Three months, already gone. As we took off from the airport, rose into the sky, and flew off towards Valencia, we could scarcely believe how fast the time had passed. Tenerife had been far more interesting than we could have ever predicted. Rarely has one of our 91-day destinations so completely exceeded our expectations.
Located in the center of Tenerife and dominating the horizon, the Teide volcano is an overwhelming physical presence on the island. For our final excursion, we decided to put ourselves once more in its shadow, by hiking along the Montaña Blanca. We couldn’t say goodbye to Tenerife without tipping our hat to the Teide.
When most people imagine "Tenerife", the pictures which come to mind are of golden beaches, the blue Mediterranean, and perhaps the Teide Mountain. But as we discovered during our 91 days on the island, Tenerife boasts an endless variety of picturesque scenes.
“Calima”. During our time on Tenerife, we had heard the word enough to make us curious. “Watch out for the calima! The calima is coming! What’s the calima going to be like this year?” Eventually I looked it up, and then scoffed to Jürgen, “Guess what it means? HAZE. That’s what everyone is so worried about! A little haze!” He joined me in a hearty laugh, and we got back to booking our flights back home. A bit of haze was not going to stop that.
San Cristóbal de La Laguna is a gorgeous city for a lot of obvious reasons: for example, its convents, parks, museums, palaces and just the sheer weight of its history. But our appreciation for Tenerife's original capital only deepened as we discovered its modern side.
We were surprised by the wide variety of dishes local to Tenerife. A rich cuisine isn't one of the characteristics which immediately spring to mind when thinking about the Canary Islands, but of course it makes sense -- close to Africa, linked historically to Europe, and with a strong connection to the New World, the food of Tenerife should be special. Here are a few more dishes we loved.
The northern coast of Tenerife is a lot different from the more tranquil south. On this side of the island, the Atlantic Ocean is angrier, the water is colder, and the sand is neither golden and soft, but black and volcanic. But that doesn't mean the beaches of the north are never fun. We really enjoyed the small rocky beach of San Marcos, near Icod.
Back in the olden days, this is where local washer women would come to do their laundry. (I have no idea what the actual time frame must have been, like the 19th century? That feels right, but I'm covering my bases by just calling them the "olden days".) The park is located around a powerful natural spring, and the natural beauty of the area must have alleviated the monotony of the washing.
I had thought that the word "guachinche" must somehow be related to the guanches -- the original inhabitants of the Canary Islands, who were conquered by the Spanish in the 15th century. But that missing "n" in the root syllable bugged me… "guach" is not the same as "guanch".
As we look back at our time on Tenerife, I bet we're going to regret having spent so little time in the capital city, Santa Cruz. Every time we visited, the experience was better than we had expected. This city is small, but packed with worthwhile things to see -- not least of which is the park of García Sanabria.
If Taborno were located anywhere else, the day would have been an absolute failure. The one thing we had planned on doing, didn't work out... but look at these views! We weren't able to find any suitable replacement activity... except from checking out these amazing views! Objectively, the day was a total failure. But man, did we enjoy those views.
In the Cañadas, there are 41 named routes, of varying lengths and difficulties, and I can imagine that all of them are worthwhile