I’m taking in the amazing view the Volcano and Tenerife and turn round to see where Matt is, expecting him to also be taking in the view in awe, but actually he’s hovering his crotch over a volcanic vent.

It’s winter and me and Matt decide we are going to get a flight to somewhere as neither us us has the ability to stay in one place for too long. The fact we live in the West Midlands tends to motivate us to leave as often as possible, it’s not exactly exciting around here, it’s the gate way to practically everywhere in the UK and you can easily fly to other places too so why would you stay?

It’s a typical damp and miserable winter night and me and Matt are in his flat which is weirdly located over the top of a funeral parlour. The thing is he’s convinced himself they don’t have bodies here but as I approached his front door today I was passed by a group of pall bearers carrying a coffin. Presumably with an occupant which I laughingly informed Matt when I met him at the door. Matt tends to blast out music practicing his dj’ing most of the evening so it’s pretty good his only neighbours tend to be of the rigid past the sell by date variety. Also by a weird twist of fate (though I haven’t actually told them) yet Matt later turns out to have been the annoying neighbour who used to keep my Auntie and Uncle awake blasting out Drum and Bass when he was younger. Like they say it’s a small world! I wonder if my auntie still remembers how massive the Jungle is? Hahaha!

A few hours and a bottle of wine later we decide the cheapest and sunniest place we can get to out of season is the Canary Islands, and the best deal we find is in Tenerife. It’s not the usual kind of holiday I’d go on as the place we are staying at is one of these resort towns (The Costa Adeje) which I’d never usually be up for. At the moment I can hear rain smashing off the windows and I just want to escape the country. Even if it turns out a bit rubbish at least it’ll be sunny instead of staying here in the rain, so we go ahead and book. That sorted I leave matt to his DJing and filling his living room with smoke and lasers as he does in his ongoing attempt to wake the dead.

Over the next few weeks we work out what we are actually going to do while we are on the island. Even though Tenerife seems to be mainly known by the English as a place to go and eat and drink yourself into oblivion in the sun for really cheap, there’s actually lots of activities things to see, outdoor and extreme sports stuff you can do too. Obviously we have to visit the volcano (Tiede) because to me it’s probably the most interesting thing about the place, we also decide we want to have a go at parascending too.

Not A Good Start

The day we arrive in Tenerife we are all ready to go until after a very long time standing there waiting for my bag to appear around the luggage conveyer, my anxiety slowly rising to boiling point it never materialises. After a panicked and confused exchange with a number of airport employees who speak as much English as we do Spanish we finally find out the airlines lost my baggage.

Obviously this really isn’t the best start to our adventure, leaving me with nothing to wear but what I have on, no contact lenses and by far the worse part none of the meds I have to take to stop me slowly dying on the one hand and not stressing right out on the other. Luckily the more serious meds I can not take for months if I had no choice but even missing a day or two of them is going to be pretty horrific. There is literally nothing I can do about it though so after taking our details for where to forward the bag when they find it me and Matt sit down at the airport and try and chill out with a beer before our coach arrives to pick us up.

When the coach finally arrives I think me and Matt are probably the youngest ones on it. In fact when we pull up outside our hotel I find myself checking to make sure it’s not a retirement village! The resort we are staying in is ok on a budget, it’s a sea of whitewashed concrete with a pool. As a bit of an added bonus we can see towards the hills and mountains that ring the caldera in the middle of the island from our balcony. The volcanos in the centre of the island are hidden from here behind huge banks of cloud that don’t seem to move. By the time we have have a quick look at our apartment and due to our airport delay It’s already evening, so we head out to grab some food and a few beer. And on the bright side at least I don’t have to waste any time getting dressed to go out because I have no clothes!

The first impression I get of the Costa Adeje is that almost everywhere is really cheap but the food we get is pretty good plus considering the first place we end up in is one euro a beer we can’t really go wrong. After food and beers we are both totally knackered, so we head back after deciding we will do some proper exploring the next day. This doesn’t go quite as planned either as it takes most of the next day for my luggage to arrive. The relief I feel to finally be able to peel my contact lenses out of my dry eyes and get the toothbrush out and sink my meds is immense. My mood instantly improves and I remind myself in future to always have a backup bag with me, I’m not going through that again if I can help it. Now at this point we can finally go and explore and I can focus on enjoying myself.

The Hippy Colony

Early one morning I decide to get up and go running despite having a banging hangover. Matt’s been fully destroyed so he’s staying here in bed but I’m determined to keep fit. In fact I have to as at this point I’m also attempting to get into the ETS branch (the education and training services) of the Army as an officer. This means through this trip I’m going to have to do lots of runs and a boatload of core workouts.Shaking off my self inflicted sore head, I do fifty press-ups somehow to my great surprise without being violently sick and head out, running through the Costa Adeje towards La Caleta until the tourist area fades into the background. It’s at this point I see a nice looking cafe run by some English people and decide I can’t carry on without cramming a bacon and sausage sandwich in my face or I’m going to just flake. Now I’m finally fuelled up I decide to slow down and just hike because it is pretty toasty, and see how far I get. And heading off from the cafe almost immediately the streets seem to end at a small dusty hill.

There’s no fences through and I can see a faint trace of a trail heading up through the volcanic soil and Cacti. It’s not long until I’m just surrounded by desert dry rocks, cacti and the ocean on my left, rocky and wild without any more fake beach. I can see a rugged cove just down below so I start heading down towards it, watching lizards run off while I doge evil looking prickly pear cacti jutting out of the desert dry soil.

I’m really surprised when what looks like a shanty town suddenly appears on the horizon with small allotments and even solar panels powering it. I decide to get a closer look at what is apparently some kind of hippy colony, though it doesn’t look much like anything is going on but I decide to head down and check out it’s beach. It’s here I find a full on beach cave dwelling carved out of the volcanic rock. I’m not sure if this is something the current residents have built of if it’s a really old dwelling that’s been carved out by the Guanches, though considering it might just be inspired by them. Regardless it’s one of the coolest places I’ve seen on my travels, it looks like a fun place to live. I decide I’m going to stop and go for a snorkel here and immediately regret my choice as the water hides lots of sharp rocks which the sea proceeds to throw me against as I attempt to put on my flippers. Bleeding and defeated I get out of the water deciding getting smashed to pieces probably isn’t a good start to the day.

Apparently a lot of the beach’s residents lived in cave dwellings and small huts. Unfortunately for them however they were not particularly welcome. On the 12th June 2020 the go ahead for the clearance of this settlement was announced by the Cablido De Tenerife (the governing body of the island) In September 2020 the settlement was cleared. The site is designated as a SSI (site of special scientific interest) as it contains several endangered wild bird species. On the 14th of July the clearance began apparently to the pleasure of the locals who cheered it on. By 27th September 2020 they had removed 122 illegal constructions and 20 tons of waste, which if we are being totally honest with ourselves is a shit ton of waste. Even though I believe that people should be allowed to live like this, and it sounds great I totally understand that the residents would have had a negative impact on the local environment. I’m glad I got a chance to see the place before it got removed as it was actually quite impressive especially the cave dwellings. It’s just a shame it was on an important protected site and was damaging for the environment. From the look of the cleanup video the negative impact these guys were having was pretty extensive.

Attack Of The Undead Out Of Season Nightlife

While sitting in a bar enjoying a succession of the usual one euro beers Matt and me decide that screw it we will go to a nightclub even though we are about 90 percent sure it’s going to suck harder than a fat kid on a macdonalds milkshake. But why not? It could end up being funny. Most of the entertainment seems to be awful pub singers and fat Elvis impersonators judging by the off tune warbling leaking out of the poor replications of English Pubs and Irish bars I’ve been trying to avoid for the whole trip. Out of season the nightlife appears fully zombified and fallen apart, yet somehow it just about manages to keep shuffling along after your brains. As it goes for a crowd in any of the bars it seems to just be lots of kids dressed up like adults and taking advantage of the cheap drinks and the ‘tell me when’ spirit pours of Spanish bartenders. (Not that I have a problem with how Spanish bartenders pour, it’s more than generous.)There’s a total unlikelihood of anyone asking these kids for ID and they know it. It is peak underage drinking territory and fair play to them, I definitely can’t judge (I’m sure most of the English can’t) it’s probably wise not to get chatting to any women here because there doesn’t appear to be any who have left school yet. Despite this a few look over at us but probably just to make sure we aren’t any of their parents. Now ALL of the bars and nightclubs round here are desperate to get you into them and almost all of them have some kind of offer to attract you in. But somehow me and Matt end up in the one that is apparently the most desperate because it’s not offering one free shot with entry its offering six shots with entry. I can only imagine that this is to get you as hammered as possible so you can’t actually leave unless it’s with you being pushed back to your hotel in a wheelbarrow. .

We take these shots and while the lasers whizz around us I wait a moment to see if what they just plied us with sends me blind of not. After drinking this stuff thats pure gut rot Matt starts getting a bit melancholy about life and about how he wished he’d done more by this age. He’s wondering if he chose the right path in life, I’m wondering if we just drank meths. Whatever it was it’s sent Smithy down a dark road because realistically he’s done loads, visited lots of countries got a masters, even got a decent paid job. But still for some reason he can’t stop thinking maybe he’s wasted his life. At this point one of the barely clad girls who works for the bar comes over and tries to sell us some shots. We don’t really want any and the lack of clothing isn’t helping her sell either though it must work on younger blokes, we still cave and buy them and get her a drink too as we anyway as we feel kind of sorry for her. She looks like she’s having a hard time keeping up the happy act for what little clientele there is though. We ask her how she ended up working here and it turns out she actually is only about 18 she gets paid virtually nothing, has to work every day and insane hours and she lives in some awful accommodation. Worst still she dropped out of school and didn’t go to college to work this job. After she moves onto serving others I think Matt’s gained a little perspective. It’s almost like the universe heard him doubting himself. It could be worse after all, instead of feeling a bit lost he could be here wearing a mankini serving paint stripper to creepy old dudes. Matt has cheered up plenty now, but I do hope that girl found something better eventually.

Hungover Parascending

It’s the night after our not so big night out and the paint stripper shots and whatever else we had are killing us both, I vaguely remember being accosted by a group of hookers who looked like extras out of Michael Jacksons thriller music video. We were asked if we wanted to party and laughed at them before walking off. Judging by the shouting after us, not wanting to develop crotch rot as a souvenir makes us both gay apparently.

When we finally muster up the strength to leave our beds we shakily walk down to the beach like a pair of car crash victims. Even my sunglasses are not quite stopping the sunlight stabbing my eyes like a skewer to the brain. When we find the activities hut that’s sending us out they chuck a lifejacket at us both and tell us to get in them. It turns out we aren’t the only ones who have decided we wanted to try this and while we wait in line two other English lads have joined us waiting for the boat to be brought in. They are standing behind us when they say ‘did you lads have a big night out last night’ we reply “nah not really why? The nightlifes pretty dead” they say “It’s just we can literally smell vodka fumes off you! Are you actually going to go up on the kite? Madness” We both mumble it sounded like a great idea at the time we booked it, and just on cue our boat driver / attach random people to a huge kite master appears get’s us all on the boat and drives us out into the sea.

When it comes to our turn we are asked to sit down on the back of the boat. The driver clips us into a huge harness thing and me and Matt kind give each other a look of ‘what have we done’ before the guy pulls off at high speed. We rise far more slowly into the air off the back of the boat that either of us expected. Crazy thing is when you get used to it (maybe it’s just me) it’s actually kind of relaxing hovering high over the ocean, getting the full view of the island, with the boat below looking like a toy. In fact I’m actually struggling not to fall asleep because of the weightless sensation.

Spot The English

A few days in and a few awful English breakfasts too, one morning when looking for food we get approached in the street by an English restaurant touter. The fella does seem a bit shifty almost like he’s had a few sneaky drugs for breakfast in fact he doesn’t seem able to be able to keep his feet still, but being as we have had a few crappy English breakfasts while we are here and being worse for wear from the night before the promise of ‘proper sausage and bacon’ is worth checking out even if it turns out to be a lie. There’s something about this dude I just don’t trust, mainly because he just talks too much and with an unrealistic enthusiasm. And really after a few day’s of seeing what the Costa Adeje serves to tourists (there’s a reason it’s cheap) then why not. Over the course of a number of days I’ve seen things that barely pass as bacon and at some point I even got served a frankfurter as part of a full English. Basically the equivalent of I guess really I shouldn’t be surprised when our touter walks us into an English owned bar / cafe that looks like its been ripped from Southend on sea and been catapulted here through several English gift shops. I sit and chew my toast while I count the ripples on the back of the extensively tattooed shiny skinheads sitting at the bar. Theres at least a few of the old ‘triple ripple’ gang here. I wonder how many football riots these lot have been part of as a woman who looks like she handed her kids a few cups of coffee and a tattoo gun serves us our cups of tea.

A few days later we bump into the shifty touter again who unsurprisingly tries to get us to visit little southend greasy spoon cafe again because he doesn’t recognise us. When we remind him for some reason he decides it’s time to tell us his life story wether we wan’t to hear it or not. I don’t think me and Matt are either in the least surprised when this greasy looking hustler tells us he’s over here because he’s wanted for multiple credit card fraud. If he’s telling us all of this to gain our trust I don’t think that’s really quite worked out for him.

A lot of English criminals apparently flee to Spain probably because it’s close to North Africa and a place to traffic drugs through. It’s probably also due to the amount of English ex pats here, some of which (luckily not all) are the sort of English person who loves to loudly proclaim they are English and make zero attempt to fit into their adopted country, while waving St Georges flags. The sort of person who voted for Brexit to keep foreigners out despite no longer actually living in England. Obviously this is only a minority of English people, some of us go to other countries to experience other countries, and don’t expect the world to speak English . I’ve made many attempts to learn Spanish, I’m rubbish at it but at least I try. I’m glad so many cultures speak English because my grasp of other languages is crap.

Volcan El Tiede: Mount Tiede

The coach ride to Tiede is spectacular as Tenerife really is beautiful when you get away from the awful resort towns (like the one we are staying in) the ride eventually starts to pass through Tenerife’s interior and I spend most of my time looking at vast ancient lava formations. When we get to the visitor centre we are taken to a cable car that takes us to just below the summit of the mountain. Tiede is unlike a lot of high altitude mountains in how the Spanish have pretty much turned it into a tourist trap and because of this you actually have to pay to access the summit in the form of a permit. Luckily with most of the tours the permit for the summit is included.

Tiede national park is listed as a UNESCO world heritage site and breathtaking park itself covers 47,000 acres and looks how you’d expect the surface of Mars to look. The walk to the top from the cable car is only around 40 minutes though if it is the first time you have been at altitude it really does hit you quite hard. I’m actually pretty gutted we couldn’t do the entire trek up the mountain but Matt just doesn’t own the gear to do this and the tours are actually quite expensive.

We walk up a steep trail that skirts the edge of the caldera of the summit which is emitting steam, and get that standard overpowering smell of rotten eggs you only really get with sulphur. The first thing you notice if you have never experienced is the effect of altitude. I’ve climbed many mountains and hiked and ran very long distances but I have to admit this first exposure to proper altitude makes my legs feel like lead weights. I’ve been training hard for about a year so far doing everything from beep tests to press-ups and running six and half minute miles and still I can feel the altitude. We pass the crater, inside which are a number of metering stations, likely owned and run by the Volcanic Institute of the Canary Islands.

When we finally reach the top the view is amazing and we can see right across the island to the sea. Tiede itself last erupted in November 1909, it is still active but dormant (not erupting) but it could still burst back into life at any time. The peak we stand on is called “El Pico del Teide” (the Peak of Teide) and is the active part of the volcano, proven by the gas and vapours leaking from the floor. The volcano stands at 3715m and is the fourth highest volcano in the world. Tiede is a stratovolacano which is a steep layering of lava, ash and domes much like Misti which I later visit in Peru. You can read about my time on Misti HERE. The Guanches who were the indigenous people of Tenerife knew the volcano as “Echeyde” which apparently was a mystical being who held up the sky. These people themselves were said to inhabit caves (which is an interesting parallel with the hippy colony on the island) they also inhabited the islands of Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Palma, Gomera, Lanzarote and Heirro. Unfortunately they were victims of Spanish colonialism. I’m taking in the amazing view the Volcano and Tenerife and turn round to see where Matt is, expecting him to also be taking in the view in awe, but actually he’s hovering his crotch over a volcanic vent.

After we descend me and Matt decide to celebrate having been on a volcano with a few drinks in the cafe at the bottom of Tiede. When the tour guide finally finds us sinking wine from tiny plastic cups he is less than impressed, because the rest of the tour bus is apparently waiting for us, even though nobody actually came to find us until they had been waiting twenty minutes. By this point though I think we have both had enough wine to not really care that we have a coach load of other tourists scowling at us. Clearly we are doing well at representing the English. Whoops.

The Food

I think the food on the island should get a decent mention as there’s such a wide variety of price and quality when you are here. There are small restaurants that sell tapas which I love and always get obsessed over finding whenever I’m in Spain because generally it’s cheap, fast and you get such a wide variety to choose from. One thing I loved which was a new thing to me was Papas Arragudas, these things are way more amazing than they sound and definitely the most memorable food I had while we were here. These are wrinkled small potatos that are boiled in seawater giving them a salt crust. They are usually served with two sauces, known as ‘mojo’ the most common being mojo verde and mojo rojo. Mojo rojo is usually a paprika or chilli dip and verde tends to be things like coriander or parsley. Both taste great and I’m getting hungry just writing about it.

Seafront english breakfasts: If you are obsessed with cheap full English breakfasts you would love it in the resort areas but after a few days of them we totally went off them. The quality of them varies MASSIVELY, in fact I had one where they served me a soggy frankfurter hotdog with it, and an egg which looked so plastic it could have come from a joke shop. Often you do get what you pay for. Really though if you are away from the resorts the Spanish food is way better, after all you can have English whenever you want at home.

Pete Tong And The Symphony Orchestra

Deciding to book to go straight to this right after arriving back in the country sounded like such a good idea at the time but when we arrive back in the country we are both totally knackered. But still we head straight over to go and watch Pete Tong and The Symphony Orchestra live. I have to admit I’m finding it hard to keep the momentum going but finally getting into the venue and hearing music I love wakes me up a bit after a week of being subjected to bad Elvis impersonations, Dexy’s Midnight Runners and Chumbawumba for a week in Tenerife. As well as this one thing that’s immediately noticeable is that I know a hell of a lot of people here, some of which I do not remember the names of so trying not to be rude I do that thing where you pretend you know exactly who they are. Also it unfortunately doesn’t escape my attention that most of the people here are in their 30’s or older, these same mad ravers I used to know who used to dress up like living christmas trees (I am also guilty of this, probably the most) and would be out for three days on a mad one are these people now sending nervous texts probably to baby sitters to make sure their kids are ok. In some cases these guys actually have their now grown up kids with them, and at this point it’s impossible for me to not feel ancient. Is that the icy hand of death on my shoulder or did someone leave a window open?

I can say hand on heart the resort areas really are not my thing, the main reason being is I can imagine in summer they get really busy. Obviously the upside is the food and the drink are really cheap but It’s really touch and go, some of the foods really good some of it it straight up awful. As they say though you do get what you pay for. As someone who Likes hiking I’d stay closer to the mountains and away from the normal tourist areas as they will be a lot more quiet and probably more enjoyable. In fact the La Caleta area looked much nicer than where we stayed, and it isn’t far away. Would I visit again? I would, and I’d do a lot more hiking in fact I plan to go back and hike as much of Tiede National park as possible, it looked epic and I’m gutted we couldn’t see more of it. Plus the island is practically a mecca for paragliders and i really want to try it.

Have you been to Tenerife, Tiede, what did you think? Did you see Pete Tong? Did it make you feel mega old?Tell us about it in the comments below.


I hope you found my blog useful or entertaining, any donations given go towards more adventures and therefore more blogs and equipment reviews! Donation is voluntary, and you can donate as much or as little as you wish, or not at all.

Thanks for reading and your support!

I hope you found my blog useful or entertaining, any donations given go towards more adventures and therefore more blogs and equipment reviews! Donation is voluntary, and you can donate as much or as little as you wish, or not at all.

Thanks for reading and your support!

I hope you found my blog useful or entertaining, any donations given go towards more adventures and therefore more blogs and equipment reviews! Donation is voluntary, and you can donate as much or as little as you wish, or not at all.

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