Posts Tagged ‘Teide’

Neat and Teide

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

Coming home from a trip away tends to leave me with mixed feelings. There’s always the brutal reality of work that must be done, bills that have to be paid, all tinged with the regret of curtailing an enjoyable experience and meeting new people. Sometimes I wonder which bit is fantasy and which the reality, and while I was very sorry to leave Tenerife on Sunday night, even though the weather had been a little below par on occasions, it was tinged with an element of relief when I saw the news yesterday.

The rain was getting pretty heavy as I departed Sunday evening, but by Monday, Santa Cruz, where I was on Saturday, looked rather more like a war zone, with streets covered in mud and debris left by the flood waters. But I guess it’s something they’re used to – I remember similar conditions in 2002, during the preamble to my circumnavigation of the world in Spirit of Cardiff. We were delayed by bad weather on our passage from Cardiff to Gibraltar, when a major storm hit Tenerife and flash floods in Santa Cruz killed several people and made hundreds homeless.

My memories of Santa Cruz, however, are rather happier. I had the opportunity to find out about the carnival – second only to Rio, so they say. The biggest surprise, however, was not only being treated to a spirited performance by the drum ensemble Zankotada, but getting the chance to play as well. And so it was that my fellow members of the British Guild of Travel Writers and I grabbed ourselves a drum each, and split into groups depending on whether we had big bass drums, smaller tom-toms or snares. Amazingly it wasn’t long before we were not only in the groove, but considered good enough to go out into the street and put on an impromptu performance for bemused pedestrians and clients of a restaurant just down the road.

Mount TeideThe majority of Brits holidaying in Tenerife tend to go for the beaches and the nightlife, but there’s a lot more besides. There’s some fine walking to be had, and whilst I didn’t get the chance to yomp up it, 3,718 metres Mount Teide certainly looked very tempting, although you can always cheat and take the cable car. Teide is an active volcano, and the landscape around it has an eerie Martian quality (no wonder they actually test robots to be sent to Mars here). Anaga rain forestSo it was a complete contrast when I finally got to pull on my walking boots and do a little hike in the ancient laurisilver forest of the Anaga Rural Park. It was virtually all downhill (more tiring than you might think). The rain forest reminded me of New Zealand, but the robins here seem to be bigger, fluffier and even more friendly than the ones at home.

Flying all the way to the Canaries for an Annual General Meeting might seem a bit over the top, but after all, this was for a bunch of travel writers. And while we were there, they did a great job of showing us what Tenerife has to offer. It’s certainly a place I’d like to explore more.

Tenerife Tourism