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.
In the Cañadas, there are 41 named routes, of varying lengths and difficulties, and I can imagine that all of them are worthwhile
Situated at 2390 meters above sea level, on the Teide Volcano, the Izaña Observatory (also known as the Teide Observatory) has been in operation since 1964. We took a tour of the premises, which introduced us to the history of the compound and its telescopes, and offered us a chance to stare at ... well, not at the stars, but straight into the sun.
It's fair to say that we were fairly underwhelmed upon pulling into the parking lot, and casting our first glance upon the Juan Évora Ethnographic Museum in the Teide National Park. This had to be one of the smallest museums we had ever seen -- a stone shack with two rooms in the middle of a wasteland. But the price was right (free) so we decided to check it out.
On our first visit to the volcanic region known as Arenas Negras, we had done a loop around the Montaña Negra. This "Black Mountain" last exploded three hundred years ago, utterly destroying the seaside village of Garachico. We were so impressed by the otherworldly area, that we promised ourselves to return for a second hike… and it was a promise we kept.
We had approached the Cañadas del Teide from the north, the east, and the south… and that left just one mark on the compass. After hiking through the mountainous landscape of Teno, we returned home not along the coast (though this would have been faster) but up and across the center of the island. And we discovered that the western approach to the Teide national park might be the most spectacular of all.
We had a lot of fun hiking around La Gomera, but it was exhausting, and we were ready to get to the main destination of our 91 day adventure: Tenerife. We had rented a rural house for the duration of our stay, and were looking forward to settling down a little.