Hazy Shade of Winter/Summer   10 comments

In between Xmas and the unsuccessful attempt on El Teide was Boxing Day. Despite it being a very hazy day (more of the sand and dust in the air blown in from the Sahara) me and TJS wanted to do a walk. We agreed that the Funsters would drop us off we’d walk down to the coast to meet them. The drive was an event in itself. The road through the mountains of NW Tenerife is narrow with some seriously scary drops and busy with traffic. There are plenty of “whoaa!” moments as traffic bears down on you on one side and empty space with the sea below on the other.

Once we arrived at the start I was glad to revert to foot travel and the route while hazy looked good and so it turned out

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The col was busy with tourists but 5 mins and we were alone. The route was quite superb. The path twisted through a verdant green of trees, shrubs and cacti, switching from the ridge and across to slopes on either sides

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The target was the summit of Baracan (just left of centre in the photo below) at just over 1000m. I should point out that we started at around 800m so effort was minimal!

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In places the path was spectacularly perched above the deep ravines that slice through this dramatic section of mountains

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The views any further than a mile or so were vague and hazy so it was the local sights that held the eye.

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This is looking back to the road and the pass where we started from

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The diversity of flora was amazing, prickly pear being very common (one of the heaviest plants where it grows out of control and almost impossible to eradicate once its established)

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After the summit we began to descend towards the coast, the landscape very reminiscent of Provence

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We emerged from a short patch of very dark, dense and cool forest to this spot with red rocks and soil. The photo doesn’t really do justice to the stark colour contrast

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We dropped to the sleepy little village of Teno Alto and the scenery suddenly changed to one of rural pastures

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Another one of those stunning contrasts that Tenerife is able to deliver

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We then dropped through a steeper section of terraced farmland perched on the side of the Barranco de las Cuevas.

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And then suddenly the coast appeared where the farmland tumbles over 1000 feet of jagged cliffs and gorges down to the sea

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The path did the same dropping in a series of endless switchbacks with the heat increasing as we went down

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The path hit the road at this huge banana plantation or more accurately, production facility. Bananas are big business in Tenerife. Unfortunately

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By the time we reached the road my knees were shattered by over 1000m of descent and were further hammered by a mile walk along the baking tarmac to the car park. We met the funsters and had a much deserved picnic on the lava above the sea and amongst the flowering prickly pear

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There is small rather untidy and scrubby little harbour where its calm enough for a swim. The beach is never going to win any awards but the water is spectacularly clear. I went for a snorkel and had one 0f the best experiences I’ve ever had outside a coral reef. The waters were teeming with colourful fish, crabs, sea slugs, urchins etc. Alas I’d forgotten my waterproof camera. The water was also refreshingly cool after a hot days walking

We took a small stroll around the headland before we headed home

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The views were still rather smoky and dusty but with lowering sun still impressive and atmospheric

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One of the very best walks I’ve done in Tenerife, followed by an excellent snorkel and walk in one of my favourite places. Not a bad Boxing Day

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10 responses to “Hazy Shade of Winter/Summer

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  1. Wow – lovely hike and interesting scenery. What country is Tenerife located?

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    • Hi Linda – its one of the Canary Islands (owned by Spain) off the North African coast. Its a hugely popular mass-market tourist destination from Europe (there are several islands) – lots of dense high rise development and a bit tacky in many ways. However as its so far south it has very warm settled weather in the winter (its brutally hot in summer) making it perfect for some warm sunshine over Xmas. And as you can see it has some magnificent scenery if you make the effort to go walking and find it.

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  2. Love to go there. Looks amazing. Jealous!

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    Blue Sky Scotland
  3. That looked lovely!

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  4. A spectacular walk and snorkelling al in one day? About as good as it gets surely?

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    beatingthebounds
    • Would have been perfect if my knee hadn’t been killing me! Shame I forgot the waterproof camera, the underwater shots would have been amazing. I mentioned a post or comment somewhere else that I think its the lack of rivers and therefore sediment in the water that makes it so clear as the water is pretty choppy. There are some pretty big waves in Tenerife. You forget that its in the middle of the Atlantic

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