The following morning after dining on a breakfeast of muesli, fruit salad, cheese, toast, boiled eggs and coffee (we’d stocked up the night before in Mercadona Supermarket)  we drove to the Pyramids of Guimar. Located in the town of Guimar on the east of the island the Pyramids are six rectangular-shaped, terraced structures built from lava stone. Standing as high as twelve metres they have been dated to the 19th century and are a by-product of agricultural techniques. After an omelette lunch we continued to the capital of the island – Santa Cruz de Tenerife in the north east. Apparently this is one of the best cities in the world to live in. It was raining however so it felt glum. That evening back in Playa de las Americas we dined in the Deep Blue restaurant by the sea. I chose sardines, while being serenaded by a Spanish crooner who hadn’t quite grasped the  lyrics of the easy listening songs he was singing. It was very soothing.

Pyramids of Guimar

On Sunday we drove to Mount Teide Volcano in the middle of the island. Located in the national park it is the highest peak in Spain and the third highest volcano in the world – reaching 3715metres (by comparison the highest mountain in Ireland, Carrauntoohill is only 1038 metres). The drive up was a white knuckle ride – with hairpin bends almost the entire route, along with dozens of cyclists climbing or descending the mountain and  a cliff to the right of the road. My teeth were clenched until we reached the base camp for the cable car that took us to the summit. Only 45 people are allowed in the cable car at one time. The display told us that the temperature at the summit was minus 2 (a great deal chillier than the 22 degrees in Adeje where we were staying). Ascending above the clouds to the peak of Mount Teide was breath-taking (literally) and terrifying. The cable car was attached to steel ropes and swung precariously in the air. The air at the peak is noticeably thinner than even at base camp level. I felt quite light-headed, so I didn’t stay too long. The views were stunning. It was quite a sight to looking down on clouds from a snow covered mountain – an exhilarating experience.

Mount Teide volcano

Not wanting to take the same petrifying road down the mountain on our return we decide instead to continue north to the city of Puerto de la Cruz for a glass of wine in the cobbled, old streets. That evening we dined on rabbit paella in a seaside restaurant close to our house, before heading to the Babylon Gay Disco Bar which was quite entertaining until the  ropey drag queens inhaled the energy from the  room with their lethargic, boring lip-syncing.

Puerto de la Cruz

On Monday we headed to the city of San Cristobal de la Laguna. With 155,000 residents it is the second largest city in Tenerife (after Santa Cruz) and the third largest on the Canary Islands (Las Palmas on Gran Canaria being the largest). The UNESCO world heritage listed Old City hasn’t changed much since the 16th century with its cobbled, pedestrian streets. A very pleasant town. That evening we dined at the Spanish restaurant of Meson Castellano where I dined on succulent shoulder of lamb. Afterwards we decided to be cultured and head to The Theatre Bar where a very talented singer Rebecca Bond entertained a largely British audience with her repertoire of crowd pleasers.

San Cristobal de la Laguna

Tuesday was our last full day on the island and we decided that if you are going to the Canaries then you have to spend a day at the beach. The Fiji Beach club was our location for the day. Our last supper was at the Amalfi restaurant in Adeje where we drank a bottle of Canarian wine with our pasta dinner.

My flight on Wednesday was at 11.30. Looking pityingly at the mile long UK checkin line at the airport (where each passenger had to get their passport stamped upon exit) I floated through the EU line to board my much quieter flight back to Ireland.

‘Enjoy the weather’ intoned the solemn-faced Spanish flight attendant as I disembarked into the five degree Dublin heat. The cad!

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