Walks Blog – Feb 2017

A New Era for Camels?

Llano del Camello

Today’s walk in the high ground near La Camella and Chayofa overlooks Los Cristianos and Las Americas from an impressive vantage point on a steeply sloping hillside. It is obvious from the terraced terrain that the whole area was once intensively farmed, and it must have demanded the hardest of physical labour to extract value from this difficult and arid environment. The name of the small town of La Camella, and the nearby camel rides centre, reminded us that camels once played an important role in the rural economy of southern Tenerife. Dromedaries were brought from Africa to the Canaries in the 1550’s. They were easy to feed, could go without drinking water for several days, and were able to carry and pull very heavy loads. The strength and muscle development of erathese camels has evolved over the centuries to the extent that the Spanish Government recently recognised a new local breed: the Canarian camel. Following this recognition, there is apparently an intention to re-introduce the camel as part of a more general promotion of  traditional farming methods (like the threshing circle (“era”) pictured?),  in arid areas of the Canary Islands …
Facebook post: https://goo.gl/wo1p4S , 28th February, 2017


Up, Up and Away!
A circular hike around La Camella and Chayofa today. The downhill start was promising but, for every down, there’s an up …
Facebook post: https://goo.gl/AGYqOo , 28th February, 2017









Historical and Religious Trail
It was a walk with a religious theme today. Camino de la Virgen from La Caleta to Adeje and return (well, almost to Adeje!) …
Facebook post: https://goo.gl/E9htrS , 28th February, 2017








The Pirates of Costa Adeje
Each year, fulfilling a promise their ancestors made almost 500 years ago, residents of Adeje Town, nestling in the hills above today’s 5 star hotels at La Caleta, walk a statue of the Virgin Mary along the old path from the top of Adeje to the centuries-old hermitage of San Sebastián in La Caleta. This was the first home of the statue, and the tradition of returning her to her origins began in the late 16th century when her statue was moved uphill from the coastal hermitage to the fortified settlement at Adeje, to protect it from pirates. img_6031Today, we walked part of that route, and back again to the shimmering bay at La Caleta, where the price lists on the upmarket fish restaurants are the only evidence that pirates still operate on these shores …

Facebook post: https://goo.gl/8hJKpB , 25th February, 2017


On Our Doorstep
Goats encountered on a little walk from our doorstep in Silencio today …

2Facebook post: https://goo.gl/r26bW8 , 23rd February, 2017


Too Much Like Hard Work!
It was a hard slog up Mt Guaza today – a way too steep climb over a shortish distance. The clara grande (large shandy) waiting for me at the at the end point made up for it though …
Facebook post: https://goo.gl/Q05mjf , 21st February, 2017









Exit Strategy
This way, a very cold large beer awaits …
Facebook post: https://goo.gl/2l21m6 , 21st February, 2017









Wine at the Waterfront
6Letting the good times roll at the festival of local wines in Los Cristianos on Saturday night … at €1.50 for a glass of fine wine, bopping to the beat quickly became obligatory …
Facebook post: https://goo.gl/SWLoj7 , 20th February, 2017






Popular Puertito
It was a great day for a great walk yesterday. From La Caleta to El Puertito and back. A popular route judging by the number of peeps around …
Facebook post: https://goo.gl/R0owWC , 18th February, 2017








Spaghetti Au Naturel
On our walk today … a near perfect picture postcard scene at “Turtle Bay”, Puertito (de Armeñime). Here, the beach-goers and bathers protect their modesty in the conventional way. Not necessarily so just around the point at “Spaghetti Beach” (famous for the Italian naturist who stirred his pasta pot beside the crashing surf) and, just a little further on, “Hippy Beach” (no explanation required), where you can go as nature intended, and, happily, no-one will blink an eye … *;) winking
Facebook post: https://goo.gl/RhHI65 , 18th February, 2017



From the Mouths of …
Madam M has spoken…… #catsontwitter 
Facebook post: https://goo.gl/skmnyp , 16th February, 2017








Seeing Cetaceans
On a good day (calm and cloudy!), we don’t even need a boat here in Silencio to spot our cetacean cousins …
Facebook post: https://goo.gl/mHfjfO , 16th February, 2017









Rain, What Rain …?
It was heavy rain up at the K9 refuge today and most of my crew preferred to stay indoors. Not Rex though! We walked, we chased tennis balls, we chewed tennis balls … and we took a couple of selfies …
Facebook post: https://goo.gl/mFhwAk , 15th February, 2017






Oh You Pretty Things
What a lovely hike today. So many pretty things! From Arico Neuvo to, emmm, somewhere higher and back …
Facebook post: https://goo.gl/Zvgr1o , 14th February, 2017










Little Hugs
sabOn our walk today, we discovered this message on the wall of a little house in the hills above Arico Nuevo. Just like us, Canarian people love to use a diminutive suffix if they can, so, for example, “perro” (dog) readily becomes “perrito” (doggy). In this photo, it appears that Galvan and Eloisa are declaring to the world that their home is their “little squeeze” or “little hug” (chosita). That’s how we read it anyway … in a romantic way … on Valentine’s Day …
Facebook post: https://goo.gl/h7h8WS , 14th February, 2017



Like an Arrow …
One whole year ago today. Time flies …
Facebook post: https://goo.gl/VI2Ett , 14th February, 2017







Back to Blue!
The storms are over for now and we’re back to bright, windy and beautiful …
Facebook post: https://goo.gl/fD539Z , 12th February, 2017









The Good Music Gap
We’re listening to 80’s power ballads as we make supper tonight. Never has the 12 year age gap been so noticeable! Seems J was humming along to some other kind of music then. Nope, I don’t want to know …  
Facebook post: https://goo.gl/vogGfE , 11th February, 2017






Patterns of Boom and Bust In Tenerife’s Agriculture

bustThe area between Amarilla Golf and Montana los Erales we were checking out today as a possible walk for our website, shows lots of evidence of abandoned agricultural practices – from the very old dry-stone terraces where cochineal beetles were harvested on prickly pear plants, to more recent enclosures for banana plantations and tomato farms. In many places on Tenerife, particularly on the arid and marginal southern coastal plain, tourism has replaced the work on farms, and there are also increasing pressures 11from cheaper competitors, e.g. tomatoes from N Africa. The main photo in this post shows the shabby skeletal remains of a large tomato farm. However, the walk had many compensations, like the stunning rock formations on Montana los Erales we passed on the way, and breezy sunshine, on a day when the forecast here threatened damaging high winds and rain …
Facebook post: https://goo.gl/jdxh7N , 11th February, 2017


Red Rust
Montaña Roja (Red Mountain) was living up to its name when we climbed it last week. Glad we did it then as it’s raining today. Yes, raining …  
Facebook post: https://goo.gl/BnyFAA , 11th February, 2017










Coastal Defences
bunkerYou can’t help bumping into history, of one kind or another, in the landscapes of Tenerife, and today’s walk to Montana Roja was no exception! We’d seen these structures before and wondered about their function. Turns out they are World War 2 bunkers overlooking beaches where Allied troops might land an invasion force. It never happened, as this link explains …

Facebook post: https://goo.gl/Hnen8Q , 9th February, 2017



Letting the Good Times Roll at Chiringuito Pirata
rollToday, we had a wee stroll up the lump of red rock in this photo (Montana Roja), and then a life-saving beer in the warm sunshine at this super-cool beach bar. Very loosely translated, my take on the blackboard message of the day … “Smart people see the funny side of life #letthegoodtimesroll” …
Facebook post: https://goo.gl/jLzDOl , 9th February 2017





Welcome Sophie!
A certain somebody has just become a grand-dad … and he can’t stop smiling!   Welcome to the world Sophie Anne Olivia Mackenzie, and congratulations Neil and Ashley, and Grandad J ..!  
Facebook post: https://goo.gl/FJnD6E , 8th February, 2017








Surprising Heat!
7th February, and a sudden rise in the “winter” temperature made today’s simple hike a little more of a challenge than it should have been. San Miguel, through Caserio de la Hoya. Stunning …  
Facebook post: https://goo.gl/GjyRWF , 7th February, 2017











Inspirational Casa Rural
19-approach-casa-rural-de-la-hoyaOn today’s walk, taking in a short section of one of the ancient, stony tracks that criss-cross the island, we came across this Casa Rural (distinctive rental holiday home in a rural location) secreted into a fold in the hills. Although hidden from the coast, it has wonderfully open views over a deep valley under the imposing “monumento natural”, Roque de Jama. I couldn’t help but think that if you had a novel inside of you bursting to get out, this might be just the place to hide yourself away and let the creative juices flow …
Facebook post: https://goo.gl/l6Ssqs , 7th February 2017


Surprise at San Miguel Marina
leithThis afternoon we had our first proper look around the San Miguel Marina, just along the coast from us, wedged between the verdant fairways of Amarilla Golf and Golf del Sur. Marinas can be fascinating places if there’s lots of activity going on, as there was today. Otherwise, they can seem to be rather sterile lifeless parking places for expensive, “look at me” marine real estate. Whatever, I’m always reminded of the old Scots saying, that our world is “sair pairted” (painfully divided). To our surprise, we came across a couple of vessels basking in the hot sun that were registered in Scotland …
Facebook post: https://goo.gl/Xbk8JH , 5th February 2017


Silent Witness at Abades
abadesThis photo from today’s walk looks over to the leper colony at Abades that never was. It never operated as the Franco government’s refuge for Spanish citizens suffering from the disease, because a cure was found before the building project was complete. The abandoned site is largely a rather stark and eerie wind-blown curiosity, but has, strange to say, found a use as the venue for rave-type music events in the recent past.  If you were watching Silent Witness on UK TV this week you might not have realised that various locations on Tenerife’s arid east coast stood in for the drug-cartel badlands of Mexico that the script required. Particularly evocative were scenes shot at the Abades leper colony buildings, and especially the candle-lit scenes inside the roofless concrete church. You can just make out the church, understandingly for its time, the most iconic, stand-out feature of the intended complex, in the centre of the photo …
Facebook post: https://goo.gl/16SosS , 4th February 2017


Poris to Punta
An easy walk today from Poris de Abona to the wee hamlet of Punta de Abona and back. It was the perfect day for it …  
Facebook post: https://goo.gl/dkXZj3 , 4th February, 2017









Pretty Poris
Poris de Abona, in the east of the island, looking good in the sun today …  
Facebook post: https://goo.gl/Sk6yAo , 4th February, 2017









Homeward Bound
In neighbouring Las Galletas earlier today. Bringing home the day’s catch …  
Facebook post: https://goo.gl/UqZ58l , 2nd February, 2017







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