I can’t believe it but I think I need a break! With the excitement of moving to Tenerife still bubbling over, and the fact that every day still brings with it something new to do, I feel like I’ve been very busy over the last few weeks. There is no time to slow down though, as life goes on.
A key step to settling in Spain (for me), is to have a job here. Work ticks so many boxes for me – it’s nice to have added some structure to my day, it’s an easy way to meet new people, I’m getting paid(!) and it means I am paying into the system which makes settling in terms of legal status much easier as well. The changes that are taking place worldwide generally, and Brexit specifically, keep this at the top of my list of things to do as soon as possible. One part of this which has already been sorted out is my Social Security number.
I’m pleased to report that I managed to get this done with the little Spanish I speak – from booking the appointment to getting the number! The key detail for the Social Security number was having a job! I have a part time job at an English school where I help my students practice conversational English and help to increase their confidence in speaking. It’s an evening job so I hold on to the prospect of spending my days and weekends with Nick, exploring more of the island. I’m also looking forward to working in Santa Cruz. It’s an hour commute which is bearable as I will be driving.
So the holiday ends now and real life begins now. Nick has work, and I have my part time gig. I’m now looking for a second job though because as much as I love having free time and am supposed to be a lady of leisure, life does not pay for itself.
When we first arrived in Tenerife, Nick and I quickly started making a note of places that we would like to try out. The list includes restaurants, specific food items, activities and places or things of interest. We are trying something new everyday but also want to save some experiences to share with our gifts. I mentioned in a previous post that my dear friend Fungi came to visit and we took advantage of her visit to try a few new things.
Having done the staple activities of going ‘out out’, and the beach, a good meal was in order and for this, we went to a restaurant that we had seen a few times and thought we would like to try.
We had driven past the Churrasqueria Rodeo a few times in the time that we’ve been here and wondered what the place was like so we went there for dinner.
We sat outside in the patio, on a warm Saturday evening and marvelled as different meats were paraded out and offered out to us. There were different cuts of beef, cooked in different ways… chicken, sea food, pork – all prepared in various ways and brought to you for consideration. An all you can eat where they bring the food to you. It was brilliant. The company was fantastic too. At some point, we got talking to the couple sitting behind us and it transpired that they thought that Nick was out dining with his TWO wives. We cleared this up with a very brief summary of who was who. Despite this, a couple at another table piped up saying they would happily join the family as wives number 3 and 4…
Everyone was lovely but I’m still waiting for a Facebook friend request to come through from one of them. We were joking, but, I just got a feeling…
Fungi’s last day here was off to a cloudy start unfortunately. The first for a while. So we took the chance to drive up the volcano to go seek out some sun. There’s an update to the El Teide Page with a new Gallery.
It was a genuinely grim to start but we drove up the mountain and found ourselves driving up through the clouds. It was amazing. We literally found ourselves above the
clouds. The weather above the clouds was perfect, as usual. We used a different route into the national park this time so we saw some red mountains which we hadn’t seen before.
The weekend was finished off with a stop at La Finca! Because apparently, it’s a thing for us! I’m so happ Fungi came to visit us. When we told her we were moving, she took a moment to process, then said, “Great – I’ll be there by the end of May.” And she was! I just love her confidence in herself and her determination to do whatever she sets herself to do. I even get to take part every so often! I had the best time with Fungi here and am looking forward to seeing her again soon.
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!
We’ve been living in Tenerife for almost two months now so it’s great that we have the joy of welcoming another house guest! A really good friend of mine from high school promised to come and visit us in Tenerife when we told her the news, and like the trooper she is, she’s followed through. This is a whistle-stop weekend visit with her flight arriving at 20 past midnight, early Saturday, and the outbound flight leaving Sunday at 7pm.
Straight from the airport, we went into Las Americas for some drinks. This was our first night going “out out” in Tenerife. All I was after was a good location and good cocktails. The first stop was Restaurante La Terrazza del Mare where we had a couple of drinks each. I expected Las Americas to be more expensive than the other places we’ve been to as we were out in tourist central. I was not disappointed!
We moved on to Papagayo Beach Club which was recommended as a good nightclub for music and dancing. That’s not quite what we wanted, but we wanted to be around people who were also out out. We had a great time there – plenty to drink, lots of seating and the dancefloor looked amazing. The music was really good and we made an obligatory drunken friend and headed back home.
We wondered into the village and decided to try one of the local cafes for breakfast (and
holiday cocktails). We were not disappointed – the big breakfast and omelettes were just what we needed. The cocktails – !!! The cocktails were potent. We ordered a Caprioska and a Tequila sunrise. We had to ask for a can of lemonade to make the drinks weaker! AND they are the cheapest cocktails I’ve had here. I don’t understand how alcoholism isn’t a bigger problem.
After our very boozey breakfast, we went to the beach to soak up some sun and swim in the sea. It was another perfect day for it. We had highs of 27°C and the water was beautiful and clear. We had a lovely day out, chatting and drinking at the beach, and catching up, and making new memories!
Work is probably the biggest factor in determining where we will be living in 12 months time. My family and Nick’s subscribed to the “go to school then get a ‘good’ job” method of life, so that is what both of us have generally aspired to – it is a fact of life. I am hoping that being in Tenerife means we work to live, rather than the other way round.
I was worried about what jobs would be available in Tenerife for ME. This worry was fuelled by the “truth-speakers” of Facebook groups that have made it their duty to strike fear in anyone who has a question about anything. (This will have to be covered a separate post. It makes me so angry sometimes!!)
The competition is intense and the language barrier is real. I’m learning, and it’s going well…. un poco, un poco. Trying to find a good job in a foreign country can be difficult. You never know what local practices are, but also, with many other nationalities settling here, only speaking English WILL be a disadvantage.
I had my first interview for a ‘real’ job the second week I was here. It was for a well known company here as part of their sales team. I don’t know how committed I was to that cause as I was just so pleased to be facing a genuine prospect. They hired internally and I’m pleased for it. I needed the time off to enjoy this move and perhaps wasn’t sure what I was signing up for.
I’ve since had a few others and they have been interesting. I have read a few posts online warning me to be weary of employment prospects in Tenerife. There are allegedly some unscrupulous sorts here (like most places?…) so you need to be aware of things like what your hours will be, and make sure that the same number is reflected on your contract, for example.
Using a combination of Spanish and English job sites, I’ve found myself a temporary part-time job and have a couple more interviews coming up. The part time role will do nicely for now which will do nicely to keep me busy for a few hours on most days. Fortunately, even with the very little planning I did, I have a bit of time to find my feet and here before I have to find a work.
As much as I would love to spend all my time exploring Tenerife, real life has expenses.
The plan was to get up early on Saturday to get to the Adeje Market, but the fun and excitement from Siam Park was too much. We managed to catch a few stalls still out, but I didn’t get to see as much I would have liked so I hope to write a post in the near future about a real visit. All it meant was the rest of the weekend would be dedicated to food and drink and the challenge was heartily accepted.
We tried out a restaurant called ‘San Marco’ that is just across the road from the market (location, location, location) for lunch. Most of the group got freshly made pizzas, one of the guys had a tasty steak (fish) and I had a salad.
Great selection all around
Everyone was happy enough with their meal, despite a slight misunderstanding with one of the orders. The guys ordered cervezas (to practice ALL the Spanish they know, of course) but we also got a range of cocktails which were all very tasty and very potent!
We went to the beach for our dinner at a sea side restaurant called” Sanibar Ajabo”. The service was great, the paella was delicious and the company like no other.
We had a beautiful view of the sea as we ate, and we even had the priviledge of watching a proposal. (They both looked pleased when they came back!) Sanibar Ajabo even had a flamenco show going on upstairs, but as we ad a little person with us, we decided to sit in a different section. Having been introduced to flamenco quite recently, I’m looking forward to going back to see that! It provided the perfect Spanish background music to our evening.
To top this weekend’s great dining experiences, we went to my favourite restaurant on the island so far – La Finca Chafoya. This was our second visit but the atmosphere, the layout and service we received last time made it an instant winner. ‘La Finca’ is a farm which has been changed into a restaurant, however, they use the surrounding land to grow fruit and vegetables for the restaurant.
They also have a fenced in coop with a range of birds we like to eat there. The usual players were there (chickens, ducks, pheasants and peacocks) but they were sharing their space with a couple of rabbits too so our youngest crew member got some unexpected entertainment there too! The mix of food this time was surf and turf with one of the group ordering octopus and the rest mainly getting involved wit the mixed grill.
We ate so well this weekend. And had such a lovely time doing it. I’m desperate for recommendations of places to go and eat in Tenerife. Any place you know that’s ‘local’, or just a guaranteed good meal? Suggestions welcome in the comments below!
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.