Budding Stars Battle For Peak Positions In Santiago Del Teide

Just as the leg muscles began to pinch and the Santiago Del Teide church shrunk below us, Mount Teide served up its snowy reward. Pink and white almond blossom had already made its slightly subdued greeting high above Tenerife´s north west coast.

The Almond Blossom Walk is not an excat science, the weather always makes it  difficult to predict the perfect time to enjoy one of several routes that emanate from the church plaza. With Teide making its bow, nature stood to attention. More trees cascaded with colour, pines danced along the ridges of hills, and young eager buds were ready to join the party over the next few weeks.

Many people had already made their mid week devotion when me and my friends arrived from the south on the 460 Titsa bus just after 1 pm. Bars and restaurants had pink and white trim to show that they were selling almond influenced tapas and meals. A near full reservoir was our first landmark as we started to match the rise of the hills shielding Masca from the road to Icod and the north.

Gurgling water channels and rocky, well marked paths introduced us to more bursting bushes of blooms before we turned off to the Chinyero clearing. A miracle was declared when placing the statue of the Virgen from the local church stopped the lava in its tracks during the 1909 eruption. That solidified magma was now our path and a natural compliment to the other wonders. The wild shapes and twists of the rocks reflected the power and the glory that spilled forth from the bowels of Tenerife in that frightening last roar from the volcano.

Even when we reached the forest section of our circular walk, Teide was determined not to be out done by the majestic pines that thrive on the mineral rich soil. Seeing the contrasting aspects of nature thriving in such harsh conditions was a great inspiration and a calming influence.

We had to pay our dues for such an enriching afternoon, Arguayo village was in sight but the signs pointing down either side of private farming land heralded one last test of changing terrain. Experience had taught me they shared similar surfaces of small rocks and stones that tried to force the pace on a steep decline. A careful, steady descent and we completed our stroll in just under four hours and ready for cold drinks at the Tropic Bar in the village. An eight euro taxi ride won the nod over a 45 minute road hike down to complete the circle to our Santiago Del Teide start point and the 6.30 pm bus to Las Americas and all points south.



La Laguna Is An Open House For History

You would expect an illustrious past to spill onto a World Heritage Site. La Laguna, a short tram ride north of Tenerife capital Santa Cruz, has historic gems in every street. Seeking out the Museum Of History and Anthropology will give you a broad insight into the day to day life of  and social development of Tenerife.

Casa Lercaro´s wooden floor boards creaked with the footsteps of past inhabitants, and the garage at the rear of the courtyard even had two majestic carriages that have carried the mighty of Europe. Entry is always free and information is in several languages, and audio points. A wide range of exhibits are used to throw light on the evolution of Tenerife, sculptures, guns, newspapers, photos, newspapers, clothes, and tools, to name just a few.  Casa Lercaro is a living exhibit itself, the courtyard features the classic traditional wooden Canarian balconies. Restoration has been authentic, detailed, and time consuming.

Talking of restoration, the nearby Palicio de Navas had delivered their lovingly restored Nava carriages to the museum while their home got its own update. A black Landau model, originally made in Germany , looked splendid with some UK touches. Craker had buffed up the bodywork, and Thomas Davis had made the side lanters sparkle, both companies are London based. The sombre look made me think of Jack the Ripper but on a more sedate note, Jane Austen often mentioned the stylish people carriers in her novels. The 18th century white Berlin carriage in a french Rococo style, looked more like a fairy tale creation and turned my mind to the Disney version of Cinderella. Pine, oak, and mahogany were preferred to a pumpkin in this case.

Thanks to good management and safety measures, the museum stayed open for many more hours than were feared when Covid arrived. For now it is waiting for you from Monday to Sunday 10 am to 5 pm, with a limit of 85 visitors at a time. Those hours will be extended as and when circumstances allow. You can always check the Tenerife museums website for up to date news before diving into a classic era.


Caught BetweenTwo Rocks And A Beer Place

Half way between Los Cristianos and Santa Cruz, a blonde explorer fell to his knees and kissed the ground as Tenerife´s TF1 motorway trundled by. Nearly a year without live CD Tenerife football does that to a bloke. Appropriately, it was a Saturday and Los Roques has been the half way match day stop for the Armada Sur for many a season. It´s also a beautiful setting that deserved a deeper exploration below the Los Roques and Oasis bars.

The Playa del Abrigo with its sweep of black sand was being raked by foaming waves on a 26 degrees January afternoon. A few people were sand strolling but although it does attract adventurous swimmers, the currents must be wildly unpredictable beyond the craggy guards of this stretch of the east coast.


The municipality of Fasnia is one of the smallest in Tenerife and can appear to be trapped in a time bubble. The Bahia  Apartments showed no signs of life but up above new housing, wooden benches, and a well maintained road told a different tale. The big surprises came on the other side of the main bay, once linked by a beach track, for me though it was up and over at the top, and into a small traditional fishing community. Built around Playa del Roque, a church and some houses had been damaged by rock falls. Trying to resist the mood swings of Mother Nature must be a constant challenge to the local council. A recent large cliff collapse on neighbouring Canary Island, La Gomera, had led to wide spread protection measures on other vulnerable spots.

Despite that, there were plenty of encouraging signs. A new water treatment plant topped by a viewing platform sat alongside a huddle of old houses around the steps to the beach. They showed a great sense of pride in their fishing traditions and the people who toiled the sea. Most thirsty drivers wont dip any deeper than the two bars but the Saturday agricultural market had a queue, hopefully that will bring further good harvests.

If you do stop off, cast a glance down to the beaches, it´s a magnificent sight. If your not in a hurry, you can also pop under the motorway via a tunnel to see the ancient Fasnia water train that used to help bring water up from the deep pools to irrigate the fields. Inland and a little up hill Las Casas del Camino Real are a flag ship for rural tourism in the area. They are soon to be featured as the setting for a German reality TV show. There´s a strong beating heart at the centre of Fasnia, the municipality and its neighbour Arico, are pioneering the Titsa bus comany´s  pre booking local bus service called TUWAWA.

Pink Tide Engulfs CD Marino

Mali international Anbaba had an uncomfortable debut in the centre of defence, and new young forward Jurgen struggled to trouble visiting goalie Herrero as CD Marino lost 0-3 to Marbella FC behind closed doors in Tenerife. The visitors dominated the game, spreading the play in attack and closing down the rear with rapid interceptions.

Niki created an encouraging opening for the home side, picking out Dumas with a neat pass but the pink defence squeezed him into making a weak shot. Marbella have well financed ambitions to win promotion to Spain´s Second Division, only early wayward finishing from Chumbi and Redruello kept the first 29 minutes goal less. That was broken when a high inswinger found a leaping Chumbi who nodded the ball into the home net for make his own debut a happy one after a move from Real Murcia.

Nami tried for a quick reply with a low shot, Busquets was a little lucky to get a boot to it to stub out the danger. Just before half time, an unchecked run down the left by Callejon ended with him tucking the ball under the diving Kidvice. Ahmed made a couple of threatening breaks after the restart, and Aleman did well to hold off Callejon to keep the visitors in sight. After 65 minutes, Niki tried to dig out a loose ball as Marbella goalie Herrero dived  to smother it. The ref gave Niki a harsh sending off to further restrict Marino.

Marbella made the most of their man advantage and within five minutes it was 0-3 from a Tresako penalty for a foul by Saavedra. Kidvice kept the scoreline down with a late full length tip away. Chumbi could have inflicted further damage, his build up dribble was good but not matched by a shot that drifted wide of the goal. It was another blow for CD Marino´s season and a few days later they scoured the January window transfer market to sign another forward. Rodrigo Rivas, a 24 year old Colombian with experience in the Cyprus and Croatia leagues as well as a spell with Alaves in Spain is the latest hope to stabilise the blues first season back in the Segunda B.


Cupped In The Hand Of Nature In El Puertito

There´s no bonus points for elegance! That thought spurred us on as we scrambled up a tricky part of the La Caleta to El Puertito walk along the Adeje coast of Tenerife. Barely a dozen people on the shallow pebble beach of the little port, and just a few boats bobbing gently at the entry to the bay.

A far cry from the packed scenes on a hot summers day, it was a sign of the Covid times. The clear blue sea massaged our well worked leg muscles before cold beers quenched our thirsts at the nearby bar. We had started out among a few early birds speckled on the Playa de La Enramada beach sun loungers in La Caleta. Rising up beyond the fish restaurants, a kestrel swooped over a clump of cactus as we climbed the sandstone trail in the worn rock that headed along the cliff top. The table top mountain of Roque del Conde lurked inland and the hotel towers of Playa Paraiso looked deceptively near a few coves ahead of us.

A scattering of hippy huts used to be a familiar sight in the folds of the rocks but a recent deje council enforcement of the protected status of the area left just a few hints of the tons of rubbish and shacks. Sun worshippers lapped up the warmth of the day in secluded spots near the shore and a few walkers passed us coming from the west. We faced a few tough choices where the path thinned out. Patience and tentative foot holds saw us through.


Crumbling plantation walls harked back to early crop raising and a large stone clock face had my thoughts wavering between pizza and Dennis Wheatley black magic novels. After a couple of leisurely hours, stone steps down besides a private house led us onto a concrete balcony beholding El Puertito in its full glory. It was one of those moments that stops you in your tracks and makes the path pounding all worth while.

Turtles also enjoy the special qualities of the cove. In busier times boat trips deposit many scubs and snorkel enthusiasts to admire the placid creatures. Our swimming was closer to the shore and well timed as the tide was quickly eating away at the sand. Whether by foot or by car, El Puerto is not easy to reach. Passing the statue of the Virgen in its shrine, and the small church, we wound our way up the tight road out above the other side of the bay. They might have part paved paradise but there´s certainly no parking lots.

It was a long slog up past the ghostly quiet hotels with lots of longing gazes back to the beach. Playa Paraiso was the next bay along for food and buses, by then we were wondering if El Puertito had just been a dreamy mirage.

Canarian Catwalk Of Culture In Arona

Smart, practical, and oh so stylish, traditional Canarian costumes are usually twirling to the music in celebration of fiestas. You can get a closer view and a taste of the history that surrounds them in the heart of Arona town at the Casa La Bodega winery. Just 10 kms uphill from beaches and night life, the past imprints itself proudly among buildings and fields that tell many a tale.

The church of San Antonio Abad held court in the plaza on a clear morning as I stepped off a Titsa bus from Los Cristianos. An ancient meets modern mural greeted me as it wrapped around the main street corner. To the west of the plaza, several walking routes attract many energetic disciples, but to the east a slight incline led to the old white and green winery, now converted to a time capsule of rural treasures.

The costumes were the latest stars. Lace up waist coats, hats, and neck coverings caught the eye. The footwear was elegant and sturdy, perfect to tap out an infectious beat. Even the under garments got a rare showing. The Prendas, Trajes, and Tipismo exhibition runs to Friday 12 February, Mondays and Weddnesdays 8 am to 6.30 pm, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 8 am to 4 pm, and closed Saturday and Sunday. Entry to the Casa is free and other long term exhibits include, roseta needlework, Guanche rock carvings, and the history of famous Arona people and landmarks.

It all fired up my admiration of Arona, so I took in some more key sites like the El Calvario, where religious crosses are gathered together, the old casino, and plenty of buildings full of character. Add in some enticing cafes and bars. plus the views down to the coast and it all makes good reasons to make a visit at any time of year.

Bridging The Gap And Scraping The Sky In Tenerife

Life at the Covid reduced tempo should make us appreciate what we have and not take it for granted in Tenerife. So its best foot forward and time to take in more tempting walks along the shores and further inland.

The new deep set roundabout on the southern edge of Las Chafiras delivered a smoother traffic flow as the Titsa public bus dropped me and my friends in what might be described as a concrete jungle of industrial units. The spoonbills and ducks on the Ciguaña reservoir would have described it as a welcome oasis. there was even two twitchers concealed in the hedgerow, changing the tone from bargain hunting to bird watching.

A long walk down to Amarilla Golf was bracing and bathed in sunshine as Mount Teide glistened with snow in the distant background. A craggy shingle beach fronted the smooth but sparsely trodden walkway. Montaña Roja was already a beckoning beacon at our El Medano destination. Empty hotels and deserted swimming pools were a prelude to the wide expanse of San Blas. The wooden slatted path complete with a bridge over the barranco, combined practicality with a Chinese inspired design. I could almost imagine it in willow pattern on a series of plates.

Dipping onto the pocket sized Playa Grande, the wood gave way to black sand on the approach to Los Abrigos. The Tenerife South airport gave only slim pickings to plane spotters across from the fishing village. Moving forward, the coastal trail hugged the shoreline as it meandered through cacti and surging waves that split the rocks. La Tejita beach is easy to spot these days with two cranes rising high above the bare bones of the illegal hotel complex that has been stopped in its tracks.

The huge beach marched on to the base of Montaña Roja, a few surfers kites breaching the sky on the horizon made the most of a strong wind. Once over the lower ridge, we were engulfed in a swirling mosaic of well over 70 kites. The sand dunes sheltered the small lake in the natural bird sanctuary, but there was no twitching for us as our feathered friends were keeping well out of sight.

El Medano has a very distinct flavour as a chilled out water sports area and that has sustained it during these uncertain times. It has an unspoilt beauty and crams a lot into the tight passage ways and fish restaurants that are lapped at by the waves. El Timon rewarded our walk with the best of the local catch as sea spray cooled us down. Strong winds deferred our hike up the red mountain but its not going anywhere so we settled for its reassuring prescence across the rolling tide.


Everything In The El Sauzal Garden Is Trickling Along Nicely

A few months on from my visit to their Wine museum, El Sauzal was popping my cork again. The giant wooden peacock still draped its tail down the town hall steps but it was joined by a festive scroll and two giant teddy bears. As spirits sagged under the weight of a Covid Christmas, the north Tenerife town offered some antedote with a bright, uplifting range of smile makers.

Closer investigation was called for this time, and even the Ayuntamiento building front doors carved out a place on my wow list. The coat of arms was bold and bevelled to perfection. I felt ashamed as my mind flew back to three school terms spent hacking out a wobbly spice rack.

A rockery between the town hall and the plant packed terraces was being soothed by a small stream. as a couple of wooden crabs peeped out between the rocks, just behind them, And for an encore, a large modern theatre was tacked onto the main building. There´s clearly a lot going on in El Sauzal. Many years ago I followed the main road below to the left of the white domed church, and on to the overgrown Parque Los Lavadores. That made it all the more rewarding this trip as this cats curiosity was rewarded with the cream as I pushed through the rusty swing gates.

Trimmed bushes cascaded down a tight stone twisted stairway with superb views of the coast below bathed in sunshine.Parcels of land made a neat grid as a long spit of rock jutted out into the sea. Other paths converged as I walked lower to the backing track of running water that drew my attention to a spring feeding into channels with some scattered benches encouraging restful admiration. Stone archways and more plants added to the overall impression of tranquility.

Retreating back up some steps, the Delei Te bar and cafeteria took centre stage over the layers of the park. A good range of breakfasts and snacks filled the busy chalk boards, I relaxed with a coffee but I had noticed the interesting range of bottled beers on display. What a lovely setting, evening sunsets would surely be another star turn, The park and bar are both open all year around until night rolls in and the parkee rattles his keys.

I felt a little guilty overlooking a smooching young couple down in the lower decks of the park, but even Adam and Eve had been drawn into temptation by the beauty of a well set out garden. The bar owner explained the rejuvination of the park was as a result of a partnership between the local council and bar owner to maintain the natural attractions and offer further reasons to linger. I looked forward to my next visit as I rode out of town on the Titsa bus.

Loving The Rise And Fall Of The Vilaflor Trail

Small village, short ride from the bottom crossroads to the steep path for the circular walk down. You might imagine a gentle stroll in a steady downward direction. Vilaflor soon dishes out a few lessons about rash judgements on an undulating three hour of contrasts.

The 10.30 am Titsa bus from Los Cristianos took barely an hour to Spain´s highest village. A few weeks before I had indulged in the historic heart of the village but this time it was all about some good old foot slogging. Low cloud with bright patches made for a chilly December morning but good preparation allowed us to layer up and climb high above the village with a brief nosey inside the Hotel Spa  Villalba. the ladies were tempted by the pampering but we marched on and took the left turn up through farming terraces brimming with tomatoes and potatoes.

The next choice took us on a rising path with an industrial unit away to the right. That building and a notice denying access to those on wheels or hooves confirmed our true progress. The thought of being caught up in an animal traffic jam in these blissful conditions caused me some amusement. Despite dark clouds hovering, and a couple of recent Tenerife storms, the landscape was bone dry and several pine tree trunks showed signs of being licked by flames in the hot summer. Rock erosion in the strong winds than can whip across the valley, also plays a part in sculpting out a pathway that can never be taken for granted.

Nature had plenty more in store for our senses, a crumbling rocky ledge above a plunging pine valley highlighted our small role in this vast portrait of wear and weather. Tight paths wound down and around the lip of the valley and onto shallow tracks of dust and fine stone, just as the sun peeked through. The variety of surfaces is one of the qualities that make this a testing trek, but the views are always a fair reward.

A half empty reservoir was a good point for a snack and water breather before the final upsurge through tangled roots and dry stream beds. Ahead of us, the views opened up to shallow terraces were the art of stone wall building was on display. Plucky little pine sapling stucked in tight against the sturdy walls for its protective embrace. The faint sound of traffic encouraged us to pump those leg muscles for another sapping climb as the road to the south began to appear on the distant horizon. Coming out just before the Vilaflor entrace, we felt a sense of satisfaction as we headed for a local watering hole. A few metres away a statue of local born Hermano Pedro, Tenerife´s only saint, looked out from his static perch.

Salute The Captain´s House And The Creative Gems Of San Miguel

Attracted by the present but drawn to the past, San Miguel served up a feast of culture, with the Casa del Capitan as the centre piece. Gripping the steep incline just below the Tenerife towns main street, the Captain´s House struck an impressive figure supported by the pottery hoisting statue that dominates the central courtyard.


Christmas was fast approaching, so my first task was to descend into the former wine cellar to see the nativity figures from South American countries. Peru, Argentina, Mexico, and Colombia all vied for attention but I had already been distracted by an ancient spooled film projector just under the stone steps, and a hall of reddy brown pottery plates and bowls. They were enough to feed a small army.

Through the window I could see the terraced soil that had given nutrition to grape and grain. Those two natural products are a vital part of the ancestry of San Miguel de Abona, a long wedge of a municipality that reaches down from the hills to the modern retail face of Las Chafiras, Golf del Sur, and the busy San Miguel marina.The large patio of Casa del Capitan is now a great stage for visiting groups to learn about the working heritage of town and municipality.

Remains of the old granary and mill showed how grain was converted into gofio and flour. A rusty steam powered engine bore a British patent number. The wooden wine press may have been eclipsed by modern inventions but the end product still carries the taste of the local soil. The nativity scene was just passing through but there´s free entry to Casa del Capitan each Monday to Friday from 8am to 1.30pm, and Tuesday to Friday from 4pm to 8 pm, with 10am to 1pm each Saturday.


San Miguel presents its claims way before you reach the historic house. The vaulting figure of a shepherd looks out from a mirador viewing point. Salto del Pastor was a quick and effective method to cross ravines and bypass rocky ridges. An impressive mural on corrugated fencing gives an idea of the joy and celebration of the annual romeria. Look up and the white tower of San Miguel Arcangel church beckons. Their christmas nativitywas flowing around the grounds and reaching up the tower. Work on improving the plaza was in progress and a 6km walk down to Aldea Blanca was making my feet itch. From the bus back to Los Cristianos, the trek from La Centinela to San Miguel looked well used and recently tidied up. The captain would have been proud of his kingdom.