Postcard 2 from the Canaries – Tenerife

Postcard 2 from the Canaries – Tenerife – Heartwarming

Here’s a tale that could have had another ending.

An old geezer wandering about in the sunshine at Costa Adeje and Playa de las Americas warming up for a walk on the mountain tomorrow. He stopped in at a small Spanish cafe for breakfast.

He’d been there the day before and they’d looked after a lactose intolerance issue that he had with immense care offering alternatives and even getting some lactose-free milk from the supermarket next door as they’d had others in on previous occasions with the same issue. An extremely convivial hour was spent talking to some other locals in very poor but amusing (to them) Spanglish and enjoying the Spanish breakfast offered. He carried a wallet with a chain attached to his belt and as he stood up it caught in one of the wrought iron legs and snapped the clasp but it was not an issue since he was wearing shorts with a zip on the back pocket.

He put the wallet in the back pocket and zipped it up then went across to the Sabadell Bank knowing the cost of taking out a hundred Euros was €1.80, a snip when compared to the robbing bastards at Santander who charge €7 even though he’s an account holder with them, even Dick Turpin wore a mask. He drew out €100 which is not too much to lose and adequate for his limited couple of days spend. He then spent another hour wandering about in the sunshine and on the beach poking about in rock pools, winding up the odd crab and generally relaxing. Then back to the ‘front’ where a lactose-free ice cream had his name on it. He has no idea what happened next but having paid for it in cash he’d replaced the wallet (he thought) in his back pocket.

After a brief sojourn on the beach that included disturbing the seagulls with his snoring he returned to the promenade to resume his walk to La Caletta when he ‘didn’t feel right’. His shorts were roomy to say the least and after a pat of each of the pockets he became anxious. More pats followed then a desperate search of each pocket in turn with no result – the wallet was gone.

There followed a minor panic period then a retrace of footsteps including the area on the beach all with no result. By now the anxiety levels were full scale ten with an added ‘seriously embarrassed’ factor thrown in for good measure. Time to step back and take stock. Nobody had been attacked, there was no physical harm done and nobody had died. However, his wallet was still missing and he began to think it may have been a pick pocket. This thought shamed him as he had no proof and he quickly put it aside.

He stopped, found a bench to sit down and made an effort to concentrate on his breathing, slowing it down and with the help of a slow count to ten he knocked another notch of the anxiety – now down to seven.

A ‘to do’ list was needed and number one on the list was to freeze the cards and this needed to happen before creating the rest of the list. So five minutes later all cards frozen and no new transactions- anxiety down to five.

Initially, he’d forgotten about the two cards he’d separated and held with his passport and was already planning a phone call to two close friends who were here in Costa Adeje. He knew a couple of hundred euros would be forthcoming just for the asking then he remembered the cards so another obstacle was removed – anxiety three.

The residual anxiety was more to do with feeling stupid, looking stupid and generally being a careless arse.

A police car was passing so he had a word with the Police Local who couldn’t have been nicer. He was told about the website and how to report it all delivered with a concerned but pleasant smile – an other notch down.

It was tea time and he wasn’t particularly hungry but decided on a snack with a beer. He had about ten euros in his packet in change but that was it, so a trip to the hotel would be necessary to get the spare cards when he thought the Sabadell bank took ‘non-contact’ cards and he had his watch. So the watch was quickly employed to take out a hundred Euros from the machine and a beer and a snack consumed that removed all anxiety but still left him feeling a bit of an arse.

Enthusiasm for the band that would appear at eight o’clock had waned so he drifted back to the hotel and caught up with a bit of social media.

Facebook messenger had a mark against it meaning there was an unread message and it was from someone unknown. It would really wreck his day if this turned out to be a message that carried a virus or allowed someone to take over his account but he opened it anyway and this is when fortunes turned.

It was from a lady called Claire and it had an attachment. Attachments could be an issue but only if clicked upon and this one didn’t need that as his mug-shot was staring at him with a short note underneath.

“Is this you?”

It was a photograph of his driving licence and after an exchange of messages where the mystery Claire satisfied herself that the unknown recipient of her message was indeed the owner of the licence. She informed him that the wallet and contents were with her boyfriend and after a brief exchange agreed to sort out collection in the morning.

You’re probably ahead of me now and already know that the idiot above is me and I’ve written it in third person to free my naturally defensive mind to be as open as possible.

Here’re the lessons and an observation on the wonderful, honest chain of events.


  1. Make sure your wallet is secure in your pants/bag etc and if you have zip on your pocket then use it.
  2. Keep your wallet in your front pocket where possible
  3. Keep at least a couple of cards, one debit and one credit, in a separate wallet or purse, (mine are with my passport) or in the hotel safe. This is critical if you’re a solo traveller like me.
  4. Don’t forget that your contactless facilities stretch to your phone and possibly your watch but, reassuringly, when you want money out, you also need your pin.

Gratitude for:

The person that found my wallet and handed it in to the adjacent cafe

Salik at the Cafe Picasso who took care of it and shared the fact that it was found with his girlfriend who did the detective work on Facebook to successfully track me down

And both Claire and Salik who went out of their way so that I could collect it.

A special thank you to Claire who was so prompt with her detective work and communication that I still got a good night’s sleep free of worry. (Although I still felt a pratt)

Restaurant Paseo Picasso is on the front path between Playa de las Americas and Costa Adeje. If you use Google Maps you’ll find it at:

If you’re in this area of Tenerife I would urge you to go and see Salik and enjoy a drink or a meal at Restaurant Paseo Picasso there are seats under palm trees that look out over the beach and sea but most of all you’ll be saying, “Thanks” on my behalf to both Salik and his lovely girlfriend Claire Booth who works for Hovima Santa Maria Hotel – they clearly have a good eye for an excellent member of staff.

Thank you all. Your actions not only saved the day, they made it.

Love George x

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