If I was planning to move to Tenerife now and knew what I know after living here for several years, El Médano would be a contender for where I could happily settle down, but at the time it seemed like a lot of places, a bit too Spanish.
OH and I have always been impulsive, invariably doing what we wanted as the mood took us, but as we looked into the distance and saw retirement on the horizon, a modicum of prudence finally kicked in. Our move to the island was like many things in our life done on an impulse. Having only visited the island once prior to our move, logic told us that as we got older and with no knowledge of the Spanish language, it would make sense to be close to the Brit ex-pat society, if not cheek by jowl. God forbid, but there could be a time when we may need assistance health wise or if something happened to one or other we should have friends to call on should we need them. Hence picking Chayofa or perhaps it was Chayofa that chose us as we only viewed one other house!
Still back to El Médano, it suits my nature; the old hippie in me likes the air of freedom the sort of place that doesn’t conform to society’s standards and that advocates a tolerant attitude and lifestyle. I love wandering around the town, through the old twisting streets and rummaging around the tiny shops, crammed with handmade jewellery, or the small boutiques selling tie dye, Bohemian, gypsy, ethnic – OK hippie fashions. There is a variety of small shops in El Médano including old-fashioned greengrocers and butchers, a pharmacy, souvenir and gift shops and of course, plenty selling everything a surfer dude could possibly want or need. If you are the sort that is attracted to markets then there is one held regularly in the Plaza that is very popular with tourists.
Although I love it, it is not just the shops that attract me; I am drawn by the amount of creativity that appears in the most unlikely corners of this quaint town. From the residents who decorate their shops so the outdoors are as enjoyable as indoors to the various bits of public art, that pop up dramatically around the corners of this bustling treasure trove of a Spanish town. To those who recommend El Médano as an alternative resort, quieter than its southern neighbours Playa de Las Américas and Los Cristianos this aspect invariably goes un-mentioned. Yet how many people must have peeped through the hole in the driftwood sculpture, or like me, wondered who the guy is in the square – some South American god? After a hectic day on the beach who does not identify with the twisted spinal column? Even everyday objects have an artistic air about them. The streetlights and the boulders strategically placed by seats overlooking the bay.
I love to walk along the pristine timber boardwalk, stopping at one or two of the friendly bars and restaurants that stretch the length of the beach and its coves where the wind has worn away the sandstone. It is here you find sunbathers crammed into the shady spots or further along the beach where the Hotel El Médano provides shelter from the wind. It is supposed to be the longest natural sandy beach in Tenerife, it is certainly one of the most notorious as further out of town you come to the natural charms of the sand dunes were beachwear is optional, and warm sizzling flesh is a common sight.
Of course El Médano is also a well-known windsurfing hotspot very popular with surfers and kite boarders it is quite a sight to see them riding the waves and harnessing the wind with great skill and strength. However, sporting exploits are not confined to the young and fit, there are the small exercise frames which attract a regular stream of curious passersby.
If you are not into any kind of exercise other than a chinwag, the council have provided lovely wooden seats, sheltered from the mid-day sun, that are ideal if you can prize the old men out of them. I can get away with saying that, as I know the two old men pictured! Other than that, there is always a stroll along the water’s edge. Alternatively, slip into the Hotel El Medano for a coffee on their ‘pier’ that is still standing firm over the sea thanks to the Council’s decision to grant a reprieve, even if temporarily, on the demolition issue.
So, if I was in the market for a house move, I would definitely be considering El Medano. This laid back bohemian resort – if you can call it a resort, is very much at peace with itself, if your idea of heaven is somewhere that is buzzing through the day and serene at night you will find it here – what more can anyone ask for.