Thursday, August 28, 2008

Trip to Tenerife

Living on a small island can have it's problems. One of them is that some times you can develop what they call island fever. The only cure is to GET OFF THE ISLAND!!!!

So that is what we did. We went to Tenerife for a long weekend. We caught the ferry a 4am on Thursday morning, this meant being at the port at 3am to check-in, leaving our house at 2am to drive to the port, which entailed getting up at 1am. So by the time we got on the ferry we had been up for 4 hours and we ready to have a kip. The journey over wasn't to bad, just find a seat a curl up and try to sleep. the ferry takes 4hours to get to Los Chritanos in Tenerife with a 1/2hour stopover in La Gomera to load and unload passengers.

Once we got to Tenerife, a quick coffee and a sandwich and we were on the road to the north of the island and Santa Cruz de Tenerife, where we hit the shops. Why come all this way to go shopping ,well with Tenerife being a bigger island and with a larger British population there are more shopping opertunities than in La Palma, there is even a small Marks & Spencers.

After spending the morning shopping it was off to Ikea and then to our hotel in Puerto de La Cruz. We were staying in the Hotel Acuario, which is on the hill just up from the center of Puerto de la Cruz. The Room was small but clean and functional. Where the hotel did excel was in the food, for a 2 star hotel with a buffet breakfast and evening meal, the food was always, hot and not dried out to much. On the Saturday night they had a selection of typical canarian foods and the Rabbit in salmoreno ( Red pepper and onion sauce) was fantastic.

Coming home was interesting we got to the port in good time so that we were more or less the first in the queue for the ferry. So we went into the terminal to get a coffee and sit an watch the ships come in an out. I was about quarter of an hour before our ferry and it hadn't arrived so we wandered down to the car, we were just about to get into the car when there was a garbled announcement on the tannoy and everybody came running out and getting into the cars and driving off, I at first though that people had queued in the wrong place (there are two different ferry companies), but it turned out that our ferry had broken down and that we were all being loaded on the rival ferry which was being diverted to La Palma. So we finally got on having had on of the guys who was directing traffic winding me up by looking at my ticket and saying "oh no you've got to go back over there" before smiling, just as I was about to get uppity, and point for us to go down the priority boarding lane. As it happened this ferry is faster that the one we should have got so we ended up home an hour earlier than we should have been.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Cooking On Gas

Well finally after 18 Months I have a cooker..

We have been running on to small camping stoves since we arrived, now this is OK for you basic Meat and two Veg as I can do the meat on the barbecue and the veg on the camping stoves, But if you want a sauce to go on the meat well that's a different matter. So now having four reasonable burners available is great. OK they run off a gas cylinder that is under the worktop for now (it will go outside once we have built the proper kitchen). The funny thing is the first time I decided to use the cooker properly it ran out of gas so I had to go back to using the camping cookers again!!!!! But I was able to go and exchange the gas bottle at our local village store (which isn't officially open at present as the is a problem with the license), I was a little worried about doing this as I hadn't had to handle this before, the was the system works out here is that you have to jump through all sorts of hoops in order to get your first gas bottle, then you can just exchange the empty for a full one after that. I was worried that I would not be able to get a new bottle, but as it happened there was absolutely no problem in exchanging it. So I now have a full bottle and it will be interesting to see how long it will last, as we only use for cooking.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Everything including the kitchen sink

After 18 months we finally have a kitchen sink! Yes one with taps both in hot and cold and a drain connection.
This may not sound much but our old sink had only a cold tap and if you emptied things down the drain you would end up with wet feet. As well a sink we also have a set of worktops which doubles the amount of space available for cooking. It was very hard to cook in our old kitchen as the work surfaces were about the size of a postage stamp. The outflow from the sink goes directly into the grey water tank which is behind the bathroom in the garden. Along with a plumbed-in sink the washing machine has also been fitted. If you remember before I had to drag the machine across the floor drag a pipe in from the garden and then I could do nothing else while the washing was running. Now it is so easy to just trow the washing in to the machine and forget about it.
At the moment this kitchen has been built temporarily in what will be the dining hall once all the work is finished. We have built a wall of plastic sheeting between the dining hall and the old kitchen so that we can knock the old kitchen to pieces with out filling the rest of the house fully of dust and muck.
Hopefully early next week we should be able to fit the gas hob, at the moment we have been coping with two little camping stoves. So finally having 4 full gas burners fed from a big gas bottle (No mains gas here) should make things a lot easier. Helen has just been taking it easy for a few days, as she pushed quite hard to get the kitchen done and just needs a little rest.