A choza is something that is a very welcome sight on Tenerife, especially if one appears just about the time you fancy tucking into your packed lunch, assuming you’ve got one.
This week one appeared in front of us with impeccaple timing, almost within a minute of us deciding we’d stop at the first suitable place to eat our bocadillos. Normally the first suitable place is a rock with a flattish top, or a flat embankment. But on this occasion we turned a corner in the hillside as the path snaked into a shallow ravine and there was a choza.
Choza means shelter. They are usually hut-sized stone, or wood constructions with log or thatched roofs. You can see both types if you go walking in the La Orotava Valley. Chozas were originally used as a place to rest by goatherds or farmers. Now most are used more for recreational purposes by walkers like us, for example, looking for a shady place to eat a picnic lunch away from the searing sun.
From this month to December they’ll also be populated on Thursdays and Sundays by camouflage-wearing rabbit hunters as the hunting season is just about to start, so finding a free choza on those days won’t be quite as easy.
However, on a sunny Thursday afternoon in early September there was nobody except us and a circling buzzard. The perfect lunch spot.