Whoever said “no pain no gain”?
I gained a lot of pleasure today from a 20km hike with just 400 mt ascent with no pack to weigh me down.
I left Vilaflor, the highest village on Tenerife, and initially climbed for awhile into the pine woods I would spend the morning traversing.
The blue of the sky merged with the blue of the sea and I looked down on a bank of cloud somewhere between.
All of these woods had been burnt at some stage recently but were now sprouting new growth from the dormant buds buried deep beneath the thick bark.
There was no wind and it was still and silent apart from the sound of my boots crunching on the red pumice path which had been badly eroded in places by, I guessed, mountain bikers. That may have been a false accusation though because later on the peace was shattered by the raucous sputtering of trails bikes.
The heady aroma of resinous pine kept washing over me on the rising heat waves.
Prosperous haciendas appeared now and again amongst the high terraces with fields of grey pumice in which they grow the potato the area is renowned for.
It also supplies a lot of water both for irrigation and bottling and there are complex webs of pipes running everywhere.
But there were also numerous abandoned terraces and fincas and some era’s, the round flat areas for threshing grain, seemingly miles from any ground capable of growing any.
At one point deep in the forest I came upon a chain of prayer flags fluttering in the breeze.
I came out of the forest and onto a road at Ifonche where there was a bar and crossroads of trails. There were a lot of hikers coming and going and the tap tap of walking poles was like some kind of morse code I wasn’t in on.
The landscape changed and became more open, treeless and dramatic.
It’s been a recurring or ongoing fantasy of mine over my years rambling in the outer regions and coming across many remote but beautiful abandoned old houses in fantastic settings to put together a portfolio of Eco renovated off grid properties to rent cheaply to people seeking the tranquillity such places provide.
This place is one of them.
When I got down to it I discovered it had a lot of little cave rooms dotted around the place( for guest accommodation) and a well crafted stone cap over a large and deep cistern.
A whole mountainside of old terraces, now growing wild flowers and cactus reminded me of Machu Pitchu.
And the , just before I finished in Arona one last old era with a view.
Whoops… wrongly left this comment on the previous day’s walk… so I’m transferring it here…
Guess you’ll be waiting for the bus right now. Good luck with another day’s walk downhill, though it does start with a pretty steep and rocky climb beside Guajara before you get the downhill benefit. I’ll be interested to see if you can resist being drawn off-route to the Roques de Garcia before you even start!