The Rain in Spain…

…Falls mainly in Tenerife. Or so it seemed, when we woke up to low cloud and intermittent showers. This is our fourth visit to Tenerife on a cruise ship and it’s the coldest and wettest it’s been.

We got up about 8.30am and went to the Palm’s Café for a light breakfast, before getting ourselves sorted out and going ashore for a good look round. We both felt that we could do with some exercise after spending yesterday largely sitting around.

We took a leisurely stroll into town, having a good look around the shops and just soaking up the very Spanish atmosphere. We wandered for quite a while and then came to a covered food market which sold every imaginable fruits and vegetables, as well as fresh meat and a massive range of fresh fish and shellfish. Why are the food markets abroad always so much more colourful than ours back in Britain? The Brits are so reserved in their tastes and I really can’t understand it; seeing the rows of gleaming fresh fish and lobsters made my mouth water and conjured up images of yummy Spanish paella. Lush! 🙂

We were about to come out of the market when the skies opened and a heavy rain shower forced shoppers to take refuge. But it was very brief and once we went outside we donned our cagoules that Trevor had prudently packed in his rucksack, thereby preventing us from getting soaked.

Still looking around the shops, I spotted an Oriental-type store selling all sorts of novelties and nameless tat, but what had caught my eye was the range of kumihimo cords in the shop window. The word ‘kumihimo’ translates as ‘the coming together of threads’ and is a popular Japanese craft in which cords or threads, from four to 16, are braided into intricate designs that can then be made into bracelets or necklaces, or whatever your imagination could think of.

So we went into the shop and I bought a selection of cords for a much cheaper price than I could have bought them for back home. I have brought my kumihimo making stuff with me, so I can’t wait to get started. When we were on the Balmoral two years ago I made quite a few kumihimo bracelets and gave them away to the other ladies sharing our table in the restaurant. I’ll probably do the same this time. 🙂

As we wandered about we saw many clothing and shoe shops still having their January sales. We saw a lovely shoe shop and went in and it was funny, because Trevor and I, both at the same time, said “look at those” and pointed to the same pair of shoes! They had five inch heels and were in muted shades of brown and gold, with sequins and a gold satin heel. What my cousin Alan would call “hooker shoes” ha ha. 😉

They were only 20 Euros so I had to get them. No doubt I’ll wear them at some point on the cruise. 🙂

As we were returning to the Braemar we spotted a familiar face from our Black Watch cruise last year; Irish singer and musician Pat Shannon. In fact it’s the third ship we’ve seen him on, as he was also on the Balmoral in 2012.

We got back onto the ship about 1.00pm and went to the Thistle restaurant for something to eat. As you can easily eat yourself to death on a cruise we opted for a fairly light lunch then we went back to cabin 7050 to sit out on our balcony for a while, before having a nap as we were still quite tired from yesterday.

When we woke up, it was time for us to go for lifeboat drill, our muster station being the Coral Club, where we were allocated lifeboat number nine. Lifeboat drill is a tedious, but understandably necessary, part of cruising.

But on this particular lifeboat drill we were in for a surprise. As we stood in line ready to be escorted to the boat deck, a man came up to me and said “Do you remember the Funchal?” referring to a ship we’d been on in 1999 (nearly 15 years ago!). It was none other than George and Barbara Bethell, who’d shared our table in the restaurant on a cruise to Norway on the Funchal in June 1999. Who would have believed it?! We were delighted to see them again as we’d had such a fantastic time in their company on the Funchal, so we agreed we’d have to get together for a catch-up some time. Hey, it really is a small world. 🙂

Once lifeboat drill was over we went out on our balcony to watch the Braemar slip her moorings and set sail for Porto Novo, Cape Verde. Then it was time to get ready for our dinner. It was, once again, a delicious meal and a delight I am going to have to forfeit from time to time if I don’t want to get fatter than I already am, ha ha. 🙂

When we went along to the Neptune Lounge at 8.00pm for tonight’s show, it was already almost full, even though the show wasn’t due to start for another half hour. This is because, unlike some of the big cruise ships, the Braemar doesn’t have a theatre as such, but more of a cabaret lounge in a shallow horse shoe shape, so some of the seats have restricted view or you can spend the time looking at the back of someone’s head if you don’t arrive early to get a good seat.

The show tonight was called “Come on Over to My Place” and was a tribute to the music of the Drifters, put on by the Braemar Show Company. It was excellent as I love the music of the Drifters.

Afterwards we went along to the Coral Club (no Skylark Club, boo hoo) for the quiz. We called ourselves the Mega Mackems (as last night) and the assistant cruise director, Jamie, came around and looked to see what each quiz team had called themselves. There was another team called “The Mackems” so we knew there were some other Sunderland supporters on board. Turns out it was a couple called Brian and Muriel and they live in Chester-le-Street, just about four miles away from us.

We only got 11/15 this time, so inevitably we didn’t win.

We stayed in the Coral Club for the next cabaret and then the disco. Some other people who were up dancing dragged me up to the old 70’s disco beat, but Trevor couldn’t be persuaded. It was well after midnight before we went to bed though, after propping open our balcony door to enjoy the fresh air and the sounds of the sea.

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