Whether a local or tourist, an organised coach trip across the Mercedes Mountains in the northeast tip of the island, to a little fishing village called Taganana is an enjoyable and memorable day.
The journey is ‘interesting’ which is why a coach is recommended particularly if you are not a confident driver. There are many hairpin bends to negotiate on route, fortunately, the coach drivers are very careful but the buses seem exceptionally long.
We took a trip as not having to concentrate on driving meant being able to enjoy the remarkable mountain scenery featuring precarious rocks and cacti that we were told aren’t cacti but look like cacti. The informative courier told us about this in Spanish, German, and English as our coach made its way from sea level into the high mountains then back to sea level.
Our bus was too long to make some of the tight turns in one go and the bus reversed and went forward a couple of times to make the bend. As we looked over the precipice the courier laughed to reassure us saying “Don’t worry, we do this every week.”
By the time we stopped for lunch it was raining, this has been the case on each visit we have made to the area. The restaurant where we stopped oozed rural character and caters for coach parties. Once inside, our lunch was basic but memorable. As we ate our soup, the rain came in through the roof and several people had to move. We were given a main course of fish complete with wine, rounded off by coffee meant to be laced with brandy that was passed around in a bottle, but people mostly topped up their wine glass with the brandy and a group on another table burst into a drinking song.
In fact, it wasn´t just the coffee that was well laced by the time we departed. We didn’t see much scenery on the return trip, well, the bus windows seemed a bit blurred after the brandy. Fortunately, I believe that the driver was sober.