Nature Finds Many Ways To Please On The Almond Blossom Walk

The weather, the terrain, and the views are constantly changing on the Almendro en Flor (also known as the almond blossom walk) but one thing remains constant, the beauty of nature as it unlocks its secrets.

It was a chilly 7 degrees as I arrived in Santiago del Teide but the low, wandering cloud (wasn’t he an Indian Chief?) was parting and as I strode out on the well signed pathway behind the church plaza. The sun shone as a strung out army of walkers picked and clicked their way upward but it soon went missing to be replaced with a cool breeze laced with small flecks of moisture. Maybe I should have shoved my jeans in my pack back but at least I had a coat to add to my layers.

This was my fourth annual almond inspired treat, the blossom was at an advanced stage with trees covered with white, and pink flowers. At the first opening along the track the reservoir was full to the brim unlike last years meagre level. Looking back beyond Santiago del Teide to the popular steep road that accesses Masca there was bright sunshine, it can change so quickly up the western side of Tenerife. The complete walk is 9 kms, the first big milestone is the shrine at the spot where the Chinyero eruption of 2009 stopped short of the virgins statue that had been wheeled out from the church. It had taken an hour for me to get this far, 3.6 kms, I took a nosebag break and chatted to a few other walkers, some from mainland Spain, some German visitors, and some on holiday from France.

Pushing on the lava fields provided challenging footholds as we were funneled between big banks of craggy lava. The pine forests began to appear at the distant sides of our trail, the swirls of moisture laden clouds were feeding the earth via the needles of the pines, nature doesn’t waste anything. At points the uneven surface gave way to yellow brown soil before the rocks rose back up around as like silent guardians. Entering the edge of the pine forest the trail became smoother but undulated up and down around clusters of thick twisted roots. At this point in previous years I had been greeted with clear views of the snow covered side of Mount Teide, this time there was much less of a covering but as the cloud blew aside it still gave an inspiring glimpse of the peak highlighted by a generous serving of blue sky.

Some walkers were tackling the route from the Arguayo end so there were plenty of new people to pass as well as the ones I kept switching places with after stopping for more photos. The final stretch brought more low whispy cloud creating an eerie dreamscape. The walk is almost circular so Santiago del Teide came into view again and the gentle peel of the church bell added to the overall enjoyment.

The descent into Arguayo is a zig zag route through terraced farm land where almonds are grown in large numbers for export as well as the delicious sauces and pastes that many of the local bars and restaurants are showcasing until the 28 February. The coat and jumper were back in my bag by the time I hit the sunny streets of Arguayo. A 462 Titsa bus (2.30 and 4.30 pm) took me back through Santiago del Teide and on to Los Gigantes before heading back to Los Cristianos. The three and a half hour walk had again exceeded the previous years rewards – I can’t wait for next year.