After last nights pretty miserable conditions and wet start again this morning I’m treating myself to a stay at El Refugio at the end of the day’s stage, about 18 km and 1000 mt of climbing later.
I’m right at the cusp of cloud and clear here at Cruz de Tejeda, a col or slightly lower gap in the mountains which encourages the mist to spill over through it from the north and east.
My back is turned away from a greyed out mass of nothingness while I face a hazy sun towards the west with vague outlines of fantastical pinnacles or Roques as they are called here.
A hazy start and finish then but the haze has transformed from wet cloud to dryish mist and in between were truly beautiful sunlit vistas.
I’m still at 5000ft so it’s going to be cold later and if I needed another excuse for a night in a soft warm bed my phone is eating batteries and needs to be fed.
And the luxury of electricity means I don’t have to go to bed at 8 o clock.
This morning I abandoned my damp and run down quarters as soon as it was light and headed back into the murky misty forest with its festoons of green lichen.
As I made my way along the road a taxi van stopped and asked if I needed a ride to Artenara, the next town on route.
It was tempting but already I could sense the cloud thinning as I climbed so proudly explained I was a rambling man and would get there by foot.
My boasts were justified soon enough as I climbed a stairway to heaven
And the views started to appear.
Artenara came in sight sitting on the right side of the mountain with the cloud struggling to reach it over the ridge.
With one more climb the vistas to the west opened up.
And soon enough I was basking in sunshine in the attractive village having a cafe con leche on the plaza and marvelling at the diverse climates on the islands. They call Gran Canaria a mini continent because of its micro climates and they are a phenomena. You can nearly strand astride two completely different weather worlds, one damp and cold and the other dry and sunny.
So with a weary eye on the bank of cloud I headed off and up, past some of the cave houses which are plentiful.
Up through lovely verdant terraces almost alpine in looks.
Reaching ever greater heights and views of the classic pinnacle Roque Nublo.
With dramatic drops into the caldera 1000’s of mt below I was impressed by the nerve and speed of the mountain biker who came bouncing past.
I went past the caves, Cuervas de Los Candiles, a sight of pre Hispanic ritual and with a fine collection of cave art.
The ancient Canarians had etched into the Rock with stone picks over 300 symbols of the female pubis and vulva. I thought it fitting that I should discover such a place around St Bridgits day and when a little while later I came to a collection of similar caves one of which was open, I thought about spending the night there overlooking the Tejeda caldera but thought the powers may not approve.
I have no idea how old this rock carving is outside the caves
And the maker of this little trail side cairn had put in more effort than usual.
One more steep climb and a glorious traverse across Degollada de las Palomas with stunning views west to Mt Teide on Tenerife still with me across an ocean of cloud.
Till finally I was down in the mist again at Cruz de Tejeda, happy to have a room and admire the white out without having to sleep in it.
hows the gear and the body holding out. And the mind for that matter (still waiting for those calf musle shots)
All three areas holding up nicely thanks Mickey. No blisters, knees and hips pain free. As you can tell from the blogs the mind is tip top but i miss the missus. The calf muscles are nothing to write about or photograph. And im going to do a kit review shortly. See you soon xx
ah come on I am with Mikey, lets see those calf muscles. Practice your Spanish and get a passing hiker to give us a shot. The missus misses you too x Sally