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Our second stay on Tenerife was only of short duration and served as a springboard for the return trip to the Spanish mainland. Although we planned a few days of reserve time for this island crossing, and far in the back of my mind (Tom) was still the desire to climb the “Pico del Teide”.
Coming from La Palma, our ferry docked in the evening in “Los Cristianos”, one of the big centres of mass tourism on the southwest coast. We immediately looked for our way out of this town, where supposedly everything is done for the benefit of the paying customer, and headed for a campsite we knew. Once again, we needed a washing machine and a day to get ourselves and our equipment ready for the long journey home.
The interior of the island, i.e. the high plateau around the “Teide” and a large part of the “Parque Natural de Corona Forestal” was always covered in a thick layer of fog and soon nipped my secret wish to climb the “Pico del Teide” in the bud. When I tried to apply for a permit on the website, I was immediately told that there was too much snow at 3000 metres and that no permit would be granted in such conditions. Basta!
The laundry was done, the car checked and ready for the journey home, we camped for the last time at a wild bay and listened to the surf far into the night. Some melancholic memories were already coming up and we were both aware that now another small part of our round-the-world trip was coming to an end. Perhaps the continuation of the journey also depressed us a little, as at the moment many things are still open and the current world events also call many things into question.
The next morning we left the rushing sea and climbed steep roads and paths up into the mountains. Soon we reached the pine forest surrounding the “Parque Nacional del Teide” and with the fog lamps we felt our way higher and higher. To our surprise, shortly before 2100 metres we reached the upper limit of the fog cover and a bright blue sky spread over us.
Instead of climbing “Teide”, we visited the park’s information centre and familiarised ourselves with the history of Spain’s highest mountain. All the information had to be processed a bit and immediately a second wish (Tom) was awakened; up here, with a clear sky, the starry sky must be even more unique than further down!
Below the astronomical centre of Tenerife, we found a path that was a little off the main route and hopefully would not be driven off by a ranger right away. Apart from the national parks, overnight stays in the nature parks are actually forbidden. Although we have never had any problems in this regard, as we were always made aware of this by the officials in the morning, the guilty conscience of “doing something forbidden” was and is always a bit present.
Despite the guilty conscience, we soon found the desired spot where, after dark, the last fog dissipated and the stars began to shine in the sky. The amount of celestial bodies soon overwhelmed my (Tom’s) modest knowledge of the individual stars. For a long time I stood outside and tried again and again to combine the individual star images correctly, until it became too cold for me too and the warm blanket was the alternative to freezing.
The next morning we were again in dense fog, some of which dissipated in the sunlight only to envelop everything again in the next moment; a wonderful interplay of the cold and the warming rays of the sun.
We again had the choice between going up and enjoying the sea of fog once more, or going down to the sea via the forest road. We chose the direct route down through the extensive pine forest and over the rocky ridge of “Gúimar” to the east coast. The forest path was a relaxed affair. At the rocky ridge, deep views often opened up where you should not miss the path under any circumstances.
Once again, we did not take the direct route to Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Steep side connections took us away from the main connection again and again, and so we discovered hidden treasures again that do not always reveal themselves immediately.
Via this zigzag, we reached Santa Cruz from the mountains in the afternoon and the whole city was practically at our feet.
We spent the last night on a beach north of the island’s capital. It was damp and fresh, so we soon retreated into the protective interior of our gazelles. Soon the first heavy raindrops slapped the pop-up roof as if the sky was mourning our departure. Even on Sunday morning it was rather damp and the thick clouds didn’t really want to dissolve into the sun.
Yes, after lots of sunshine, the clouds have been rather our constant companions in recent weeks and it can be freezing cold on the Canaries too. Hopefully it will be a little more pleasant on the Spanish mainland and not typical April weather. Or as they say; “April doesn’t know what it wants!”.
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