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It is rapidly approaching the seventh anniversary of leaving Tenerife, the sub-tropical island which had been our home for 14 years. In the seven years since we left, we have only briefly returned to the island three or four times to make  amendments to our walking and driving routes.

Yet, only this week The Daily Express is quoting me in an article about the ‘dangerous’ road to Masca which is being cited as part of the current, inexplicable anti-tourism rant being touted in relation to the Canary Islands.

The road to Masca

Interestingly, the writer who quotes me has chosen to ignore the sentiment expressed in my articles that the Masca road is probably one of the safest on Tenerife due to the extreme care with which everyone drives it for fear of driving off the cliff. They have also assumed that I was a visiting journo, something they could easily have corrected had they attempted even the most cursory research.

Assumptions apart, by keeping up to date with every travel piece that is published about the Canary Islands, it is clear to Jack and me that even after a seven-year absence, no-one writing in the English language comes even close to our knowledge of Tenerife and the Canary Islands.

Moving on… or not

After relocating to Portugal and getting to know it in the same way we had got to know Tenerife – by travelling its length and breadth, exploring every city, town and village on foot, doing in-depth research in the country’s native language as we went, I thought I had left Tenerife behind.

But then the pandemic struck.

Confined to our desks, both Jack and I decided to write memoirs about our travel lives, Jack wrote about Portugal in Camel Spit and Cork Trees, and I wrote about Tenerife in The Banana Road.

For me, The Banana Road was a way of drawing a line under Tenerife; recording the path we had taken from first arriving on the island and attempting to establish ourselves in the travel writing market, to the fraud that we unwittingly fell victim to and that almost lost us everything. For me, it was both a love letter to Tenerife and a cathartic exercise. I had moved on.

Yet I continued to receive requests from Travel Editors to write articles about Tenerife and, as a freelancer, commissions are not something you can be cavalier about, so I gladly accepted the work. And even this week, I am still being quoted in a UK national.


My first reaction to Jack showing me the Daily Express piece this morning (we’ve been away so have only just caught up with Google alerts) was: will I never be rid of Tenerife? But then I thought: is that really such a bad thing?
I would still rather be writing knowledgeably about the islands we grew to love, than reading any of the multiple erroneous articles we see published in print and online every week.

I’m certain one day soon, someone will emerge to steal our Insider crown and when they do, I’ll enjoy reading them. But until then, the Tenerife legacy remains.


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