Three simple words to sum up my holiday in Tenerife: OPEN BAR and BUFFET.
To be honest, and I feel guilty saying this, I never planned on doing an awful lot in Tenerife, the largest and most populous of Spain’s Canary Islands. Apart from eating and drinking as much as I possibly could.
I was talked into visiting Tenerife on an all inclusive deal by some workmates in London. It was sort of a Trading Places-type situation, wherein this humble backpacker would see how the other half holiday for a few days.
Hugely popular with British tourists (I mean resorts in Tenerife are popular with Brits, not me), an all inclusive deal means absolutely everything is paid for – so I pretty much had one objective going into it: to get my money’s worth.
An unashamed carnivore, I’d say that meat made up a good 50% or more of my diet. At least. Meanwhile, the beer was flowing like the mighty Mekong.
And when I wasn’t eating or drinking I was reading by the pool or exploring the island’s many tourist-friendly bars, zoos and aquatic parks (see the picture of an orca show at Loro Parque below).
When I did manage to drag myself away from the buffet and booze for more than a couple of hours, I hired a car for a day and took a drive through the mountains to Santa Cruz on the northern side of the island.
This wasn’t so relaxing, driving for the first time in almost two years – on the wrong side of the road.
Talk about a steep learning curve. I was driving along steep cliffs with only the ocean and rocks below to catch my fall should I accidentally drive off the edge. My poor girlfriend was hanging on for dear life, as she had to keep reminding me to “keep right!”
But that was nothing compared to getting stabbed in the face. With a bunch of knives. In front of an audience.
Against my will, I was made to sit on a chair with a wooden box over my head, which was then stabbed with a bunch of knives. I’m contractually obliged not to tell you how he did it, but suffice to say the scariest thing was just being up there on stage with a crack-pot magician that didn’t speak English.
So there you have it. I honestly don’t know how the other half does it. I’d be safer in a dodgy hostel down some back alley in Mexico City than to ever agree to an all-inclusive holiday in a Tenerife resort ever again.