The mountain range of Anaga, which is a thousand meters above sea level is a completely different world to the coastline of Tenerife – damp, cold, foggy, lush woodland, and has many spectacular views. Also many serpentines on which you can avoid a car in the opposite direction only at passing spaces. It is both beautiful and stomach-churning.
Anaga is lined with miradores – places you can stop and feast your eyes on views of the landscape. At the first one, we couldn’t resist and stopped, although it was starting to rain. Despite the rain, a small, merry group collected there and we were surrounded by cheerful Spanish from all sides. In a van changed into a food stand you can buy all sorts of delicacies. We also couldn’t resist them 🙂
Our journey lead to Cruz del Carmen where several marked trails start. You can find also a mirador, a large but overflowing carpark (we luckily just managed to fit in), a supposedly good but also overflowing restaurant (we didn’t manage to get in) and a stand with refreshments and souvenirs.
The stand apart from the usual tourist selection also offered some unusual merchandise: raincoats, anoraks and waterproof trousers… Many people arrive here in thin summer clothing and the fifteen degrees’ foggy mountains with nearly constant drizzle catch them off guard. I am not too surprised – only a short distance from here in Puerto, where we started from, it was over twenty degrees and sunny…
We hadn’t bought a raincoat but I got myself a piece of a large strangely looking fruit, which I didn’t know (and when I cut it open at home, instead of an exotic sweet flesh I found something resembling in both structure and taste a kohlrabi :D)
From Cruz del Carmen there are several nature trails – one of which is suitable for wheelchairs. We set off on a path which should have been one of the less difficult ones. After at first sliding down a muddy hill through the woods and then clambering through mud up the hill, I started to have some doubts. Only at the end of the trail did we find out that we had walked the trail in the wrong direction and that the board at the entry (our exit) said something like “Careful – after rain the path is very slippery, enter at your own risk!” I don’t think I need to point out that it was just after the rain.
Otherwise, the nature trail was great. Various information boards were interesting. We learned for example that the woodlands like the one covering Anaga capture air humidity and bring to the landscape water, which is currently thanks to deforestation scarce in Tenerife. The trail also engaged all our senses. Along the trail there were signs with symbols of eye, nose, or ear – look around here, breath in here, listen here…
When we did that we fully appreciated the beauty of the local landscape. Fresh, cool air saturated with a scent of laurel and moss, muffled bird song and views, which opened suddenly in front of us when the woodland parted and we glimpsed green mountainsides sloping all the way to the distant sea…
To finish with a puzzle – can you guess what is it?
It is not a piece of bark as I thought at first, it is a relief of the mountain range of Anaga. On this trail of senses, you can touch it with closed eyes. The poetical English caption says:
Feel the ground’s folds
The Earth is like human skin. It wrinkles with the passage of time. What you see in front of you are crests and gullies. The water, the wind and the sun have shaped the land for millions of years, leaving deeper and deeper imprints. Close your eyes and feel the wrinkles of the old volcanic massif with your hands.