Archive for January, 2024
Taucho And La Quinta Swirl High Above Adeje

Fine mist, whispy low clouds, and paths that stretch out like tentacles. There was plenty to admire as paragliders peppered the sky on their way down to the south coast of Adeje in Tenerife.

Choices abounded in this part of the island as many small groups of walkers followed the thin water pipes that nestled beside the chunky stone pathways. From the south coast of Tenerife via an upward road beyond Los Menores widened the horizons for small groups of walkers as we started our exploring from the church in La Quinta.

There were plenty of other small groups up ahead following the thin water pipes that nestled beside chunky stone pathways. It´s possible to do a mammoth nine hour walk up from an entrance next to the pay to walk Barranco del Invierno in Adeje town, circling high in the hills before veering back down to Ifonche and the old town again. Having recently done a big stomp up the lower reaches, we headed through the well worn route that headed in the direction of the launch spots for the flyers.

A gentle breeze enhanced the feel of solitude and tradition as lush green ferns and dominant pines spread to the horizon. The early buds of almond blossom hinted at a vast white and pink explosion to come in February. It was quite testing on the feet but there were interesting diversions like the bee keeping hives, and some bold advice for walkers not to answer their most basic calls out in the wild.

As the path reared upward, sheer drops revealed more of the coast and an even bigger gathering of gliders. It was a busy intersection as walkers of many nationalities sussed out their chosen headings. Sadly a few days after this walk, it was reported that an elderly glider pilot crashed and had to be rescued by the emergency services and flown to hospital.

The landscape was ever changing as old farm houses and dwellings gave way to more modern updates, crops changed with the seasons, and weather. Many paths converged close to each other at certain points but there were plenty of signs and worn paths to steer people in their chosen direction. There were a few sprinklings of rain on this outing, a reminder of how quickly conditions can change. It´s definately an area that calls you back to try some of the other trails that spin off from the main route.


Christmas Keeps Giving In Icod And Garachico

It´s not over till the fat wallet slims. Maybe a cynic might say that, but in Tenerife the Spanish traditions of Reyes and the arrival of the camel mounted three kings on 5 January, followed by the big family celebrations of 6 January add a spectacular flourish.

Heading north to Icod I soaked up the impressive decorations, with reindeer vying with the ancient  drago tree for attention.. The tight back street was decorated with a modern and traditional mix. In previous years they have had festive songs floating on the air, there was a happy buzz this year from the shoppers, and who also felt their their mood lifted by the trimmed balconies of the Ayuntamiento (council) building. Luis Stinga excelled himself with a new wooden sculpture, this one dedicated including all people in the comunity events – and fittingly a local school had played a big part in getting the message across.

Onward to Garachico on the coast below. Garachico is always magnificent so this time I stretched my bus journey to one stop up and outwards from the rock pool swimming area. On a high turn mirador the figure of El Emmigrante is always looking to leap into the horizon. It symbolizes the large number of people who left the Canaries for South America, looking for new lives. A string of suit cases pour out around the figure, and a hole through his body mirrors the pull of his heart at leaving home soil.

There´s a splendid cafe bar on the mirador but many were oblivious to the nativity scene below inside a cave. Each year it is peopled with all the biblical characters gathering around the crib. A kayak rower passed close by for a close up look and the frothy waves around on this afternoon became becalmed near to the festive scene. Further inland the Plaza de La Libertad was full of visitors being wowed by the festive characters popping up at all points.

They really pack the visual treats in at Garachico, well they have a lot of natural attractions to compete with. It was hard to imagine the combined frantic activity around the islands as camels preened themselves for their starring roles as the bringers of presents. Tenerife adds a modern take on the old ways, many municipalities now have gluten free sweets for the royals to shower on the crowds at Reyes processions. It´s a special time of year.