Answering The Call Of History In La Matanza

An iron clad Spanish conquistador reeled at the feet of Guanche warrior, Tinguaro, as he sounded a defiant call on a conch shell. Cars thundered by on the Tenerife north motorway between Santa Cruz and Puerto de la Cruz below were oblivious to the large mural but I felt like I was straddling two ages as I gazed through the wild grass.

Not that I was feeling critical of the local council gardening services for La Matanza de Acentejo. A worker was expertly trimming the garden on the rise into the town, It set the tone for the overall appearance of the municipality, a small picnic area with seating overlooked the dual carriageway. The rest area also featured a modern art version of the brother of Mencey Bencomo, one of the original tribal kings and a key player in the rearguard stand to delay the Spanish invaders back in 1495.

A mix of old dwellings and vineyards steerd me up a steep climb , beckoned by the twin towers of the El Salvador church. There were more benches and breather points along the way. From one I watched as two chickens played out their own turf war below a canopy of green leaves and ripening grapes. The church and large plaza were noble and well tended, A school of music, and a centre for people of the third age (such a nicer term than OAPs) boosted the range of facillities. Posters for a series of concerts featuring Cuban music kept up the cultural choices.

Heading back down to Calle Real, the street that meanders through the town, it was quiet but a few people were adding little proud brush strokes and repairs to houses with plenty of character. Plaza de Cuchareras gleamed brightly as the Ermita looked down on the roses and the fountain . It was a fair walk along to the end of town, a modern sports centre offered plenty of excercise to keep bodies nimble for treading the higher parts of town. With the coast far down below and the looming figure of Mount Teide above, La Matanza had plenty to say for itself before the road meged into the start of La Victoria. This corridor of the north keeps calling me back, and i have still only scratched the surface.