Islandmomma

Exploring the Stories of the Islands and the Freedoms of Third Age


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Living a Quiet Island Life

My days have been very quiet of late, some gentle meanderings around the island: a visit to a couple of pretty parks in El Sauzal on the north coast.

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Atlantic winds and heavy rain on the south coast always mean snow in the mountains. A drive through the caldera and down again through spring meadows of wildflowers in La Laguna, and a stop for cake on a lazy, seaside promenade in Punta Larga on the way home.

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Tajao: Where time Stands Still: Photo Essay

I adored the hustle and bustle of London – it’s easy to say that when you don’t have to cram like a sardine into a moving metal tube and travel under the earth each day! – but it was nice to get back to relative tranquility too.

It had rained heavily whilst I was away, and the parched, tan hillsides are turning fresh and green already. It doesn’t take long. Small, green shoots spring up all over the place within a couple of days of heavy rain, leaving you wondering where on earth they came from.

I had to trundle down to Tajao a couple of days after I got back, to take some snaps, and couldn’t help but think that the difference between Tajao and London couldn’t be more marked. This little, coastal village is one of the sleepiest places I know. A couple of elderly ladies sat on a bench watching me park up, and a dusty cat stretched out in the shade of a low wall, but at 11-ish in the morning there was little else stirring.

I ambled down to the pretty, pebbly beach, and felt like stretching out myself in the warm sunshine. The rain had evidently stolen  summer’s sting from the heat and left pleasant warmth.

More elderly ladies watched me from one of the benches along the walkway, and nodded at my greeting, as I passed them and wandered off along the path behind the beach, and another cat languidly washed its paws. Back from the beach the pathway slices between rock formations, and dust rose with each footstep. I never fail to wonder at these sorts of mighty rocks, whose violent spawning from the earth created such stark beauty.

A teenage boy approached, slopping flipflops and the dust rose even more. He didn’t respond to my greeting. I realized that hidden behind the carved out hillside was a small RV site, and it seemed intrusive to wander further, so I turned around and headed back along the beach.

I headed for the harbor, where a good number of boats quivered on the slightest of swells, and folk were fishing from the end of the wavebreak, and from the rocks all around – fishing for lunch, probably literally.

Even the gulls here were pretty laid-back, content to sit on rocks or bob on the waves, not to wheel and surf the currents of air above. A turn around the small boat yard felt like déjà vue. In fact the entire morning had felt like déjà vue. I stared at the rusting pulpo cages piled in an untidy heap alongside the ramp, wondering why they appeared so familiar.

Still puzzling, I take a seat at one of the local eateries and order a plate of lapas, but resist the temptation to add wine to the order………..

………and it’s as I’m enjoying the freshness and that distinct taste of the ocean that it comes back to me – the wire cages, the boats pulled up on the beach are almost exactly as they were fourteen months ago, the last time I was here during daytime. It really is as if time has stood still. It’s an oddly jarring sensation after the buzz of the big city, and I’m not totally sure I’m comfortable with it. I know it’s some peoples’ idea of paradise, but not mine. I like change and evolution. The sameness disturbs me. Later, looking through my photos I realize that it probably was even like this decades ago.


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Dreaming of Lazy Lunches

Just a couple of weeks ago this beach would have been full of children enjoying the last days of their summer break. This is the little village of Tajao, about ten minutes up the east coast from El Médano, and as different from El Médano as that resort is from Playa de las Americas.

On the weekend it will be busy again.  If you ever wonder where local folk go for their family Sundays, this is one of them.  The beaches of Arona and Adeje are for the young if you’re a local, and the beaches of these small, coastal villages throng with families enjoying their leisuretime.

Now, weekdays, you could have the beach to yourself, (there wasn’t a soul there the day I went last week), and afterwards you can feast on fresh fish in one of the nearby restaurants,at a price which won’t break the bank. This is the sort of place I think of when I think about lunch.  Usually it’s fresh fish and papas arrugadas, or lapas or calamari to start with.  I have to admit that the salads often leave something to the imagination, but almost make up for it by their freshness.

A few weeks ago I was lolling on a rock in a little village similar to Tajao, when a small fishing boat gingerly approached the rocks on the other side of the bay.  Some local guys went down to hold the boat’s line, and help one of the two crew onto land.  The second crew member handed up a very large tuna, which was then carried up to one of the restaurants nearby. You can’t get much fresher than that!

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