For our first week on the island, we’ve hired a car to help us get around, get our bearings and to do some exploring. So on our second day here, we drove up to the capital city – Santa Cruz de Tenerife. The roads in Tenerife are such a pleasure to drive on. Keep in mind that I’m Zimbabwean born and naturalised as a Brit – so good roads have not been a feature in my life.
The drive up north was scenic, as expected, with the sea beckoning on one side, and Mount Teide looking threatening with the first grey clouds we saw on the island on the other.
We drove through Santa Cruz and the layout is so functional yet typical it’s fantastic. It’s a city. There’s no point talking it up. However, nostalgia bells tolled as we drove down one of the streets – an avenue of palm trees masking city architecture.
We explored the town, taking turns that upset the satnav, and even (accidentally) going the wrong way up a (very quiet) one way road. Aiming to get to town at the start of siesta may have made a difference… We made our way to the biggest Carrefour (supermarket) and stocked up on some supplies. Not that we needed much – the house (rented or buying) comes fully furnished – a pleasant surprise and ideal for packing! So we got some sheets and toiletries and food to make the place more like home.
Stock and range of things is not a problem. I find that I keep having to remind myself that although Tenerife is an island, it is part of Spain. So all the creature comforts of home will be readily available. For example, we picked up an LG sound at and and subwoofer for €120 and an electric toothbrush is ~€30. General cost -pretty much was the same as the UK. I suppose I keep tempering my expectations with the fact that we live in a very small residential town. I can also hear my London friends saying, “Rumbie, you lived in Reading.” And I hear this. But our town almost feels (even more) rural now I’ve been to The City for a day.
Anyone who knows me is aware that I am always looking for a bargain (how do you think I ended up here!?) and I am pleased to say I am satisfied with the prices I saw for clothes and shoes. I don’t have many clothes with me. In anticipation of the move, there was a great cull. Many a charity bin was filled with the contents of my wardrobe. My In-laws at Household J are very kindly keeping some key pieces that I couldn’t bear to gift or face the prospect of replacing on return to the UK so I only brought over clothes I cannot buy – like my tailor made ‘African’ pieces. I don’t actually have many of these. As a result, I used up most of my luggage bringing my worldly goods, including some gifts from friends and family that are irreplaceable and make this home, my camera and my most essential crafting tools. Judge not – I challenge you can to pack for 6 months in 40ks!
U.K. Price tags often have euro prices printed on them too. That’s exactly what it it costs in Euros. But the local chains seem to be a bit cheaper. Reviews on quality versus cost to follow. The point is, the things I will need while here are readily available – if not somewhere local in our town, it will be here in the City which is only 40 minutes away by car.
We took some detours on the way home, stoping in towns along the way to see what selection of shops were available. Our landlord mentioned to us that there are a lot of specialist shops around so if we are patient, we will find everything to be very affordable. So far, with The Pound weakening, prices are quite comparable. I’ll keep you posted on this as shopping becomes more real. We seem to be on a diet of fast food as we settle. So, as the sun sets on a wonderfully sunny Monday, I hope you’re having your own adventure and must insist:
Be good, or be good at it.