It was day two of the Tenerife Walking Festival and after the greenery from the first day’s walk it was time to head up higher to new terrain. Along ancient volcanic landscapes beneath the peak of El Teide and views above the clouds.
The starting point for the walk, about 10.5 km, was the same starting point as if you are walking up El Teide itself. Beneath the gloriously coloured Montaña Blanca, the third highest peak on the island.. Up here amongst the highest peaks of the island you really do see the contrast of colours. Differing ages of volcanic eruptions.
Walking up the trail and by the shoulder of Blanca/Teide, the landscape opens up immensely! I have trod this section of path before but it still leaves me breathless and in awe. I know why I love hiking and mountain trekking, there is nothing quite like experiencing scenes like this in the great outdoors.
It is too high and dry for greenery but certain endemic and very rare plants have made this barren altitude their home. Delicate and remarkable. For example the Blue Bugloss.
Or the spectacular flowering Red Bugloss that can grow up to 2m in height!
A rest stop, by a huge random boulder of lava. In the quiet peace it is hard to imagine the midst of an ancient eruption, the lava flowing and then bombs of lava flying around, solidifying and making this.
Where the path for El Teide branches off left and upwards we headed down and right….. across the Cañada de los Guancheros. It was hot, with a perfect breeze, you couldn’t help looking in every direction with each step. We didn’t have to drop much lower here to get a little more greenery amongst the browns. Broom Bushes providing shelter for the Tenerife lizards you see about. Harmless creatures that sometimes get close and nosey 🙂
Walking along the plains you get a real sense of being away from it all. Looking back you can see the magnificent peak of El Teide, looking ahead you see out above the clouds. Escapism at its best.
Then as we approached El Portillo the landscape changed once more. The top of the Canary Pines told us we were just above the next climate level, ahead looked more out of a western movie with dramatic rocks and slopes.
Wow, what another fantastic days walking, and again the variety was out of this world! Beer o’clock at El Portillo and looking forward to something completely different to walk on day 3.