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      June 2011 > Live from Tenerife - day 1

Live from Tenerife - day 1

Tenerife cloud bank 

I've just arrived in Tenerife and like many people driving from the airport up the east coast, it gives the appearance of being a stark, barren island of desert and ancient lava flows. However, head around the corner and along the north coast towards the eastern tip and you will see a land coated in dense green forest. This is, in the main, due to a band of cloud (left) that comes in off the sea every day, bringing badly needed moisture to the hills that sweep down into the sea from the looming summit of El Teide. But don't be fooled into thinking that it's wet and gloomy – far from it, as I discovered today.

It's actually my second visit to the island – I came a couple of years ago to check our walking notes and create two more routes. However, since then, the island authorities have been undertaking a major campaign of road building, and adding excellent new signposts to many walking routes. So someone had to come and make sure our notes are still relevant – and I drew the short straw!

La Orotava, TenerifeI'm spending the first three nights at our hotel in La Orotava, the Rural Victoria, and it's a real pleasure to be back here again. The service and food are excellent and it's perfectly located for a stroll around town – which I did last night, discovering far more than I'd seen before. There are historic mansions, colourful houses, ornate churches, palm trees on the street, and the lush Victoria Gardens which are a great place to sit and look out over this lovely town. Indeed, you can often see the island of La Palma across the sea to the north.

Today I walked up into the pine forests, above the cloud base and into the hills of Los Organos. It's a wonderful walk that climbs up gently winding forestry tracks – and above the mist – before contouring along steep slopes with great views cross the green hillsides, up to snow-capped El Teide and over the sea. It was awe-inspiring and the weather was wonderful, but now I'm back in La Orotava enjoying dinner in the hotel and looking forward to tomorrow's ascent of El Teide itself. Watch this space...
Tenerife and El Teide

Posted: 10/06/2011 20:26:59 by | with 0 comments
Filed under: Canary islands, heritage, nature, Spain, walking

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