Valle de la Orotava / Puerto de la Cruz

Dan Spain (2009)

So we started heading down towards the northern coast, towards Puerto de la Cruz. We were supposed to stop for lunch in a small village called Valle de la Orotava.  Driving down the hill was fun, especially when we hit the forest area, but the occasional time there was a slow driver ahead of us annoyed Carlos, who would wait for an opportune moment to zip around them in the oncoming lane.

Driving Down the Hill

Once we got out of the rural area, we started going through some villages, which were kind of run down and low income. For some reason, it reminded me of the scene with Pepe in Romancing the Stone, but without all the mud.

Driving through town

We kept driving, always downhill, through small tight streets, and at one point we got a nice view of our ultimate destination: Puerto de la Cruz.

Puerto de la Cruz

Once we finally arrived at Valle de la Orotava, we parked and poked our head in a classic Canarian house, which was preserved pretty much as it had been for the past few hundred years.

Canarian House

After that, we went to the restaurant. I forget the name of it (sadly), but it was a very cool place! It is an old tavern, so it had a courtyard with the restaurant in the middle, and all of the hotel rooms were circled around it on the second floor.  I wanted to experience a traditional Canarian meal,  so I ordered the rabbit.

Rabbit

I forget exactly how it was prepared, but it was spicy and the sauce was quite good. Since the meat itself (which does taste like chicken) was a little dry, due to the rabbit being such a lean creature, the sauce helped! Of course, we got the wrinkled potatoes, which were created by boiling them in very, very salty water.  Tasty!

From there we headed further down the hill to the coastline, and the city of Puerto de la Cruz.  The beaches here (which apparently are topless-optional) are black sand beaches, due to the volcanic nature of the island.

Black sand beach at Puerto de la Cruz

Black sand beach at Puerto de la Cruz

We parked the car, and walked with Carlos around the boardwalk to the main town square. He then left Melinda and me to relax and get a drink (it was quite hot!) while he went back to get the car.  He then picked us up, and we were on the highway headed back to Santa Cruz.  We got back to the hotel about 4:30pm, so we only had 30 minutes to shower, change, and relax before being taken to…. Radio Nacional de España, where we were apparently going to be interviewed!