One of the best things about Tenerife is the fact that there is ALWAYS something to do. You can choose to pay for an activity or find something great to do that’s free of charge depending on your tastes, of course. I’m pretty sure that there is something new to try for most people as well. Apart from the experiences which are unique to Tenerife, based on the areas I’ve driven through, you could probably eat somewhere different for every meal for the best part of a year without doubling back (disclaimer for the fact checkers: that is a truly hyperbolic guestimate, but I’m probably right.)
As agreed, we are using our guests as an excuse to try new things on the island and mi hermano Ru is no exception. Having just been to Aqualand in Faro, Ru was excited to go to another water park. We of course have the water park that is rated number one in the world on Trip Advisor here in Tenerife. A day trip to Siam Park was in order! We decided to try going in on a Friday morning. I was interested to see how much busier it would be compared to our first visit a few weeks ago and I’m sorry to confirm that there was definitely a difference. Summer is on the way and there are definitely more holiday makers on the island. As a result, we actually had to queue for the slides!
I don’t think we waited more than 10 minutes for any one ride, however, the wait was becoming longer as the day progressed and more people came into the park. Ru went and did the Tower of Power and was appropriately impressed by it. The Mekong Rapids is one of the group rides that we did in the morning before heading to the Wave Pool. Once there, we decided to call it a day for Siam Park as the queues put us off. Luckily, as Ru’s visit was for a couple of weeks, we knew we would get the opportunity to come back so took advantage of their cheap return tickets in anticipation.
Despite learning the value of a ticket with the queue jump, I still rate Siam Park and look forward to my next visit.
The Spanish is coming along despacio – un poco, un poco.
I’ve always threatened to actually have a go at growing something. Anything. I’ve killed every plant I’ve ever owned, but Tenerife is all about new beginnings. So I decided to start a little herb garden – because I can. A few weekends ago, we did
the very adult thing of going to the Garden Centre on a Saturday morning. I picked out some really basic seeds, got some soil and trays. I also picked up some miniature gardening tools because I like to be extra sometimes.
At time of publishing, my little garden has been growing for 3 weeks! I think we’ve made good progress. It’s not as if I have to do much. I set up my soil, picked a spot that they get some direct sunlight in, I water them daily and on really good days, sing a little song as i do so 🙂
I have some basil, parsley, yellow pepper plants and chives growing. The basil is pretty much ready, and the parsley is a close second.
I was a little bit worried about the peppers, but now that they have started growing, I’m sure there will be a bountiful harvest in the future (she said like she knows what she’s talking about…)
Now that I have this lot going, I’m thinking about expanding and growing some coriander and oregano. Big move – I know.
3 weeks on and I’m really pleased!
3 weeks – Parsley, chives and basil
The only thing about this is I now have to think of things to make to use up my supplies.
Challenge accepted! And, truthfully, suggestions required!!! If you have any ideas for simple herbs and veg to grow on a window sill for a total novice, please let me know!
After a month of Tenerife sun and a WhatsApp Group chat littered with holiday activity ideas and innuendo, we have our first house guests! Some serious intent and world-class planning resulted in this first month celebratory delight. NaI have the pleasure of sharing our home for a long weekend with five friends – a couple whose wedding we attended last year, their beautiful baby boy, and the best man and his girlfriend. I’ve been looking forward to this – this will be our holiday as much as it is theirs. Five days of fun trying a couple of new things and sharing our favourite discoveries! It’s exciting having friends come to visit us so soon. It definitely helps to reiterate that ‘home’ is not that far away.
They arrived in two batches on Thursday last week and despite our first scare on the island, we braved a journey to the airport for a collection. Our first day together, and out, was a Friday at Siam Park.
Siam Park is an amazing water park, currently rated the best in the world on Trip Advisor and the number one thing to do in Adeje, Tenerife. Everyone in the group was excited to go on as many of the rides and slides as possible. We were concerned about how busy it would be, on a Friday, at the end of the month, and how long we would be comfortable out in the sun with a baby in tow, and there was a little bit of anxiety about how tall or fast the rides would actually be, and if we would even get on anything.
Location and Parking – It’s quite difficult to miss Siam Park. It is very clearly sign posted from the motorway, and if you plan a little bit, you can use the free bus service to and from the park from various locations on the island. The huge entrance is also a great indicator of what’s to come. There was a lot o parking available when we arrived which was being advertised at €3 for the day.
Tickets and General Cost – if you get a voucher offering money off, it’s worth holding on to it. You can buy your tickets in advance online, or at the gate. A day ticket is roughly €35 per adult, but an annual pass for residents is €65. We anticipated our inevitable return to the park so NaI got them (and upset everyone slightly in the process). If you like to have a locker, have a look at the Siam Park website as they sell combo tickets which are good value. Otherwise, you will have to budget an extra €10 for a locker (that includes a €5 deposit that you get back).
Food and drink – reasonably priced for this type of attraction. There are several areas in the park where you can stop for a bite to eat, picking anything up from rice with a vegetable stew, to a hot-dog and fries. As you are a captive market, the prices are higher than outside the boundaries, so if you like to keep hydrated, you may consider taking your own bottle of water with you. We took a 5 litre container that was well used.
The rides – (of the 6 I tried this time around) INSANE. I did not get to go on every ride I wanted to this time. It was our own doing really. We tended to leave our area in groups of threes, but the group rides are for two or four people and it is quite rare for a solitary person to bother with the stairs of a 4 man ride. I enjoyed every ride I went on and want to do all of them again! My favourites were The Dragon, which made my heart race and made me feel weightless a couple of times, even though I was sharing a dingy with 3 other people, and The Wave Palace at Siam Beach – an artificial wave pool in which the water gets as high as 3 metres. The ‘beach’ around it is where we spent most of the second half of the day, including having lunch in the restaurant’s near by. I’m definitely going back just for the Lazy River which is supposed to take 45 minutes, and I hope that one day when I grow up, I will be brave enough to go on the Tower of Power. Watch this Space.
Time to rides and Queues – I was pleasantly surprised with both. The walk between the different attractions was fair. It’s a water park! I think it would be foolish not to expect to earn the thrill. remember thinking several times that I wish my smart watch was water proof because my step count for the day would have been impressive. There are lots of stairs, but that’s only because the rides start so high! Throughout the morning, we did not have to queue for any rides, but as the afternoon got on it got a little busier – to the extent that we had to wait for a group or two to go ahead of us…
The park is beautiful. The vegetation is vibrant and the sun makes everything radiant. It was quite a cloudy day in Tenerife when we went to Siam Park and I think that helped the experience. It cleared up quite nicely in the afternoon so everyone got a healthy dose of Vitamin D. NaI are already planning our next visits. We plan to take some waterproof cameras with us next time so I’ll take photos and upload them here. It was such a great day for everyone – I even got some Aunty duties in and no one got sun burnt!
After such a thrilling start to the weekend, we trundled back home to curry and wine on the terrace.
It was my husband’s (Nick) birthday this weekend and I wanted to do something to celebrate that was somewhat out of the ordinary for us. The usual treats featured – cake and candles, breakfast of his choosing and a dinner date… but I hate that the whole process only lasts about 10 minutes! I am of the belief that gift-giving is an occasion all in itself!
Nick’s birthday was on Saturday but I didn’t plan to do anything or go anywhere, knowing that we would both welcome a fairly chilled out day following the holidays. We also know from experience that the middle of January can be a difficult time to motivate the masses too- everyone is skint, or saving, or on a diet, or ‘doing Dry January’….
With all this in mind, I thought a fun way to spend the day together was a treasure hunt.
This is precisely the kind of thing that excites me. Any chance to tap in to my neglected creative side makes me giddy. So it was easy to resolve to enjoy planning this. The way I saw it, the worst case scenario is that one of us would have enjoyed it!
I got to planning and started by thinking of which route he would take and where to hide the clues. I thought that planning it around the home would make it easy. It did not. This is because if you live with someone and know all the clever hiding places to put things, the other person probably knows about them too. And he’s taller than me. So can reach places I can’t…. You also cannot prepare too far in advance, just in case a clue is discovered while going about your usual life.
The clues were prepared any time he left the house, and a couple of evenings, I waited for him to dose off on the sofa before getting my crafting boxes out and getting on with it.
On the day, I got to making breakfast to order and delivered it along with birthday bubbly and a birthday card from me. I was a little misleading and told him he had only one gift from me and it was the other card on the tray.
On the table with his food, he got a card that said :
We’re going on an adventure
A tall one for the books
But before we leave
You need to set some roots.
And we were off!
If you ever plan to do something similar, let there be no illusion of logic to the number of clues you need. Make the hunt as long or as short as you need it to be. I had to stick to my number to make the hunt last a reasonable length of time.
Some of the clues were riddles like the first card. The answer to that was the roots of the tree at the end of the driveway. That might not be obvious to you but he immediately got it. Great start. It didn’t hurt that he was up for the treasure hunt. He probably thought he would have it done and dusted in 10 minutes. Cheeky such and such.
When we got to the tree, I had planted a quote from one of his favourite movies:
If my calculations are correct, when this baby hits 88 miles per hour… you‘re gonna see some serious shit.
This gem is one of Doc Brown’s own from the movie ‘Back to the Future’, leading him to the car. Then a word association puzzle, followed by a word search made for the occasion… There was a logo puzzle and QR codes, he had a clue to break out of ice and one that he had to read through a mirror. My Treasure Hunt Gallery has a few more pictures. There was a quiz with a code where he had to figure out the answer from the quiz answers and he had to translate a message which ended up being a riddle too. He even had to get help from The Herd which was just adorable.
After 3 hours of brain teasers and searching most corners of the house, he was done, retrieving 7 gifts and his stash of cards from family and birthday cake at the end.
I looked at several websites for help with the clues but found that in order to make it special,you need to tweak everything to make personal. I don’t know how many people would have appropriated the DeLorean reference, or if Robinson’s Squash is a feature in your household, but getting those details to make the hunt unique for you and the hunter is what makes it fun (and frustrating) to put together, and based on the feedback I got, that’s what made it so enjoyable.
He had such a good time that he’s committed to preparing a treasure hunt for me to do too. I am very excited as out this.
I think this may become a ‘thing’ for us.
Look here for info on how I put the hunt together and details of the sites I used to make DHs Treasure Hunt (and some of the clues for those who are interested!)
Are you a fan of treasure hunts? What are your tips for preparing one? Do you have ideas for own to spruce up gift giving?