Archive for July 2012

Siesta Barcelona

Our last week in Tenerife was both physically and mentally exhausting. At the time we managed to slip by on borrowed sleep - but of course we had to make up for this sleep debt sometime. Unfortunately it hit us our first two days in Barcelona and we spent more time lazily watching Discovery Channel movies and having our own "Shark Week," then going out and exploring this beautiful city.

Today was the first day we had managed to collect ourselves enough to meander around and see what Barcelona has to offer. Making use of the fairly priced subways or "Metro" (€9.95 T-10 card, 10 trip pass) we traveled from the nearest station Fontana to Liceu, dropping us right into the heart of La Rambla. We followed the street South to the Mediterranean Sea, Megan stopped at every artist both and souvenir stand, but eventually we made it to the marina. "No gracias" was our words of choice on the marina as every illegal street merchant tried to sell us on "designer" sunglasses, purses and jewelry. As we drifted past the boats, over the bridge and through the Aquarium we came to an awesome street festival that showcased Latin American cuisine, dancing and music.

We wandered back through the "Barrio Gotic," the historic part of Barcelona occupied by the Romans, but unfortunately to us it didn't look very "Gothic." After browsing more shops we settled on Greek food for lunch and met a nice guy from Chicago, Dave, who has been living in Barcelona for six years. He recommended a few really great restaurants and bars - but insisted on us visiting "Cat Bar," a vegan restaurant and microbrewery. After a quick bite we followed La Rambla up through Plaça de Catalunya and on to Casa Batlló, one of the many works of Gaudí. Catching the Metro from Passeig de Gracia Station, we headed back home for more shark movies, a long nap, and dinner.


Posted in , , | Leave a comment

Pictures Worth 1,000 Words

A photo sizzle reel of what's to come from our week with Barrett...

Posted in , , , | 1 Comment

"Euro-nly" as Good as a Good Nights Sleep

Traveling days abroad are always "super fun" - you have packing, public transportation, long periods of waiting, followed by even longer lines to stand in, overpriced food, sore shoulders, luck-of-the-draw airline seating, language barriers... you get the idea! Earlier "today" (the 26th) we left Tenerife via the North airport at 21:00h and landed just after 1:15am, now the 27th in Barcelona. We had planned to sleep at the airport and take a bus to our apartment at 13:00 when we were due to "check-in" with our host. It wasn't until we landed that we realized; one, we were starving and two, if we tried to sleep in the terminal we would be away from our checked baggage long enough for it to possibly "walk away." After a long debate about finances we agreed that booking a hotel for the night was a good idea, regardless of the cost - losing a bag and it's contents is more pricey in the long run.

Scouring the terminals we found the only open restaurant at 1:30 in the morning - good ol' McDonald's! We ordered off the €1 menu, broke out the laptop and found out that the Barcelona Airport didn't have free Wi-Fi. Luckily we had purchased an Orange (European cell phone provider) USB stick for 30-days of Internet while in Tenerife, which works in mainland Spain, and we were able to score a €59/night room at a hotel near our apartment for the week. After collecting our checked luggage, which we were SO glad to see still on the baggage claim carousels, we hustled out to the taxi line and set off for the hotel.

With each kilometer we traveled Megan became more and more nervous about having enough Euros left for cab fare. After all our snack sessions we had managed to spend every last bit of coin change and between the two of us only had €36 in cash. Luckily as we pulled up to the hotel the meter read €25.90 - but after the driver added the €10 luggage handling fee we were completely drained of all our money! However we walked away with HUGE grins on our face - we made it to Barcelona safely, penniless, but nonetheless ecstatic that everything had worked out in our favor! However, the poor cabby did not receive a tip.

The best part is that the room is awesome, we have FREE Wi-Fi (how we're writing this at 3:45am), and checkout is 12:00 giving us time to get some much-needed ZzZ's in before we head to our Airbnb apartment in the morning.

From Barcelona

Posted in , , , , | 1 Comment

Our Canarian Crash Pad

Sorry for the lull - we're not surprised that we haven't updated in a week. No, we did not drop off the face of the Earth... we were busy exploring with Barrett! In just seven days the three of us conquered just about EVERYTHING this amazing island has to offer. The events and adventures of the last week will be thoroughly covered in the next few posts, but right now we're in our favorite Puerto Cruz cafe, El Secreto sneaking in one last post before we depart for Barcelona in a few hours. For now, we want to share with you our humble Canarian home!

Of course we found this lovely place on - our absolute favorite website for providing inexpensive accommodations that assist in the "authentic" less touristy experience. Our wonderful but absent host (he lives in Seville, Spain and rents his Tenerife home) Pepe provided us with everything we needed for our four-week stay.

The approximately 500 ft2 apartment was on the seventh floor of a neat building just outside the city center of Puerto de la Cruz. We were within short walking distance (15 minutes or less) of great shopping, the main beach Playa Jardin, the islands biggest attraction Loro, the town square of Puerto Cruz, and of course the bus station.

The cozy little apartment had three beds, a tiny little kitchen, bathroom with stand-up shower, washing machine and enclosed patio. The apartment was just enough to comfortably accommodate the two of us for three weeks, and a third person for a few days! It's safe to say that at just under $900 for the month we were more than satisfied with our living situation.


Posted in , , , | Leave a comment

The Hangover Part I

The title of this post is created under the assumption that we will probably endure another hangover at some point in the near future.

The two beds in our apartment are less than desirable, one is an extra firm leather futon and the other is a twin mattress with broken support coils... Needless to say, we have both had a lot of trouble sleeping! Due to this fact, we have developed a bad habit of going to bed around 3am, and waking up shortly before noon. After many failed attempts of getting on a better sleep cycle, we came up with an idea - lets have a few extra drinks with dinner and pass out early, so that hopefully we’ll wake up early!

Of course, as many of our last minute ideas go - we decided to enact this brilliant plan the evening before a strenuous 10-mile hike around the Garachico Volcano. We paced the aisles of the Supermercado looking for cheap alcohol (regretful decision), and decided on a €0,99 bottle of red wine and a €3,99 700mL bottle of vodka, that we would be mixing with Orange Fanta. At home we alternated glasses of wine with glasses of Vodka&Fanta until the wine was gone, and the vodka was nearing its end. We put our tipsy selves to bed shortly before midnight, put on a movie; jokingly we chose to watch The Hangover II - ohh the irony.

At 7am the alarm went off, we hopped out of bed feeling great, got dressed and had breakfast. It wasn’t long before our headaches simultaneously set in; Megan dug around for the ibuprofen and discovered it was empty. On the way to the bus stop we passed the Farmacia, it was closed as usual - we would have to tough out this hangover with no painkillers! Sitting at the bus stop inhaling fumes from the busses as they warmed up only made matters worse, now we both had headaches and nausea. As we've mentioned before, riding the Titsa busses around the island is already rough, add a hangover to the equation and you have a recipe for... you get the idea.

We dashed off the buses as soon as we hit Icod de los Vinos (halfway point to our destination), and straight into the bathrooms. Emerging, feeling a little better, we nibbled stale croissants at the bus station café and waited 45 long minutes for the connecting bus that would eventually take us to the remote mountain village of San Jose de los LLanos. We sat on the dirty bus bench contemplating giving up, going home, and pouring ourselves back into bed; but as punishment for drinking our way into hangovers, Megan insisted we tough it out and press on. We were the only ones riding to Los LLanos, and the bus driver seemed to take humor in our condition as we sat with our faces buried in our hands.

The drop off point was on a windy hill that overlooked a dense field of clouds, unfortunately we have no pictures of this amazing view because neither one of us was feeling well enough to hold the camera. In an attempt to gain composure, we staggered into the local café - Bar Los Llaneros to have a few cafe con leches, we made friends with Rafael the bartender (so if you're ever in the area, be sure to stop in and say "hola"). Feeling a little better we headed out of town and up Calle La Hoya to the trail that would lead us to the Trevejo Volcano.

It was painful walking uphill in the direct sunlight even after coffee and croissants, but somehow we managed to make it onto the dirt path leading into the forest. Coming to a sign that showed Punto de Teno was only a short 23,8km walk made us laugh and reflect on our last epic hike. We trekked through the pine forest, trailing on an off a poorly marked spider web of paths, as we walked in the general direction of the volcano. It took roughly and hour of huffing and puffing to reach our destination, but the view was otherworldly. The dense pine needles under our feet became jet-black volcanic gravel, and the forest disappeared. Only a few young trees managed to penetrate the volcanic topsoil. We marveled at the sight of the gravel as it faded into a bright green forest, and then abruptly became a sea of puffy white clouds. Admiring the view from the top of a volcano instantly made us feel better, and set new tone for the day!

Our journey around the volcano continued down a few wide and winding paths that led to an amazing view of Teide, which from 4,600ft didn’t look nearly as big. As we carried along the paths we both began to sweat, the heat from the black desert scenery permeated through our shoes and clothes leaving us drenched. The pine forest on the other side of the crater couldn’t come soon enough and we happily left the sizzling extraterrestrial landscape behind. Approaching the next directional sign we were confused to discover our trail had somehow ended, our original plan was to hike a trail that looped around the volcano and head back to Los Llanos. Via this sign, we were now granted with the opportunity to follow the lava flow from the volcano and hike 10,7km down the mountain to Garachico, the town that had been destroyed in 1706 when the Trevejo volcano last erupted. So we headed off, excited that we could take our time to meander around, we had previously been on a time crunch to hurry back to Los Llanos, as only a few busses visit the sleepy town every day.

Half an hour of walking led us to a neat camping and picnic area called Arenas Negras where we stopped and had snacks, refueling before the long road ahead. The trail led us through a few kilometers of pine forest, to a dryer and warmer climate densely covered by shrubs and thorny bushes that grabbed at our pant legs. Eventually there was a break in the trail as we came upon the church San Francisco de Asis, here we crossed a main road and descended through a neighborhood. It wasn’t long before the landscape changed on us once again and we were noticeably following the lava flow down the mountain. The trail took us over huge veins of volcanic rock and down into the cloud layer, where the temperature dropped so abruptly we were forced to put on our jackets. It was eerie looking ahead to a trail that disappeared into the clouds.

It would be a lie to say that hiking down a steep mountain in Nike running shoes was easy; we were overjoyed to walk through a paved tunnel that escorted us under a road and onto the town of San Juan del Reparo. At the base of the town we could see the ocean and our final destination, Garachico. We snaked through the path from Reparo to the ocean, flinching with every step – at this point our feet were done hiking, but unfortunately we couldn’t stop just yet. The final descent was done rapidly, with little talking, full focus on getting to the end. After a five and a half hour trek, we finally saw the last yellow and white trail marker as we entered Garachico’s town square! Dragging ourselves to the bus station we discovered the last bus for Pto. Cruz had just left, meaning we had to wait another sixty-minutes before we could begin our hour-long bus ride back home. We sat at the bus stop snacking on chips and cookies reflecting on our long day, and made a promise to each other: never again will we begin a hike with a hangover!


Location: Av Venezuela, 42, 38435 El Tanque, Spain
Posted in , , , , | 1 Comment


Header image:Arizona Roadtrip Sunset, By: Kyle Ledeboer
Images and text are the property of Traveling in the Moment and may not be duplicated or used without their expressed written consent.