Cleeve Lawn Tennis Club

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On Tuesday 21st March 2017 eight intrepid Cleeve Tenistas set out for Tenerife to honour an invitation by Ian and Jackie Lightfoot to visit them in their sunny retreat.
The approach to Tenerife yielded splendid views of the main volcano on the island, Mount Teide.

Mount Teide's 3,718-metre summit is the highest point above sea level in the islands of the Atlantic. If measured from the ocean floor, it is at 7,500 m the highest volcano in the world base-to-peak outside of the Hawaiian Islands (Wikipedia, so must be true).
We checked into our hotel, the Paradise Park Fun Lifestyle Hotel, just in time for the evening meal.

Wednesday morning saw six of the eight wander down the road to the sea front. The plan was to catch a boat to go in search of dolphins. We passed some sand sculptures as we aimed towards the quay at the far end of the bay. 

About halfway along we were accosted by one of the whale and dolphin excursion companies and allowed ourselves to be sold places on board the Travelin Lady. A two hour trip guaranteeing sightings was promised.... and delivered. The sea was calm, the sun burned down and everyone enjoyed the experience. Firstly we encountered Pilot whales with a distinctive hooked dorsal fin. They came very close and gave us a good show. Then we went on to find dolphins. They were not in playful mood and mostly stayed at a distance, but they did tempt us to take lots of pictures of seawater!
We couldn't get off the boat without buying a group photo first.

It was such a good day that we elected to go for a swim in one of the hotel's pools after lunch. The water was cold but several of us braved it.

The evening meals in the Restaurant Tenerife on floor 0 were buffet style with a huge choice of dishes for each course and no limit to the amount. No pictures, I'm afraid, I was too busy stuffing my face. After the evening meal there was always live entertainment on offer in the Bar Yaiza next door and in the Strelitzia Restaurant on the floor above, where we took lunch. The entertainment was like the curate's egg but the best act by far was a group of three acrobats who managed to entangle themselves in all manner of complicated balances. A bit better than knees on elbows!
Thursday was our first session of tennis at the Tenerife Tennis Academy. There were three courts - one used principally for coaching and the two we had booked. Also there were two courts for short tennis and a nice cafe.
The afternoon was free for lazing, sightseeing, shopping, walking and anything else that took the fancy.
On Friday Ian and Jackie offered a guided tour of Teide and four of us grabbed the chance. The plan was to do a quite long hike around the foothills and take in the glorious views along the way. We started by having a coffee in a cafe with a view that promised much.

Unfortunately the walk was shrouded in mist and cloud with the occasional bit of drizzle. Nevertheless the barren, rocky landscape was still impressive and a little spooky.
But we stayed optimistic under our waterproofs...
 and after a packed lunch in a brief gap in the clouds Ian and Jackie suggested we return to the cars and make our way to the top. On the way Ian spotted the Tenerife Blue Chaffinch, native to the Canaries.

Once out on the road up towards the summit the mist cleared and we were in bright sunshine. We stopped at a roadside viewing point for another photo opportunity.

At the top there were glorious views across the caldera and of strange rocky outcrops around us.
We stopped off at a small village on the way down for coffee and cake then returned to the hotel.
Saturday was another tennis day but starting late morning so there was time to take some views from the hotel's roof area beforehand. The first shows the main pool immediately outside the hotel, the second is the view to the left looking towards the sea (nearly South, I think) and includes the pool next door where we chose to swim and sunbathe, the third is looking straight ahead and the last one looks to the right and shows the hill we labelled "The Pimple".

More tennis followed and here are some action photos:-
There was more time to look around in the afternoon so here is another bay view, competitive boules and some beach volleyball (not that I watched much of it, of course).

Sunday was to be a busy day. Firstly there was the market to visit, then lunch at Ian and Jackie's apartment before returning to Los Cristianos for the Carnival. The market was unusual in that it did not have fruit and veg stalls. It was a very big market with a lot of stalls selling the same stuff - like belts, handbags, watches and sunglasses.
We jumped in a taxi for lunch at our hosts' and there we celebrated Allan and Ros's 40th wedding anniversary with some bubbly stuff. I include both team photos so that we all appear.
And so to the Carnival. This went on for two solid hours and was mostly fancily dressed up groups of dancers of all ages and lots of loud drums. Here is just a tiny selection of the parade.
Monday, the last full day, arrives and we return to the tennis courts for the third and last session. Everyone attending was playing so not many pictures. Here are a few though.
The afternoon was spent beside the pool before I hiked across town and climbed "The Pimple" for these views (I should get a medal).
On the way back the fountain was in full flow.
Tuesday was the day of the flight back. But not until late afternoon so there was a chance for us to find a seafront restaurant for our last lunch here. We chose well. I had roast cockerel. Here we are about to tuck in.

That's all Folks!
I'd just like to thank Ian and Jackie for all their efforts on our behalf. They organized the tennis, ferried us back and forth to the courts, took us round the volcano, were tour guides and invited us into their apartment for a lovely lunch. As the Elvis cabaret act must have said, thankyou very much (you have to do your own impersonation).
Also, the trip would probably have not happened had it not been for the Herculean effort of Ros (supported by Allan) in searching for a suitable hotel, then making the booking and getting all of us to do our bits on time. It's never easy to manage such affairs and there is always the worry that something would go wrong. Therefore I'm sure I'm speaking for the whole group when I say thank you very much indeed.