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Monday, May 2, 2011

Tenerife 25 April to 3 May 2011

Left Puerte de Mogan on Gran Canaria at daybreak 0700hrs in an ENE 2 bft. By 0815 we were out of the lee of Gran Canaria and entered the acceleration zone with the wind rapidly increasing to a NNE5. With 2 reefs in main and a small amount of Genny unfurled we made excellent progress. The wind held until we were more or less outside Las Galletas marina on the south west tip of Tenerife.
By 1545 we were safely moored in the marina.
Went for an interesting 5 hour hike along the west coast to Los Cristianos. The route took us past a very large banana plantation inside a vast Canary style greenhouse.

The coastline is a low rugged lava flow
Past the Faro de Rasca lighthouse
The vegetation consisted of cactii and various salt tolerant plants including carpets of this red plant

Shade for a lunch stop was provided amongst the lava flow

After a while we had glimpses of our objective - Los Cristianos
However, the way was blocked by a steep headland. There are several ways to its summit - we chose a very direct route which had some adreneline moments
Looking back towards the resort of Palm Mar.
Flowering Prickly Pears
and other cactii
La Gomera was just visible on the horizon some 25 miles away.
At the other side of the headland, Los Cristianos came into view

After a meal, we took the 467 bus back to Las Galletas - very frequent service - 3 buses per hour.
The next day we rented a car - for just 60 euros for 3 days. The first day we visited the strange church/ shrine in a barranco in sunken caves dedicated to Brother Pedro, the first Canary Islands Saint (1626 - 1667). The caves are directly under the flightpath of Tenerife airport.
We then stopped at Candelaria, a picturesque coastal village.
One claim to fame is its Bascilica de Nuestra Senora de Candelaria dedicated to the Black Madonna, the patron saint of the Canary Islands. Bronze statues of the nine legendary Guanche rulers line its plaza.
Had lunch on a wall overlooking the Candelaria Marina
Spent a couple of hours refreshing our memories of the capital, Santa Cruz
and admired the ultra modern new library
wandered down the Calle Castillo, a popular shopping street
Next day we explored the north west coast and had our cortados (coffee with splash of milk) at a cafe with a superb view of the Los Gigantes cliffs
Inspected the Los Gigantes marina for possible future use - very welcoming harbour master advised us to check before arriving particularly as entrance can be hazardous in strong winds with western component.
From Los Gigantes we negociated the many hairpin bends of the steep narrow road
to the mountain village of Masca.
From there we had an enjoyable strenuous hike for a few hours down, and back up, the steep narrow gorge.

Time to salute the sun

At one point the route followed the stream under a huge boulder
The gorge continues to a beach - unfortunately we had not allowed enough time to reach the sea - an option for the future is to use the taxi boat from Los Gigantes to the beach, hike up the gorge, and take a taxi or bus back to Los Gigantes.

We continued northwards by car and passed this puzzling hill at El Palmar with deep cuts radiating from the centre - a quarry?
Stopped at old town of Garachico

Garachico used to be the most important port on Tenerife until the eruption of Vulcano Negro in 1706 buried much of the town and filled the harbour with lava, rendering it unusable.
Some of the resulting rock pools have been developed as swimming pools
Tried to find the Drago Milenario - a dragon Tree reputed to be a thousand years old in the town of Icod de los Vinos. Thought we had found it but later comparison with photos indicated this not to be the case - something to find in the future.
The last day with the car thought we would have a closer look at Mt Teide. However, the weather did not play ball and we ended up cold and engulfed in cloud and rain. On the way up found these colourful wild flowers
and several wonderful specimens of the gigantic Tajinaste Rojo flowers

Had a hike to the east of Las Galletas along the rugged lava coastline
and were treated to a view of the snow covered peak of Teide - the snow presumably was falling when we were making our abortive attempt to get close to it.
We reached our destination, the top of Montana Amarilla, from which Jeannette greeted the sun and we had very good views along the coast.

The return route was via a rock ledge under the hill

Before returning to the boat we treated ourselves to a meal at a Belgian restuarant. During the meal we were entertained by Flamenco dancers.

1 comment:

gerschok said...

Wat hebben we weer genoten van jullie foto's en de verhaaltjes daarbij Heel hartelijk dank.
Hier vandaag een koude dag met een prachtig zonnetje toch maar 16 graden we zitten binnen met de kachel aan.
Lieve groeten LNG