Okay, so it was the little guy’s birthday yesterday. Instead of throwing Sami a birthday party we decided to take him ice-skating at the temporary rink in Santa Cruz. Him and his sister were thrilled at the idea so after opening pressies and having some breakfast birthday cake, we set off on the bus to Santa Cruz.

(Just as an aside, I want to remind visitors to Tenerife that there are discount tickets available for the TITSA bus service called Bono Cards. If you are going to be getting around by guagua, pick one up (€12 or €30) from the main bus stations or tour office near your hotel. With the Bono card discount we were charged €4.70 per person for a single journey (a child is charged as an adult after the age of 4) so there and back we were be looking at almost €40 already.

On arriving at Santa Cruz we walked from the bus station to the Plaza de España where a shabby white tent and a couple of beat- up looking offices told us we had found the ice rink. The price for a shot on the rink is very good indeed; €5 per adult per hour and €4 per child per hour. I would be happy to pay that for half the time (especially as I am the accompanying adult and I suspect the thrill of freezing my tail off going round in circles in the Pista de Hielo will begin to pale after about, oh, ten minutes or so).

So we queued along with the other families. The birthday boy was hopping from foot to foot in excitement saying, “I can’t believe I’m going ice-skating. On ice!” Then the other families began to step out of the queue looking a bit disgruntled. I figured there was no space at that moment but decided I’d go ahead and book us in for later in the day. Unfortunately, when I reached the caja the girl inside shrugged and said the rink was fully booked for the whole day.

What? It was only about 11.20 am by that time. “But we’ve come all the way up from the South on the bus…” I wanted to say, “It’s his birthday!” As if that was going to make any difference. In the end I booked us in for Sunday and we just took the kids for a Happy Meal and a wander round Santa Cruz.

So there you go. If you fancy hopping on the bus to go ice-skating in Santa Cruz – don’t bother! Not unless you’ve got tickets booked for days in advance. For what it is worth ticket sales for the Pista De Hielo de Tenerife are by LetsGoTickets.es. They do have a website and it looks like you should be able to book online.

I’ve no doubt we’ll have a great time on Sunday and the kids start school again the next day so it is a nice way to finish off their holidays. The price per hour is very cheap indeed and ice-skating is such a novelty here that I can see why it would be so popular. It’s just such a shame that there was no public information about booking in advance or the ticketing website. That would have saved us a wasted journey and a my wee boy from a birthday disappointment.