Winter Sun in Tenerife

1.Lunar Landscape

2.Tamadaya

3.Tamadaya

4.Tamaday

5Tamadaya Casa  Quemada  6.Chava

7.Madre del Agua

8.Sauzal & Mirador de San Pedro

9..Barranco del Rio presa

10.Barranco del Rio.

11.Barranco del Rio

12.Barranco del Rio

13.        Almond blossom 1

14.   Arguayo

15.     Almond Blossom 2

16  . Pino Gorda

17.Montana Chayofita

18 Ifonche Trip 1

19 .Ifonche trip 2

20    Teide

21     Botanic Gardens

22.Badlands of Guimar

23   Alcala 1

24 La Fortaleza

25 Nuns' Barranco

26    La Laguna

27.   Santiago del Teide

28   .Azure Rocks

29   .North East Coast

30.Matilda and the mouse

31 .Las Galletas

32   .Aldea Blanca

33.Goat trail abovc Masca

34.Pyramids of Guimar

35.   Monte Los Frailes

36.    Alcala 2

37    .Eras

38.      .Car

39       Grua'ed

40   .Restuarnts

41.   Flotsam

 

Note the photographs may take a while to appear

I have lived and worked on the Isle of Wight since 1958. With holly we have visited many holiday Islands, Crete, Rhodes, Kos, Lesbos, St Lucia, Tobago, Margarita, Majorca, Ibiza, Forteventura, Lanzarote, Gomera, La Palma, Hierro, La Graciosa and Tenerife.  Since the year 2000 we have spent approximately 4 of the winter months in Tenerife. We have friends, Carol and John, who lived of the Isle of Wight but went to Tenerife to sell bags and suitcases in Los Cristianos. We find islands interesting as they have a long coastline within easy reach.

The weather in winter very suitable for walking as it is generally dry, sunny and not too hot. Over the years we have been for many mostly rural walks and taken photographs. Much information is available on my sites under blogs & photographs. Holly and I first had a holiday in Tenerife in the 1980s. We stayed at a hotel in Porto del la Cruz on the north side of the island. We hired a car for a couple of days and explored the island. It was winter time and we found that the south of the island was sunnier. We visited  Lanzarote and Forteventura and the same hotel in Tenerife for winter holidays during the following years. We also stayed with Carol and John in an old house in El Draguito, near San Isidro.

In the year 2000 with holly's Aunt Cicely, who had come to stay with us at Winford, we rented a three bedroom apartment at Los Delfines, El Medano. We had chosen El Medano because it was on the southern sunny side of the island and had a nice sandy beach. We did not know however that it was usually windy which is fine for wind surfers and kite boarders. We went in December and stayed three months. We took a wheelchair for Aunt Ceci but found it more of a hindrance than a help so we did not take it again.

As it was a three bedroom apartment our son Sid and his wife and two girls also stayed for a fortnight. We hired a car and enjoyed our stay so much that from then on we booked up each year for four months. 

Each winter ourselves and Aunt Ceci spent four months in the same apartment, until the winter of 2007 when I had a heart operation at Southampton and Aunt Ceci went to stay on a farm in North Devon.

The following year holly and I again spent the winter from November to March in El Medano, hiring a car, but we stayed at a one bedroom apartment at the same house 'Delfines'. We have stayed here for four months each winter since 2007, hiring a car, but in 2014 we bought a car which is looked after by John when we are not there.

 Since spending our winters in Tenerife I have produced a website,          www.el-medano-tenerife.com      which is paid for by Google adverts,

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1.       Lunar Landscape

 

The Lunar Landscape is situated above and to the East of Vilaflor. It is not easy to visit because it is far from a tarmac road. Our first attempt was was after we had and looked at Google Earth when we turned up a small road between Chemiche and Granadillia and after a long picturesque drive we came to the end of the road and we walked to the left and up a gravely path along side of a large triangular shaped vineyard. We reached the top but it was the end of the path . We returned to walk down but found it very difficult because it was steep and gravely.  We were then noticed by someone in the vineyard. He indicted to for us to walk down though his vineyard a more comfortable route and he offered us some oranges to eat. It turned out that his name was Roberto and he produced wine in his bodega for the local co-operative  We sampled his wine and he told us the sad tale that his doctor had told him he must not drink any wine for health reasons. He told us of a nice walk to Las Vegas,  down the barranco del las Vegas, This is walk we have now made many times with friends.

Our second attempt was approached along the track off to the left above Vilaflor It was curtailed because after parking near the hutted camp site and walking for a while it started to rain. By the time we retraced our drive along the track to the main road above Vilaflor the rain had turned to thick snow.

Our next attempt, on the 19th February 2011, we found the track closed for repair so we drove on up the main road towards the Caldera and parked opposite the now disused waterworks buildings. The track from here generally follows the contour in the same direction to the lower closed track.. You can see our 2011 trip on

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MmZ8S3CAmIk We were only able to see the lunar landscape from above. There was no way down to it. It was a very long trip and holly and I got lost on the way back and had to be rescued by John who got permission from police, in their car, to drive back from the main road along the track to find us. We were thoroughly exhausted and had a very welcome meal at Tito's bar/restaurant in Vilaflor. They were amazed to hear of our 7 hour trek and I got my legs massaged by an ex Real Madrid football player.

In 2012 we did the trip again to the lunar landscape. Now the lower track from the main road was open to motor vehicles. We drove 8km along the rough track and parked at the Hutted Camp.

 

 

The walk from there was up hill and we followed the signs fixed on stones and occasional cairns.

This time we were in better luck with the weather  although there was some low cloud drifting about. Carol, John, and their dogs Punto and Polka were with holly and myself.

 

 

Its not a Gnome its me

 
The lunar landscape was some way but it was well worth the effort.

 

 

2

Exploring Barranco Tamadaya  

Location on Google Earth

Walk No. 1 From El Contador to head of Barranco Tamadaya

 
On 25 January 2014 we aimed to see the top of the Barranco. We drove to El Contador, a scenic drive above Arico. It is a formal recreation area set out with seating tables and several blocks of four BBQ places. We have seen it on a good weekend being enjoyed by several family groups, but today, although the weather was sunny, there was no one.

We set off walking about 11.30. and found the route well signposted. There was a particularly beautiful almond tree in full bloom.

The route went by the farm house and we waved to the farmer who was driving off in his car. He was the only person we saw on this trek apart for some people we saw on our way back, whose antics amused us. More of this later. The farm house turned out to be a closely spaced conurbation of four or more houses; one of which had an old tiled roof in disrepair.

 

 

 Past the houses, the path went down a small barranco and up the other side. We took photos of the buildings from across the barranco.

Road to El Contador and Montana Roja in the distance

 

The path continued mostly up crossing a vehicle track several times. We considered using the track which was not so steep but it was going to be longer that way and we may have taken a wrong turning. 

 

Bend in track seen from footpath

 

The views were excellent, we could see right down to Montana Roja on the coast. We eventually reached a point were we could look down into BarrancoTamadaya. It was very deep. Although the path continued it was steep and we did not fancy a long steep climb back. So we rested and had a snack. 

 

Path down to bottom of barranco and up other side, above head of Tamadaya.

 

We took about 2 and a half hours to get to this point, but going back only took about one and a quarter as it was mostly downhill and a lot fewer photos were taken.

The amusing incident happened when we were again at the farmhouses. The vehicle tracks, although not as steep as the footpaths, can be quite steep and gravely. There were four people negotiating a steep part of the the track in a small van some distance from us. Attempt one. The driving wheels lost grip on the loose gravel so they slid to the bottom. Attempt two. Three passengers got out and walked to the top of the slope. The driver still couldn't make it so he had attempt three, driving up backwards. It's better if the driving wheels at at the back. Still no success. After a good start he has just a cloud of dust to show for his efforts. He was not to be beaten. Attemptt four with one of his passengers waving to direct him he raced at full speed up the hill backwards. Success!!! His passengers got in and they continued their journey. We didn't see them again.

 

Steep gravely track 

We stopped at the recreation area and had our BBQ, prawns, pork chops, cold potato salad, lettuce and tomato salad.

       

3

Our second walk to Tamadaya 28th Jan 2013

Our second trip to Tamadaya this winter was along the western ridge of the barranco. Above Sabinita we drove up an unmarked track to the right before the tarmac road turned sharply left. We were in two minds whether to drive our Punto up this track , but I persuaded holly that on inspection the track got smoother after a rough start. Holly usually drives because she feels happier that way. On long journeys we used to take it in turns driving for a hour each.

After a short distance we wondered whether we had made the right decision and holly was afraid of meeting a part of track which we dare not use, finding nowhere to turn, and being forced to reverse back along this narrow track. The track got steeper and being a rather rough surface, two strips of concrete about 6" plus high, had been laid the width of a vehicle's wheels apart. Apprehensively, holly drove on. There were no turning spaces. We drove over a second two strips concrete and then to our relief, we came to a space where we could park near a finca. We started our walk at about 11 o'clock. The track we were on would have needed a four wheel drive vehicle but it was fine for walking.

 

 

After a short climb I remembered that I had left my hiking pole in the car but as we had just walked up a steep hill and the walking was not rough, I decided to continue without it. The views were getting better. Soon we could look down into the barranco. There was a galvanized iron water pipe on the left-hand side of the road but at one point it continued up whereas the track veered towards the barranco.  

We continued along the track now going downhill. After a while we came to the end where there were two large water pipes coming up from the barranco Tamadaya. We could see that they also came down the other side for the barranco from a small canal which ran around the hillside almost parallel to the contour line. It is uncommon to find large water pipes coming up from a barranco, as large pumps would be required so I assumed that this was an inverted siphon with the weight of water on the other side pushing the water up these pipes. Also at this place was a cave which once had a door and had been used as a workmen’s' hut with an improvised BBQ near the entrance.

We retraced our steps and now followed the line of the galvanized iron pipe . It was not a distinct path but you couldn't go wrong if you followed the pipe. I immediately felt the need of my hiking pole I'd left behind. Luckily I found a small broken branch to use, however I was careful not to trust it with too much of my weight. We knew we were on the right route when the galvanized pipe was accompanied by a larger plastic pipe painted what holly said was apricot. She is an expert on colours from making many smocked dresses.

We had seen this distinctive pipe on our trip to the top end of the barranco from El Contador. There were now wonderful views into the barranco. At one point we came to a large canal duct flowing with water, and holly spotted an unusual long legged, long bodied spider with its web over the water so she took a photograph.

There is a track which runs though the bottom of the barranco and we could now see where this ended with a building and signs of an excavated tunnel. This was gallery No.2

We had our packed lunch after walking further and taking photos of some spectacular views to the head of the barranco which ended in cliffs and we could look down on an aqueduct on the face of the cliff. It was about 1.30.

 

After lunch and a rest, about half an hour, we made our return trip. We decided that our next exploration would be along the track at the bottom of the barranco, which we had partly walked last winter.


Other photographs we took

 

4

Walk 3 Though Barranco de Tamadaya

Wednesday 30th January 2013 fortified with with a bowl of gofio and milk, we drove from El Medano to Sabinita. From the road above Sabinita we took the track on the right just before a tiled house. The vehicle track was chained and marked with an yellow and white cross.

The cross is not an instruction not to walk the path but rather that it is not one of the sign-posted walking routes. This entire walk is on a vehicle track made to serve the galleries. The track gently sloped downward into Bco Tamadaya, and provided very good views towards the coast. After while we came to the point where we were joined on the left by the official footpath from Sabinita to El Contador. This is a long path of 9 km for serious hikers only. We did not follow this when it went left up the side of the barranco, instead we continued along the vehicle track until we came to a Gallery dug into the barranco side to collect and to pipe water away for a water supply.

This was very interesting because, beside several caves, there was a tunnel dug with the help of rails laid to remove the spoil. On the rails there was a dumper truck, which holly managed to push a short distance. More interesting still there was an old tractor with train wheels gradually being overgrown by the shrubbery. The track continued and there were many flowers on the shaded west side including a double yellow oxalis. We had our lunch under a large canarian pine which gave us welcome shade. It was about 1.30pm.

We eventually came to the second Gallery. Here there were more rails and a very large spoil heap over which the rails ran. Again there was a building with a notice saying that entering the gallery was prohibited and dangerous.

 

In fact we could detect a peculiar smell. There were some disused ventilator fans dumped outside. We did not stay too long but were pleased to reach this point as we had seen it from the top on our previous walk. I read later that the  poisonous gas carbon monoxide was a hazard in galleries. In fact a gallery at Los Silos near Icod de las Vinos claimed the lives of 6 trekkers in 2007 and more had to be rescued. They were overcome by carbon monoxide. There are natural caves formed by molten lava near Icod, the longest in Europe, conducted tours are now available.

It was now very hot and we welcomed the shade occasionally given by tall cliffs on our long return walk. We got back to the car at 4.15 and agreed that in future we would keep our walks shorter.


Some more of our photos

Track down into the barranco with the deserted house Casa Quemada seen on the near right

Close-up of Casa Quemada taken with holly's zoom lens, showing separate kitchen. . This is the house we visited on our next walk

Aqueduct in use over line of stream, and the track we walked

 

Disused aquaduct

Looking up towards the first Gallery

Main number one gallery building. The large pipe is probably a ventilation pipe

Tractor used to remove spoil from the gallery workings. Now left to rust away

 

Rails and dumper truck at entrance to gallery

Holly pushing dumper truck and cave doors

Dumper truck and caves

Warning sign

Barranco cliff beside the track

 

 

View to the head of Tamadaya

Thistle

 

Outcrop we christened 'The Plug'

Closer view of the head of Tamadaya with aqueduct channel

Pine tree in the sun

 

.

First view of gallery number two buildings

Gallery number two, rails and spoil heap.

 

View to head of barranco and spoil heap

Closest view we had of head of barranco which ends abruptly in cliffs

Downhill walk back, Oh! for some shade.

Looking down the barranco. Not far to the road now.


5

  Tamadaya Trek No. 4.  to   Casa Quemada                

Google Earth screen showing tarmac road from Sabinita to Degollada and hairpin bend and right-angle bend at start of walk 
                                                                                 

View toward start of walk showing Fincas and lower Tamadaya. 


We drove from Sabinita to Degollada. There is a sharp left hairpin bend and the walk starts at the next right hand 90 degree bend, but the signposts are not easily visible. We missed them and parked outside the school at the lower end of the village. After walking up through the village we started our walk proper at 12 o'clock. It starts as a vehicle track serving a group of Fincas. We took the right-hand fork in the path as the left-hand one said Sabinita. The path lead not too steeply to the bottom of Barranco Tamadaya and along its gravel bed. 

 



Crossing the barranco we were faced by a steep path climbing upwards. Going up this zig-zag path we frequently stopped to look back and admire the view.  
The stops got more and more frequent, about every 30 to 40 paces in the end, to take a breather.
By the time we reached the top we had climbed about 350 ft I reckoned by using Google Earth. There was a tree giving shade so we sat and ate some peanuts and had a drink of fruit juice.

The house, Casa Quemada  we were making for was further than I thought. We got there about 2pm. Holly couldn't resist climbing the crumbling outside stairs to look in the upper storey. She found it more difficult climbing down. We looked through the ground floor doors had saw it had been substantially built, in 1903 and refurbished in 1932 according to the inscriptions on the wall. There was a convenient plank balanced on stones which made a good place to eat our lunch, in the shade of the house. 



 



We examined the garden, planted with 18 young olive trees and an older Árbol de níspero, i.e. a medlar tree. There was a cave with a locked door and an outdoor stone built oven. I believe such ovens were used for baking bread and drying fruit. I expect this was after the fire had died down and used the residual heat in the stonework.
We started our return journey at about 2.45. It was a much easier walk than getting up to the house and we arrived back at the start of the track at about 4pm. We then had the downhill stroll through Degollada to the car. It was not such a hot walk as our previous one through the bottom of the Barranco as there was more breeze.




 


More photographs taken on this walk

View down the barranco towards the sea

Disused aquaduct and pipe

Gravelly path along the bottom of the barranco

Disused aquaduct and pipe across barranco 

 Easterly view to far hillside

Distant view of house and view of path to it, also the head of Tamadaya Barranco in the distance

 

Holly inspecting the house

Inside room on 1st floor

Cave with door and view of oven

Looking down the Barranco from steep path

The path out of the barranco and back to the road


6

7th February 2013 Chavao

On 6 February we planned to have a walk the following day with Carol, John, Punto & Polka at Erques followed by an afternoon meal at the Adeje chicken restaurant. But holly's cold got worse, Polka lost a claw and could not go for a walk so we cancelled. The next day holly was feeling better so we planned to go for a short walk and have a meal at the Chinese in the evening. Holly said number 81 on the menu would be appropriate for me although we had no idea what it was. We drove through Vilaflor. Before reaching Boca Tauce, the entrance to the caldera at Ucanas de Ucanco, we began to see the effects of last Augusts' forest fire. We took the turning to the left, TF38, a very straight road over the black lava.



 

We would have parked at the beginning of the walk to Chavao but the two parking spaces were taken. We drove on to the viewpoint parking on the left where there was plenty of space. By that time the car was making funny noises so we said we would check the oil & water on our return from our walk. It was 11am.
We walked back along the road and started our walk where signposted on the right-hand side. It was a level vehicle track barriered off so we couldn't have driven along it. 



 

The Roques del Cedro and Montana del Cedro were quite spectacular when seen up close.

 

We had a good view towards Teide and Pico Viejo, where the last eruption in the Teide caldera took place in 1798. The large quantity of lava which flowed out is called Lavas Negras and nearly reached the wall of the caldera. The track runs between the lava, which piles up about 20 ft high, and the Roques and Montana del Cedro.





The track climbs not too steeply upward to the top of Barranco del Chavao. Two footpaths are closed at this point for restoration but the track continues on gently downwards along the side of the barranco. At 1pm we rested in the shade of a tree and had our packed lunch. Most of the trees had been burnt in the forest fire and are regenerating, but not all. We continued on until the track took a left-hand hairpin bend, and as it was increasing in gradient downwards we decided we had gone far enough.


Holly decided to go for a pee but soon came back from behind the bushes saying she had just spotted a fire look-out tower on the hill above.
After that 2 council vans, a council lorry and a group of German hikers came by,    no chance. We walked back to the road and the view point parking spot and checked the oil and water. All OK. It was about 3.30.



Holly started driving home but after a short while started an intermittent high pitched whine and occasional low sounding groans from the gearbox. She nursed it out of the caldera and up the first kilometre of the road to Vilaflor. From there on we knew it was all downhill to El Medano.
Holly found that with her foot on the clutch the horrible sounds stopped so she drove like this for a long while until her leg ached. Below Vilaflor we phone John and told him of our predicament. He said he would met us near San Isidro if we could make it that far.
We then realised that the car, named The Silver Hornet, ran just as well in neutral, regulating speed with the brakes. Although the downward slope would have allowed us to so, we dare not go too fast.
At one point we were overtaken by a cyclist! In in order not to cause congestion holly pulled in to let any following cars overtake. Luckily there were not many. 
We avoided going through through the main street of Granadilla by taking a one way steep downhill small bypass road.
We met John in his van as arranged. He drove the car and holly drove the van back to his house, with its very welcome loo.
Holly had driven over16 kilometres with no engine!!!!
John inspected the engine once home and said it had blown a gasket and had sprayed oil all over the place.
We had an impromptu evening meal with John and Carol at the Caballo Blano, the White Horse, in El Medano, and they took us to our apartment. The next day the poor car was 'grua-ed' ( breakdown vehicles are called gruas here ) to the car dump.

 Quite a eventful 81st birthday for me.


 

The poor car in better days



Other photos taken on 7th February 2013

Roques  del Cedro

We thought the top of these rocks looked like a little house with a rectangular door and a balcony.

 

Roques del Cedro

Crumbling rocks

Trees recovering from fire in August

Tracks down Barranco del Chavao showing many burnt trees

 

View of Pico Viejo with Teide in the background

 

The 1798 eruption 

Panorama Roques del Cedro

 

 

 

 

 

 

El Sombrero and El Sombrerito


 

7

Madre del Agua 

We left El Medano at 10.30and drove to Vilaflor in about half an hour. Above Vilaflor we drove along the mountain track to the Madre del Agua camping site. 

We were following the directions given in one of the 21 walks in the 'Footpaths in Chasna Isora' publication obtained from Local Information Offices. We finally started our walk at about 12.30. some of the delay was due to the fact we were unsure which way to go. We were instructed to follow the 'quarried stone channel over a small hillock.

There was no sign or recognizable path. We eventually picked our way as close to the channel as possible and were reassured that we were right when we reached a mountain vehicle track.

After a short distance we reached the huts 'El Source' which can be seen on Google Earth. At this point the vehicle track stopped. There is a big drop in the Barranco , at this which obviously forms a waterfall when water flow in the barranco. I cannot find the name of this barranco but it may well be called Barranco del Madre Agua.

 

 

From then on the path was fairly distinct but very irregular. I was pleased to have a hiking pole.

The path continued first on one side of the barranco channel and then then on the other.

We continued on though what was almost a jungle, the ground was covered with autumn willow leaves and the path was obstructed by three fallen trees. To get passed these I was forced to my hands and knees. We were rewarded by the view of a waterfall and pond. Holly slid down steep slippery bank aided by my stick in order to get a closer view photograph.

 

We had brought our lunch but retraced our steps to eat it in a sunnier spot. Our return was along the route we had come. The whole trip took three and a half hours. We did not see a path which goes on to the spring sources but we had a long enough trek.

 
Other Photos we took

Path that forced me to my knees

Rock faces

Cave

Waterfall & Pool.

  

8

Visit to El Sauzal & Mirador de San Pedro.

On the 18th December 2013 we left El Medano at 10am and drove along the autopiste to La Laguna and El Sauzal arriving at 11pm. We went in the Casa del Vino which has a good agricultural exhibition, free of charge, and shop selling a good variety of wine and honey. We went there to buy honey. In the courtyard is a good example of an old wine press.

 

From the front of the Casa de Vino we had a good view of the south side of Teide covered with snow. The road there had probably been closed by the snow for a day or so. In El Medano we had the unusual weather of 24 hours of tropical rain. We had thought of going back over the mountain but decided against it.

We drove on past Los Realejos to the Hotel San Pedro where we parked to start our walk.

By then it was 12 o'clock. There are much frequented paths with very good views. We made our way past an large old house which is being renovated and one day will be open to the public.

 

            

At one point we could see what looked like a small one man bandstand, as we got nearer we could see some welcoming seats. However as we approached we could see they were in a private garden, We found a wall to rest on and ate some nuts.

It is a long way down from where we had parked but the path we took back was easier than the one on the way down. We could not find a convenient place to eat our tortilla lunch without retracing our steps down so we drove on though a small tunnel to a convenient lay-by overlooking Playa Socorro.

After our lunch we drove back though Icod, Santiago de Teide, and Guia de Isora.

 

9

Trip to Barranco del Rio,      Presa

27th November 2013

We approached the town of El Rio from Chimiche in Carol & John's van. About one km from the town, before we reached the bridge over the barranco, we took the turning to the left which was signposted Presa. The road was rather bumpy being made of bit-mac scarifyings. We followed this track until a sharp branch turned up hill to to the left. The condition of the track now deteriorated so we parked and started our walk. A hired car followed us and tried both of the tracks but gave up and returned to the main road. It was only a short walk, partly up a track which would have only been passable in a four wheel drive vehicle with good ground clearance.


When we reached the top of this slope we could see the concrete obelisk near the dam.


An old rusty crane used in the dam construction had been abandoned
 

Walking further the dam came into view.


There was a good view up the barranco but no sign of any water, The floor of the barranco was covered for quite some distance back with fine sand and gravel which was level and at first glance could have been taken for water. If the embalsa was ever full it would have contained a great deal of water but now it was completely dry.  Although it is said that in its upper reaches water flows most of the time it must have been piped away before reaching the dam.
 


 

View up the barranco from the dam wall.


 

Where was a path to the left. There was a way to the right which went down some perilous looking concrete stairs without handrail. We ignored them. There was also some steps cut into the side of the cliff going up. The start of these appeared extremely difficult to climb. We took the path to the left.

The cliffs on this east-hand side of the barranco were popular with rock climbers. Along this path we saw four sets of climbers mostly men but there a was one German woman assisting her man. Many of the others were English.


The cliff face had some interesting features and holly was able to photograph close ups.


    


The path to the left left that we were walking on sloped gently downward and the floor of the barranco sloped up so that towards the end of the path there was only a short steep slope down to the bottom of the barranco at that point.
 


 

Directly opposite on the other side of the barranco a path had run parallel. However this path ended in a steep drop which it would not have been possible to scale, unless you were a rock climber with ropes.

Perhaps there was a bridge at one time across the barranco at this point joining the two paths.


 

We scrambled down to the bottom of the barranco and found somewhere to sit in the shade to eat our peanuts and have a drink.


 

View down the barranco towards the dam


 

We started our return journey along the path, crossed over the dam and walked along a lower path that lead to the base of the dam on what would have been the down stream side, had there been water.



There was a stone pillar built up from the bottom of the barranco which had no obvious purpose and an aquaduct covered with concrete slabs on the far side.


holly took a close-up of a pine flower here that would develop into a fir cone


 

We then walked back to the van. The complete walk took us just over two hours. It would be much shorter for someone walking quickly and not stopping to take lots of photographs.


 

  10

Barranco del Rio walk 2

              Wednesday 4th December 2013

 

We drove from El Medano to the town of Rio by driving along the autopiste and taking the turning off to Chimiche and Rio. We drove into Rio via the one way narrow street turning right at the main road from Chimiche. We missed the turning to the left up the narrow road from the centre of Rio first time as the road was so narrow. We parked near the old house with an outside stone built oven.


 

We hoped to find a path here to the upper part of Barranco del Rio. On walking further down the road, on the left hand side, we saw a farmer with his dog, repairing his field after a flood.

Since our last trip to the Barranco we had a day of continuous rain. There had been flooding in several of the Canary Islands and we thought that the Barranco del Rio might live up to its name.

The fields in this part of Tenerife are constructed by building a stone wall on the lower side of the slope and filling the area above with whatever is available and topping it with 'jable' (abblie) a fine fertile material brought from another part of Tenerife . Unfortunately for this farmer the wall had collapsed and a stream of water had washed away past of his field. His wife saw us at the road side and agreed the rain had caused a 'disastro' for his field. She confirmed that there was a path to the barranco further up the road and it was very pretty.


Holly drove up the hill and parked again.


View looking down the hill to the track we took off to the right which would have been just passable with a four wheel drive vehicle.


Three well cultivated fields could be seen to our left, constructed in the countryside.

Much further along the track we could begin to see the barranco.

 


 


 

The feature on the far side of the barranco appeared to be a giant arch. However as we got closer we could see that it was an illusion of the light.


 


We then came to the end of the vehicle track and the way forward was across a small barranco by means of an indistinct foot path.


Holly pointed out that the path can just be seen going up to the left hand side of the cave.


 

I gingerly followed

                        After climbing up to the left of the cave we came to a flat area which gave us a good view down into the barranco.

                        It was completely dry. The bottom was covered with rounded boulders. This was the view towards the upper end of the barranco.


We also had a view downwards


           

  We had a break now and had a drink and ate some peanuts. Climbing down was more difficult than coming up as it was necessary to use our      hands to steady ourselves which meant coming down backwards. Holly guided my feet and I manoeuvred down without mishap. I have a walking pole with me but it is no help when climbing down. I was glad to get back to the wide track.

On the way back holly took some close-up photos. We could not identify the flower although it looked similar to a clover and was of the pea family. The snail had blueish grey shell.

 


  

  

This stone decorated with its lichen and moss attracted holly's attention.


 

When we arrived back at the van I noted that it had been two and a quarter hours since we left. I think is as long as I want without a longer break.

  

11

Barranco del Rio Walk 3

New Years Eve 2013. We left El Medano at 9.45 arrived at the end of the tarmac road above the village of El Rio.

The road towards the mountains starts as a narrow one in the middle of El Rio and can easily be missed.

We parked the van on a convenient space on the left-hand side of the road and started our upward walk along the rough well defined track. The stout hearted may have tackled it with a 4x4.

We saw two isolated small houses. These appeared to be used occasionally by the farmers who tended their small terraced fields

In the far distance to the north we could see a cliff side to the barranco and a distinctive mountain. The mountain is part of  Guajara named Degollada de Guajara, A close-up can be found on Google earth. A good photo has been taken by Miquel Oliva.   It is is right on the southern rim of the Las Canadas Caldera and Teide can be seen in the background.

 Degollada de Guajara photo on google earth by Miquel Oliva http://www.panoramio.com/user/291273

 

 
After some distance climbing continually we branched off to the left along an even minor track still climbing and now reached a an area more wooded with pine trees. We now reach the top of our climb, the sun was shining brightly so we debated whether we would stop and have our lunch in the shade of a tree or continue on.

 

We thought that the barranco was not too far away so we went on. As the track continued down into the pine woods but we went off the track towards the barranco. The pine needles on the ground made the sloping ground quite treacherous so we were pleased to find a old stone wall to sit and have our lunch of peanuts, raisins, tortilla, a fruit juice and an an apple.

 

We had a good view down into the barranco but didn't dare to go too near the rim as we could not see if there was any overhang. It took us two and a quarter hours from where we parked the van. We had a rest there for one and a quarter hours, at least I think so because I had a sleep on the pine needles 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Holly spotted a mysterious black stain on the barranco face.

The walk back also took us one and a quarter hours. It was a lot quicker than the first part of our walk because although we were tired, it was down hill in the main and we took no photographs, except for this photo of a silhouette of grape vines with a few remaining leaves.

 

It had become quite misty. We were often in cloud blowing up from the direction of El Rio. During the whole of our walk we saw no one, neither walker or farmer. When we arrived back in El Medano it was still as sunny as we had left it.

 

 

12

Walk towards the top of Barranco El Rio.

8th Jan 2014

We left El Medano at 9.15am and drove though Granadilla and Vilaflor. About 1km. above Vilaflor, past the viewpoint of the large pine tree, we arrived at the start of the mountain track that goes towards the Lunar Landscape. It was now 10 am. We drove along the track for 8.5 km. to arrive at the start of our walk. It always was a rough track in but it had deteriorated with the recent rains so now it was only possible to drive at 15km/hr. We started our walk at about 11.15 at the point where a track goes off to the left to the campsite and the Lunar Landscape. See our You tube video     http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MmZ8S3CAmIk

 A notice with an English translation said no motor vehicles were allowed except by special permission or by the owners of Faros. Faros is the Spanish for lighthouses so we were amused at the bad translation of fincas, which are farms. Incidentally, we saw no fincas on our walk; neither did we see any lighthouses!

 

.

holly taking photo of bark, shown below, and showing prohibition notice.

We walked down a slight slope to cross the Barranco Madre del Agua. Shortly afterwards we saw a track to the right signposted Madre del Agua going down hill. My Galaxy Tab showed us this was not the way we wanted.

We noticed that there seemed to be two types of pine trees. The more numerous by far was pointed at the top but the occasional larger one was rounded at the top and had many large branches. Much of the second kind looked very old and were dying off from the top. These large trees, Pinus Canariensis, had a smoother bark.

Bark of large pine, Pinus Canariensis, 

Bark of smaller pines

The track went on generally level following the contours. At each small barranco it followed a V shaped line with a bridge or large pipe to take water when it flows. However none was flowing.

View back to the Mountains

 

Distain view of Montana Roca

View down to the Barranco

Though the trees we could occasionally see the cliffs sides of the Barranco del Rio but they remained tantalisingly distant from our track.

.

After this, the track got a lot steeper going down into Barranco del Rio

We had intended to walk for an hour and then stop, but there was always "the next bend" which might offer a closer view. We gave up  at about 1.30 and had our tortilla packed lunch. We sat on some stones just off the road but did not find them very comfortable so after half an hour we started back. To get to the Barranco del Rio we would have had to walked another half an hour down hill and longer up again, but we could see that the track was becoming steeper and steeper so we knew that the return trip would be too exhausting after our efforts so far

 

 

We stopped on our drive along the track to collect some fir-cones that Carol & John had requested to burn on their BBQ.

To see the video of the barranco from a helicopter go to            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19kfUAaRdK4

PS.  The next day it rained most of the day in El Medano but it fell as snow on the mountains so the track could well have been covered in snow.

 

 13

Almond Tree Blossom

On 28th January2014 we drove to the Santiago del Teide district and parked just above Las Manchas (The Stains).

We parked near a track entrance and walked up the track amongst the almond trees which were in full bloom. A selection of our photographs is shown below. I make no apologies for the number of photographs, but I hope you enjoy them. We were carried away. The perfume of the flowers was wonderful and the sound of the bees without number was very pleasant.

                      
Google ads  

 This tree was particularly photogenic 

Santiago del Teide can be seen in the distance an beyond it the winding road to Masca

Here the Trees are growing right up to the lava flow of 1904

Bees have been photographed here by holly

Two white blooms.  The second one is broom

The predominant colour of the almond blossom is pink and white.

 

Towards the end of our visit low cloud and mist came in so we drove on to the coast at Alcala and had lunch.


 

     

14

Almond walk 2, 

 7th Feb 2014 (my birthday)

 

 
At 11.15 we started easterly out from the lower part of Arguayo.  The sun was shining- just.  The almond blossom was still adorning the trees although some petals had fallen. Martin and I were taking photographs as holly, Carol and John were walking ahead with Punto & Polka

 
There were plenty of almond trees in bloom. Mostly pink but with a few white. There was a barred  track off to the right which led to Galerie del Mollero

We could see the pumping station and the railway track which was used to transport the excavated stone from the gallery and piled up.

It is said that the island  has over one thousand galleries dug into the mountains,  over 1,700 kilometres in total length.

On Google Earth a water channel could be seen  as a white line. When we reached reached the channel the mystery was solved.

The channel was almost level and the flow was very little. Weed had been thrown out either side and had bleached white in the sun.

Carrying on up the track we came to the disused pumping station at Galeria del Gualijajo.

 

Both Martin and John were framed while Punto looked on

 

From this point on the track became a steep zig-zag foot path and we could look down on the Galeria del Gualijajo pumping station  and its rail track and also the white line of the water channel

The footpath was quite steep now and low cloud rolled in so I was pleased to find a stone to rest on

The aeoniums  were determined to colonized the lava flow which was put down relatively recently in 1906

Aeoniums usually stand up on stems as above but there is a flat variety photographed below

Aeonium tabuliforme  
A flattened, stemless rosette of tightly-packed leaves up to 6in in diameter.  This succulent plant is monocarpic (die after flowering) and generally a biennial. When about to flower, the centre rises to surround the flower spike of many yellow flowers.
 
 
A native of the Canary Islands, it grows especially in cracks in lava cliffs at a steep angle that prevents water from accumulating on the rosettes.
 This photograph was taken at Mirador de San Pedro on the north coast

 

  Polka loves pine needles
Punto didn't really take part in Cowes Week Signs of a forest fire many years ago on this tree trunk
The footpath levelled out and we met about forty 8 to10 year old school children with three teachers doing the almond blossom walk in the opposite direction.
Holly likes to photograph cairns

We had hoped to walk a circular route and get back to the main road as shown on Goole Earth but after trying two tracks without success we decided to retrace our steps and return the way we came.

      

   

The walk down the hill was easier than walking up but because  it was rough I was glad to have a hiking pole

 

 

There were plenty of retaining walls built to form small fields


15

Arguayo

On 31st January 2014 we had an early start. we picked up Carol and John and their two dogs, Punto and Polka, and drove to Arguayo and met Sally and Mike who were on holiday from Poole in Dorset. At 10am we were by the football ground at Arguayo. The two couples planned to do the Almond Blossom walk from Valle Arriba to Arguayo which was said to take 3 hours. This was too strenuous for us so we had decided instead to walk up the mountain near Arguayo called Roque de Arguayo or Montana de la Hoya.  We all got into the van and holly drove to the start of their walk at Valle de Arriba beyond Santiago del Teide. holly and I then drove back to the football pitch where Sally and Mike had left their van.

At the higher side of the football ground we started our walk by the safari sign.

It was then 10.45.

 

 

 Roque de Arguayo or Montana de la Hoya.

 

 

 

 

The way was a track designed for a small four wheeled vehicle and was not too steep to begin with.

The views became more extensive as we climbed and we could see the new motorway which is not yet opened to traffic. I do see however, from Google Earth, that someone recommends it as a good cycle ride. It doesn't look as though it has been built wide enough for a central reservation and two lanes of traffic in each direction.  Two tunnels have been dug beneath the mountain that we are climbing. At present the new road finishes at a very big round-about before reaching Santiago del Teide.

 

 

 

 

 

On the left is a photo of the track up beneath the cliff face

 

 

The track becomes much steeper now and takes nearly a 90 degree turn to the right. At this point there is a feature of a natural stone arch and a good view of Arguayo and towards the coast.

 

View towards the coast past Montana del Angels

 

 

 

The track continues up a lot steeper, but the going is made easer by a staircase being cast in the concrete between the vehicle tracks

 

.

   

 

At the top there was not much vegetation, but there was a small pine tree which looked a good shady place to have our snack of peanuts, and a welcome drink.

 

 

These what we thought to be two wild mountain goats were very shy. When we approached they were at the far end of the mountain top and had nowhere to run away. They hesitated for some while, weighing up the situation, and then decided to make a dash to pass by us on our right-hand side. They were very nimble on their feet.

They differed from the domesticated goats we have seen in that their ears stand up and they have no horns. They looked in very good condition. John has now seen these photographs and has identified them as  mouflons.  They are believed to be the wild predecessor to our domestic sheep. The male ones have enormous horns so these must have been female. We have Googled  mouflon and looked at the images and we agree that John is right. Living in Tenerife they do not need thick woolly coats.

 

El Retamar, El Molledo, Santiago del Teide. A good head for heights is an advantage.

 

View to coast

 

The football ground is off picture to the right and the track we walked is shown close to the cliff edge

 

 

Era seen from above

This era is smaller than usual and constructed in the lava flow

 

Era as seen from ground level

 

 Euphorbia to the right of the track going down with Montana del Angels in the back ground.

 

Looking down on Arguayo

 

Fields, pines and almond blossom on hillside on other side of Arguayo

 

Track down, new motorway and Montana del Angels

 

Slate like stone in rock face and track looking down beneath a sheer cliff face

 

 

 

On the way down we met an English couple making their way up. We later thought that they were lost because they thought that there was a through path although we told them that it was only a one way track. They were following a written guide and they said they had already gone the wrong way once where the guide said "turn right at a broom bush". Not a good guide we thought.

When we got to the bottom of the track near the football ground we saw that they had reached the top. See photo opposite. 

 Later holly saw that them retracing their steps down the track.

 

 

 Aeoniums, a native of Tenerife and Prickly Pears, a native of America.

Bearded Iris growing beside football ground wall

 

When we were back at the football ground holly text Carol to see where they were and if they needed picking up. They were at Las Manchas and were ready to be picked up. After picking them up in the van we decided to have lunch beyond Santiago del Teide at Las Fleytas. However, we got there only to find it was closed. Mike said they had in the past had a good meal at  El Patio in Santiago del Teide so we ate there. We chose from the set menu for the day and was well pleased. During the meal Sally told us about their alarm clock.

In their apartment at Los Cristianos they found on their arrival from Poole that they were short of an illuminated alarm clock. They found one called 'Hello Kitty' at a Chinese shop at a bargain price. Unfortunately it woke them up at 6 minutes past one in the morning singing 'Happy Christmas to you,  happy Christmas to you and a happy new year. Good tidings I bring etc.'  They were not amused.  For the next night they took out the batteries and left it in the other room, but it woke them up again at the same time.  Apparently it had a small back up battery and you had a choice of half a dozen Christmas carols to chose from. holly chose "Silent Night", "Ding, dong, merrily on high" and "God rest ye merry gentlemen".

Anyone like a cheap Chinese alarm clock?

 

 

 

On the other side of the road to El Patio where we parked was some nice almond blossom. It had been very misty at  Las Fleytas and holly had put the headlights on and had asked us to remind her to switch them off when we parked for our meal. We all forgot.......

However, after our meal the van started OK and we were able to take Sally and Mike back to their van parked at Arguayo and then drive Carol and John and the dogs back home too.

16

Pino Gorda

By the road to El Teide just above Vilaflor is a view point, with parking space, called Pino Gorda
Going down the path steps you come to the pino gorda
My daughterTina was dwarfed by the trunk of the tree.
 
 

The whole tree was difficult to photograph. Holly took a panorama shot upward.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the same location she also photographed some young pine trees

 

 

 

 

17

Montana Chayofita

10th February 2014

 

In the middle of Los Cristianos there is Montana Chayofita. It is approached from the north side, furthest from the coast. Holly and I with Tina and Martin walked up the wide rough track which had been kerbed in preparation for it to be made into a tarmac road. We had seen from Los Cristianos sea front, the the concrete stanchions of  an unfinished building which had stood on the montana for many years. The track ended short of the unfinished building which was fenced off with a chain-link fence and a padlocked gate.

 

The area was occupied as we saw a tent, caravan and car and generator. There was no way to the top of the montana from here.

 So we had to retrace our steps down the track to where path went off in the direction of the centre of the montana.

Again we could see no way through so we took a steep path up on the east.

 

From this path we could look into the middle of the montana and could see that there was a steep path to the top.

View looking westerly along the coast past Las Americas

We walked along a semi-circular path which was almost level, going along top of the ridge.

From the ridge we had a good view all around looking down on Los Cristianos.

Playa de las Vistas

Las Americas

View to the North showing Roque del Malpaso and large Cairn

Cairn, Los Christianos and Montana de Guaza in the background

Someone was pleased to get to the top!!

Path down from the ridge, the view into the centre and the path we had walked up, (or in my case partly climbed )

Right in the middle of the caldera was a well established make shift dwelling.

View northward from the caldera showing a cloud topped Conde hiding its flat top

Avenida de Chayofita, looking towards Montana Guaza, where we had a welcome cold beer.

18

Walk at Ifonche March 2nd 2014

We had been told by Sally and Mike that they had found a new exciting walk at Ifonche called 'El Chorrillo' and they showed us this photo Mike had taken.

We set out to find this walk on 2nd March. Ifonche is at the end of a long cul-de-sac road from La Escalona. Near the end of the road is a cross roads with a large popular restaurant. We drove to the left here and passed the jumping off place for para gliders. See Julia Bradbury at Ifonche do this on a youtube  video : -   www.youtube.com/watch?v=gc7m2YDJ4j8

We drove on and parked before the house at the end of the road. Here is a photo looking back towards Ifonche showing El Sombreto and El Sombrero on the skyline.

 

We walked towards the distinctive Montana Roque Imoque and then to the era.

View towards Adeje and coast

Start of footpath into the barranco

Looking back towards Ifonche

Looking back up the path.         A euphorbia in bloom

Two views of Montana de los Brezos to the left of the path going down

Looking down to the hidden valley, Montana de Suarez and Roque del Conde, which does not show its flattish top from this angle.

A closer view of the water duct and era

 

Derelict agricultural hut and a close up of its doorway

 

 

 

 

Arch covered water tank

View from hidden valley towards road from Arona to Escalona

We had our packed lunch here beside the overgrown fields and hut.

We could find no path to El Chorrillo so we had obviously gone the wrong way so we walked back up the path to the van, holly was not pleased, and we drove back to Ifonche. Halfway we passed a sign to El Chorrillo. We were later told this was the end of the walk and not the best way to go. We did go on the correct walk with Carol, John, Punto and Polka on another day. See my next chapter.

 

19

Ifonche Walk 2

El Chorrillo (Which translates as The Trickle)

On 10th March 2014 we went with Carol & John and their two dogs in search of El Chorrillo. We parked just past the last restaurant in Ifonche and started our walk on the marked path to the top of Barranco del Infierno.

 Here is the photo taken by Mike Jeans on a previous trip

This is the usual path to overlook the top of the barranco

Looking down the barranco

Looking across the barranco
We walked along the narrow path on the top of the west side of Barranco del Infierno until we came to the shoulder in front of montana Carrasco. Here we looked down into barranco de Agua.

Carol and John walked on to the viewpoint at montana Carrasco

I' m standing at the start of the path to El Chorrillo.

Polka like digging and sniffing and found some soft soil here

Yellow broom

The view down to Adeje and the sea, past white broom

The walk we were proposing to take .Only the last steep part can be clearly seen. the first part is close under the cliffs. In the distance can be seen Montana Roque Imoque

 

 

 

 

This is the path beside the cineraria, looking toward the direction from which we came, and the cliff above

 

 

 

Here I'm making further progress.

 

 

 

More Cineraria and a bell flower. It is a  campanula called

Canarina canariensis and it has an edible fruit known as

 bicácaro   See : -

http://www.floradecanarias.com/canarina_canariensis.html

 

        

    Tajinaste or bugloss of the Echium family.

 

 

Tree heather

Mauve and white cistus

 

 

Narrow path and pine tree above barranco

She-donkey cave

 

 

Looking back at the path beneath the cliff. The man walking on the path gives the scale.

Clump of Tajinastes

 

Cave with a gate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carol and John at the garden which had Calla lilies and water cress

How beautiful, its up to you to keep it green

Another view of the perilous path

Cave of gladness 

Translation-Leaky Cave

Wild garlic and Teide daisy

Last look back.   The climb up was quite steep and holly got vertigo when she turned to assist me as she had  look back down to the barranco.  Luckily Carol & John had gone ahead to get the van and were waiting for us on the road at the top. Our walk is shown in blue on this map traced by GPS using a 7"Gallaxy Tab. The main tarmac road to Ifonche is shown in green. The minor tarmac road runs south from the restaurant at the end of the main road. John drove along this road to pick us up at the end of our walk.

 20

Teide and the Caldera

On Tuesday 25th November 2014 we saw the weather was clear and sunny on Teide (pronounced tay di). We left El Medano at 10.15 after buying a tortilla at Hyper-dino supermarket.

Holly drove through San Isidro, Granadilla and Vilaflor to arrive at Boca de Tauce and Llano de Ucanca at about 11.15.  Llano is a flat plain and in this case it is the part of inside of one of the largest calderas in the world. Its height is about 1980 km above sea level.

 

 


 

 

We had priced cars on the internet and had hired a 2 door Fiat 500 through rentalcars.com and holly was very pleased with it. John & Carol said there was           enough room in the back when we drove out to lunch.

We parked at the entrance road to the posh Parador hotel nearest to Teide

 

 

Straight ahead beyond the Parador, was the mountain Guajara . There is a footpath which goes up there from here but that was not for us.

We made for the much smaller lightly coloured hill. Beyond the Parador there is a board with a map of the footpaths in the area. From here there is a rather rough footpath which we took to get to track No 4, which used by Park Patrol vehicles.

This track runs along the south boundary of the caldera and is fairly easy walking.

We were fascinated by the colours and shapes of the large outcrop which we had seen from the Parador, As we walked closer we could see much more detail. So here's lots of photos.

 

The track passed below a tall rock and we had a view of Teide framed with nearby rocks.

 

When we found somewhere to perch we stopped for about half an hour to eat our tortilla and have a fruit juice drink. Then we turned and walked back

 

 

There was not much vegetation apart from the remains of daisy and tajinaste flowers, grasses. and the occasional pine tree.

 

Tajinaste in bloom (not my photo)


 

Route 4 was a more popular popular walk than most we have been on, and there were a number of groups of Germans. Including the half hour break we had been away from the car for about 3 hours.

We were quite tired.

 

Photos were taken by holly with her Fujifilm  Finepix S  and by me with my Nexus. The Fujifilm has the advantage of a zoom lense.

 

21

Jardin de Aclimacion de la Orotava

Botanical Gardens, Puerto de la Cruz

Holly & I visited on Wednesday 19th February 2014 with Lorna, Peter, Sara & Josh. I took most photographs.

Holly & I returned on Tuesday 25th February to take note of the names of the plants and holly took most photographs

 

 

Don Alonso de Nava Grimon, Marques de Villanueva Prado, founder and director of the Garden.1788-1832

Statue of Don Alonso with a tree Brahea Armato from Mexico in the background

 

View of the entrance from inside looking out.

 

Codiaeum variegatum   Pacific Islands

Anthurium Andreanum       Colombia.    Also called   flamingo flower

 

Monstera deliciosa "albo variegata"

Pteris eretica     Mediterrenean

 

Aechmea aquilega   Costa Rica

 

Orchid

     Orchid

Aechmea Pineliana    Brazil

 

Phoenix canariensis

&

Lepidozamia peroffskyana   Cycad   Eastern Austrailia

Staghorn fern

Pepperomia

 

Sphaeropteris cooperi   Australia

 

 

Ficus macrophylla Australia    (with bromelliads)

Ceiba pentandra     Tropical America

Roldana petasitis Mexico

Vriesea platymeris  Argentina

 

 

Lorna in awe of the old ficus tree

 

 

The gardens are very well maintained and are excellent value at €3 entrance fee.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bird of Paradise Flower, Streletizia, Leafless Streletizia

Pollinated by birds feet

 

Clivia

 

 

 

 

 Brugmansia, common names - Datura - Angel's Trumpets and Thorn Apples.

 

 Encephalartos Laurentianus Zamiaceae       Angola, Zaire

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pachystachys coccinea    Antilles

&

Heliconia  Wagneriana 

 

 

The large pool is found at the top of the steps past the begonias. The large tree is a Cupressus Benthamii from Mexico

Red Eared Slider sunbathing.        This terrapin is called red eared for obvious reasons but it  is called slider because when disturbed whilst sunbathing it slides into the water.

     Cyperus papyrus.

 

 It was used to make paper in ancient Egypt, and the reeds have been used for raft building.

The adventurer Thor Heyerdahl built boats from papyrus. He sailed one from Morocco to Barbados. A full size model this boat can be seen at Guimar Pyramids.

 

 Sansevieria  Mother-in-law's tongue

Sansevieria

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This tree from Madagascar commonly called the screw pine is not a pine and its proper name is Pandanus Utilis.

It is called screw pine because its leaves grow in a spiral fashion and leave marks on the trunk bark.

 

 

        'It has been shown to have many uses. In coastal areas, it has been used for erosion control due to its numerous aerial roots. These roots help bind the sand dunes along the coast from eroding water and wind. The leaves of P. utilis are used in different cultures for thatching and the production of numerous materials. In areas like Madagascar, Réunion and Mauritius, the leaves are used to make ropes, baskets, mats, hats, place mats, nets, thatched roofs for homes and even paper. The waxy covering over the leaves makes them especially attractive for baskets and roofs with their natural water-resistant surface. The fruits form a starchy food and can be eaten after cooked.'    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Pachystachys lutea acanthaceae       Ecuador

 

 

Aechmea fasciata Bromeliaceae Pinuela       Brazil     

 Aechmea distichantra     Brazil & Argentina

 Aechmea Pineliana     Brazil

Aloe Maculata      S. Africa

Calliandra Haematocephala     Bolivia

 The powder puff tree.

 

 

Alpina zerumbet flor concha     Oriental Asia

Commonly called Ginger

 

 

 

 Blechnum brasilliense     South America

Cycas Revoluta       Japan. 

The common name is Japanese sago palm. It is one of the any plants use to produce sago. It is very slow growing but is also used as an ornamental plant.

The flower in the centre of the plant is feminine. The male flowers are a distinctively different shape.  All parts of the plant are very poisonous but the pith is used to make sago 

 

Ficus Auriculata

Also known as the Roxburgh Fig or Elephant Ear Fig on account of its big round leaves. The figs are edible and the leaves are used for fodder.

 

Ixora coccinea      Sri Lanka  Also goes under the names of      jungle geranium, flame of the woods, and jungle flame.

 

Handxroanthus serratifolius

Clivia

Syzygium jambos       S.E. Asia

Duabanga sonneratioides        India

 Tibouchina Granulosa          Bolivia

 Vriesea Hieroglyphica         Brazil

 

Exhausted

 


 

21

Malpais de Guimar

Badlands of Guimar

The town of Guimar lies to the north of the Autopiste. To the south is Montana Grande and between Puerto de Guimar and El Socorro lies Malpais de Guimar. The Malpais is an area of lava which flowed from the base of Montana Grande 10,000 years ago and is now a Special Natural Reserve.         Holly took most of the photographs

Our route is shown in blue taken using GPS and Backcountry App. on a 7" Samsung Galaxy Tab.

The last houses to the East of Puertito de Guimar

Sea Shanties.    The last dwelling to the east of Puertito de Guimar

Looking back towards Puertito de Guimar

 

 

Well defined cinder path

   The one big rectangle and several smaller ones closely adjacent are salt pans which were used to obtain salt from evaporated sea water

Cardonnes growing up through other euphorbia

I have not yet identified this plant but my guess is sea kale. A popular food in Victorian times but now a protected speeches in the UK

The path becomes rougher but still distinct

Montana Grande in the background

 

We climbed to the top of Montana de la Mar and could look down on the path we had taken

 

Another unidentified plant

 

 

 

Cliffs below Montana de la Mar
 

Examples of the lava flows.

Brave surfers

Crashing waves

23

Alcala 1

On Wednesday 3rd December 2014 we had thought of going to Bajama on the north coast where there are natural pools, but as it looked cloudy in that direction we decided to go to the west where it looked sunny. 

We left El Medano as about  10am and soon arrived at  Alcala which is between San Juan and Puerto de Santiago.

 We wasted some time by turning left too soon but made the correct turn left at the roundabout. We parked near the sea beside the wholesaler, Jesuman. On a previous occasion we had walked left along the sea front to the harbour, but this time holly suggested we walked right.

          

View towards the Harbour

The island of Gomera can be seen on the horizon

We first spotted a fisherman and a seagull. They are small in my photo but holly took photos with her zoom lens camera. We also spotted a crab, distinctly red

 

 

The paths beside the sea were well laid out, edged and paved with different surfaces including boarding, paving slabs and red gravel and stainless steel railings. To the right we could see a large complex. Later we found this to be Gran Melia.

On the seaward side there were a number of natural swimming pools, filled daily by the sea. 

 

 

 

There was a number of beaches with black sand. The sand looked even more black when wet.

Holly remarked that it seemed that a man was taking a photo of a mermaid.

 There was rather a nice bar above on of the beaches. We had a cafe con letche and a cocoa which came to 4.5€. which I suppose is the going rate.

In front of the cafe were two  four-poster sun beds.

Past the last beach the paved walkway ended and a rough footpath continued on towards Los Gigantes.

 

 

My first picture is a Google satellite view. If you are wondering what the large expanse of water shown near the complex is, it is an infinity pool in the grounds of the hotel Gran Melia  The largest swimming pool in the EU   

To get this view you have to be at the hotel Melia

You can see how the infinity pool looks just now on the webcam

 

 

 

 

24

La Fortaleza

La Fortaleza is a small Mountain to the north east of Pico Teide

On the 8th December we decided to do the walk to  La Fortaleza which starts at the Information Centre at Portillo. We have been to the Centre before and found an interesting exhibition. The next day we were due to return the hired car so we did not wish to leave too much petrol in it. We started off from El Medano with the gauge showing just over half full, but by the time we had got up to Teide it had dropped to just below quarter full and the dash-light came on to indicate refuelling was required. We had passed the last petrol station at Vilaflor. with some intimidation we  decided to go on and parked at the Information car park. Holly asked a taxi driver who was parked there for the nearest petrol station. He shook his head and said La Orotava .We knew that although that it was a long way away, it was all down hill. So we set off on our walk.

 

This is the front of the Information Centre showing the solar panels on the roof. The walk, sendero no.1, starts to the left

This is the view from the path looking down on the Information Centre. The path is only paved for a short while.

The turn-style and low fence at the start of the open ground looked incongruous. We enjoyed only occasional sunshine.

We came to the junction with sendero 24 which lead back to the restaurants on the main road

The top of Teide was shrouded in cloud and we had been told at the Information Centre that the cable car was not running and there were winds of 100 km there.   However it did provide a good silhouette to the rocks which I believe are called El Cabezo.

We found somewhere to sit, uncomfortably, after walking and taking photos for about an hour and a half and we could see La Fortaleza in the distance. We had read that it was a bit of a climb but the view from the top was great, but we had our picnic lunch and turned back.

On the return journey holly took some more photos

As we had anticipated the road to Orotava was all down hill, so holly cruised the car mostly in neutral to save petrol.                  Past Aguamansa, nearly into La Orotava we came to a petrol station.

25

Nuns' Barranco    (Barranco de las Monja)

          Having recovered from heavy colds over the Christmas period on the morning of 5th January 2015 we decided to drive out to somewhere new.

We like to be adventurous. We tried to try to have a guided tour of the Wind Farm (Parque Ecológico) but we were told that it was closed but the gate keeper said he believed it would be open tomorrow. Tomorrow the 6th January is a general holiday.


 

We decided to go for a walk nearby and we parked in the empty car park near the Mercadona Depot.

 

   We walked along the well defined path which lead to a specially constructed view point which was a dead end. we took the path to the right which      tumbled down into the barranco.  From here we could see the tunnel beneath the motorway.

In the barranco the were a lot of grasses which had decorative flowers and seed heads. We are told that these are not native but come from Africa and are invasive and are an unpopular weed.

   When we had gone through the tunnel beneath the motorway, we saw that the barranco was well strewn with boulders ,but this had not dissuaded a  motor cyclist as was evidenced by the tracks

In the distance was a weathered pumas cliff but the barranco was blocked with natural stone wall which must have acted as a waterfall in times of heavy rain, which seem to occur only two or three times in the south of the island.

We stopped at this point for a rest. We had been walking for about an hour. We had not made much progress as we had been delayed by the boulders and the taking of photographs.

 

Here am I, a picture of dejection. I had lost my balance and fallen over.

We had a rest but although  thought I could walk back OK holly was worried that I did not look too good and insisted that she got in touch with Carol and John and asked them to come to help in case I fell again. I thought that was best. She had her mobile phone but there was no signal in the barranco.She walked back the tunnel as far as the car park before being able to phone.

She spoke to Carol who was shopping in Granadilla and told her we could do with some assistance as I had fallen down in a barranco. Carol rushed home to pick up John, who was decorating.

Holly returned with a drink of fruit juice, and we walked down a short distance so that I could rest in the shade provided by this rock.

Holly returned to guide Carol and John. They had driven down and met up with holly who had walked down though the tunnel again.

They walked through the boulders to the rock where I was well rested by now. They assisted in my return down the barranco and back to the car making sure I did not lose my balance and fall again. Carol suggested I took "more water with it". We were very grateful for Carol and John's rescue especially as they missed out on their Liddell's beef burgers which Carol had  no time to buy.  We resolved to walk in no more barrancos. On return to our apartment in El Medano, and after a siesta, I did some research into where we had gone wrong.

I found from Google Earth Maps that we had been walking in the Barranco de las Monjas. I had intended to walk part of the walk described in 'Guide to footpaths in Granadilla de Abona' which we had got free of charge from the Information Office. The walk was called 'Ifara los Derriscaderos'. We should have walked along the path beside the Barranco de la Mula (Mule). I found someone had written up this walk, see : -

 wikiloc.com/wikiloc/view.do?id=1518926  and   teneriferambler.com/2012/03/walking-in-barranco-de-la-mula-barranco.html

 

 

26

La Laguna

On the 17th December 2015 we decided to visit Santa Cruz and La Laguna. Holly wished to go to El Corte Ingles, a large shop in Santa Cruz and we would go to La Laguna on the tram. We have been to La Laguna several time on our way to and from walks at Anaga .We usually got lost when driving the car there.

We drove to Santa Cruz and parked in the large free car park before the Auditorium. We walked to Corte Ingles did some shopping and then went to one of the tram stops. You have to buy a ticket from a machine there before you board the tram; it was not easy. A local was trying at the same time, pressing all the buttons he could see and lost a 5€ note and the machine refused to function further. Holly felt sorry for the old man, gave him a 5 € note and went to another machine opposite and managed to get tickets but three appeared instead of the two paid for at €1.35 each.

The journey to La Laguna took longer than we had imagined. There is a university there and a. few of the stops were for campuses.

When we arrived at the final destination on Avenue Trinidad at La Laguna we sat and had a welcome beer.

The Avenue Trinidad is a dual carriageway but walking on up we came on a pedestrianised road to the left

We walked up the pedestrianised road. Most of the shops were closed as it was gone 2pm., siesta time. However we could look in the many shop windows so it was very pleasant and we came across four men busking. Two with acoustic guitars one with an electric guitar and one percussionist.

They played and sung music with a flamenco flavour. I videoed one song and afterwards bought a CD for 5€ from them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                  Some buildings were specially decorated.

                                Some pigeons liked bathing in a raised fountain

 

 

Further along the road we came to the Cathedral Plaza where we stopped for a two course meal of garbanzas, meat and chips and a vino tinto.

We had more than we could eat.

We walked around the back of the Cathedral and decided to pay 2€ to go up the bell tower. This was a mistake. We climbed up the first two levels with steep stone stairs and then up three sets of steep wooden stairs which had no risers so you could see right through them to the view below. By this time I was short of breath and holly was suffering with vertigo. If we had got to the top we would have had a good view over La Laguna and taken photographs. However we decided to turn back, which was just as well as the bells would be chiming whilst we were up with them.

 

Holly took some photographs of house leeks on the roofs .

The 2€ each paid for the tower also entitled us to go in the Cathedral. The interior was rather depressing as there were many paintings of Martyrs and suffering. There was plenty of silver, probably take from the Incas.

The leaflet we received when we paid 2€ showed us on a plan various other places we could visit, for our 2€ each, with religious paintings, Asiatic Christian paintings and Byzantine icons. We were tired, so we made our was back to the tram.

We got ticket before boarding the tram which was just as well as a 'Titsa Inspector' checked them on our journey and we saw a notice saying the fine for not having a ticket was 400€

We also saw that it was possible to pay by means of a smart phone app, which a good number of people did. The tram was used by a lot of people, including a small person who had fallen down and had a large plaster on her forehead, and had her mother with her.

Our journey back to El Medano took longer than we expected as we took two wrong turns, were blinded with the setting sun in our eyes, and ended up on the ridge road above La Esperanza.


27

Santiago del Teide

Extension of the southern auto-pista the and Santiago del Teide walk

On Wednesday 30th December 2015 we decided to explore the new road just opened beyond Playa de las Americas.

It is dual carriageway for the first part and the it is a three carriageway road with two lanes going west and one lane coming back east , apart from two tunnels at the far end going almost under Arquayo. (see our walk Arquayo).

At Santiago del Teide we started our walk on the road just below the petrol station. It was signposted to Los Gigantes.

Below are several photos we took on our walk. We walked for about half an hour and then half an hour back.

 

Pickley Pears in fruit with Teide in the background

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aeonium arboreum, (syn. Sempervivum arboreum)

View south showing Tamaimo and new tunnel entrances

Looking back towards Santiago del Teide

On the 29th February 2016 we explored further south down this pathway. We first of all joined the path at El Molledo, a nice little village, and we parked near the plaza and church.

We joined the path near the point where we got to on our trip on the 30th December.

There was an aeonium in bloom which holly photographed.We walked down hill  but found after a while that it became steep and uneven.

 

               There was a strata of very hard rock which formed part of the path and also stood up where softer rocks had been weathered on each side.

 Although it was sunny there was a very cold wind making it very cold..

I should have been wearing jeans instead of shorts

As I am a bit doddery, my sense of balance is not so good we turned back. We drove further down the main road to Tamaimo

I took a photo of a prickly pear plant with cochineal  beetles on it; somehow I got some beetles on my hand and because of the bright red colour I thought, for a moment, I had injured myself.

. We rejoined the path at Tamaimo, a much larger town than El Molledo  . The path runs in a barranco more or less parallel to the main road TF82.  It is, I suspect, the old donkey track. It is steep and uneven in many places.

 

Holly took this fine photo of Teide in the snow. You can see the most recent lava flow on the island which occurred about 100 years ago.

About four days ago we had our first snow of the winter and the roads in the caldera was closed.

 

We decided to walk down the track but after a while I again thought it was unsafe for me although certainly OK for a more agile person.

On our way back to El Medano we called in at Adeje. There is a large car park and we had a salad and the famous Adeje chicken at the Oasis Restaurant. Google 'Adeje chicken'.  On the way from the car park we noticed this sign for a German dentist.

 

28

Azure Rocks

As you drive towards the Parador Hotel and El Teide from Vilaflor, you come to some coloured rocks, which we photographed.

(There are good photographs of the Parador de Cañadas del Teide, if you Google  "parador")

 

 

Teide Wallflower to left and feature rocks above

Here are some more photographs of the coloured rocks,

 The last photograph has the line of the road

going through the rocks.

 

29

Northeast Tenerife

Trip to Barranqueras, El Pris & Jover

On 4th March 2016 we visited the north coast with Carol & John.

 On the way we had good views of Teide covered with snow and above a low cloud.

Our first port of call was Barranqueras. Polka and Bubuji met two friendly dogs

More photographs taken at Barranqueras

 

Fishermen making cages

John, Carol and holly by lifeguard's lookout

Boy fishing

Our next stop was at El Pris where we had lunch after parking up a hill.

We walked down the hill to the fish restaurant, where there were 3d pictures of fish on the wall. Across the road from the restaurant there was a swimming pool refreshed by the high tide. There are may such pools along this part of the coast and a large one at Bajamar.

  

 

Holly has suggested we come back for a swim in November when the water is warmer.

 

On the way back up the hill to the van my attention was drawn to this building which was faced with pebbles selected to be practically the same size

We then drove to Jover which is near Tejina but not shown on my map.

30

Matilda and the Mouse


 

18th February 2015

Matilda is the cat we have fed each winter since we started staying at Los Dolfines, El Medano in the year 2000. We have her with us for four months from November until March. Alfonso looks after her the rest of the year.

She is less energetic now and spends a lot of time sleeping in the apartment when she is not eating or sunning herself in the patio area.

She did catch a mouse outside the other day and brought it into the apartment. Holly tried the catch it to put it outside but it escaped behind the washing machine. After a day or two when Matilda showed no interest in catching it again and we saw signs left by it each morning and we heard it nibbling behind the kitchen units we decided that we must get rid of it, for the sake of the washing machine and fridge.

John lent us some mouse traps which we set and put in the units over night. In the morning we had one mouse to dispose of.

31

Las Galletas

On Sunday 6th March 2016, Carol had planned for us to take a party to Roberto's vineyard for the start of a walk down and for us to meet them at La Higuera where us would pick them up after investigating whether there was a walk from there to Las Vegas. However when we were half way there there was steady rain, so we decided to go to Las Galletas.

We approached Las Galletas from Guaza and parked on the right near the Red Cross hut. We had gone in two vehicles so we all set off for a walk westerly along the coast. There was Carol & John with their two dogs Polka & puppy Bubugee, Sally & Mike, Sharon & Bob, holly & myself.

Holly & I went for a short walk and the others went on a longer walk toward the lighthouse. We walked for about an hour and the others for about two hours, however they did not reach the lighthouse.

There is a bar which was closed and then a hippy encampment. We took a few photos.

The entrance to Las Galletas Harbour is in the background

 

Above is a group of cardone in bud behind prickly pears.

If you are brave, Google for  recipes.

To the right is a dead dragon tree

Entrance to Galletas Harbour

Galletas Harbour with Galletas in the background.

                After the walk we went back to Carol & John's house. They picked up Guido and his wife from San Isidro who were to join us for a

               meal of curried beef

32

Aldea Blanca

 

On the 11th January 2016 we went to Aldea Blanca. We parked in a car park in front of a mock castle. We checked to make sure that it was free and saw that jt was apart from 16.00 to 8.00. Presumably it was then reserved for coaches bringing people to the castle for the evening's entertainment.

 

 

We walked along the path to San Miguel but the first part was along the road past the church. We saw a ricinus (castor oil plant) with nice leaves but which has very poisonous seeds.

 

By the Church the was an amusing poster, stating that you are responsible for your dogs and pets and liable for a €300 fine.


 

Holly was also amused by the bendy lamp post

 

Here is an orange flower on a rambling plant seen in many parts of the Island.    We also saw a wall made of a great variety of rocks including one of poured lava next to some concrete.


 

Looking across a barranco was a nice house with a papaya tree, with lots of fruit.


 

The track became quite steep after a while but there was a path going down to the left and holly investigated further and took this photo of three arches

The arches seem to be built to carry a water pipe. Holly also saw a disused gallery, of the type used to collect water, with an old rail track, used to carry out the spoil.

 

 

33

Goat trail above Masca

The trail goes up the mountain shown here, but it is necessary to park in the viewpoint which is the first one below the one at the top. Parking is limited to about eight vehicles so it is best to arrive early. We arrived about 10 o'clock and just managed to get in.

 

                                              We parked at the viewpoint near the top of this photo.

                              It is the first viewpoint where you can park coming down from the top

There was a constant sound of goat bells from the herd of goats. The finca was quite isolated. They were certainly mountain goats.

Looking down to Masca we can see the road zigzagging down and also the other side we can see the road ascending out on the way to

 Bonavista del Norte.  To the right we can see the mountains which overlook Masca.

 

The path from the road started beside the private track to the goat farm. It was rough and uneven from the start. It descended quite steeply and we decided this was a walk for very agile people.

There were nice extensive  views down to Masca and back to the road and cliffs beyond.

 After some distance, John, Mike, Sally and Carol went ahead and we arranged to see them back at the van after the walk.

We  continued down the slope and stopped to have a snack near the bottom where there was a small level area before the path climbed again up the other side. We had been walking about an hour but our progress had been slow because of the difficult terrain.

 

   

Holly took some flower photographs. the spurge in particular was looking very good.

                There were some very large Dandelions

                            Thistle

 

 

 

 

   

    Sally, Carol, John, and Mike, continued on the walk

      and  Mike Jeans took the following photographs

 

34

Pyramids of Guimar

On Tuesday the 9th of February holly drove Tina, Martin and myself to Guimar. We turned  off the autopista before Guimar in order to drive through El Escabonal, past the Mirador de Don Martin where there is a good view over the valley of Guimar.

At Guimar the directions to the pyramids was well signposted, but when we got there there was little parking and that was all taken. We drove on and found somewhere to park on a turning to the right outside a bar. We walked back to the pyramids complex which calls itself Parque Etnografico.

The entrance fee was 11€ each which we thought a bit high. However there was quite a large area to explore around the pyramids and an extensive exhibition area. The main theme of the exhibition is the adventures of Thor Heyerdahl and models of his rafts in which he crossed the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans.

                          The sculpture of  Thor Heyerdahl shown on the right is exhibited.

                 

            There were numerous stepped pyramids within the site, and and examples of Tenerife flora in the gardens.

          In the exhibition there were photographs of pyramids from all round the world.

 

 

 

 

 

On our way to the exhibition area we passed a pool with water lilies with a pyramid behind. The flowers were very nice and holly said they were lotus

 

This is a photograph of the cannon which it is claimed shot off the arm of Admiral Horatio Nelson when he attempted to capture Tenerife from the Spanish on the 25th July 1797. We choose to remember the battle of Trafalgar but not this one.   However I am correct in saying "claimed" as the wikipedia article says "As he stepped ashore he was hit in the right arm by a musket ball, which fractured hishumerus bone in multiple places. He was rowed back to the Theseus to be attended to by the surgeon, Thomas Eshelby. On arriving on his ship he refused to be helped aboard, declaring "Let me alone! I have got my legs left and one arm." He was taken to surgeon Eshelby, instructing him to prepare his instruments and "the sooner it was off the better". Most of the right arm was amputated and within half an hour Nelson had returned to issuing orders to his captains - "

 

In the exhibition there were many artefacts from pyramids around the world

There are many replica models of the reed rafts built by Thor Heyerdahl, One of which, the R.A.11, is full size.

 .Here is Tina, Martin and holly with three models

There was a full size model of R.A/11 which was behind glass making it difficult to photograph.

There was also a photograph of the R.A.11  at sea in the exhibition.

Since posting this on line I have been told of a link to more information. You can find it at :-

http://www.ancient-origins.net/ancient-places-europe/mystery-guanches-and-pyramids-tenerife-003232

35

Monte Los Fraile

On Monday 14th March 2016 we drove along the motorway towards Santa Cruz to Arafo. On the road to Teide we turned off to the left to the BBQ and Recreation area Monte Los Frailes. It is a narrow road mostly single lane and we wondered how they managed when there was a lot of to-ing and fro-ing with families of a weekend .  On the road was a pair of dragon trees with berries.

                             

   Fruits on dragon tree

 

At the recreation ground we took the several photographs below

 

 

 

Tajinaste

36

Alcala 2

 2

Natural swimming pool

We have often been to the small town of Alcala, (see Alcala1) which is along the coast a short distance east from Los Gigantes. A good parking place is found by driving towards the sea from the roundabout on the main road. Towards the right facing the sea is a very pleasant sea frontage with natural swimming pools and sandy beaches.

 

Snack bar by the beach

Beach with Hotel in background

Port

Along to the left there is the small port and a square with a good selection of restaurants.

There is a very up-market hotel behind the pedestrian sea frontage called Gran Melia, It is part of a large group of hotels thoughout the Canary Islands and Spain. It has an infinity pool claimed to be the bigest in Europe, It can be seen at the webcam at http://www.skylinewebcams.com/en/webcam/espana/canarias/santa-cruz-de-tenerife/gran-melia-infinity.html        and on Googe Earth

The 13th November was holly's 70th birthday so we decided to have two nights bed & breakfast at the Gran Malia.. It was expensive in fact it cost more than a month at our self catering apartment at El Medano!

We arrived about 3.30 on 12th November and found plenty of parking space beneath the hotel. We had booked in on line and were taken to our room from reception and show how to open the door with our card. We had been given two admission cards and two cards for towels for the swimming pools. If you wondering what extras you may find in an up-market hotel bedroom they are 25 green glowing indicator lights at all the light switches, his and her wash hand basins, and a convenient extra telephone right by the loo.

We had an evening meal at a restaurant in the town square, walking there and back.

So far so good.

Holly has been suffering with an arthritic knee and the loss of feeling in two of her fingers due to a trapped nerve. She had visited Carmen in Las Chafiras and had 6 knotted muscles sorted out.

The bed mattress was too hard for holly, and there were the small indicator light shining all night. One was for the television and one or two for each of the light switches.

Holly had such an uncomfortable night that I suggested in the middle of the night that we returned to El Medano the next day.

However the next day we had an appointment with the hotel's webcam at 10 am; there was a buffet breakfast, with as much as you could eat. So we filled up so much that we did not need a midday meal.

At 10 o'clock we positioned ourselves where we could be seen by the webcam and waved to all watching, several people said they'd seen us on their computers.

We were both tired after the bad night, so we went back to our room and holly phoned her sister. We had an early siesta, and at 4 o'clock holly collected a towel and went for a swim in the infinity pool.

The infinity pool was completely tiled under foot,  in mosaic, and had unheated sea water, but it was not too cold so holly and several others stayed in for over half an hour. Around the perimeter and in some parts of the centre, it had beige “loungers” just underwater which turned on a mass of bubbles when you lay on them. There was a space where 7 or 8 showers, each with a different head, sprayed water on the swimmers beneath as they came by. Also you could swim into a large spa and sit on any of the 8 seats and enjoy the jets' massage. There were 2 large bays where the floor slopped gently to the basic depth of 1.50 metres and shallow steps elsewhere to ease you into the pool. Around the pool were numerous sun loungers and 5 or 6 bali beds, curtained if you wanted some privacy.




Fountains in the pool

Inflnity pool

Holly swimming in the pool

In the evening we did not feel like walking into the town for a meal. We had had a good breakfast but no lunch so we were hungry .We decided to have an hotel meal although we had not booked one. We went down for a buffet meal which cost us 42€ each. In comparison our meal the previous meal it the town had cost 50€ for the two of us including wine. However we had a very substantial meal with of course  wine.

In the morning we had a big breakfast at the buffet restaurant. There was plenty to eat. The man in front of me when asked whether he wanted cheese or ham in his omelette he said everything, when she put in two slices of ham to start with he asked for one more. We took back our cards to book out at reception and drove out from our basement car park just before midday.

We are used to a quiet life on the Isle of Wight and find the apartment at El Medano made a bit noisy by the neighbours. However because of the large number of people at the hotel, mostly English ,and the loud evening “entertainment” in the main hall, we found the hotel far from restful.

37

Eras

In Tenerife there are a number of eras.

Eras are stones laid in a circular manner to facilitate the separation of grain from chaff.

The wheat is laid on the stones and an animal, usually a donkey. is tethered at the middle and driven around to tread on and separate the grains of wheat.

Eras are clearly visible on Google Earth at the following locations,

28 degrees 16 minutes 16.79” North 16 degrees 48 minutes 22.90” West

28 07 19.69” 16 41 24.00”

28 06 51.11” 16 41 36.12”

28 08 59.40” 16 43 36.05”

28 12 37.01 16 43 25.71”


 

Many eras are maintained although I do not believe they are used. .They were often situated near a windy ridge to blow away the chaff. There is no standard size for an era.

Photograph of eras.


 

 



 

 

Arguayo   Era seen from above

This era is smaller than usual and constructed in the lava flow

Era at Arguayo seen from ground level

 

Era below Ifonche and water duct seen from the path above


 

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Another era at Ifonche

38

Car

When we first started spending our winters in Tenerife we brought holly's Aunt Ceci and we hired a car from Synasty, a British owned company in Los Cristanos. They delivered it for us to pick up at the airport and charged 300 Euros a month. As the cost was split three ways we thought this was reasonable. At the time we were paying 800 Euros a month for renting a two bedroom apartment. We missed coming one winter as I was recovering from a heart operation.

Our next winter in Tenerife was without Aunt Ceci and we rented a one bedroom apartment for 500 Euros a month. Synasty quoted a price of 500 Euros a month so we rented a car from Auto Reisen at 300 Euros a month

The next year John had a car we could borrow, unfortunately when we were up near Teide it made terrible engine noises and we were afraid we would be stranded. See my blog :-

http://www.el-medano-tenerife.com/ChavaoBlog.htm

Luckily John had bought a Renault Clio which we were able to use for the rest of our winter stay. The next year we borrowed John's Hyundai van. This year John thought that the gearbox on the van might let us down so we look about for the best deal on the internet.

We had to rent for periods of 28 days. We were directed to the 'cheapest'

deal by, CarRentals, on the internet. The first 4 weeks we used Europcar but when we asked for a quote for a further 4 weeks we we quoted 700 Euros and told we could get it cheaper booking on line. We got another quote from CarRentals.com for Goldcar.

The quote was reasonable but the extras for insurance and petrol made us feel ripped off. For instance you receive the car filled with petrol for which we were charged 89 Euros, if it was returned with any petrol you would be

credited but there would be a service charge of 25 Euros. 800 Euros was charged as deposit on our credit card to be used in case of damage to the vehicle.

We decided we would be better off if we had our own car.

Carol said that Emma would be able to advise us about the formalities

of us owning a car.

Emma assists her father in running MotorWorld Car Sales at Costa del Silencio. So Carol arranged to take us there to see her on Thursday. I had already thought that we could do with a 5 door car costing between 2,500 and 3,000 Euros which should be cheaper than two winter's rentals.

When we pulled up at Emma's I immediately saw a 5 door Renault for sale for 2,495 Euros and I said that is the kind of car we want . Holly agreed but said it looked rather too posh. Obviously she was expecting a tattered vehicle. Anyway Emma explained to us the procedure in buying a car.

Holly will be normally be driving so it will be registered in her name.

The normal procedure is to take the logbook to the traffic police at Santa Cruz together with a passport to get the ownership transferred, but because we need our passports for travelling shortly holly needed to get a copy of the passport certified by a Notary. It is necessary to have a local address confirmed with a written contract agreement with the landlord, and you also need an N.E I. In order to get an N.E.I. you need to get three forms from a police station, fill them in and pay 9.45 Euros at a bank and return with them to the police station.

Carol kindly said she would take us to Las Americas the next day.

We started from San Isidro at 8.45 am. We called at the police station, at Las Americas, and collected the three forms and were told to fill them in, pay 9.5 Euros at a bank and return in two hours time. We went to Barclay's Bank at Los Cristanos, and paid the fee and they every kindly helped us fill in the forms and photo copied the passport. Back at the police station two hours later they quickly issued holly's N.E.I.

We then went to a Notary at Los Cristanos and got a certified copy of holly's passport for a small fee.

We then called at Motorworld and saw Emma.

She was surprised that we had managed to get all the business done. Emma was able to arrange the car insurance then and there, and we paid with our credit card and took take the car away, that is, after a much needed tapa and glass of wine at the Atlantic Bar Las Galletas.

The only fly in the ointment was that the contract for the rental of our apartment was in my name, so we have had to ask Alfonso for a copy in holly's name, which we will let Emma have.

We are very grateful to Carol and Emma in facilitating the car purchase. John and Carol will keep the car for us until next winter

My only complaint is with the number plate 2345CDL would have been a neat IOW number.

 

39

Grua'ed

We have seen notices that warn you that if you park illegally your car will be taken away by a grua. That is your car will be loaded on to a lorry and taken to a car pound.

On the 9th of December we visited San Isidro and on our return, entering our road at El Medano we heard the car engine making a loud noise, so much so that it seemed unwise to drive it to a garage.

Our insurance covered taking our car to a garage in case of mechanical breakdown. Holly tried to do this Friday evening but was frustrated by a poor signal to her mobile phone and a change of insurers for our second year of insurance.

Saturday morning she had more success and arranged for our car to be taken to the garage where we bought it; where there is an English proprietor called Graham .He was there to receive it Saturday morning and said he would give us a price for repair. We knew we needed two new tyres to pass the MOT in March and holly asked him to do this. holly was able to drive the car up the ramp and on to the grua lorry.

On Tuesday morning we were taken to Motor World Garage at Las Chaferas by Carol and collected our car from Graham.

It was running perfectly and he had fitted two new tyres.  .Alfonso said the usual price for grua'ing was 60 euros. But we have not been charged.

40

RESTAURANTS

We have been to two restaurants we can recommend.  The first is in Granadilla in a cave,

It is called La Cantera (The Quarry)

The second is on the road from Las Chafiras and Las Galletas and is called El Cordero (The Lamb)

You will not miss the Lamb. It is the biggest piece of topiary I have ever seen. It is part of a banana plantation, and we were given some bananas as we left.

 

It is very spacious and pleasant inside and there is plenty of shaded car parking outside.

41

Flotsam

John had shown an interest in making use of a rope I had seen washed up on the little beach near us.
 Holly and I pulled it up in stages, resting for a breath several times and put it in the boot of John's car which we have borrowed for our winter stay in Tenerife.

I considered it flotsam, jetsam is apparently items on the beach which have been deliberately thrown off a boat to avoid it sinking. Lagan is cargo at the bottom of the sea. Jetsam belongs to those who abandoned it and flotsam belongs to the Crown in England. However the Queen was too slow to to recover the large amount of flotsam was washed up recently at Beer in Devon holly points out. Anyway the rope was ours until we gave it to John. Let's see what use he makes of it.

Here is the rope and the our replacement car.

 

The End