Our last port of call, Tenerife; a place we went to once before, in 1997. Ironically, we arrived then on Oriana ( but on that occasion, left on Concorde! ).
Temperature is a good 20C which is good for our last port of call, especially as we have some clear blue sky to start with.
A somewhat later start to our tour of some of the Island’s Gardens, perhaps the other two ships docked in the port today had bagged the earlier slots and somewhat surprisingly, we left without two passengers who failed to turn up.
The coach takes us out of the cruise terminal, turning back on itself at least 3 times before we head over the tram lines and out of the town towards the north of the island on the motorway, climbing steadily to about 2000ft above sea level before dropping down the other side to Puerto de la Cruz.
A stop to photograph Mt Teide from above a modern estate, with it’s snow topping and we then descend to our first garden, Jardin de Aclimatacion de La Orotava, a tranquil walled area built in 1791-1795 following a Royal Order issued by King Charles III in August 1788. (€2 entrance)
Lots of interesting plants and trees including some Spanish Moss although some of the lower foliage which was in flower appeared not to be named.
Sadly, we had to go too quickly, perhaps another 30 minutes would have sufficed.
Onwards to the Jardin Sitio Litre which derives it’s name from a transaction back in 1774 when it was acquired by Mr Archibald Little (thereby the name Little’s place, in Spanish SITIO LITRE).
The garden is the oldest surviving garden in Tenerife, is now over 240 years old and has been owned continuously by British families since 1730 when the mansion it is attached to was built by Mr John Paisley, a wine merchant from Scotland. The British connection extends to a Croquet lawn in the gardens.
Apart from many of the usual plants and trees seen in Tropical Gardens, this does feature a fine assortment of Orchids as well as a Dragon Tree reputed to be over 600 years old. A sample of the local wine was included but it wasn’t of the best quality.
Back on the coach for an immediate left turn up a very steep narrow road to an aquatic garden in a private dwelling open to the public.
The northern area of Tenerife has suffered of late with holiday makers tending to stay on the south.
Some enterprising people have found alternative ways to make money and this is one.
Not really a lot of plants to see (€5 entrance) here although a turkey or black swan held court, a few turtles were sleeping and of course there was a water element.
A nearby waterfall was quite photogenic but a long walk up from the town and sea front below.
Sadly, before we had left the water garden, one woman travelling on her own, fell and badly hurt her knees but fortunately was able to walk back to the bus.
Our return drive to the ship was along the same roads that we arrived on.
Our guide today was very passionate about the north of the island but her English was probably not as good as those in the Brazillian Rainforest.
With the ship leaving at 4:30 there was no time to go out to get internet at the cruise terminal so we will have to wait until we are back in the UK on Wednesday or buy a day’s internet for £12.50.
Sail away party on deck, lots of flag waving and singing as we push away from the quayside but as we do a vehicle with “emergencies” comes rushing up and a very distraught person leaps out – he has missed the ship! Not only is this no doubt a disaster for him, it is not good for us as well – he is one of the Entertainers – Matthieu Esnult from The International Duo. That will make tomorrow’s afternoon concert interesting!
Entertainment tonight is a Liverpudlian comedian, James Martin who managed to have everyone in stitches and took the Mickey out of a lot of the front row. Not sure what was on his CD he was selling as he didn’t sing: possibly a load of jokes!