Tenerife

We first came here in 1977, when Jane was pregnant with Louise. We stayed in the Gran Tinerfe hotel in Playa des Americas. Pete Murray, a well known DJ and TV personality at the time and his barrister wife were fellow guests. We had a very relaxed holiday until the day when two jumbo jets collided at the airport. It was the worst airplane disaster of all time and more than 580 people died.

The first we knew of it was when we went down to dinner to find that half the waiters were missing. They had driven up to the airport in the north of the island, to help out.

The airport had to be closed and a week later, when we were due to return home, we had to travel by sea to Gran Canaria as all flights were diverted there. It was a very rough ferry crossing.

When our children were at school and university, Jane and I came to Tenerife a number of times to play golf. There are numerous good golf courses on the island and we usually stayed in Los Christianos or Adeje.

For our visit to Tenerife this week, Cunard had not offered any tours in adapted vehicles. Our plan was to find a taxi that would take us to the three Botanical gardens, all in the Puerto da la Cruz area, but after making enquiries at the Tourist office we were told that all the gardens would be very difficult to negotiate with a wheelchair. Their suggestion was to stay in Santa Cruz and visit the beautiful parks there.

We had a marvellous day apart from the fact that Santa Cruz, as with most cities on volcanic islands, is built on the side of a mountain. All the parks seemed to be at the top of the hill, but we made it and the main park was an impressive place. Jane and Kim are both experts in all gardening matters, so as usual, I just did as I was told and pushed when ordered to do so.

We had lunch in a perfect eaterie in the park and then made our way down the hill. I had to be sharp to avoid the inevitable shoe shops and boutiques. Luckily many of them have large steps and no ramps at their entrances which made my task somewhat easier. Back at sea level we had a small beer before making our way back to the ship.

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