Highlights and photos from my first week on the island of Tenerife, Spain (May 14 – 20, 2014)

Given I didn’t finish writing my tour blog posts til almost 2 weeks AFTER tour finished… I learned the lesson of taking some notes as to remind myself of all the fantastic things I did!

Below are my notes (with some stories added in) as well as my expenses per day just so you can get an idea of what my island life has been like! Overall, it has been AMAZING to say the least!! I’m finally learning to not be in a rush…. like at all… and with being here for an extended amount of time I will have plenty of time to explore. I’ve even taken it one step further and not really looked into “Thing to DO” here on the island. I must admit I have never even heard of Tenerife before (the Canary Islands YES… Tenerife – say what? where?).

I found the opportunity on Workaway.info and the reviews from previous Workawayers were awesome so I just WENT FOR IT! Having been such a planner and “TO DO” list maker most of my adult life… it feels damn good to just not have to plan much of anything. My philosophy of travel is that people and places will be put in my path as I wander about — and all I have to do is travel with an open mind and open eyes (I recommend this method 110%.. it’s been working out great so far!).

Excuse the whacked out sentence structures and choppyness. The laziness of island living is taking full effect 😉

Day 27 (Day 1 on Island) – May 14th – Touch down in Tenerife

Expenses – about 15 Euro (bus tickets to get to the hostel, 5 euro for wine tasting at Café Brasil)

Landed a bit before 11, bus pulled away just as I got there – second bus driver took off (a fellow traveler was banging on the door to be let in but he still just pulled off… leaving us to wait another 30 minutes for the next bus – at least we got to chat! He was from Germany but lived on the island for 9 years), hours in bus, got off in Tejina but was lost, wandered into pastry shop but the workers didn’t speak English, walked into organic store and the lady helped me and called Mattia who came and picked up me, met everyone & had a vegetable dinner (vegetable are a BIG deal to me at this point. I get so happy when I get to eat them!). After diner when we were cleaning up I said to Mattia, “Ohhhh it was so good. I have a full belly now.” — and he didn’t have a clue what I said… so I explained and now he loved going around saying (and singing) “FULLY BELLY… fully belly!” – I must get it on tape at some point because it cracks me up! After dinner we went to a wine tasting at Café Brasil in Valle de Guerra… the presentation was in Spanish so I couldn’t understand ANYTHING… but the wine was delicious! Came back to the hostel and played cards and hung out with guests! SO fun ❤

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Day 28  (2)- May 15th

Expenses – about 5 euro for drinks at the jazz festival and bar

First day of work – Vitto (one of the owners) showed me around (My job is to prepare breakfast and clean up the rooms)… The FIRST room I cleaned was a private room that I now have learned they call the “Love Room”… well it lived up to its reputation because the first trash can I emptied had TWO BOXES of condoms (empty of course – and luckily everything was in tissues PHEW) – it actually made me giggle… naturally the first room I clean would be all sexed up – WHAT a cliche! haha — SIDE NOTE: I have to say that I would much rather be cleaning rooms in Spain and earning NOTHING but a free stay… than having to sit in an office in the USA earning $$$. After working I took a bike ride to my local beach, La Barrenquera, sunbathed topless (I saw some other girl doing it from a far and just had to go for it haha!) – cooked dinner for some of the staff then went out to Jazz Festival in La Laguna with Mattia and Arianna (a guest from Italy). It was outdoors and FREEZING cold and windy (Mattia warned me but I think I didn’t want to believe him). After we went to Latopa (what I was told is a typical Spanish bar) – had an interesting time trying to talk to people! MUST LEARN SPANISH STAT!

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Day 29 (3)– May 16th

Expenses – about 15 euro – 10 for dinner and 5 for drinks at the jazz festival and bar

Worked in the morning, bike ride to Jover natural pools, went out to dinner with Mattia (owner), and 3 guests (all from Italy!) and ate small shrimps, tuna & pork at a little Spanish restaurant (and drank Vino Tinto (red wine) of course!), jazz festival in La Laguna again with Mattia, Arianna, and the Italian boys then out on the town to several bars, danced my ass off at the one bar til after 3am… Mattia ended up staying out so the four of us foreigners had to navigate our way back to the hostel (we didn’t know where the car was parked or where the hostel was — we made it back though…at 4am!!)

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Day 30 (4)– May 17th

Expenses – 3 Euro for bus fare

Worked in the morning, walked to Tejina then took a bus with Johanna to Bajamar natural pools, found a bottle of wine for 1 euro, cooked dinner of fish, rice, and spinach, watercolored with Karen & Johanna at night (I got super into it to the point where is almost wasn’t relaxing because I was concentrating so hard haha! I love art time and can’t remember the last time I just did art (without having to supervise children)!

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Day 31 (5)– May 18th

Expenses – ZERO

Worked in the morning, went to Rome Ria festival in town (I googled what it was all about -> Romería in Spanish is a religious pilgrimage. The word “Romería” comes from “romero”, meaning those travelling towards Rome. It is a Catholic celebration that consists of a trip or peregrination (in cars, floats, on horseback or on foot) that ends at a sanctuary or hermitage. It is not necessarily always a trip, but in some cases a celebration that lasts all day long).– At the time what it meant to me was free wine and food, dancing, and just a good ol time!! The people on the carts would throw food out to you — and you could just walk up to them and hold your cup up and they would fill it with wine or sangria – HECK YEA!!! I ended up jumping on the back of one of the owner’s friend’s motorbike to get back to the house where people were watching the soccer game and going nuts (it’s like American men watching the NFL screaming at the TV – only I cant understand what these Spanish men are screaming!), more water coloring (which is super interesting after drinking free wine all afternoon), Skyped with one of my best friends from Pennsylvania, Monica, and had everyone joining in.

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Day 32 (6) – May 19th

Expenses – ZERO

Worked a few hours, bike ride to La Barranquera (on the beach alone, cloudy when I got there but sunbathed topless nonetheless (I don’t know why I find it so entertaining but I do – I’m super mature… I think haha!), read, picked up sea glass), worked out, cooked dinner (mustard chicken, zucchini thing, sweet potato), blogged, bike ride back to the “other side” of La Barranquera with Johanna (my roomate) for sunset, relaxed ❤

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Day 33 (7)– May 20

Expenses –  3 Euro for bus fare

Bike ride to Tejina… bus to Punta Del Hidalgo, Hike from Punta Del Hidalgo to Chinamada – ALL day hiking! MY ASS WAS BURNING FROM ALL THE STAIRS!!! Straight up the freaking mountain but so worth every ache and pain to see the views! (I posted a video previously of the 360 view – AMAZING!)

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