I moved to Tenerifé in 1999 with my two youngest sons and my partner. I had never set foot on the island before, so it really was a huge step to make. We had friends who already lived there and had been heckling us to make the move for some time.
As it was becoming more and more difficult to make a living here on this small island, we decided to go for it.
What’s the worst that could happen, right?
We moved into a duplex on Amarilla golf. A golf course by the sea, and not too far from the South airport, Reina Sofía. My partner found work quickly and the kids spent their days playing around the pool and the golf course. We didn’t have a lot of money to spare, but life was definitely looking up.
After 4 months and at the end of Summer and the school holidays, we moved again to a Spanish village, Las Rosas. The boys went to the small, village school where they were taught to speak Spanish and I could go and find work. The public transport system is really good, so it was no problem for me and I soon found a job as a waitress. Our life was set.
The boys made friends quickly. The island is multi cultural, with people from many countries, so it was great for the kids to integrate and also not feel like the only foreigners in town.
I also began making friends and soon I felt at home. Life was easy. On days off from work we would go down to the seaside town Las Galletas, just a few minutes walk down the road from the village where we lived.
We would snorkel in the rock pools when the tide was out, and see the most beautiful, colourful fish in shoals as they came right up to our face peering at us before turning tail and dashing off, quick as a flash.
We ate ice cream from the local bars and the boys would have turns on little Go Karts being rented out.
We’d also go on adventures around the island in our rented car. We rented it by the month at a pretty decent price.
We ventured up the mountainous, winding road, through pine forests and spectacular scenery to Mount Teide, the local volcano. It really is an amazing trip, and the views all around really are spectacular. On a clear day, you can see all the other Canary islands.
We sometimes came down again by a different route, never really knowing where we would end up. On these days, we visited Puerto De La Cruz, a coastal town in the north west, and a popular town with tourists. A beautiful town with some great colonial architecture, a stunning Lido for swimming, beaches and a really peaceful tree lined town square where you can enjoy a café in the shade while people watching, and enjoying watching children as they play in the little play park. All the while small, green parrots flit from palm tree to palm tree above your head.
I do like Puerto De La Cruz. It’s also home of Loro Park https://www.loroparque.com/index.php/en/ which is definitely a great family day out not to be missed if visiting the island.
One day after visiting the volcano, we found our way to Icod De Los Vinos. Another north westerly town and apparently home to the oldest tree in the world. The tree is of the type drago trees, or dragon trees.
I encouraged my youngest son to eat broccoli by telling him it was baby drago trees, and strangely it worked. He grew up loving broccoli.
It was an interesting day and the only time I’ve visited. I remember a street with caves, and local people in traditional dress, encouraging us into each cave to taste home made licquores and cheeses.
On another day we found our way to Orotava. A town high up the mountain, and as luck would have it, on the day of an annual festival where street artists made enormous, colourful and amazingly good images of biblical paintings with coloured sand.
There’s so much to see on the island, and so much more to still explore. I just can’t wait to get back there with a driver’s license and my camera.
Life was as it should be. A mixture of working to earn a living, school life for the boys and maintaining stability at home
As the years passed though, my partner sadly became more and more fond of the cheap Spanish vino, and to cut a long story short, it became too dangerous to continue living with him. For my own sanity and preservation, and of course for the safety and sanity of my sons….
The boys and I came back to Scotland.