Monday, 3 September 2012

Postcards from Tenerife - Twinnies and a Car Journey

Dear Reader,

In my last post, I began my experience of being with the Twinnies, AKA Dear Lady Wife and Colleague, in a foreign land. We flew, we arrived and we hired a car. At the end of the last post we had acquired a hire car and began our journey. In short, we had to get from the hire car depot to the motorway, facing in the right direction, drive for about an hour and a bit, and then follow a map scribbled on a piece of paper. Like all good pirate maps, our destination was marked with an X.

Sounds simple enough, but, we have no SatNav, we have a map which has no detail, we have in the car two of the most incompetent people in the world when it comes to navigation and me. Things didn't start well.

Our not particularly glamorous car rental garage, which is a cross between the warehouse where everyone dies in Reservoir Dogs and the dispatch area from cult 70's comedy Taxi, provided us with some instructions for our escape / car rental. "Leff, leff, leff again, straight, head to airport and then keep on going," I was reliably informed by our rental person.

Everyone dies, my Ford focus is just out of shot to the left.

Leff? Leff? Leff again? 
Having departed we go leff, leff, then leff again. In short order we are on a dirt road with vultures circling and coyotes looking eager, this is not the plan. I backtrack, eventually we return to where we started.

The Twinnies, (one in the front, one in the back), find all this highly amusing, this is like some big adventure. After all, once this little issue is solved we will be there in no time. At this point I feel like Thelma and Louises' driver.

Having tried leff, leff and leff for the second time my only choices are leff or straight on. I didn't choose this the first time as arrows make it quite clear that the only way to turn is right. Not wanting to revise the expectations of vulture dinner-time unfairly I plump for right. Shortly we are forced leff and see signs for the motorway. Could this small but obvious flaw in the instructions not have been made clear from the start? A mere thirty minutes after picking up the car we have made the one kilometre transition to the motorway.

Now, it should all be plain sailing and for a while, it is. A wrinkle occurs about forty minutes in, I am not sure what happens, but we are not on a motorway any more but find ourselves plunging into a city called Santa Cruz. Whilst pleading with the now sleepy and slightly grumpy Twinnies to look at maps and provide advice, I plunge on through the city, reasoning that we will pick up the motorway on the other side.

I have since discovered there is no motorway on the other side of Santa Cruz. There is, however an extremely long and windy mountain hugging road which leads to the middle of nowhere (Tenerife, Northern tip). This discovery took approximately forty-five minutes. Another forty-five minutes later I discover  that the extremely long and mountain hugging road looks very similar going the other way. On the upside, there is a traffic lane between me and the sea, several hundred feet below.

Below is a map with some lines drawn on it. The red line indicates where we should have gone, the blue squiggles are an artists impression of the way we actually went.

Back on track, uneventful motorway follows, we eventually reach a signpost which points to the region where our villa is located. Neither Twinny can make sense of the map. I pull off at the first exit and demand to see it. I note a number at the bottom which appears to indicate a junction number, not far from where we are. Shortly after this we arrive at our villa, a mere three and a half hours after picking up the hire car.

They say practice makes perfect. When it comes to car journeys in foreign climes with Twinnies, I can attest to the truth of this saying. The return journey to the car rental desk / warehouse took a mere one hour and seven minutes.

More soon Dear Reader 



  1. That's hilarious! (the map!)... I should be sympathizing but it does sound like a grand adventure ;)

    1. Glad you liked the map, I was surprised my specific route was available to download with children's crayon over it. That's the internet for you :)

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