The first time (seems I had many first times within the last years 😉 ) I went on vacation without booking an accommodation was 2013 when I went to Tenerife with my boyfriend. Well, okay, we booked one but just for 2 days via airbnb. We stayed in Puerto de la Cruz for 2 days and I really enjoyed it because I had never lived in a big city like this before so it was really exciting to have a room right in the center. The only thing that was a little annoying was that it took such a long time to find a parking spot there. It’s said that about half of the people driving the car through the city are actually just searching for a free parking spot. 😀 In Puerto de la Cruz my boyfriend got himself a secondhand surfboard. I also wanted to have one but we couldn’t find a beginner board.
After our stay in the city we hit the road to drive to Pico del Teide, the vulcano of the Island. On our way there we stopped at a big campground to spend the night there. Unfortunately we didn’t get a license to stay there because we didn’t want to spend money on it and because you have to tell the authorities when you want to stay where and as we didn’t know this before it would have been too complicated. So we just relied on our luck and we were lucky. We had the whole campground for us alone (which was actually quite scary) and spent the night in our hammoks.
The next day we drove to the vulcano, took the ropeway up to the visitor platform from where we hiked up to mountain cabin Altavista to spend the night there so that we could start hiking up the last bit to the top at 4 in the morning to watch the sunrise.
This was one of the most challenging things I’d ever done. My backpack was so heavy, I didn’t have a lot of sleep, no breakfast and the air was so thin. I almost vomited because I felt so bad but then my boyfriendexchanged my backpack with his (I have no idea why it was lighter but I guess.. men 😉 ) and then I made it somehow. Up there it was really cold and we had to wait quite a while for the sun to come up.
Up there we met a couple which was from Germany and – funny thing – from the same town as me! Can you imagine how small this world is? We were the only people up there on a vulcano before sunrise in the morning and you meet someone from your hometown. 😀 When the sun finally came up the view really was breathtaking and rewarded us our struggles.
After we arrived back down, we decided to take a look at the tourist beach Playa de las Americas. It was just like every other tourist beach you can imagine. I got a surfboard there and we just spent the day at the beach. In the evening we drove around to find an accommodation but unfortunately we couldn’t find one so we decided to stay at the campground again (which was quite far away and we were already quite tired and desperate). This time we hadn’t been that lucky though. At night there were some people with flashlights coming and we were so scared because we thought the rangers were coming for us and that we would have to pay lots of money because we didn’t have a license. But suddenly those people started making music on the campground. They were just funny some people playing instruments in the middle of the night. You can’t imagine how relieved I felt! 😀 So this was the only time we had some trouble without a booked accommodation.
On our way on we went to see an amazing canyon, the Barranco de Masca. This hike was also really exhausting because it was just way too hot. It was totally worth it though. You felt like a dwarf standing between those huge rocks. One day before we went home we went to see another one, the Barranco de Infierno which was also great but not as impressive as the Masca canyon. The Masca canyon had lots of tourists though because it’s so famous.
After this we found an amazing and cheap accommodation above a restaurant in Taganana, a dump in the middle of nowhere in the North of Tenerife. It even had a small balcony with ocean view!
It took a long time to drive there because the way up there was only serpentine roads. So when we arrived there we didn’t leave it really often as it took a lot of time to drive to other cities. Now we had to rely on one small (and quite expensive) shop in this little village though which also didn’t have a wide food range. We didn’t really care though and I have to say I enjoyed it to shop there and not at a big and impersonal supermarket as usually.
We stayed there for the rest of our vacation (apart from one night in another town on our way to the airport) because I have to admit we got a little lazy to look for a new accommodation and also because it was so beautiful and we really could relax there and just enjoy our life. So we just went to the beach in front of our house everyday, went on hiking trips in the foggy forests, on hiking trips at other beautiful paths, cooked, went out for dinner, drank some wine and got some good sleep with the sound of the sea.
Unfortunately I didn’t really get succeed in surfing there though I really enjoyed it in France. I think the problem was me. Somehow I was quite scared of the waves and of hurting myself. Of course when you’re scared you can’t be successful. I gave it up soon. I don’t know if I will ever try it again (so far I didn’t have the opportunity anway) but yes, maybe.
Tenerife really was a wonderful experience. Would have been even more perfect if we went there at the correct season. We went there in summer but you should go there in winter as it’s still warm but not this hot and dry and all the flowers are blooming. Sometimes it looked more like a desert or steppe with all the dry earth and the cactuses. 😀