Archive for March 14th, 2023
Parque Las Mesas Is On The Rise Again

Gentle bird song and an explosion of flowers and ferns was a backdrop to the circular road up the 360 metre high recreation zone of Parque Las Mesas (park of the tables). Spread over panoramic views of Tenerifes capital city and port of Santa Cruz, the distant shimmering runways of Tenerife North airport were quite a contrast to natures elevated outpost.

Topped with power pylons and transmitter aerials, it´s an important technical hub as well as a comforing guardian looking down on the land and sea below. It´s revival time for the park, conceived in 1960, closed briefly, and just about to start a major makeover when COVID put plans on hold. With a budget of just under a million euros, the latest completion date is April 2023, but it still showed plenty of style on my visit.

Valleys below boasted clutches of modern housing as I stepped off the 912 TITSA bus (half hourly from outside the glass fronted bus terminus at one end of the tram line.Chugging up the steep twisting modern road, the final stop at Los Campitos revealed a small community clinging to a craggy peak.

A cracked and aged tarmac road threaded away towards the main part of the park as stunning views unlocked a living map of large parts of Tenerife. I was thrilled to get a birds eye view of CD Tenerife´s Heliodoro stadium, just a short glance inland from the iconic Auditorium. Jagged rocks peeked through the surrounding grass and trees as the road carried on for about 30 minutes before the signs for the main park appeared.

Limited parking spaces were available outside one of the admin hubs, and large wheely bins for eco recycling of rubbish were on hand to encourage good manners from visitors. The recreation area unfurled before me with views of the poer at a lower level, as well as the emergence of terracing equipped with sturdy concrete tables for picnics and barbecues – some smoke was already twirling in the gentle breeze.

It´s a work in progress, an abandoned cafe offered further potential once the full upgrade is complete. An old open hard court hinted at athletic activities and all the layouts were well planned to allow personal space for all the gathering families and groups that can wallow in this chunk of nature on high. It was mostly fine touches and cosmetic tweaks that were being awaited for the park, nature supplies the rest.

Parque Las Mesas is a wonderful asset for Santa Cruz and will appeal again to all ages. The fact that it is all so close to the main travel arteries and commercial attractions of the city below, just add to the adventure. The return trip from Los Campitos drop off point is a nice downward walk of about 40 minutes, but it´s good to know the bus is so frequent and picks up at various points on the way back to the big city.