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From kite fliers to rabbit hunters
(Friday, 21 September 2007) Written by IslandDrives

The other day I was looking at a travel watchdog website about Tenerife when I saw a posting which asked if anybody could recommend a restaurant where they could get ‘nice English food’. It made me think of the week we’d just spent with a friend who was visiting from the UK.

Strange creatures at the kite festivalOn his first Saturday we spent a couple of hours at Granadilla’s kite festival on Playa de La Tejita, where fantastically imaginative creations added a vibrant splash of colour to the blue sky. It’s a relaxed little festival which still doesn’t get the crowds it deserves.
The following day we wandered La Orotava’s historic old streets, ending up in the grounds of Casa Lercaro, where the grass was still littered with delicate petals; the aftermath of a wedding the night before; a hopelessly romantic setting to tie the knot.
Midweek we drove into the Anaga Mountains to find the laurisilva forest engulfed in cloud. Grey wisps weaved in an out of the trees like phantom fingers; the perfect setting for a horror movie, but not for a walk. Instead we returned to the coast and followed the camino real from Las Aguas to the quaint little cliff top hamlet of El Rosario, where we helped an old woman recapture her cat who’d legged it the minute her back was turned. The cat was called Ghandi which was obviously a joke as it viciously lashed out at me when I tried to catch it.


Fecundidad in Parque SanabriaTowards the end of the week, we visited Santa Cruz and strolled around the wonderfully eclectic Parque Garca Sanabria, (a ‘must’ for anyone visiting the city) before replenishing energy levels with a few tapas dishes as rainbow coloured trams glided silently by a few feet from our table.

In the evenings we ate in our favourite restaurants in Puerto de la Cruz, places like Mil Sabores, Poco Loco and Cha Paula, where the table and our stomachs were filled by dishes including pimientos de padron, garbanzos, chopitos (tiny fried squid), sardines, lapas in garlic and coriander, and cheese from El Hierro; their journey from plate into our stomachs helped along by very quaffable vino del pas.

On our friend’s final day we followed paths through the pine forest above La Orotava; in places the silence was so complete it was deafening. On Sunday mornings the forest is teeming with hunters and their dogs and as we strolled along a forest path a grizzled looking hunter in combat clothing came ambling toward us.
“Mira,” he said. “¿Es muy grande, no?”
He held up a rabbit that definitely wasn’t ‘muy grande’, laughed and strode past us.
Later in the Papaya restaurant in the old fishermen’s quarter in Puerto, it seemed appropriate to opt for the speciality: ‘Conejo en Salmorejo’ (rabbit in sauce). It had a wonderfully rich flavour and was delicious.

No doubt the person on the travel website will find a place with English food; he just won’t find Tenerife there.

 

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