Tenerife is no stranger to celebrities and it’s not uncommon to open the pages of your favourite tabloid and see some minor celeb’ ‘caught’ lounging by their five star pool or emerging from the waves in Costa Adeje sporting Ray Bans and designer swimwear. For today’s celebrities it’s all about exposure. But before publicity became the Holy Grail, Tenerife provided a refuge from the limelight for some of the rich and famous of their day.
In 1926, having discovered that her husband was planning to leave her for another woman, Agatha Christie disappeared for 11 days, becoming the central character in her own real life mystery. In order to escape the ensuing press free-for-all, Agatha fled the prying eyes of the press to spend some time with her daughter Rosalind in Puerto de la Cruz. Unfortunately the crime writer wasn’t too impressed with Puerto as she found the Atlantic waves too rough for her daily swim, and quickly moved on to Gran Canaria.
During the 1960s, at the height of their fame and earnings capacity, Richard and Elizabeth Taylor spent some time in Los Cristianos, allegedly investing in a 685 acre finca with a banana plantation attached. Buying property all over the world at the time, publicity followed them wherever they went until finally, they bought a yacht to live on to escape prying eyes…for a while.
Fifty years ago, three lads from Liverpool showed up in Puerto de la Cruz to stay with a friend of theirs, Klaus Voorman. George, Paul and Ringo were missing their fourth man, John, who had chosen to vacation in Miami with manager Brian Epstein. Far from needing to hide from paparazzi, The Beatles were barely known on the islands at the time and were so unrecognised that when the Fab Three asked the manager of Lago Martianez if they could play some of their songs in his bar, he said “no”. Such a shame, it would have made a nice venue for an impromptu Beatles gig and they could have commemorated it with a festival. Oh, wait a minute…
In 1936 Jean Batten was the first woman to fly solo from England to New Zealand, a feat every bit as worthy of merit as Amy Johnson’s solo flight from England to Australia and Amelia Earhart’s solo Atlantic crossing. In the 1970s Jean bought an apartment in Puerto de la Cruz where she lived in anonymity for many years until the death of her mother.
Thor Heyerdahl became a household name in 1947 when he and five companions sailed a reed raft named Kon Tiki 4,300 nautical miles from Peru to French Polynesia to support his theories of early migratory routes. In 1991 Heyerdahl moved to Guimar to excavate remains and to set up the Pyramids of Guimar ethnographic park. He continued to live quietly in Guimar until his death in 2002.
Photo of Thor Heyerdahl (above) from the Piramides of Guimar
Category : about tenerife
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