Archive for January 26th, 2014
Nut Misses Almonds But Strolls On

As Eric Morecombe might have said, I am doing all the right events but not necessarily in the right order. There I was scrubbed, loaded with sarnies, wrapped in multiple layers against the cold early morning winds and stood in the church plaza at Santiago del Teide at 8.30am – alone. Yep, I arrived a week early for the Almond Blossom Walk.

A call from councilor Chicken Legs confirmed my eager error, I declined an offer of a lift, no day out in Tenerife is a waste so I resolved to make the most of my early start. It had already been rewarding, I love seeing Tenerife emerge from the night looking all fresh and reborn. All the local bars and restaurants have special almond menus so I adjourned to Bar Soto for a trucha (small sweet almond pasty) with hot chocolate, only 2 euros, it was yummy. Reading the local paper I saw the damage done in Los Gigantes by the high winds, thankfully superficial like broken windows and a few displaced hotel guests. Much of the island was untouched and the wind had dropped considerably a day later. I set off to walk down to Puerto Santiago on the Camino Real, an ancient track of around 8 kms.

It’s a walk I have done several times before but no two Tenerife walks are the same, weather, the season, and time of day add new twists. It was 9 am when I started and just 9 degrees, the recent rains had perked up the wild grass and added some moss to the stony path. Even at this lower end of the almond trail there were a good few trees showing a fine display of blossom, a little teaser for my main event next Saturday. The sun was breaking through and I started to shed layers into my knapsack, what a lovely crisp morning. About an hour in I passed a group of about six people walking up the route, they must have made an even earlier start. The goats were bleating from the fields and clanging their neck bells and birds were swooping and chirping.

Long shadows started to shorten and with the clear sky the temperature rose quickly, I thought the bed of the old ravine might have a little flowing water as I crossed it but there were just a couple of small pools, further down the reservoirs were brimming with their recent top ups – all good for the farmers. Local produce was all around me, banana plantations were bulging with large green hands wrapped in cellophane covers and trees were bending under the weight of ripe oranges.

Even with a few breaks to attack my food, I was coming out onto the main road above Puerto Santiago within two and a half hours and feeling very satisfied with a lovely walk. Heading into Los Gigantes I could see some of the wind damage like the missing tiles at the Stil Los Gigantes Hotel but the sun was blasting and the hotel pools were busy as always – normal service was resumed.

Taking the bus back south I stopped off at Callao Salvaje to try out the Sansibar Ajabo restaurant overlooking the recently revamped beach. The food  and setting were top notch and will appear soon in one of my online reviews. Arriving back in Los Cristianos it seemed an eternity from my 6am alarm but it was another cracking day and now I’m looking forward to the big walk with even more relish.