In The Land Where Tomorrow Means Yesterday
Every pilot, whether he comes to Tenerife for the first time or the tenth, should decidely, before each first take off, go look at the corresponding landing strip. Thanks to the lively building industry he could be unpleasantly surprised, when at the site of yesterday's relatively decent landing strip, stands a brand-spanking new supermarket, car rental agency or a pile of rubble and boulders on what formerly was a flat surface. With a great degree of probability, it is safe to say for example that the precisely described and surveyed landing strip beneath the Taucho runway won't last even a year.
And Worst Are The Dwarves, They Get Into Everything
The Island of Tenerife is without exaggeration heavily hit by modern civilization, the same as the even harder hit island of Gran Canaria. And so that the buzz of the tourists can be livlier, a superfast boat goes back and forth between the two islands. The ocean tide pushes plastic canisters, empty bottles and similar leavings of modern civilization onto the beaches which are lined with beach chairs and parasols in organized rows, like a movie theater.
Car rental agencies on Tenerife are truly in every town and most tourists don't even use any other means of transport. Rental fees are not at all astronomical and the price of renting an Opal Corsa or a car of a similar class comes to about 4,000 Czech Crowns for the entire week including insurance. The highways on the island are in very good shape, but in the vicinity of the bigger cities are hopelessly congested, and driving through, say, the capital city of Santa Cruz during the day takes almost an hour, and that in three lanes in one direction. Surprisingly local drivers, including tourists, behave very politely behind the wheel and not even in complex traffic situations do they fall prey to the agression we are familiar with at home. We didn't even see anyone tapping their foreheads at us all the while that we stayed, and that despite the wild moves we often pulled while driving lost around the city. Hasty construction is taking place all over the island whose only goal is the growth of tourism and the business asscociated with it.
Leave Scaffolding At Home
Flying on the island of Tenerife certainly cannot be recommended to beginners, in contrast to for example the Italaian valley of the village of Castelluccio. Though The runways on Tenerife are quite decent, it is so much the worse with landing strips.
Some beaches ar very narrow, full of boulders and by rule blown by quick winds perpendicular to the ocean. Not even flights down from the high situated runways are as simple a matter as may seem at first glance. At an altitude of over 2000 meters it is impossible to guess how the wind is blowing at lower altitudes and contrary wise. Meanwhile, cuts of the wind reach even 180 degrees with speed differences over 10m/s. In any event it is beneficial to observe local pilots and not to be shy with questions on anything.
Decidedly it is necessary to warn glider pilots before they visit Tenerife. We found only three landing strips on which an experienced glider pilot can land a hang glider without injury to body or soul. Meanwhile only on one of them can he be certain that during his flawlessly executed landing manuover he won't knock the heads off several foreign tourists. As if on purpose, right in the vicinity of this one safe landing strip for gliders beneath the volcano Guimar, hectic construction is going on and it is entirely possible that within a year and a day even this landing strip will be buldozed by human civilization 2000, in the name of increasing the intensity of the tourist industry and advantageous valuation of German capital.
By Ferry To The Other Island
So the penultimate evening of the old year 1999 came. Owners of computer systems are shaking, afraid of what will be the day after tomorrow morning, refrigerators of normal people are packed with champagne so they can hardly be shut, firecrackers and rockets are ready in quantities equal to the importance of the event, while we sit in peace on the pier in the port of Los Cristianos on the southern tip of the island of Tenerife and kick our legs above the waving blue surface of the Atlantic ocean.
We squint our eyes against the glare of the sunrays off the waters surface and observe the western horizon, into which the red reel of the December sun is dipping leisurely. Somwhere there in the distance on the horizon a white boat is supposed to appear at any moment, which will transport us to one of the westernmost situated of the Canary Islands, La Palma. To the island which, after reading our article about Lanzarote, our internet friend Winston has invited us. On the small island of dense vegetation and deep forests, occasional rain showers and lots of varied fruits, wild rabbits and beautiful girls ( and sometimes even the opposite) and of course terrains suitable for flying. More about it next time ...