Archive for December, 2014
All The Right Signals At Guaza Mountain

Pastries, pies, turkey, and turron, with all those and a few cheeky beers heading in with the Christmas wave I thought it was about time I hit the Tenerife hiking trail again so I headed for my near neighbour Montaña Guaza.

I shouldn’t have been able to neglect the big ridge as it rises up from the Los Cristianos coast and hangs over the top of my apartment block but I reckon it’s five years since my feet last graced any of the paths that criss cross the upper plateau. Maybe it’s been too obvious to me and maybe the roaming stray dogs a couple of years ago put me off but the years melted away as I took the steep stone steps from Playa de Callao. It’s always a popular route and as I took big strides up the twisting pathway I could hear the clicking of hiking sticks from several other walkers ahead and behind me.

Los Cristianos opened up below with the mid morning sun bathing the old undeveloped beaches, the wide crescent of Las Vistas beach, and Playa de Las Americas beyond. The sea was calm as inter island ferries and pleasure boats glided in and out of port and the exceptionally low tide exposed plenty of damp sand with few early takers for sun bathing duty. That first big climb is just about the toughest bit so cresting the hill to flatter land felt good and the trails leading away gave me several choices of direction, I was determined to do both main routes.

Heading for the cliff top path I passed through remains of the old tobacco and tomato plantations, this protected reserve attracts many species of birds like the Chiff Chaff and Trumpeter Finch but although I heard their pleasant warbling they steered well clear of me. The route I was on passes up and down several barrancos, as I rose from the dip of one I could hear the loud cry of seagulls. Back near the cliff edge I peered over to see the seagulls wheeling in to their homes in the rock face. Just below them was a Spirograph layout of fish farm cages, many are now abandoned but the active ones are a big draw for sea life clearing up scraps of food.

Further barrancos were lined with piles of raw slate, this and other stone was quarried in large quantities years ago, the Masca lighthouse in the distance was built from the stone. Palm Mar soon came into view, there is a pathway down to the modern residential area and the Malpais de Rasca beyond. Some walkers loop back across the open land to the starting point but I headed inland with the communication aerials on the 428 metre peak my target. Stone walls separating terraces are a reminder of the agricultural use of this land and there are a couple of old houses in poor repair, I even found a clothes washing zone, dry now like the broken stone channels that used to feed it water.

The television, phone, and radio masts take a lot of installing and upkeep so wider tracks showed tyre marks but the recent rains had moved plenty of loose stone and shingle into the ruts so it shifted underfoot. Eventually reaching the steep final incline to the masts I got some great views down the other side of the mountain to Guaza, and the TF1 motorway heading off to Santa Cruz. There were two aerial compounds with unrestricted access through them, the second afforded me another view of Los Cristianos, It looked like it might just be possible to find a way down through the tufts of bushes to somewhere near my place but it would be a pretty stupid risk so I headed back from where I had come.

A downhill return trip is always quicker but it was still a bit tricky avoiding the smaller less grippy stones. A Land Rover from an aerial maintenance crew overtook me but made slow progress in the hope of keeping tyres and suspension intact. Including water, snack, and photo stops the whole trip took just over four hours, I reckon that’s my fuse lit for another season of trips up into the hills.

Ten-Diez Art To FIT An Adeje Frame

New venue, new artists, and new creations from the artistic cream of the Canary Islands, no wonder I was drawn to the third exhibition from the Ten-Diez Movement. The new setting was FIT Canarias (Factoria de Innovacion Turistica) in El Galeon, just below Adeje town. Descending the spiral stairs in this bright new venue I was greeted by a nice mix of artists (33 are displaying) and enthusiasts enjoying 200 contributions.

My previous visit had been for a press conference but this time the smaller annex room was my starting point for a browse, Carlos Ortega’s montage of images (above) jumped out at me with their vivid, bold colours and Raul Ortega’s panoramic black and white interpretations of Tenerife’s volcanic glory also made a strong impression. Al mediums of art are embraced by Ten-Diez and I knew from their previous shows that the quality would be high.

All the artists have a presence in the Canary Islands but come from diverse backgrounds, Sergio Diaz from Madrid is a man who likes to travel and his photographic captures from his journeys caught my eye in the main hall. It was a nice surprise to see Tania Coello Vega with her nature inspired paintings, you may well have already appreciated her appetite for natural wonders. Tania designed the sea life murals that now adorn the harbour wall in Los Cristianos, a year long project recently completed by students of the art faculty at La Laguna University.

Mark Fradley is the founder and driving force of Ten-Diez, I grabbed a few words with him as he organized the launch evening. “ We have been planning this since last years event and feel that although the change of venue means less exhibits we have a wider scope. Around half of our exhibitors are new to Ten-Diez and we have artists with no previous exhibition exposure as well as those with more history. Adeje Ayuntamiento (council) have backed us since our first event three years ago and we are grateful to a wide spread of sponsors and collaborators. The culture department of Adeje Ayuntamiento are judging the competition for best exhibit and runner up in the exhibition, and we have a photographic contest with a sporting theme for the GoPro FIT Canarias No Limits prize.”

Back in the main body of the hall there was a constant stream of works to admire from portraits to abstract impressions, some in traditional acrylics and others like Tina Cubeddu’s studies made from shells and small stones. Photographic offerings make use of black and white, and colour, like the range of faces from Mikol Olivares. All the art at Ten-Diez is for sale, the choice of sizes and prices will make it easy for visitors to pick up something unique and special for the Christmas shopping list. Doors are open from Monday 1st December to Friday 5th, from 9 to 4.30 pm Monday to Thursday and 9 to 10 pm on Friday. It’s easy to find and on the Titsa bus route, take the left turn at the roundabout as you head up into Adeje town, it’s part of the CDTCA complex (above). To find out more about Ten-Diez during and after the exhibition just click on the this link.