So here we are at the end of what was for many Tenerife residents a pretty tough year.
With an economy that is largely based on tourism things can get quite hairy on the island when the tourists have no money to come on holiday. Then when those who did plan their Christmas break on the island didn’t even get out of Gatwick, well… let’s just say for many that was bitter icing on twelve months of bad cake.
Everyone looks forward to New Year, don’t they? It’s not just about getting legless and kissing everybody you fancy at the sound of the bells; it’s a time to wave goodbye to the bad luck of the past twelve months and to be hopeful for better times in the year to come.
Being Scottish, I’ll be doing a Hogmanay clean today to be sure the New Year gets off to a fresh start. At midnight, I’ll be hoping for our first footer to be tall and dark, bearing gifts of coal, black bun, salt, shortbread and whiskey but the first visitor is more likely to be my short, blonde vecino bearing gifts of homemade sangria and sweeties for the kids.
Scots have always gone to town for Hogmanay. In fact, celebrating the passing of the old year was a bigger event in Scotland than Christmas – a fact that did not escape a disapproving church which commented in the Scotch Presbyeterian Eloquence publication in 1693, “It is ordinary among some Plebians in the South of Scotland, to go about from door to door upon New Year`s Eve, crying Hagmane.”
But Scots are not the only ones with traditions intended to usher in a lucky New Year. In South America you would want to be wearing bright undies at midnight (red for love, yellow for money), in the Netherlands you set light to your Christmas tree and drag it through the street (wonder what elf and safety would make of that one?) and here in Spain, you stuff 12 grapes in your mouth in the minute leading up to the first bell of midnight.
The grape tradition apparently started after there was such a bumper grape harvest one year that the king decreed there would be free grapes for everyone. You’ll find packets of grapes prominently displayed in the supermarkets today -but they certainly won’t be free. If you plan on picking some up to get in the spirit, make sure you pick up the seedless variety. It’s hard enough trying to gobble down 12 grapes without having the grapeseed dry out your mouth in the process.
If you are on holiday in Tenerife tonight, chances are your hotel will lay on a New Year’s party but if you are a free agent, a good place to be is the plaza in front of the church in Los Cristianos. There’s always fireworks, dancing and lots of fun to be had there. If you happen to spy a madwoman, with bulging grape-stuffed cheeks, wearing a red bra and yellow knickers, dragging a flaming Christmas tree and shouting Hagmane, that will be me. I need all the luck I can get.
It’s true there is much to see and do in Tenerife. All holiday makers need to do in anticipation of their break on the island is surf the internet for 10 minutes to find thousands of posts about Tenerife’s resorts, beaches, shopping, nightlife, tours, scenic north, restaurants and so on and so on.
To find out how other people enjoyed a particular hotel, restaurant, location or attraction in Tenerife, all you have to do is ask on Facebook or Twitter and you’ll get inundated with opinions both good and bad. It’s all great information; invaluable when you are trying to decide how to make the most of your few precious weeks in the sun.
This morning however, I came across a post from a tourist couple who found something completely different to admire about Tenerife – a shiny red truck!
Apparently the truck is a Cloggie beavertail and Mr. and Mrs Peter Shaw (aka The Truckerdudes) saw the truck regularly throughout their stay. They took the picture above (which I hope they do not mind me reposting) and sent it to the Big Lorry Blog which is is powered by the Biglorryblog anorak army. 🙂
As a commenter said on the blog, Mapfre is a big Spanish insurance company and so the truck is most likely a recovery vehicle of some kind. If anyone has any other information to add about it please feel free to do so in the comments section below – or pay a visit to the Big Lorry Blog and comment there.
In the meantime, I would like to thank The Truckerdudes for opening my eyes. Looked at from their perspective that old Cloggie Beavertail is a handsome devil isn’t he?
What could be better than owning your own holiday apartment in Los Cristianos?
Getting it for a knock down price in a location that you are practically guaranteed rental income is better. Better still, even after all the expenses are paid (the mortgage, community fees and cleaning costs) the rental income still makes a profit of over €7,000 per year!
Sounds a bit like having your cake and eating it, doesn’t it?
One bedrooms apartments in the Sur y Sol usually go for between €140,000 to €150,000. Thanks to the current economy, prices have been cut to the bone and you can now pick up a lovely apartment in this popular holiday complex for only €104,500.
There are ground floor and first floor apartments available and they are all the same price – even the corner units. That means it is first come, first served as far as cherry picking the best apartment.
The Sur y Sol is 100 metres from the beach in Los Cristianos. It has three swimming pools, a kid’s adventure playground, a basketball court and pitch and putt all of which make it attractive to tourists and a great investment as a buy-to-let holiday apartment.
Don’t hang about on this one. If you are in the market for a Tenerife Property Bargain, you are unlikely to find anything better than this great offer on the Sur y Sol apartments. For more information and pictures, contact me here.
One of the best things to do on Tenerife is the Rafting Bike tour. Quite honestly, freewheeling down the mountain from the lip of the caldera is the most fun I have had with my clothes on for years! (It’s probably just as much fun with your clothes off come to think of it and I bet head honcho, Mauricio woud not mind if you wanted to put that to the test.)
Normally a Rafting Bike tour will cost €40 per person but next Tuesday, there are a few spots on offer at a 25% discount – only through eTenerife.
The discount is available only for Tuesday the 28th September. You will be saving €10 per person so that makes a huge difference to family groups. There are ten spots going so email me at RAFTING BIKE OFFER now to jump on yours!
Here’s a little reminder of what Rafting Bike is all about. 🙂 (No cracks about fat-bottomed girls, if you don’t mind!)
John worked for fifteen years in the post office. Now he runs his own bar in Tenerife.
Teresa runs her own gift shop in Tenerife. She worked for Tesco when she was in the UK.
Kevin and Mary both worked in the Civil Service, but now they are proud restaurant owners in Tenerife.
What is it about Tenerife that makes so many expats turn into entrepreneurs, even though they may have spent their careers far removed from the cut and thrust of running their own business?
“For me it was the lack of any alternative,” says John, a former postman. “I don’t speak Spanish, and most jobs need you to speak the language,” he adds.
Language is certainly a major barrier for expats hoping to find a job on the island. Naturally most positions require Spanish, unless they are in the front line of the tourism industry.
Kevin, who worked for the National Health Service in the UK goes further, saying “The jobs that are advertised tend to be fairly low level. Normally you are faced with a choice between commission only sales jobs, mainly in the timeshare industry, or jobs hustling tourists into bars. For us, running our own business was the only real option.”
“Yes,” agrees Kevin’s partner, Mary. “But we were also quite spoiled for choice when we bought our restaurant. With the recession and everything, there are some really good businesses for sale in Tenerife at the moment. Our restaurant was quite dated but you could see that with just a bit of modernisation and a menu that didn’t sell chips with everything, the business could be doing so much better.”
“You just have to be adaptable,” says Teresa who was a regular visitor to the island from Manchester, before she decided to follow her dream and buy a gift shop in Tenerife. “If you move abroad, it’s a life changing experience and you are out of your comfort zone. Running your own business is only a small step further.”
Frederick Saltmarsh, one of the Directors of FRINA Tenerife a prominent business sales agent on the island, advises aspiring business owners every day. “Establishing an income that will support your new life in Tenerife is probably the most important challenge you will face. Employment prospects are very limited, but that is more than compensated by the number and quality of business opportunities.”
And Frederick certainly has a point. There is a wealth of businesses for sale advertised on the FRINA Tenerife website, and prices seem remarkably low even to a casual observer.
“The local economy is rapidly picking up after a grim recession and the future of business in Tenerife is looking very bright,” observes Frederick, “but businesses for sale in Tenerife are still at rock bottom prices… at least for the moment. Right now, we are witnessing an extraordinary time in the market for bargain hunters but as businesses start to prosper once again, prices are sure to rise.”
You know, as the webmaster of eTenerife, I do occasionally have a look around the internet for products that might be of some value to Tenerife residents or holiday makers. If I can find something worthwhile that I might also make a commission on so much the better. Actually I don’t really do enough of that and that is why the eTenerife you see today really is not stuffed with banners and ads. (And a family of mice have set up home in my piggy bank).
Maybe I’ll put up one of those Buy Me Coffee buttons eventually but for the moment the only affiliate links I have on the site are those to Spanish Learning programmes on the navigation bar (which I have used myself so I know are good) and the Hotelscombined Hotel box which is great for finding the best rates across all the hotel platforms. When I have family coming I use Hotelscombined myself to find them the best deals.
Sometimes I will run adsense ads but lately they have been pretty rubbish. Since I changed to WordPress Google Adsense seems to think visitors are interested in buying farm tractors in Lithuania or real estate in Bristol. The relevance has gone down the tubes for some reason and I don’t have the time or interest to try and fix that right now.
Anyway, there I was looking through a collection of products and I came across a set of six or seven Satellite to PC type products. As you would expect the advertising copy used by the vendors of these products is always over-the-top positive. These things sell like hot-cakes and expat residents in Tenerife are prime targets.
Of course we are. We miss our home tv, the terrestrial channels are crap and cable costs a fortune. These satellite to PC programmes look like the ideal solution. Even those who are wise enough to do an internet search to verify that the products are genuine are likely to come up with glowing – and seemingly genuine – reviews. Don’t be fooled. Every ‘genuine’ review is adorned with an affiliate link.
These Satellite to PC offers are not cheap. Some sell for over $200 – pure scam artist gold. Don’t be fooled. There are ways to find and access tv programmes via your tv (using a free UK proxy to access Channel 4′ channel on Youtube is one) but this is not one of them.
You might wonder how I can be so sure that these products are rubbish and that is because I bought one of them a few years ago. Rather than write my own review though, I’d rather leave you with this Youtube video which tells it like it is very clearly. If you have also been bitten by this or any other internet product scam, feel free to post about it in the comments. The more info that is out there about the crap that chokes the internet the better! That way people stand a better chance of finding out the truth before they waste their money.