Support Your Local Mountain

Like a benevolant neighbour looking down on me, Guaza Mountain ridge rises up from the coast of Los Cristianos and reaches it´s peak just above Kirby Towers in Oasis del Sur. Not just a decorative wrap at the far side of the old Las Tarajales beach, it´s also a weather barrier between Los Cristianos and Las Galletas, so often the micro climates are vastly different on either side.

None of those thoughts were on my mind as I huffed and puffed my way up the steep, twisting pathway from beach level on a scorching hot Saturday morning. The breeze was very welcome as I rose higher and each breather stop rewarded me with panoramic views over Los Cristianos. It´s a popular walk, a group of six young people were making good progress ahead of me and I enven had to squeeze tight against the rock as two sweaty runners jogged downwards. It had been two years since I previously passed this way and I spotted some new helpful daubs of blue and purple paint at unclear twists in direction.

Turning away from the sea, the clear sky offered views of some of the other volcanic peaks, some familiar to my feet, like Roque del Conde, and on to Mount Teide in the distance. That first steep rise is the most challenging part of the mountain, once up on the plateau it was much easier and I was able to admire the bizarre rock formations and listen to the birdsong. A criss cross pattern of tracks date back to the days when cereal crops were farmed high above the sea, there are also more modern signs of car tyres as vehicles make regular trips from lower access points to service the radio antennas on the highest peak.

There are several routes to explore, I hugged the coastal path to enjoy the changing views of the sea below. It was pretty busy with every sort of craft imaginable, the inter island ferries, whale watching boats, kayaks, and nippy little jet skis. The coastal path dips down sharply at a couple of points into the old slate and stone quarries, the Malpais de Rasca lighthouse visible from Los Cristianos was built from stone extracted on the mountain. Rain has been very scarce this year and the paths were very parched and dusty making them tricky underfoot, especially when coming back up from a quarry dip.

Reaching a cliff point on the far side I could see the seagulls swooping and wheeling below as they circled their homes in the cliff face. The tell tale circular cages of the fish farm had gained a couple of newer smaller additions since my last trip. Ahead there was a clear view down to Palm Mar, there is a pathway down so you can cut through to the Malpais de Rasca beyond. It seems strange that Palm Mar was built between two large protected natural spaces, it looks like it has just been dropped in overnight. If you don´t want to walk on to the lighthouse from Palm Mar you can head up the main road out to a point between Guaza and El Fraile, a good half hours slog. Turning inward I pressed on across the plateau, to get up to the peak it´s a case of tunnel vision and go as straight as possible until the tracks become clearer and more used. Some of the old low stone walls survive and are handy for a snack stop, and an old abandoned house is also a good aiming point.


It may seem quite bare and exposed but there is still plenty of rugged beauty in the cactus clusters and the rocks tinged with oxide colouring. The approach to the peak is steep but rewarding, I stopped short of the work area around the antenna but despite all the hi tech equipment, the workmen are almost oblivious to the constant stream of walkers finding a perch to nibble their sarnies. Coming back down is faster and the view gives a cleaer view of the direction to the start point of the chunky pathway to bech level. It was a good four hours, very hot but very satisfying, I was very glad I had plenty of water. That´s lit my fuse again, I can feel a few more walks coming on over the next few months.

Wheels On Fire In European Wheelchair Basketball Championships

Speed, power, and skill are ingredients that always draw me to sport so I didn´t need much persuading to add wheelchair basketball to take my first look at live wheelchair basketball. Adeje pulled off a bit of a coup in attracting the European Wheelchair Basketball Championships and despite a lack of fanfare and publicity, it made a big impression with crunching charges, brave interventions, and action that flowed from end to end of the court.

A near empty Las Torres sports hall greeted me on my visit to the third days action. Cleaners were working their way through the bleacher seats with few obstructions to their brooms. Down at courtside the mens sides of Great Britain and Israel were warming up, and blimey it was warm in the hall as sun beat down through the glass roof panels. A bit of breeze wafted in through the open side doors but not a lot, full marks for the 12 man squads to set a frantic pace as I tried to pick up the finer points of the sport.GB were holders and favourites for the tournament but Israel frustrated them and after the second of the four quarters the red reigning champions were just 34-28 ahead.GB improved steadily for a 86-43 win full of spills, these guys just flip back up in their chairs with no moaning, and lethal finishing.


Holland ladies took on Turkey in the next game and by now the hall was like a green house but it was Turkey who wilted as it became an orange house. There´s a lot for the coaching team and support staff to do from changing the odd wheel, to keeping the water and ice flowing, and serving up liberal supplies of energy drinks. The Dutch were the better organised by far, their coaching was slick and brought quick responses as they pulled away for a 81-17 win. Towards the end, other teams arrived via the lower open entrances, from the other group games at the other hall. The camaraderie between all the countries players was impressive, at least if the hall was lacking people, there were several tv stations relaying coverage across Europe, particulary to Germany and Holland.

Fast forward to the Saturday of the grand finals and the hall was transformed, flags, banners, and painted faces filled the crowd. The colours of Holland and Germany dominated the womens final, and one both teams had looked up to the official flags as theie anthems were played, they were off at a cracking pace. They were well matched and at the half way mark it was 23-23, but Holland grew in confidence and built an 11 point lead going into the final quarter. It was too much for Germany, they edged the quarter 14-15 but lost the match, the tears of the winners and the dignity of the losers drew a standing ovation from the crowd for a great contest.
A change of flags in the bleacher seats gave me time to adjourn to fresh air for a beer and a snack at a pizza outlet up the road. Several of the tournament match officials and judges from a range of European countries were also taking a breather and speaking glowingly of the quality of the event and the venues.

I got back just in time for Great Britain and Turkey´s mens teams to line up for their introductions. Thse two were old rivals from many tournaments, especially GB´s win over Turkey two years ago in Worcester at the Euros. GB didn´t quite show the edge of their Israel victory and found themselves chasing the game at 24-36 behind at the half way stage. Turkey were physically stronger and punished GB for their mistakes,thanks to a late scramble GB were able to claw the deficit back to just a nine point gap. Both sides supporters belted out encouragement as the final quarter brought plenty more twists and turns with both sides missing vital shots. The best it got for the Brits was a three point deficit as they entered the last 60 seconds, Turkey pushed forward and with a mix of good defending and quick breaks made it across the line with a 69-76 victory.


The teams will continue their rivalry in Hamburg 2018 for the World Championships, on this night in Adeje, Turkey were just the better side but the spirit and commitment of the game and the tournament made a big impression on all the crowds that increased as the games progressed. Everyone that took part can be proud of their contribution to another wonderful Tenerife based event.

La Orotava In Full Bloom For Corpus Christi

Fancy throwing open your balcony windows to be greeted by a sea of flower carpets and tapestries. Shuffling slowly and respectfully onto the small, tight balconies of the municipal palace, home to to the local council, there was a collective gasp as the full scale of the beauty below sunk in.


It had been a few years since my last visit but hitching a lift from friends Dave and Annie, I was now feeling just a little unsteady. Well I´m not great with heights and was a bit delicate from another CD Tenerife promotion play off game celebration the very late night before. Working through the crowded streets we had so far just seen a small selection of the flower petals, and volcanic sand that was still being transformed into a glorious painting by numbers operation for Corpus Christi week. It´s been packing them in since small beginings in 1847.

Tenerife tv crews were competing for the best vantage points to broadcast from and many local radios were broadcasting interviews with the organisers and foot soldiers. It´s a great tradition and is lovingly passed down through the generations, small children were being encouraged to get their hands on the soil and petals that were arriving by the sackful. Wooden templates and chalk outlines are used to make the frameworks but the eye for detail and a slowly emerging masterpiece comes slowly with many years of dedication.
La Orotava is an old, tranquil, and almost sleepy town most of the time but when Corpus Christi arrives it draws in thousands of people from across the world, the range of tongues and accents were again as diverse as the colour of the petals that made up the mosaics. It´s a slow process working around the tight streets, roped off from the creations being coaxed into existance, the one way flow on each side of the streets ensures everyone gets to wind their way up the steep paths before plunging down past the open plaza in front of the two towered Iglesia de la Concepcion, a beautiful and imposing church.


Beside the murmurs of wowed visitors, a constant peel of bells from the church tower adds a delightful theme tune to the day. There are other tunes competing for attention, a pipe and drum trio added a quicker tempo as petal artists worked painstakingly behind them.I always like those ancient meets modern moments, turning a corner I found teenagers bopping to more modern music from a radio station stand in the shadow of the church. There´s plenty of respect for traditions but healthy elbow room for some modern commercialism, inflatable Disney characters bobbed from their strings a short walk away from religious landmarks. The bars, restaurants, and snack vans were all doing a brisk trade, and tourist coaches were parking up at any handy spots they could find on the modern outskirts of the town.


Mundane needs like,, food, drink, and commerce play their part but the big stars are the carpets. Assembled by an army of enthusiasts after months of planning, they will stay in the memories and camera images of those who gaze on them for years to come. It´s just not going to be quite the same when I pop up for the CD Tenerife Teide Trophy pre season game v Deportivo in a few weeks.

Feeling On Colour In Las Galletas

Sport, music, fashion, and a few beers, sounds right up my street, or in this case right up all the streets of Las Galletas. The annual Arona En Colores is always a good excuse for me to make the short 20 minute Titsa bus ride to the lovely fishing village just the other side of Guaza Mountain from my Los Cristianos home.

The sea on the Marina del Sur side was packed with swimmers and people trying out a few water sports like stand up paddle. On the other less sandy beach the waves wee much calmer than normal and more attuned to bathing than the usual surfing. Strolling along the promenade is always rewarding but the back streets and plazas also had plenty to offer on this Saturday.

Reggae Notes Band were warming up the crowd at the big stage, my tootsies were twitching, especially to a good cover of Buffalo Soldier. After a wander and a beer, I popped back later and Montserrat Siverio hooked me with a ska cover of Monkey Man. In the main La Rambla street I watched a bit of the magic show from Borras and Yasmine, their backing music caught my imagination, they had a disco version of the Star Trek theme – well why not?

With so much going on at little stages set up on street corners, I found a good vantage point outisde the Rincon del Pescador with a couple of crunchy arepas and a cold beer. Saturday night tv may be trying to kill variety but in Las Galletas it was diverse and uplifting. Full marks for the acrobats and the novelty act where passing members of the public were enticed to do a bit of Full Monty, and a dress up as a baby in a pram.

There was plenty for the children, face paininting, inflatable football games, and musical games. As the afternoon eased seductively into evening, the drink was flowing and more people were getting down. I departed after a good few tours of the streets, some sampling of tasty food, and some Dorada lubrication. Arona council try to spread their events around the municipality, it helps to introduce more people to different towns and villages and gives their economy a nifty boost. Here here to that.

It´s Only Natural To Enjoy Imoque Fiesta

Wild horses have dragged me to La Caleta before but this time it was the promise of cow racing that lured me to the Plaza San Sebastian. Each February it´s the start point for another fiesta that includes horses riding into the waves at the beach. This time was different, there were some mighty fine horses in attendance but also enough assorted creatures to do a long playing version of Old Macdonald Had A Farm.

The plaza and the grazing areas around it make a wonderful venue, the modern church stood proud on a higher level with a decorated stage below looking out onto a sea of seats surrounded by food and craft stalls. There was even a wedding taking place, the sound of the church organ wafted out of the open doors and mingled with the barks of Canarian hunting dogs in a series of cages down the side. Chickens were clucking, goats crying, and two black Canarian pigs were snuffling at their food basket, I christened them Messi and Ronaldo.


There was a display of birds of prey, falcons sat tethered and blinkered but my favourite was a large, wise looking owl. Later in the afternoon one of the falcons was put through its paces in the showground area, it had a cheeky sense of humour and split its flight from sender to receiver by perching up in trees and even on a balcony of a nearby hotel. Some racing pigeons were cooped up in some tight cages on the other side, they didn´t seem to bothered by their temporary homes, they all had their chests puffed out with immense pride.

A bit of a jamming session broke out on the stage, I was impressed that one of the musicians wore a t shirt with a union jack and the slogan punk classics. After a plate of meatballs and a few samples of local cheese I ventured round to the paddock where the horses were tethered at one end and the cows at the other. In between a horse was having its shoe changed with old traditional hand tools. I checked the cows and could see no hidden motors, they looked strong but very docile, I was looking forward to seeing them burst into action.


Eventually a pair of cows were led into the show ground, linked with a wooden yolk and then a flat wooden pallet was chained behind them and large bags of grain loaded on as ballast. It was to be a time trial to see how quick they could pull their loads around the circuit guided by a farmer with a wooden staff. The ground was dry and dusty and the cows showed a fleet turn of speed and power, they really pounded their way around and on a couple of circuits they nearly burst through the barriers keeping the spectators back. I was very impressed, it was quite a spectacle. There was more live music and dancing to come later in the evening but I had other calls to make so I bid farewell to my new found animal friends and caught my Titsa bus back to Los Cristianos. As it chugged up the hill above Playa del Duque I couldn´t help thinking that those mighty cows could make a useful addition to the fleet.

Casting The Net Wide In Santa Cruz

Multi coloured fish statues stretched out ahead of me along the La Rambla pedestrian area of Santa Cruz. These eight chicharritos had been specially comissioned as an art contest with a special website to vote for your favourites. The chicharro is a symbol of Santa Cruz and lends its name to the local people and the song we proudly belt out at CD Tenerife games “Chicharrero de Corazon”.
Even on a non football trip to Tenerife´s capital city my rxploring was being influenced by my beloved football team. First stop was the DISA petrol station behind the bus station, it´s now officially linked to the club and I paid due homage to the giant posters of Suso, Aitor Sanz, and Vitolo. A special club scheme offers discounts and team bracelets, maybe if we clinch promotion this season we can dance through the car wash rather than in the Plaza de España lake.


Back down through the bus station and a tram awaited me for my short journey to La Paz. It´s the 10th anniversary of the modern tram line, I wasn´t convinced it was needed but as soon as I stepped on board a decade ago I was a convert. Fast, sleek, and cheap, just 1.35 euros for the full ride to La Laguna, it´s a comfortable way to explore.There have been 132 million clients in the 10 years, that includes the shorter second line from Tincer to La Cuesta that may eventually extend to the north airport.

My walk to the new sculptures took me past a few older models from a street exhibition of the mid 1970´s, and how proud I was to see Henry Moore´s Guerro de Gestar reclining and free of recent graffiti.The new fishy friends were quite an assault on the eyes and brought plenty of smiles to my face, passers by were giving them a double take and even a security guard patrolling the area had a smirk playing on her face. Some of the works had historical images of Santa Cruz on their bodies, and others had extended their arty touch to the stands that held them aloft. The shoal is only on display until 15 June and well worth seeking out. There´s a quicker way to reach them than my long route, coming up through the shopping heart of Santa Cruz and through Parque Garcia Sanabria. The park is always a delight, on this visit it was holding a weeks book fair with tented stalls lurking in the shaded walkways that radiate out from the ornate fountain.


The port always lures me down to the sea, it´s such a hive of activity. There were no mammoth cruise liners calling in this time on their voyages but the Ocean Endeavour was moored in the old part of the port for a months repairs. This is a new lucrative income for the capital, many oil rigs lurked just outside the harbour wall and the Reliant Floatel nearer in looked to be nearing the end of its lengthy refit before going out to provide accomodation in the oil filled seas. Ocean Endeavour is the first cruise ship to get a scrub up in Santa Cruz and already Thomson have one of their cruise ships booked in for a make over in November. There was even some giant wind turbines from Germany, still in kit form and awaiting instalation at the new Poris de Abona park.
There´s a long busy summer ahead for Santa Cruz, July alone heralds two outdoor mega concerts. On 8th July thoise mighty rockers Aerosmith finish their last ever tour with a concert in the Heliodoro Stadium, and on 22 Juky, Luis Fonsi will take over the portside for an evening of latino dance music. I had a more imediate appointment at the Gastro Canarias in the Recinto Ferial, just scroll down a couple of posts and prepare to feel hungry.

The Tenerife Alternative by Cranley Harding

Nazi SS troops, British Secret Intelligence Service and Canarian Independence activists were in a fight to the death over a legendary underwater cave on the north coast of Tenerife in 1935. A few years ago this plot would have been dismissed as far fetched but recently released CIA files have shown that many factions had identified Tenerife as an alternative naval base and international gateway if General Franco allowed Germany free passage to prise Gibraltar out of British hands.


This is the ingenious premise for the fictional novel The Tenerife Alternative by Cranley Harding. Suave British spy Scott Rutherford doesn´t need the gadgets of his more famous big screen counterpart, he´s politically astute, makes the most of his allies, and ruthlessly disposes of his enemies. He´s very much a rough and ready hands on sort of spy, a grammar school boy who has fought his way through the ranks. Author Cranley Harding told me he sees our man more in the mould of Harry Palmer, the Len Deighton spy played in The Ipcress File by Michael Caine.
Cranley, from Glasgow, a 30 year visitor to Tenerife has added a passion for the history and culture of Tenerife and has added extensive research to make the backdrop to the thriller authentic. The action moves at a brisk pace but allows plenty of time to draw the historical and political map for the story to unfold. Of course there are many fictitious strands weaved in such as the much sought after lava cave at Punta Guanche, but the fledgling tourist resort of Puerto de la Cruz, Los Gigantes, Los Rodeos airport, and Mount Teide all make familiar reference points. Cranley also draws on his knowledge of island history like Nelson´s aborted invasion, the Chinyero eruption, and Guanche folklore to reinforce the characters motives and actions.

There´s plenty of intrigue, double crosses, and romantic interest for out hero to deal with as the plot races to the final show down. Scott Rutherford is only at the begining of his double life as an overseas trade attache and spy, maybe he will be lured back to Tenerife. In the meantime, his first adventure awaits you at The Bookshop in Puerto Colon, The Bookshop in Los Cristianos, and The Devon Arms, Los Cristianos. If you can´t get hold of a copy, contact Cranley at pam.gore@virgin.net

Tucking In At Gastro Canarias

Just a few yards inside the Gastro Canarias food festival and my heart had been broken. Well not so much broken as cut into small tasty pieces. It was the Egatesa meat company stand and they were cooking a selection of their meats for tasting, the burgers were heart shaped and I was torn between them and the sizzling sausages – so I had a little of both.


My last visit to this annual feast at the Recinto Ferial in Santa Cruz was three years ago, it´s aimed mainly at those in the trade but offers plenty for everyone. Slightly dearer this time at six euros, it was still good value and had my nose twitching and my mouth watering. After covering the ladies football team of Egatesa Granadilla Tenerife for a few seasons, it was good to meet a few of the players, Ayano and Silvia, doing the rounds. A quick tour showed me that the stands were split more in favour of drink than food this time, but a large stage area featured a show cooking competition in front of a bleacher seat audience.


I seem to recall that on my last visit I paid a lot of attention to the beers on offer, I decided to pace myself this time – but then I saw a Belgium beer stand. Even better, Gert, the sales manager for Transbelga, was a friendly face from Los Cristianos and welcomed me into the heavenly parlour. Showing remarkable restraint, I started with a 5.2% Jupiler, the range of bottles was incredible, many had enchanted me in the past on trips to Belgium and Holland. It was mid afternoon when I strolled in but the pace was picking up as people came in after work. As well as the consumable items there were innovative cooking and storing systems and some very delightful promotion ladies to demonstrate and entice the public.


Gofio cookies, caramel gin, and multi flavoured chocolate fountains were among the temptations, and the dazzling array of ice cream scoops were getting bigger as time went on. I´m not a wine buff, a shame as there were tasting and appreciation classes, Tenerife has some exceptional wines that can pop their cork with the best. Some of the pastries, tarts, and cakes had me drooling. It seemed a bit bizarre that the Recinto Ferial had no free Wi Fi, trade shows are their standard fare, maybe they are missing a trick. There´s a large outside terrace which gives lovely views of the Auditorium one way and the full glory of the Cepsa refinery the other.


Dorada didn´t have a stand, they had a mock up of a bar, and I was pleased to see one of their brewers I remembered from the brewery tour. They had the full range of their bottled beers on, the Trigo wheat variety went down nicely and I also tried the new Especial Esencia Negra, a little stronger at 5.7%. My football Peña ,Armada Sur, runs on a fuel supply of Dorada, last Saturdays home game saw us clear 500 bottles at our La Tahona pre match watering hole. In the interest of fairness I felt compelled to also drink some Mahou beer, they sponsor an annual pre season cup for CD Tenerife and also the player of the month award. Their brewery in Candelaria has also had the dubious pleasure of my company for a tour with the CD Tenerife squad.


I didn´t want to make a pig of myself so l did one last circuit of the hall to make sure I hadn´t missed anything. There were definately a lot more theatrically large stands this time, Lanzarote had a beach scene to showcase their products, and Heineken seemed to have a homage to the Star Ship Enterprise to promote their no alcohol beer. With my legs crossed tightly for the one hour Titsa bus trip back to Los Cristianos, I was looking forward to continuing my beer browsing back at The Victory Bar.

CD Marino Find Their Goal Touch

All guns blazing, CD Marino battered CF San Mateo 3-0 to jump over them to fifth place in their Tercera Division group. The winning margin could have been double that against a Gran Canarian side that offered little resistance.

Adan had a half chance early on, he chested  the ball under control but couldn´t finish the move. Iriome couldn´t decide if he was shooting or passing for San Mateo and his wild blast veered out of play. Marino looked menacing going forward, Lolo and Fran Delgado showed plenty of speed and ideas on the left, Amed worked well on the right, and Adan was always difficult to mark bursting through the middle. But it was defender Brad Mills that teed up the best chance of the first half, he was running through on goal and was tripped in the box, Adan took the penalty kick but goalie Omar dived the right way to make the save.

The chances kept coming for Marino, an Adan stretch couldn´t quite put the finishing touch on a cross from the right, and Bamba headed over from a Lolo corner. Chus tried to get the visitors involved, he unleashed a good close shot but a one handed reflex save from Marco denied him. San Mateo didn´t help themselves, the goalie made a few basic errors and a weak back pass from Yeray was intercepted by Lolo and passed on to Adan who shaved the post. Marino went in at half time wondering how they weren´t leading after dominating the play.

That was soon put right within minutes of the restart, a Lolo shot was parried by the keeper and Adan gratefully planted the ball in the net. San Mateo sub Jonas could have made an instant impression, faced with a fairly easy chance he looped the ball over the bar. Saul Perez replaced Adan for Marino and gave the visiting defence plenty of new nightmares to contend with. Not just a big target man, Saul showed plenty of close control when he weaved past two defenders before tucking the ball past the goalies legs for the second goal.

Fran was quick thinking to try a chip after spotting the keeper off his line, it didn´t miss by much. Lolo had a couple of promising openings, one set up Bamba but he couldn´t get the ball under control for a shot, the second effort forced the keeper to make a save.There had to be at least another goal, Saul turned creator and squared a lovely pass to Bamba, he finished it off in style. There´s just two games left for Marino, they are already looking to next season and had some of their home grown young players on the bench, Jhony got a late run out. Saul had the last chance of the game, a neat turn and shot didn´t quite make it and the goalie was relieved to hear the final whistle.

Heavenly Walk With Hellish Rules

My heart sank as I was handed a compulsory helmet by the staff at Barranco del Infierno, I had overcome my resistance and booked my walk in advance and paid my residents rate of 4.50 euros, the only walk in Tenerife to require either, but this was an unexpected torment. Feel The Nature is the walks slogan, the feel of the breeze and the kiss of the sun are among the reasons people choose to get down with nature by enjoying this walk, how can you enjoy it with a potty on your head.

Adeje is truly blessed with the Barranco del Infierno (hells ravine) the 6.5 km return walk starts just above Adeje old town making it an easily accessable route from the tourist zones of the south.It had been two years since my pigeon feet had last graced the walk but I was soon reminded that one of the steepest inclines is the approach road from the historic canon to the walk´s gateway. Once I had read and signed the A4 sheet of rules (aaargh) for the walk I soon found myself looking ahead as the path rose to skirt a corner before plunging down between towering rocks. Looking back from the first viewpoint, Adeje town peered over the lip of the barranco but although the sky out to sea was clear blue, it was dull and cloudy inland.

The path was narrow with big drops to one side, protected only by knee high wooden marking posts. An old aquaduct above the dip in the trail, and narrow concrete channels were a reminder of how water has always been funelled down from the mountains. Even on this cool day my head was already feeling clammy inside its prison, how unbearable would that be in the full glare of summer. At least my ears were free to hear the bird song from the many inhabitants of this haven. I saw my first Barbary Partridge on this walk many years ago and a plump relative briefly crossed my path, I half expected it to be wearing a hi visibility jacket, thankfully it was unfettered.

Air currents above the barranco are a magnet for paragliders, a few were swirling around high above the rocky walls. Getting further into the walk I was able to appreciate the flowers and plants as the scenery took on a greener look. All the trees and bushes were bristling with life and the soft gurgle of the stream was joined by a frog chorus, without Rupert Bear I´m pleased to say. Going against the flow of the water it was becoming more of a small river, at some crossing points metal slats had been added a few years ago, these were done with the minimum of disruption to the look of the walk and subsequent ageing and discolouring of the metal made it blend in even better. The old chestnut tree is one of the marker points along the way, old and knarled it looks like it dates back to the dawn of time.

Even the more mundane flowers like dandelions took on a special quality, nestling in among wild spreads of grasses and leaves. At the top of the rocky skyscrapers, younger trees clung precariously to overhangs, nature will always prevail. Turning the final corner the landscape opened out into a large bowl, a good incline of the neck away from the light filtering down from on high. A slighly raised area gave way to the waterfall running down through a cleft in the rocks from a height of over 200 metres. With the prolonged spell of recent dry weather, the cascade wasn’t as pronounced as it can be but as the walk has previously been closed for days after heavy rain further inland, it was probably as good as visitors will get to see.

A cheeky Robin posed on the chain keeping people from getting too close to the water, I took that as my cue to start retracing my steps back to the start. This time I loitered a little around the water pools and got a closer view of those noisy frogs and the green blaze of colour caused by leaves. Passing other people in some of the other 13 time slots, I reckoned a generous 15 on each would make 225 visitors a day, quite a bit down on the older of my visits. At 12 euros for non resident visitors, it’s hardly surprising, especially as there is a free, challenging and totally natural walk, signposted up the lane to the left of the reception office. Barranco del Infierno still has the power to charm, surprise, and educate, I was glad to have seen it again, but hope the policy of charging and restricting doesn’t spread to other Tenerife walks.