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Going to rack and ruin, Old Pumphouse

Coming out top in Tenerife

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. Yet when I find myself attempting to negotiate a smooth passage through an Atlantic breakwater in a kayak…

Surf, Turf, Golf and Wine in Canary Islands

According to bestselling American author Neale Donald Walsch, “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” Yet when I find myself attempting to negotiate a smooth passage through an Atlantic breakwater in a kayak, I feel more like my days on earth could come to a crashing end. Mi vida flashes before my very eyes as we wait for the waves to subside off a choppy palm beach in Tenerife.

Pretty in pink The Ritz Carlton, Abama
Pretty in pink The Ritz Carlton, Abama

I have taken the advice of Walsch to break out of my comfort zone however. The pleasure plot in question being the giant luxury resort in the south west of the island: The Ritz-Carlton, Abama. The destination of choice of holidaymakers who barely have to dip into their small change to fund a 9.000€-a-night stay in one of Abama’s voluptuous Tagor villas which also comes with a butler and golf buggy.

My co-paddler is John Beckley who has swapped his native South Africa for Tenerife just as I have relocated from the UK to neighbouring Gran Canaria. The plan had been to scale the heights of Teide: Spain’s loftiest mountain which rises 3,718 metres above sea level. Except one of Europe’s sunniest spots is experiencing a rare cloudy day and Tenerife’s tallest tor is lost in a nimbus.

Now there’s Europe and then there’s Europe. Spain colonized the Canary Islands, Tenerife the largest of these magnificent seven isles, during the reign of terror of the Catholic Monarchs, Ferdinand and Isabella. This autonomous community lies around 100km west of the African mainland and closer to 2,000km from the Iberian peninsula.

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