africa where we enjoyed local fish with salad, Canarian potatoes, bread, and cheese with more liberal pourings of wine.
Back on the coach we retraced our steps and veered off and down to San Andres and the man made yellow beach of Las Teresitas to get some sand between our toes. The drive back south took us through Santa Cruz before heading down the motorway to drop offs at Golf del Sur, Los Cristianos, and Playa de Las Americas by 6pm while the other bus delivered to Puerto de la Cruz and all points north. It was an enjoyable and educational trip, we packed a lot in and that two hour donation of our time seemed a very reasonable price to pay.
Miller Travel – brochures everywhere. All trips 12 euros, just turn up at any brochure pick up point and pay on the coach.
Category : about tenerife
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