Sunday, February 22, 2009

A high point


Setting off
Originally uploaded by goforchris.
This pic comes from a wonderful day spent high above the clouds which enveloped the coast near Puerto de la Cruz. The crater of Las Cañadas, below El Teide, is absolutely vast, and at 6,500' was quite snowy at the time of our visit. (We just missed a week of horrid weather, at the end of which El Teide was entirely white). The crater was formed around 300,000 years ago, but the last volcanic activity was only 200 years ago, when Pico Viejo erupted. We walked from the foot of the peak, past the volcanic cone of Montana de los Tomillos to Cañada de los Guancheros, a wide gravel plain. We then climbed to the summit of La Fortaleza on the crater rim of Las Cañadas, where we sat on the red rocks and fed little grey lizards which came flocking (slight hyperbole) like ducks in a pond for our crumbs. I also quoted a little Eliot - the literary among you might guess what. (Think red rocks rather than lizards) By this time my walking companions had become used to my eccentricities - I think.

By the end of the day I had bright red patches on the back of my calves (the only place not protected with sunscreen) - the sun was extremely fierce and the cool air meant that you didn't always remember that fact. Interestingly, the moment we moved into shade at the end of the walk, we felt chilled - goosebumps chilled.

This was the harder walk of the day; I was pleasantly surprised at the slightly less relentless pace than I had expected and at my own growing fitness. Pity I've spent the whole of this afternoon at the computer...

2 comments:

  1. Oh Chris, the photos are absolutely splendid and the vistas...well, I cannot think of an "awesome" enough adjective to describe them!

    So, in the UK, folks go "sledging" as opposed to our US "sledding"! I love the photo of the fellow heading downhill!

    As we are currently experiencing very limited visability with blowing snow...what a treat to see your photos!

    So, I need to ask...was it hard returning home after this?

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