Yesterday morning at 9am, a small group of us set off on the hour drive to Cruz del Carmen in the Anaga mountain area of North Tenerife to meet with the rest of our walking party. Equipped with rucksacks, walking boots and warm clothing to withstand the cold, damp morning air at altitude, the first part of the walk took us downward through the forest. Following the meandering, muddy, leaf-lined footpath beneath the canopy of trees, it could have been mistaken for a forest in England! With the cool, fresh air and the forest smells and sounds, it was enchanting. We passed by a rain-deprived waterfall that can just be made out on the photograph, before emerging into the sunlight again.
The walk led us along footpaths and roads, passing by agricultural terraces and tiny rustic cottages. We saw people planting potatoes and mixing Canarian mojo sauce. There were breathtaking views over barrancos and dramatic mountain landscapes in shades of grey and green interjected with flashes of yellow flowers on nearby slopes. As we approached the village of Las Carboneras, the sun was bathing us with a brilliant brightness that brought the panorama to life with a Technicolor clarity more characteristic of a springtime scene in Hollywood than the chilly January day that had greeted us.
The backdrop of deep turquoise sea and crystal blue sky accompanied us to the sleepy cave-house village of Chinamada and beyond to the Mirador de Aguaide viewpoint where we stopped to admire the view over the Punta de Hidalgo far below and to have lunch.
After lunch, picking our way along the footpath back to Chinamada, the sun abandoned us, leaving us once more in the grip of cutting mountain winds. Once more out of Chinamada and past the little Dragon tree, we resumed the circular route and began the ascent by steep, twisting footpath towards forest and the pendulous grey clouds that had begun to gather menacingly above us.
It was on this stretch of the journey that we met with the goats and chickens. Separated from us by gate and fence, the goats came over to say hello with a friendly curiosity. They didn’t appear very much in awe of the expansive rocky slopes and jagged crevices laid out before them…
Climbing further to a little resting point with plunging drops to either side, we paused to watch the thickening grey fog of rain making its way toward us along the valley, zipped up fleeces and anoraks and continued upward until we eventually reached the road and the rain passed on by without catching us. Looking back from the road we could just make out Chinamada in the distance and I realised how far we had walked. Only a little further along this road, the group split with some retracing the morning steps uphill through the forest while others took sanctuary in a conveniently placed bus-shelter to wait for our lift back home and a well-deserved after-walk beer.
It was a thoroughly exhausting but enjoyable day and I managed to capture some of the beautiful scenery for my Picture Gallery. The walk was organised and led by Gary Rosson for members of The Tenerife Forum.