We normally avoid hitting Tenerife’s country roads on Sundays as they can be a lot busier than workdays and you never know when you’re going to get caught in the middle of a cycle race or something similar.
Similarly, there are far more people enjoying countryside than on any other day. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. There can be a lovely family atmosphere in parts on Sundays. It’s one of the things which we love about Tenerife, the family and community bond here is still rock solid. Saying that, normally we prefer it when the paths are quieter. But circumstances had contrived to make Sunday the best day for making sure a couple of our Teno walking routes were up to date.
First stop was a shortish but delightful walk around the Erjos Pools.
In some places on Tenerife you won’t meet many, if any, other people even on a Sunday. But Teno in the west is easily accessed from both north and south so you get more of a locals/visitors mix than in many of our favourite northern areas for walking. As we descended to the pools hot on our tails was a large group of British walkers.
At first there was a bit of grumbling on my part as I’m not keen on being crowded by large walking groups, mostly thanks to dodgy practices in the Masca Barranco. But this one turned out to be a group of extremely amiable ramblers from Wales.
As the maze through the Erjos Pools was a bit congested, we decided to leave an exploration of them till later. A number of paths lead to and from the pools and we split company with the Welsh ramblers at one fork, to climb a narrow trail through a meadow whose wild flowers were just in the first throes of bursting into colourful life.
One of the attractions of this route is that although it’s not a long one, it is packed full of diversity. As we climbed, the meadow became pine forest with views opening up both down to the south west coast and east across a volcanic cone studded landscape to one of the most complete views of Mount Teide and Pico Viejo you’ll find on Tenerife.
The surroundings change again as the path entered laurisilva and we were treated to vistas of the densely carpeted and wilder north west Teno slopes. There are no signposts on this section, so it’s one of those paths you have to know about to know about. Storm damage from a couple of years ago has left what should be an easy path littered with tree trunk obstacles, some trickier than others to negotiate. They add a bit of spice to the route.
Eventually the trail returned us to the pools which were quiet by that point, and we followed a path which took us to the bank of the largest where we sat and munched energy bars being serenaded by laughing ducks and honking coots. Although the end of March and one of the pools was quite full with water, others were worryingly drier than they should be by the end of winter. It’s been a quite dry winter, so hopefully there will be some decent rainfall before summer arrives.
The second part of our day involved heading deeper into the Teno Massif to Teno Alto. It’s a bit of a drive from Erjos so we stopped en route for lunch at a little zona recreativa (picnic zone) outside of Los Silos. These places are packed with local families tucking into banquets on Sundays. Thankfully there were a couple of picnic tables free and we sat in the shade eating sandwiches, listening to Latino sounds from the little cafe attached to the picnic zone and playing a game of trying to identify what food was being served from industrial sized containers on the tables around us.
As we only wanted to check if signposts had been affected by ongoing roadworks on the Teno Alto road, we didn’t have to actually walk the route itself. Instead we drove the narrow road which winds into the Teno hills, checking the signposts where the walking route crossed it.
Since December we’ve brought a friend who spends part of winter in Puerto de la Cruz with us when we’ve been checking route directions are up to date. Our explore of the Teno area was the last outing for him before he returned to Britain so we wanted to end with a WOW.
The last route we walked with him was in Anaga on a glorious February day which showed the area at its spectacular best. It was an experience we knew would be difficult to top. However, there was one Tenerife view he hadn’t seen which we felt was sensational enough to at least match the Anaga scenery.
Watching his face light up as we stood high above El Palmar looking across one of the most unusual valleys in the Canary Islands to Mount Teide and along the north coast almost as far as the north eastern tip of the island we knew we’d achieved our objective.
I think he might actually have said WOW… a few times.
Jack is co-editor, writer and photographer for BuzzTrips and the Real Tenerife series of travel websites as well as a contributor to online travel sites and travel magazines. Follow Jack on Google+