Breaking in the Sun

‘You and Tom need a break,’ says Rose and sends us a link to the resort where she and Si stayed last year. Tom, who’s been telling me we need a holiday for months, books it immediately; twelve days in sunny Tenerife - what could be nicer?

A week before we’re due to fly I go down with the worst cold I’ve had in years. By the time Tom gets off the plane, he’s feeling absolutely wretched too. A few days later he picks up a stomach bug, which drags him down even further, and I get conjunctivis and have to wear my glasses for three days. 

It’s not just the physical ailments either; after running on empty for so long, I’m finding it really hard to switch off and just relax. It’s not as if it’s difficult; we have a huge, if slightly dated, apartment with an enormous terrace, sun-loungers and glorious views across the Atlantic, a maid arrives every day to freshen the place up, the weather is fantastic and, heck, we’ve even gone half board and the restaurant is jolly good. (As an aside, what a sign of the times when I heard a little boy declare at breakfast, having perused the buffet choices of a wide range of cereals, bacon and eggs etc, fruit, yogurts, breads from all over the world, ‘Oh, there isn’t really anything I like here.’ Really?)

Eventually I stop thinking about what I should be doing, forget about trying to write and go with the flow and, of course, that’s when the holiday magic begins. On a walk to the harbour, we notice sinister-looking black and red crabs which scuttle across the black rocks when they sense us looking at them (anyone else remember the annual ‘The Eyeballs in the Sky’ episode of The Perishers?’) .

Then, as night falls, we hear what sounds like the Mass Kazoo Band of Tenerife piping in the hill above us. A little research reveals they’re Cory Shearwaters returning to their burrows. A female wall lizard darts away from my foot when I stop to look at her and bougainvilleas bloom in brilliant colours contrasting with the blue sky. We round off our stay with a two-hour boat trip on a lovely old wooden boat, Katrin, and see dolphins and what the crew cheerfully call ‘bad seas’ as we surf back into the harbour on huge Atlantic rollers.

Yes, we agree, it’s been a good holiday. We’re definitely in a better place than when we started …and then we get to the airport where our plane’s delayed. Arriving at Cardiff airport, there’s another long delay while someone is found to unload the luggage (one little plane in the middle of the night - not three airbuses!) and eventually, worn out, we crawl in at four in the morning. Apart from the journey, it was a really good break!


Kathryn Freeman said…
So glad it finally turned out to be a good holiday. You both look so healthy and rested (and happy) in that last photograph. Hope that stays with you xx
Pauline Barclay said…
Wonderful to her all turned out great for you and you feel better for your holiday and sunshine. xxx
Pauline Barclay said…
ooops.... should read Wonderful to hear.... :)
Frances said…
Dear Chris, I am so glad that you and Tom did have your sunny seaside holiday evolve into brilliance. Isn't it amazing when that vacation mode reaches your soul?

You made me smile with your report of your sea voyage. Glad that you all returned to shore safe and sound. What beautiful water! I also love the picture of you all having that lovely meal.

I always dread the part of my return home from a holiday that includes passing through JFK airport. It's hard work, and the bus ride back into Manhattan isn't much fun either. Sometimes, it is the destination, not the journey!
Chris Stovell said…
It did eventually, Kate, I know you can't make omelettes without breaking eggs but I was a bit taken aback by how rough I felt to begin with. It turned out to be just the holiday we needed. xx

Ah Pauline, I thought of you often somewhere along the coast there - it is a wonderful climate, isn't it? We feel so much better for feeling some sun on our backs, xx.

Dear Frances, I've just had a long and lovely catch up with your posts and your happy retirement. Yes the boat trip was much lumpier than I anticipated - typical - and I also omitted to say that I was stopped for a random search at the airport in Tenerife and was swabbed for explosives! As you wisely say sometimes it IS about the destination! xx
Flowerpot said…
I reckon it takes about a week to unwind properly - but glad you got over that horrible bug and enjoyed the holiday - bar the travelling! Hope its not too long before your next break... X
Irish Eyes said…
Good to have you back, refreshed and ready for action despite all the travail. As we say here "Bad start; Good ending" about airports...don't get me started!!!!!
Pondside said…
It's good you had a break and some relaxation. As for the rest - well, it all makes a very good travel story!! When are you coming this way?
So glad it came out all right in the end! You deserved a holiday and at last you got one xx
Chris Stovell said…
Thanks Sue, it did. I think we'll try to get out on our boat now... fingers crossed! x

That was certainly true - although the journey home was a sting in the tail! So, tell us about airports, dear IE! x

Hopefully next year, Pondside - I really hope we'll catch up then x

You know how it feels, Elizabeth - and it really helped set us back on our feet x

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