FORTUNATE ISLE –
Many books have been written about Tenerife by historians and travellers but here we have a memoir written of a time when there were few British holiday makers visiting this lovely island.
Boatloads of islanders had emigrated to Venezuela, known as the Eighth Canary Island, to seek their fortunes. The year was 1960. Ronald Mackay, a young man of 18, stepped off a tramp steamer at Las Palmas and, after a series of mishaps, found himself in a small village, Buenavista del Norte, situated on the north-west coast of Tenerife. His idea had been to work his passage to South America but a year later he was still living in the village.
Ronald’s story is about his exploits with the local people. All the men in the village had nick-names and he became – “El Extranjero” – The Foreigner. The strangest name belonged to the Lighthouse-keeper at Teno – with the nick-name, “El Torrero” which would bring a smile to anyone’s face. The double “r” makes him the “keeper of the tower” not the bull-fighter.
Ronald quickly settles in and will put his hand to anything to help. In return the villagers give him work and friendship and his willingness to learn leads him to many adventures, one or two of them being on the wrong side of the law.
The book is thoroughly entertaining and beautifully written. The reader will learn a lot about village life in Tenerife; information which would never come from a tour guide. Ronald Mackay is a wonderful storyteller or should I say “El Narrador.”
If you are lucky enough to live on this island, why not take a trip to Buenavista del Norte and buy Fortunate Isle at one of the two bookshops there – Librería Juguetería Korakí or Librería Acuarela.
To all our friends and followers who are not fortunate enough to live here, but have a part of us in your heart, the book is for sale on Amazon UK.
To our Library members – you lucky people!