Route 66, a place to go “where everybody knows your name” – well, judging by the amount of time we spent there, they did by the time our holiday ended. This Route 66 didn’t go from Chicago to LA, it’s a long American-themed beachfront bar in Puerto del Carmen between the Fund Grube luxury goods shop and a store called “Mint” which I assumed to be a mini-department store with its origins set firmly in Newcastle. Route 66 (or “Ruta 66” to give it it’s proper name) is situated uptown. There is one road that leads from our villa to the seafront. When you get there you can either go left, “uptown” where all the big bars and restaurants are, or go right, downtown, where all the smaller bars, cafes and trinket shops are. We decided at the crossroads each day if we were in an uptown mood or a downtown mood, do we live like a high-roller or slum it?
We’ll return to Route 66 later, but our journey started in the freezing cold snowy and blustery Leeds Bradford airport. For the first time we have taken a week’s holiday without any children and so was able to book everything while all the kids were still at school. Apart from a couple of babies, the plane was understandably full of OAP’s, yes I know we’re not far off that ourselves but we’re not there yet. From row 19 we looked forward and literally the whole right side of the plane contained grey, silver or bald heads…. and the men weren’t much different. On the plus side, our stewardesses comprised of Ellie Goulding, Clare Goose and an older Scottish lady who might not have been impressed at overhearing my comment that the only good thing to come out of Scotland is shortbread, for my friends north of the border, it was only a joke! As the seatbelt signs came on we noticed that a guy hadn’t closed one of the overhead lockers properly, it was clearly an accident waiting to happen. As the plane descended we eagerly anticipated mayhem but it didn’t happen where we thought, it happened near the front of the plane where the same safety issue had been repeated. At Arricife airport whilst waiting for our baggage to be put on the 2.5 kilometre baggage belt we noticed a little kid on a wheeled Trunki case, we remembered it was something presented on Dragons Den a few years ago but on the programme they didn’t show the kid being pulled so fast by his Dad that he crashed and fell off.
On the first night we went for a lovely Chinese meal to a place we had been to before. As we approached it Angela said she hadn’t realised it was called “Golden Chops”. We got a little closer and the full name “Golden Chopstick” came into view.
In the harbour area we saw a lady walking her dog which looked an exact mini replica of our own collie, Becky. Angela said that the dog had probably been put in a washing machine.
Having called home every day and checked Facebook, we realised that one of our kids has headaches and coughing, one has man-flu and the other is on her deathbed with proper flu in Germany. It occurred to me whilst lying beside our own heated pool on a sun lounger with double cushions, an ice-cold fizzy lemon drink in my left hand and unlimited salt and vinegar crisps near my right hand that it didn’t seem right that we were having such fun while our fledglings were suffering with illness in the bitter cold British and German climates. Hey-ho, the feeling didn’t last more than a few seconds.
Route 66 is great for people watching, my goodness you do see some sights. While on the phone to Bethany I described a fat over-ripe pensioner mincing along wearing a lime green top and trying to tuck it into black spandex leggings. I had packed the most expensive shirt I own for an “uptown” night out later in the week, but saw a guy wearing exactly the same style of shirt, he was the scruffiest get you’ve ever seen, built like a spacehopper, it put me right off I can tell you. There’s a statue across the road from the bar, it’s a bit abstract and still looks to us like a close-up of an arsehole.
We went into one of the downtown trinket shops and bought a couple of small gifts, one of which was a mini porcelain clown that I thought Bethany would freak out about if we hung it on her bedroom door when she wasn’t looking. The small gifts were placed in a little bag tied with a knot at the top. I’m not kidding when I say we must have looked like we were carrying home a pile of dogshit
On Wednesday we decided to stay out a little longer. After returning from the harbour area we thought a last drink in Route 66 would be just what the doctor ordered. When we got there we found the place packed out and realised then that life in Puerto del Carmen starts after we go to bed. I felt I’d had enough beer so I ordered a Jack Daniels with ice, it was served in a wide glass with three pieces of ice and the whisky just poured and poured and poured… no wonder it was popular! Angela was stalked by a lonely looking guy at the bar who couldn’t take his eyes off her, I thought about having a word but soon realised he was harmless. We watched a number of exhibitionists in glowing white shirts and trousers having a dance on a very small dance-floor to the eighties tracks played by a DJ who was more interested in the live football match playing on what he thought was a secret mini TV beneath his decks. Angela has a thing about women wearing white pants but maybe this isn’t the right vehicle to explain why, suffice to say when you start looking for people wearing white pants you quickly realise they are taking over the world. Bear with, here it comes…. as we decided to leave, never in all my years had I regretted not having a video camera at the ready as Angela did a “Miranda-style” horse dance across the deserted dance-floor in the centre of the packed bar. Such fun. On the way back to our villa there’s a very steep climb, half way up Mt Everest Angela planted and announced, “Don’t wanna walk no more”.
Thursday morning was quiet, both of us with fuzzy heads. The new pope had been announced the previous evening and Angela saw it in the Daily Mail website. She said that he’s not from Italy as had been predicted, he was from “Berneez Airs”. I’d never heard of it so asked what country that’s in, she looked at me for being ignorant and said it’s the capital of Argentina !!
We saw a coach emblazoned with the name “Amanda Tours”. Angela asked why it’s called that and I said “because it needs Amanda drive them” – boom boom.
Thursday night was another alcohol-fuelled night of merriment with a Thai meal thrown in for good measure. Back at Route 66 I watched Angela walk to the toilet, she passed a cool looking dude sat on a pool table and he pretended to ignore her as she walked past him. Two paces after that his head swung around on his extend-o-neck to check out a rear view and he nearly fell off the table, so blatant but so funny at the same time. We met a fluffy ginger cat on the staggering zigzag route home from the bars. Angela had a picture taken with it, both doing a snoopy smile. The photo soon became her new Facebook profile picture. We called the cat “Sheeran” (after rejecting “Hucknall” and “Chesney”) and he became a firm friend. The last time I saw him he was sparko on the pathway from our villa, I assumed he was fast asleep but couldn’t be 100% sure.
Friday was a hot day, Saturday even hotter. I had been going into our private swimming pool once each day but on Saturday it was worth going in twice to cool down, following Angela in each time. I called it a “double-dip procession” – groan!
One night we popped into Lineker’s, a sports bar, for a final drink before heading home and were entertained by a group of about 8 pensioners telling stories to a bubbly East London girl working there. One guy said he’d lived on the island since the mid-eighties and had owned a bar. One customer had too much to drink and was becoming troublesome, things got a little out of hand and our pensioner friend decided to head-butt the guy but missed and in the process dislocated his own shoulder. Another told the girl how he had eye surgery where they took the eyeball out, cleaned it up I imagine like a snooker referee would to the cue ball, give it a new lens and the next day he had the second part of the operation to return it back into his head. She then started telling them all about Facebook and Facetime, most of which wasn’t true. Honestly, the amount of bollocks spoken in that bar in such a short space of time had to be worthy of an entry into the Guinness book of records.
The holiday was just about over after we disembarked the plane and were sitting in the transfer bus at sub-zero temperatures, still time though for one more bit of drama as we watched one of the stragglers near the bottom of the steps from the plane lose his footing and fall headfirst on to the tarmac. A few people saw it and appeared really concerned until someone revealed that the guy had drunk the equivalent of 4 bottles of red wine on the flight and deserved all he got. So despite all the blood seeping from a head-wound there was very little sympathy except the airline staff who were no doubt concerned about a compensation claim.
This is our kitchen calendar entry for the Lanzarote trip in March, hope you like Angela’s comments from 10th March to 17th…
As a final footnote, we give Bethany the bag containing the porcelain clown when we got home, she screamed like a little girl and we laughed our heads off – great parents eh? It’s now sat on a picture frame near the kitchen sink but that’s OK ‘cos Bethany never goes anywhere near there!
In summary, we just about survived 7 consecutive Saturday nights and we got our kicks…… at Route 66.