Walks Blog – May 2016

Arriving at Arriba
A great walk through Valle de Arriba today-just over the mountain ridge that divides north and south Tenerife. The views – and colours everywhere – were stunning. One of my faves …  
Facebook post: https://goo.gl/kQTGy9 , 31st May, 2016











Climate Change

Left=El Sur and Right=El Norte

I have tried in these photos – taken as we cross the high ridge between the north and south of the island – to show the differing climates in the two areas. It’s most common to drive through cloud into sun and vice versa as you cross the ridge …  
Facebook post: https://goo.gl/Xfr29f , 31st May, 2016

Cloud trying to move in from El Norte!









The Low Lands of North Tenerife
We visited Los Silos today. It’s to the west in the Isla Baja area (low country) which is ever so slightly less hilly than the rest of the north!  Today, most towns here celebrate Corpus Christi. Elaborate flower and sand carpets are prepared by what seems like everyone in the community and line the streets in readiness for tonights partying …  
Facebook post: https://goo.gl/PmcTVq , 29th May, 2016







Lovely Los Silos!
Los Silos has beach and countryside close by. The Teno mountains are the backdrop and its coastal area, Puertito de Los Silos (with its sea views, salt flats and….a skeleton of a whale?!) is just down the hill …  
Facebook post: https://goo.gl/wCnUMM , 29th May, 2016









Pals Together!
Madam M and her beloved J enjoying the evening sun …  
Facebook post: https://goo.gl/J4B8ZQ , 28th May, 2016









Cloud in the Valley
From the garden tonight. A beautiful crystal clear morning, cloud for most of the day and now a gorgeous evening. This is quite often the way here in the Orotava Valley …!  
Facebook post: https://goo.gl/FoqmOJ , 27th May, 2016











Café Vista Paraíso
This cafe on the outskirts of Santa Ursula sure lives up to its name. Looking down to Puerto. A refuelling stop, not far from home. J having a wheat beer – it’s Friday after all …!  
Facebook post: https://goo.gl/29XNHR , 27th May, 2016






A Little Bit of Africa …
So today we head for THE beach in the north of the island – Las Teresitas, close to Santa Cruz. And……it’s one of the few days in the year when it’s cloudy! It’s a bonny location though, with the village of San Andres above it and the Anaga mountains as a backdrop. The golden sand was shipped in from Africa and needs replenished every so often …  
Facebook post: https://goo.gl/S6tcaF , 27th May, 2016











North Coast Ramble
A fab walk between two small villages (La Caleta de Interian and Puertito de Los Silos) along the coast today …  
Facebook post: https://goo.gl/RoLOfg , 25th May, 2016


Public Pool – Puertito









Our First Taste of the Southern Hill Towns
We visited hill towns and villages above Los Cristianos yesterday. This is San Miguel de Abona on the old north-south highway …  
Facebook post: https://goo.gl/kfQRaq , 25th May, 2016









All Clear in Izaña
Up 2,400 metres through the clouds today to the Izaña Astronomy Observatory and meteorology stations. Here, Hawaii, and southern Chile are the only three accessible places on the planet where no pollution and almost no artificial light combine to make the perfect


conditions. Astrophysicists from over 20 countries use the telescopes and facilities housed here. The area is stunning and right on the mountain ridge that “divides” the island between north and south. Loved it …!  
Facebook post: https://goo.gl/hKFMOC , 21st May, 2016





Beetling Back East
We were back in the east today. Mainly because it is the only hot and sunny part of the island at the moment (who knew!). We had a “slightly more challenging than anticipated” walk in lovely surroundings. Even the cacti doesn’t go to waste here. The fruit goes into marmalades but the big industry is cochineal food colouring using the (poor) beetles who live on the plants. It is making a big come back now that the natural version of the dye is back in fashion …  
Facebook post: https://goo.gl/k7SKX8 , 20th May, 2016









Old Wine Press, Igueste de Candelaria

An island of weather contrasts today … blue skies and 28 DegC when we left the Candelaria area on the East coast this afternoon … heavy cloud and 18 DegC back home in the Orotava Valley …  
Facebook post: https://goo.gl/BMFFsI , 20th May, 2016






A Picture of Mercy
These sand carpets are being prepared for La Orotava’s annual Corpus Christi celebrations in early June. Lorry loads of different coloured sand and earth are taken down from Teide and the 20 alfombristas, the sand artists, start on this incredibly intricate work six weeks before the celebrations. This year’s theme is “La Misercordia” – mercy …  
Facebook post: https://goo.gl/h1Vuqx , 20th May, 2016









For Onion Connoisseurs Only?
This place is on the outskirts of Orotava and we pass it quite often. I don’t know what it is other than it’s called “The Onion Club”. I do know, though, that the donkey has the job of keeping the grass under control in the club’s parking area …!     [turns out it is a German-run venue for events/parties, as far as we can establish]
Facebook post: https://goo.gl/jzAGrC , 20th May, 2016



Place of Pilgrimage – Candelaria
We headed East today and visited the town of Candelaria, close to Santa Cruz with a population of 30k. The town has a long and rich history associated with the Guanches and the island’s saint, the black virgin of Candelaria. It’s a beautiful and vibrant old Spanish town …  
Facebook post: https://goo.gl/acI9pP , 17th May, 2016








Uphill to Güimar
After Candelaria, it was uphill and inland to Güimar, another traditional town. Today surprised me. I had expected this eastern area of the island to be very dry and desert-like and, while parts were, the scenery can be stunning with green pine forests and lots of walking options …  
Facebook post: https://goo.gl/KKcAsg , 17th May, 2016








Next Stop South America …
Buenavista del Norte for a circular walk today. Far to the west, it really does feel like the edge of the world – nothing but ocean between here and Venezuela! The scenery stunning, with the mighty Teno Massif as a backdrop to a rocky coastline …  
Facebook post: https://goo.gl/xt4c1C , 14th May, 2016








Links Golf on Tenerife
Buenavista Golf – designed by Seve Ballesteros – is one of two golf courses in the North of the island. Pretty windy today so, J says, “links style low-flyer essential” … whatever that means …  
Facebook post: https://goo.gl/npjR5B , 14th May, 2016









Familiar Faces
Some people pics from today …  
Facebook post: https://goo.gl/SZidiy , 14th May, 2016










Mueca 2016
We walked into Puerto de la Cruz yesterday to visit Mueca 2016 – a yearly international arts festival with a street of music, street of dance etc. We were, however, a day early for the day-time events(!) so took some Puerto pics instead …!  
Facebook post: https://goo.gl/L3NTRb , 14th May, 2016










Pirates Ahoy (or should that be Ahora)!
One of the performance spaces in the Mueca 2016 festival of street art, music and culture is the Castillo de San Felipe at the Playa Jardin beach area. It was built in the 17th Century to protect Puerto de la Cruz from pirate attacks. Also, the view from the castle to the small, and very local, coastal community of Punta Brava …  
Facebook post: https://goo.gl/L3BqEN , 14th May, 2016







Going Green
Today was spent mostly in the, as always, slightly scary National Police office in Puerto. To cut a long story short we got there in the end – thanks to our Canarian friend, Gema. So now we have Spanish Residencia -aka “green cards” …  
Facebook post: https://goo.gl/5xGVFq , 12th May, 2016





Old Haunts from Different Lives
Yesterday we headed South West to check out some old haunts. La Caleta, Callao Salvaje and Playa de San Juan. While very different from the North, the coastal areas here can be pretty with beautiful sea views. Inland, though, is very dry and scattered with drab, totally enclosed, banana plantations …  
Facebook post: https://goo.gl/fpb2Bu , 12th May, 2016










Garden Time
Some pics from the garden this morning. Good to see the sun here again after a couple of days of cloud and rain and cooler temperatures. So much so that, yesterday, Aberdeen and here shared temperatures of 18+ degrees for much of the day …  
Facebook posts: https://goo.gl/k3Cj4s , 11th May, 2016








Tail End Canaries
The Canaries have been on yellow alert for storms since Thursday and the heavy rain has now well and truly arrived! I think we’re at the tail end of bad weather hitting all of Portugal and Spain this weekend. The second pic was taken only a couple of hours ago from Icod Alto at the other side of the valley …!  
Facebook post: https://goo.gl/0G1f5a , 11th May, 2016









Guanche Grief
Of course, the mobile phone camera does not really capture the magnificent view of the Orotava Valley looking East along the North coast of Tenerife from a vertiginous (believe me!) cliff-top vantage point above the Tigaiga cliffs. At the Mirador there is an imposing statue of the Guanche warrior, Bentor, son of the Mencey King Bencomo (who was killed by the Spanish forces after the last great Guanche defeat at the second battle of Acentejo in 1494). Bentor threw himself off the cliffs as an act of symbolic defiance. The Guanches were the original inhabitants of the Canary Islands. Although most were killed by the Spanish invaders, their genes live on in the local population, who seem particularly proud of that aspect of their ancestry …!  
Facebook post: https://goo.gl/VEvwjH , 11th May, 2016





Missing Market
We popped by El Sauzal today intending to visit the Saturday Farmer’s Market. We never did find the market(!) but did find Los Lavaderos (The Laundries). A series of terraces which were originally the town’s outdoor laundry area , and with great views of the lower part of the Orotava Valley …  
Facebook post: https://goo.gl/08klkL , 7th May, 2016








Our New Wheels
After some interesting experiences with unfamiliar bureaucracy, finally, our very own car …!  
Facebook post: https://goo.gl/jHnCIt , 6th May, 2016







Going to Guia …
It was over the mountain ridge to the South West yesterday and a circular walk from busy Guia de Isora, a large local town, to a tiny wee – and particularly bonny – village called Chirche, 900 metres up …  
Facebook post: https://goo.gl/d57bJ2 , 6th May, 2016










When New Means Old
Loved these as we headed back down the hill through another wee village, Aripe. Old Street and New Street. Both of them pretty old …!  
Facebook post: https://goo.gl/DWRXKE , 6th May, 2016








Servicios Sociales
This is the Social Services offices in Guia de Isora. The posters reflect the efforts being made here to tackle long-standing cultural biases. In many ways these have been completely turned around, making Spain one of the most open and tolerant societies in the world today. Also contemporary health issues similar to at home …  
Facebook post: https://goo.gl/kpfLWV , 6th May, 2016











Fabulous Flowers in Chirche
And some flowers! I’d love to say what they are – but I have no idea!
Facebook post: https://goo.gl/DnHfKi , 6th May, 2016










Sea Side of Tacoronte …
Two sides of Tenerife today, just minutes walk from each other. The busy wee fishing hamlet of El Pris and the now fairly empty and soul-less high rise apartments of Mesa del Mar. 30 years ago it would have been very different I think …  
Facebook post: https://goo.gl/3bd7vI , 4th May, 2016








Dia de la Cruz
A big day in Puerto de la Cruz, today! Over 100 wooden crosses, mostly on old buildings, will be festooned with decorations, and little chapels like this will be open and looking at their best … oh … and there will be lots of vino and tapas, and fireworks too, before the day is done …  
Facebook post: https://goo.gl/sjpVKe , 3rd May, 2016



Happy Birthday Puerto
3rd May is “Day of the Cross (Cruz)” here. Crosses are decorated all across the island but in the towns with “cross” in their name, it is a special day. In Puerto de la Cruz, Santa Cruz and Los Realejos (aka Cruz Santa), there are celebrations all day and night. Also, it’s Puerto de la Cruz’s birthday – 365 years old today …  
Facebook post: https://goo.gl/d6hQbR , 3rd May, 2016










Young and Old
This was my favourite, though. In the old fisherman’s quarter, La Ranilla, made by the local school kids …  
Facebook post: https://goo.gl/ZOV1bw , 3rd May, 2016










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