If you want to get heat in Feb and you live in the UK you have to fly South for quite some time, it turns out.

On the morning Ang and I flew I got some pre-travel nerves, which sort of surprised me as I used to do so much travel pre-covid, including travelling regularly for work. This wasn’t helped by getting no sleep the night before, or by online check in failing, which meant we couldn’t fill in our Spanish Travel Health Forms (which required a seat number). But it was all straightforward to sort out once we were at the airport and once on the plane I fell immediately asleep.

Coming in to land we got our first peek at Spain’s highest mountain and the world’s third highest volcano – Teide. And once into our taxi we got our first peek at Canarian hospitality. In broken Spanish I explained that we needed gas for my camping stove and wanted to stop at a hardware store (ferreteria) on our way up into the hills. Well, this driver made the purchase of camping gas his personal mission – calling a friend for advice, asking petrol station attendants and taking us to several stops including a hardware store – but all to no avail – nothing fit my very standard MSR Pocket Rocket 2 stove. With the meter still running, we gave up and he drove us our accommodation in beautiful Vilaflor. A friendly elderly man showed us to a spacious room and in a last ditch attempt I asked about camping gas…and guess what he had in a private basement? Two half full canisters, likely left by previous guests, which fit my stove perfectly and which he gave to us for free. Amazing!

A beautiful sight for people relying on camping food!

After a sunset walk around beautiful Vilaflor, chased by cheap mini-beers and camping food under the stars on the terrace of our B&B, we headed to bed to get some sleep before an early start. We were already at 1400 metres, and the chill was noticeable. So much so that we borrowed a heater for the room before we curled up in our beds.