Sunday, 16 November 2008

Birthday Cake-walk

Last Thursday was my birthday. To celebrate this momentous event, I went to the Las Canadas National Park with my wife Ann for an easy stroll around the park in the shadow of the huge bulk of the volcano, Teide. Strolling from the Parador (state run hotel), we left the tourists behind and headed for the low, sandy coloured mound of Montana Majua, facing the cable-car station at the foot of the volcano. Thursday in Tenerife is a hunting day and as we wound our way through the harsh volcanic landscape, we spotted a number of hunters on top of a rocky ridge ahead. As we neared the ridge, we passed a pack of hunting dogs foraging in the shrubs and cacti looking for rabbits as the hunters looked on from above. Leaving the hunters to their search, we approached Montana Majua and climbed to the summit. From here we had a terrific 360 degree view of the huge volcanic crater we were walking through. The mountains on the southern wall of the crater created an impressive sight but the star of the show was Teide, filling the entire view to the north. We watched the cable-car taking another car-load of tourists to within a couple of hundred metres of the summit as we descended to a wide, dusty track below. We followed this back to the parador, passing the old sanitorium buildings nestled silently among the rocks as we headed for the ever-expanding view of Montana Guajara, Tenerife's fourth highest peak at around 9,000ft. Picking up the Siete Canadas trail at the base of the crater wall, we passed beneath this imposing mountain, admiring the rock formation of Piedras Amarillas as we completed the easy circuit back the the parador. The easy stroll through the stunning scenery of one of Spains most visited and unusual National Parks was a lovely way to spend three hours of my birthday. We finished the day off with a visit to one of our favourite restaurants in Los Cristianos.
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