Abades Perfects The Art Of Surprise

How do you trump the forlorn concrete shells of a leper colony that was sidelined by a cure ? Abades on Tenerife´s east coast always has other rare finds to enjoy, and lived up to its reputation on a cloudy day of short showers. The natural beach had attracted plenty of divers and snorkellers but our walking muscles were heading along the coast to Arico and the Punta de Abona lighthouse. Looking inland to the TF 1 motorway I got a better view of the new purple paint job on the power pipes that skirt the road. Just a simple idea but it must make it easier to trace any breaks or problems with drones, and a nice contrast to the white wind turbines.

A mini library made of recycled wood destracted me from the worn track as extreme cyclists hopped over the rocks leading down to the sea. Up ahead more creations made use of tiles, ropes, and toys. The artist behind these quirky additions spared some time to explain her philosophy of breathing new life into old discarded items. The natural erosion of some rock forms blended in with the more modern arrivals on the shore. Even the sea seemed to be joining in the challenge, large swirls of sea weed were swarming and mutating as they rode on the breaking waves.

Taking a lower path that skimmed the sea edge opened new views inland, the beach had always been popular on previous visits, but caution should be your guide as it can show the other side of its character at a moments notice. Punta de Abona had been suggested as a sight for a new hotel a few years ago, thankfully that plan hit the rocks, ensuring more sea bound views and a choice of tracks to head a little inland before sweeping back to the main Abades beach via the colony buildings. Despite security patrols, the lure of the old structures showed signs of new curiosity and new graffiti.

Back at the beach plaza of Abades, the few cafes there were proving popular as the sun made a stronger claim for control of the weather. From the motorway, Abades looks unchanging but there´s always something new to see. It´s a good place to enjoy nature at a relaxed and creative pace. A couple of days after this walk, the east coast of Tenerife from Candelaria down through Arico to Guimar was hit by sporadic 4 metre high waves, with some people being evacuated temporarily. A timely reminder of the delicate balance between the elements.