|Posted by yachtmoonlight on November 20, 2009 at 10:59 AM|
We had a quiet weekend, tidying and cleaning the boat ready for Becky’s arrival on Monday.
I felt very English (and a tad old) on Sunday as I baked scones while listening to a Radio Four Woman’s Hour podcast.
John noticed that some of the lines had frayed quite badly. The swell in marina is still causing the boat to roll around a lot and the ropes are rubbing badly on the cleats on the boat and the pontoons. One of the lines was very badly frayed and was in danger of breaking, so John shortened it and moved all the lines slightly to try and even out the pressure.
On Monday morning, the boat moored next to us sent up a smell of bacon and after the fourteenth time John said he wished we had some bacon I took the hint and walked up to the supermarket to get some. On the way back, I was stopped by an American chap who pointed to the Spar carrier bag in my hand and said, very slowly and loudly, “WHERE…….IS………THIS………SHOP?” because obviously if I was Spanish (which is what he no doubt assumed), this would negate the need to speak the same language. I pointed up the road and said equally slowly and loudly and in an obvious English accent, “IT’S………..UP……….THERE…….” at which he gave me a very confused look and then set off up the hill.
In the afternoon, we caught a bus to the airport to meet Becky and paid more than her plane ticket for two pieces of revolting cake and two cups of tea to pass the time until her plane landed.
(Becky's plane - just landed!)
Her plane was an hour late arriving, but she finally made it with a big heavy bag full of new ropes and ginger biscuits!
(Becky arriving at the airport)
Just as we all hopped off the bus back in Santa Cruz, John realised he had left the umbrella in the airport café. He felt really bad about it but I assured him it didn’t really matter while I was secretly rather pleased he now would no longer be able to poke my eyes out with it.
Becky spent the afternoon unpacking and settling in and John cooked us dinner on the boat.
The wind had changed direction on Tuesday morning, so we moved the boat across the opposite pontoon to make sure the wind was pushing us off the pontoon and not on to it.
Becky wanted to look around the shops, so obviously it was only polite of me to show where they all were while John bought some thick hose piping from a hardware store and fitted the piping around the ropes where they were rubbing on the cleats to stop them fraying, which seems to be working very well.
The Yacht Club beckoned in the afternoon and as it was a little cloudy and chilly to swim in the outdoor pool, we asked to use the indoor facilities. After a very difficult conversation with the chap at the reception desk (as he didn’t speak any English), we were allowed in on the condition we bought a very fetching swimming hat each which we were told everyone has to wear in the pool (no, I have no idea why), although I suspect he was just making this up so all the staff at the Yacht Club could laugh at us and they did look quite ridiculous.
(Becky enjoying the pool in her rather fetching swimming cap)
We had a very nice time in the swimming pool, a large Jacuzzi pool with various spurting water fountains and in the steam room.
In the evening we ventured into the town and had a very nice but very large meal in a local restaurant. On the way back we noticed a display in the window of a vet’s surgery which I thought was rather funky……
(The vert window display)
We hired a car on Wednesday and went for a drive around the island, starting with a long winding road that took us up into the hills and offered fabulous views of Santa Cruz and the nearby volcano crater.
(One of the volcano craters with Santa Cruz at the base)
After stopping to admire the view, we carried on high up into the hills to the rim of the largest volcano crater on the island which is six miles wide! Luckily the visibility was excellent and the resulting views were breathtaking.
(The view into the largest volcano crater on the island - there are more pictures in the La Palma section on the Photo Gallery page)
Next stop was the highest point of the island, which we reached via a narrow windy road. Although it was a warm day at the bottom of the island, the temperature lowered as we rose higher and higher until we broke through the clouds. The ground sheltered from the sun in the shadows was frosty and at a few points there was ice on the road.
(Frosty ground near the top of the island)
John drove very carefully until we finally made it to the top, where we found the famous observatories that form the Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes.
(The observatories at the top of the island - above the clouds!)
Although it was chilly (and we were in shorts and t-shirts!) we enjoyed the amazing views in all directions and then headed back to the car and on to Tazacorte for lunch.
Once we had fuelled up the car with petrol and ourselves with sandwiches and chips, we carried on to the volcano visitor centre and then up a beautiful winding path through a forest carpeted in pine needles next to a dry river bed which wound down through the volcano crater.
(The windy road through the forest)
We didn’t see another car on this road, which made it all the more enjoyable. At the end of the road was a small car park with footpaths leading off in several directions. We took one of the footpaths and walked about half a mile on a red dusty track to a viewing point with more stunning views across the volcano crater.
(The view from the footpath)
The colours of the volcanic rocks around us were amazing, in all different shades of red, orange, yellow, brown and black. John was very excited when he saw a tiny yellow canary fly in front of us and perch on a small bush at the side of the track as this is the only canary we have seen so far!
We headed back to Santa Cruz after a thoroughly enjoyable day, stopping briefly at a great spot with views over Los Llanos and Becky cooked us a wonderful pasta supper back on the boat.
Yesterday, I walked around the shops again with Becky in the morning and found a nice umbrella which I bought for John as he was still upset that he had lost the other one. Becky bought some souvenirs and presents and then we headed back to the boat for lunch.
In the afternoon, John and Becky went to the Yacht Club for a swim while I stayed on the boat and baked some lemon cakes, half of which were eaten within five minutes of John and Becky returning from the Yacht Club!
John spent some time in the afternoon briefing Becky on safety for the Atlantic crossing.
Today has been a busy day getting everything ready as we are planning to leave in the morning.
We walked up to the supermarket and bought all the fresh food we will need and I was very happy to find that we had saved enough vouchers (the supermarket gives out one voucher for every 10 Euros spent) to get a free cuddly toy – yipppppeeee!
I wrote a few final postcards from Europe and we packed everything away while Dopey the cuddly lion (named by Becky) got to know the other boat pets.
We will be leaving at lunchtime tomorrow for the Atlantic Crossing, which will take around four weeks all being well, so there will not be another full blog update for a weeks but I will post a quick note on the blog when we arrive (assuming I can get internet access somewhere).