Sunday 28th August

Today was our downward trek to El Medano – more or less just south of El Desierto where the workshops had been over a week earlier. Like Los Gigantes and La Laguna, El Medano had been on our ‘to see’ list since the beginning, as it has the longest beach on the whole island (partly due to imported sand from the Sahara). First we had to get there, though.

We had beans on toast for breakfast, which we’d brought the day before from the supermarket (there was a stove in the hotel room, you see). We set of for the bus, which took us back to the La Laguna bus station. We almost got the wrong one and headed back to Puerto De La Cruz, but finally found one going to Santa Cruz. It cost fifty cents (less than fifty pence). Upon arriving at the largest bus station on the island, we realized that the next bus to El Medano was about two hours away. To kill some time, we went to the nearby auditorium, and sat in the shade for a bit. The waves were a little crazy today. We also got another bus card, which saved us a small fortune on the way down to the south coast.

When we got on the bus, Laura grabbed some sleep. I was getting worried – I didn’t even know the name of the hotel we were going to, let alone where abouts it was in El Medano. When Laura awoke, we had a small panic that the bus may just pass El Medano from a several mile distance and carry on to the airport. Luckily, it went down a side road straight to the town centre. Even better, we saw the hotel from the bus window.

We jumped out and speedily entered the hotel. However, typically, the one hotel that Laura had recommended booking on a different site was the problematic one. We were given the keys, but then the receptionist started saying something in Spanish. A local resident was kind enough to translate – we hadn’t paid the bill apparently, which I was inclined to argue with, as the site ‘booking.com’ had asked for my bank details when I’d made the booking. The receptionist was kind enough to let us into the room, where tensions between Laura and me began to rise. I called my mum to check my online details, and indeed the money hadn’t been taken out. I paid at the desk the next chance I got – this had now put a one hundred euro set back into my finances, leaving me now with no money to pay Laura back what I owed her for the return flight. It also left me with little to end the tour with (and pretty much took out any option of doing a final scuba dive). I thought I’d paid online – Laura seemed to know that it was possible that I’d never paid it online. It was lucky that the clubbing night in La Laguna didn’t happen, otherwise we’d have been right up sh*t alley about now.

In a little huff, we travelled down to the beach in silence. However, it took only a few minutes for us to realize that the beach didn’t even exist. At midday, the tide was fully in. At full tide, there is no sand at all in El Medano. There’s a little bay with a patch of sand, which the whole of Tenerife piles onto. Then there’s another beach a ways away, where it’s gale force ten and wind surfers have taken over. What’s more, the beach is also full of glass and broken bottles (looks like the beach crews of the island hit it up here instead of Taganana!). Laura cut her foot on a piece of broken glass, as she was wearing flip flops. I recommended going back to the hotel, but she said she was fine. On the plus side, I found a nice shell on the rock pools.

We staggered back to the hotel with some more supermarket foods – even I was on a budget now! Thankfully, the mexican salad I bought was the nicest ‘supermarket meal’ I’d had yet. We still felt like feeding ourselves up a bit, so we decided to hit up a restaurant provided we could do it for under a tenner. We found a chinese restaurant up the task almost straight away, where I had a spring roll, chicken and chips, and a vanilla ice cream for seven euros (also included a Dorada beer). Funny with chinese diners – we went to a chinese restaurant last time we were in Tenerife as well!

As the night drew in, we looked onwards to Roja Montana (Red Mountain – to be scaled tomorrow), and then went back to the hotel. Laura went to sleep almost straight away, whereas I was up until midnight blogging and uploading pictures and charging all variety of things. As Peter Kay said, the room looked like the ‘inside of a space ship’.

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