Following the red rock road

Where was I before I was rudely interrupted by christmas? oh yes, planning more trips and adventures. My over indulgences at christmas have shamed me into action and today I tackled another of my must do list, Montaña Roja, the red mountain in El Medano, that imposing rock at the end of the Tenerife South airport runway.

A 470 TITSA bus took me from Los Cristianos, past Los Abrigos where I jumped off at the camp site near the Playa de la Tejita beach. I had packed a snack but was pleased to find that the Cafeteria at the site had a nice cheap range of goodies, and the young lady serving would make any young man pitch his tent. The site has bungalows, or just small plots to  go native under canvas, and it’s a lovely area.

So off towards the mountain, with a slight detour to the beach just below the imposing rock face. Oh blimey, it’s a nudist beach in the far corner, weren’t those blokes ever told that it’s rude to point, wait till the sunburn kicks in tomorrow morning. I had hoped to catch some of the wildlife on this nature reserve and some of the 100 species of birds duly obliged by landing near enough for me to snap them.

The walk up to the 171 metre high peak was not too gruelling and once I found the main track it was easy to follow. It’s great to meet other people on these walks, there was a fair few about on the trail today. I heard some yodel type singing approaching me, very jolly, and saw a couple walking down, the lady providing the musical interlude. I stopped for a chat and found that they were from the extreme north of Norway, and the song is a traditional reindeer song called a joik,  from the Sami people. They said they had left behind temperatures of minus 20 and a metre of snow, I felt too ashaned to say that in the UK everything stops for a mere sprinkling.

Pushing on to the peak, I was rewarded with great views over El Medano and La Tejita beaches and way beyond into the mountains, sadly it was a bit cloudy higher up and Mount Teide was in hiding. Â Finding a suitable rocky seat, I devoured my cheesey nibbles and then had a little walk around the summit. There were some people perched on the edge of a sheer drop, I was much more reticent, staying well back from the edge when taking pics. One walker came up the path with a yellow towel over his head and the peak of a baseball cap peeking out, I thought it was a giant canary and was going to shout Pio Pio Maricon but he unveiled himself just in time. There was a white pole atop of a stone stack and I was dismayed to see that it was covered in graffiti, what sort of twat hikes up a small mountain just to scribble rude messages!

The planes were in and out of Reina Sofia airport, and were so low I felt I was shaking hands with the pilot (that’s not slang for a young mans leisure activity). Â Inspired by the view I set off down the path at a sprightly pace, hoping not to slip and make a show of myself, thankfully I was sure footed and quicker than on the way up. The whole return journey took just under 3 hours including rests, photos stops and detours. A good way to start the new year, now the trick is to make these walks a regular thing. For a fuller report and more photos go to