‘Jesus, Gav. Where are we staying? Next to the M1?‘ I jibed as we pulled up at the resort.
‘Ahh… is someone overtired?‘ He asked, mocking my clear anxiety at the prospect of spending four days running on Tenerife’s equivalent of both the M1 hard shoulder and Snake Pass.
As it happens, I was also overtired.
After almost missing the plane from the least glamorous airport in the U.K., and almost passing out with hunger on the least glamorous flight to take off from the least glamorous airport in the UK, our day of travel hadn’t been without stress.
I am the worst combination of traveller: I don’t do tired, hungry and cooped up on a plane very well. I’m also one with high expectations, having been spoilt in a previous life as a Corporate Wanker and, thus having experienced some degree of middle class travelling luxury. Despite being a REFORMED corporate wanker, I’m still not easily pleased.
Like a dog laughing at a fearful kitten, the lady behind reception sensed my travel anxiety. No, I don’t want to chat about the fog in the UK, or how good/bad/indifferent our journey over here was. I just want to see our room and know that we won’t be sleeping in bunk beds over the top of an 18-20s disco for the next 4 nights. Thank you. My smart responses to her pigeon English chit chat were bum-clenchingly short.
‘Right, let’s dump our bags and head out for a run’ Gav said, sensing my need to move. ‘We’ll head out from the hotel and have a little explore. Let’s head for the sea.‘
‘Ok‘ I grumped back, wishing I could share in his optimism as we headed off trotting down the wrong side of Tenerife’s M1. ‘There’s nothing like a game of Russian roulette to start the holiday, is there Gav?’ I sniped. He couldn’t hear me, as a heavy-hauler truck flew past us, just missing his left ear.
At least it was downhill.
We reached the major junction connecting various highways, and pulled over like two people who had just escaped from a local high security institution and would have buried their way through solid earth to find freedom. We were, in fact, two naïve / simple runners from Yorkshire wanting to have an explore / adventure. Well, that’s one box ticked.
‘I’m not running across a bloody motorway to get to the sea, Gav.’ I said, now thoroughly pissed off. A car randomly pulled over, and Gav went over to ask them for something. It could have been a) advice on the safest route down to the sea; b) a lift to somewhere safe, down by the sea; c) a lift back to the hotel 1.3 miles up the (steep) hill; or d) to see if they were OK. Knowing Gav, it will have been option D.
They sped off before he reached the window – I’d have done the same.
‘Right, well I’m turning round and running back up to the hotel. This is bollocks.’ I said, in my (still) overtired, ex-Corporate Wanker, grump.
He conceded, and we turned to run back up the 1.3 miles we’d just run down.
A pro-looking cyclist came whizzing past and gave me a wry smile as she descended the hill at break-neck speed. ‘Oh, fuck off’ I thought, knowing full well we must have looked a right pair of chumpers (incidentally, I don’t even know what a ‘chumper’ is, but it sounds appropriate for this occasion.)
We got back to the hotel after 1.3 miles of HARD EFFORT grappling our way back up the Canary Island’s M1 travellator.
‘Jesus, that was tough going,’ I gasped at the entrance to the resort, once we were safely out of Road Kill zone.
We trudged back to the room, and hoped for better things on Day #2.
At least we’d live to see another day… (It was a good hill session, though.)