Recently a couple of posts on Tripadvisor have heavily criticised Puerto Santiago for being ‘dead’ and having only two or three bars and restaurants. I’m not sure how true these comments are, I have been to a couple of lovely places to eat in the area, the Chicken Shack and Flor del Drago as well as a really nice restaurant directly overlooking the sea which I can´t for the life of me remember the name. However, as the divide between Puerto Santiago, Playa L’Arena and Los Gigantes is hard to define I could have been just a little outside the actual town.
What I do know, however, is that if there are only two bars certainly one of these has a strong enough pull on me and my friends to make us drive the 30 miles each way at least twice a month, often more. The bar is Route 66. The reason for this is nothing to do with the location, it is on a one-way system and although the manager, Juan and his boys give excellent service the particular attraction for us is the entertainment.
Five nights a week, Sundays to Thursdays, Old Dogs, New Tricks can be found pulling the crowds into this little venue. Their repertoire is in the region of 200-250 songs, mainly covers which span from the 50s right through to the very latest releases. There is something to suit all ages from the oldies to teenagers.
It is marvellous to see the number of people wearing their wristbands, willing to leave their hotels after having paid for all-inclusive to frequent the bar night after night and happily willing to pay for their drinks just to see this great band. Jill has the most superb voice and a warm personality that makes everyone feel welcome. The acerbic Bob, kids along the audience that his alter ego is Mr Grumpy although he fools no one. There are however, lots of the men in the bar that enjoy the ‘wife’ jokes, safe in the knowledge that while they are in public she who must be obeyed will not give them a dressing down.
If you happen to be holidaying in the west of the island, it is worth making time to see Old Dogs, unlike the TA forum member who found the place dead, you will have to get to Route 66 early if you want a seat. Once the band start there is invariably standing room only and I think the Guarda have given up on the number of people that dance in the street.
So where does the dancing donkey come in – Oh yes, Rossi, complete with OBE, has become a feature of Old Dogs show on the nights we visit. He gets in the middle of the floor and dances along to Status Quo numbers, hence the name – he probably features in almost as many photos as Jill, Bob and Graham, but they have the advantage he can´t hold a candle to them where singing is concerned.