Three Lunches

On 6 April I finally got back to tennis.  A couple weeks of rest, and some swimming and water aerobics, had helped my joints, to the point I figured I’d try it, go easy if need be, and stop if I felt things were getting worse.  Ironically, the thing that hurt the most the first night back was my right shoulder.  I’d gone swimming again the day before, using muscles I’d never really used before, as I never properly learned how to swim, and my shoulder was painful when I tried to serve.  Fortunately most of the group lesson didn’t involve serving, and my arms were fine for forehands and backhands. I think the water aerobics helped, as running across the pool, side-stepping across the pool, backpedaling across the pool, etc., all loosened my joints without putting too much strain on them. I figured I should keep up the swimming and water aerobics to keep my body in decent enough shape to play tennis.

On 7 April we decided to go into Santa Cruz to just be tourists for a day, and to get some food we couldn't find in Puerto.  In addition to Mexican food, I had also seen a Japanese-Filipino restaurant that had good reviews and a very tasty looking menu.  So we decided to make a day of it.  Crystal had found a website that had a list of a dozen or so historical points of interest, so she had that open whilst I had Google Maps open, and we ticked them off as we walked by.  The first couple were the old fortresses by the bus station and the big auditorium.  Since we were in the vicinity, I asked Crystal if she was interested in seeing the Palmetum, and so we took a relatively brisk (maybe 45-60 minute) walk through the garden. Again, it was gorgeous, and again, no one was there.

From there, we worked our way steadily north, seeing some old churches and other items from the website she’d found, but none of the items really garnered too much attention from us.  We walked for a while along the coastal promenade, trying to figure out where Alicia had picked us up and dropped us off from our cruise ship.  Around Plaza de España we walked inland, to Dareshasu, the Japanese and Filipino restaurant.  We got more than we could eat, but there were several things I wanted to try, including the lumpia, pancit, and karaage chicken.  Everything was good, but not great, but definitely better than any "similar" restaurant in Puerto.  The best southeast Asian food we’d had in Puerto was at Ristta, a Thai restaurant, and it is perhaps the best Thai food I’ve had outside of Thailand.  There was also a Vietnamese restaurant with really good pho at the corner of Calle Iriarte and Calle San Juan, but it sadly closed around the end of March.  But Thai and Vietnamese food are a far cry from Filipino in terms of flavor. There were several Chinese restaurants around town, but they all had uniformly poor reviews, so we never felt like trying them out.

Dareshasu didn’t have any indoor or outdoor seating, so we’d eaten on a park bench at Plaza del Principe de Asturias, a small park nearby.  On one of the streets in between, there was a Mexican restaurant, El Chapulin, that caught our attention, and we each took a mental note of it for later.  We did some window shopping around town, and we also walked through Mercado de Nuestra Señora de África, a local food and produce market.  Most of the stuff was closing for the day right as we got there, however, so that didn’t last too long.  We were only a couple blocks from Taquería el Wero at this point, so we decided to go over there for some margaritas. 

The proprietor actually remembered us from December 2019.  I’d like to think it was because we were such great guests, but I think it more likely that almost no Americans visit Tenerife, and our accents are giveaways.  Then again, we were speaking Spanish, albeit with our accents, and I’m not sure if American Spanish sounds much different from British Spanish.  Since the last time we’d visited, we’d finally figured out how to ask for a margarita not to be mixed, but to use ice cubes instead (“sin mezcla, con cubos de hielo por favor”), which had been a whole deal when we visited the old location in Puerto around Christmas 2019.  The margaritas came out perfect, and once we had margaritas, even though we were still full from lunch, we ordered some tacos to have as well.  We hung out for a bit, as it was mid-afternoon and very few people were around. 

Once we were done, we headed back north, and actually decided to get more margaritas, at El Chapulin.  They had one table available, and let us use it so long as we promised to be done by 19:00 (it wasn’t even 17:00, so not much of an ask).  Their margaritas were great as well, and they had mezcal as well as tequila, so I got a mezcal margarita whilst Crystal got tequila.  Their menu looked amazing, so we got some guacamole and chips, which were quite good, so we actually ordered a taco each at El Chapulin as well.  So this was now our third meal of the afternoon.  We’d done a decent amount of walking, but probably not enough to warrant three meals within 6 hours.  We waddled back to the bus station, and arrived home in the evening.

Because of a seemingly never-ending stream of bad news from the US, starting with the day I left, we really weren’t paying much attention to what was going on in the US, but in early April we started to see the almost daily posts from friends and family getting vaccinated, finally going out to restaurants again, bars and gyms re-opening, etc.  I was happy with being on Tenerife, but I’d be lying if I didn’t admit I was a bit jealous of people getting vaccinated.  Indeed, by early April, the general public could get vaccinated in Hawaii, and California didn’t seem that far behind. Meanwhile, Spain’s rollout of vaccinations was exceedingly slow, based in large part on Europe being so reliant – originally – on the Astra-Zeneca vaccine, which had a litany of delays for various reasons.  Between that and us being on private insurance, we didn’t think we were going to realistically get vaccinated, in Spain, until October or November.  So I started doing some more research on the Article 5 “permission slip” so that we could leave the country to go to the US, get vaccinated there with the J&J shot, and then return right back to Tenerife.  It wouldn’t be cheap, but it seemed like a good “investment” in terms of our health, both physically and mentally.  In theory, it should work, but I wondered if the people would be any faster to grant this than they were to process our visa extension.  It wasn’t that expensive to request the Article 5 request, so I pinged Carlos and said we wanted to do this, figuring it couldn’t hurt.

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