Tuesday, 14 October 2008

The Deserted Village of Las Fuentes

I have recently been exploring the area around Montana Tejina. This is a rounded hill on the side of the road heading west from Adeje towards Playa san Juan. Despite looking like a green hill from the road, at over 1,000mtrs high, it qualifies as a mountain. A friend had alerted me to the fact that hidden directly behind Mt. Tejina are the remains of the old village of Las Fuentes. Unable to resist the temptation to investigate, I set off from the village of Vera De Erques and climbed steeply into the hills on a route running roughly parallel with the Barranco de Erques. My intention was to climb to a height above that of Mt.Tejina and then circle around and down into the village. In the event, I climbed much higher than intended, above the cloudline in fact, before locating a route that led me back down the hills and through the cloud. As I emerged from the mist, I was faced by a fantastic view of Mt.Tejina and Las Fuentes below. Descending into the village, it appeared that most of the houses were long deserted, although one or two appeared to be in good condition. One even had a television aerial! Mostly though, the buildings were in a poor condition and a melancholy atmosphere prevailed. Some of the terracing appeared to be still in cultivation and I guessed that the cottages in good condition were perhaps used by whoever farmed them, possibly as holiday homes or weekend getaways. I found an old stone camino and followed it back to Vera de Erques .
A week later I returned along the camino from Vera de Erques to Las Fuentes. Passing an old wine press, I followed a signpost to the village of Acojeja across the impressively deep Barranco de Guaria, from where Mt. Tejina took on the more rocky aspect of a mountain. The path descended steeply into the village, passing another path into the village of El Jaral. Returning from Acojeja, I took a short walk into the Barranco del Pozo below El Jaral to check the route before returning steeply to Las Fuentes. One theory is that the village was built behind Mt. Tejina to conceal it from passing pirates but a more likely explanation for the location is probably to be found in the name, which literally means 'springs'. I returned along the old camino to Vera de Erques, planning to add this very interesting route to my website. A slideshow of the walk led by myself for a group of walkers on Sunday 20th October can be found on the right.
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