Each island has its own version of traditional costume, and even within an island there are variations from community to community. In Tenerife traditional dress has evolved over the years, but retains a 17th century feel.
Lying on a beach in Playa de Las Américas or Costa Adeje it’s easy to forget that the land beneath your sun lounger is potentially unsafe and that Tenerife, like all the Canary Islands, has its roots firmly in a very violent past and for all we know, a possibly violent future.
In April, with the new growth on the vines in the valley just beginning to flourish, the place was deserted. Our visit began in the outside area, where anxious farmers deliver the grapes, all are thoroughly checked and analysed before being accepted and prices confirmed.
The third of the defeated British invaders, Nelson was the most famous and he is held in an unusually high regard in Tenerife. His adversary General Gutierrez, the military commander of Santa Cruz, glares at him where their polished bronze busts adorn the wall but after Nelson’s defeat they dined together and parted as friends.
Some people like to spot trains; some prefer to sight rare birds and many worldwide visitors like to tick off their list of the biggest, highest and longest things to see and do. So, just for the record, here is Tenerife’s claim-to-fame list of attractions for you to boast about.
In December 1973 to January 1974 Santa Cruz hosted an International Street Sculpture exhibition featuring works of art from prominent artists such as Henry Moore, Joan Miró and local boys Oscar Dominguez and José Abad. Today those exhibits are still in place and form the basis of a pleasant city walk taking in art and scenery as you go.
In my mind I was James Hunt, Damon Hill, and Jenson Button rolled into one but to anyone watching I was probably more like Doris Dawdle on a Sunday afternoon jaunt. I was a little in awe of the 1,200 track at Karting Club Tenerife but loving the feel of speed and power as I guided my 270cc Super Kart around the 13 bends.
It was early Spring and our way was marked with almond blossoms, meadows full of wild lavender and margaritas, vineyards yet to bud, the occasional finca where a dusty dog barked at our passing, and stunning views at every turn.