Sunday, February 23, 2014

Tenerife Day 1 and 2

Ross and I just returned from an awesome five days spent on Tenerife. We stayed in a small studio apartment on the north side of the island, just outside of Puerto de la Cruz. This was the perfect location. We rented a car, and we were just off the main highway that runs around the island. This meant we could get anywhere on the island easily, and when we were tired after a day of exploring we didn't have to drive extra switchbacks up to our apartment. We had wonderful views from our balcony, and there was a nice running trail just below the apartment that we did on two mornings when we didn't feel like going further. Click on the images to see them larger.
Upon arrival, Ross is super excited :)
Views from the apartment balcony:
To the east, you can see the trail running downhill

To the West

To the south, towards the mountains

The apartment, all the pictures taken from standing on the bed

Yep, from the bed you look directly at the toilet... and there is no door. Privacy be damned!

Morning crunches in the living room
The first day we headed west, and drove up the switchbacks to the top of the pass. We were headed to the small "town" of Masca. We stopped in Santiago del Teide to pick up food and saw an interesting looking trail of crosses going about 400 m up the hillside. We hiked up and enjoyed the rather cloudy view, before heading up the switchback road to the top. We stopped to take pictures and enjoy the views, but it was incredibly windy.

We made it to Masca, found a parking spot and starting running down the trail. It was a 6km run down, and then 6km back up again in the ravine. Before long, it became obvious that running the whole way would be difficult as the trail was narrow, rocky and often hard to see. We foolishly attempted to keep our feet dry in the beginning, before seeing that the only way to continue was down a small waterfall. After that, it became a bit easier to go, as we just walked through the stream when necessary. I thought this was the most enjoyable hike that we did because of the adventure factor. Scrambling up and down the rocks, wading through the water and losing the trail were all part of the fun. We made it down to the beach and had a quick picnic before heading back up again. It took us just about the same amount of time to go down as up.
View from the top 
Heading down to the beach

In the river, among the cane

This is our trail

And this is also our trail...
We made it to the beach!
Ross hiking back up the ravine.

Day 2

Morning run from the apartment
I woke up this morning barely being able to walk. I could shuffle my way forward, but running downhill was just out of the question. The pain that I felt in my quads when running downhill was just unbearable, I couldn't do it. I could sort-of walk downhill with a funny gait, but that was it. So, in the morning we decided to explore the trail that was just below our apartment. It was a beautiful trail, and crowded with German tourists. I walk/ran most of the way with Ross, but then turned back before him.

The big plan for the day was to drive up to Teide and then hike up to the refuge near the top and spend the night there. The next morning we would wake up early and watch the sunrise from the top. Our plan was foiled, as the road up from the north side of the island was closed due to snow and ice. We emailed the refuge and they said that they would not be open again until Friday, which was too late for us. Also, the top of the volcano was closed, and remained closed due to snow and ice for the rest of our trip as well. Instead, we drove back downhill a little ways, and ran from La Caldera into los Organos, with views into the La Orotava Valley. I still could not at all run downhill this afternoon, but luckily there was a good mix of up and down. After a short bit of down, we had a nice long run uphill. We continued along on a narrow trail through pine trees, and joked about how beautiful the view was, when all we could really see was clouds.

Running uphill

Forest trail, with hanging moss

More out in the open, along the trail, with too many clouds for a view

Awesome plants growing out of the vertical rocks

Trail around the edge of the cliff

Out on the rocky outcrops

1 comment:

Ian Smith said...

Magnificent! Thanks for taking pictures so we can share. I didn't fully appreciate how gorgeous the Canary Islands were, though let's be honest - can they compete with a soggy, snowy Boston winterscape?

To Ross: Great legs (in the Camino de la Virgen de Lourdes) picture. Mrow.