Tenerife

thehungrytroglobite

Well-known member
Day 1:
On our first day we woke up to glorious weather - brilliant sunshine and the perfect temperature that is warm enough for a t shirt, but not too hot. Since I had done all the planning for the holiday, researched different walks and written the itinerary etc, it was up to me to decide what to do whilst Todd munched on his morning toast. We settled on an obscure circular walk I had found in the Teno mountain range. Driving to the 'parking', which I had found using a satellite image on Google earth, was amusing in itself. Todd was still getting used to driving on the wrong side of the car on the wrong side of the road, whilst cursing me for taking him up a steep and bendy mountain road on the side of the cliff. Luckily, the spot I'd found was the only parking spot on this road so we parked there and set off down the trail.
I was instantly hit by the vibrant wildlife. I don't know if my senses have ever felt so full - all the sights, smells, and sounds seemed teeming with life. I struggle with the lack of 'green' in the winter just as much as with the lack of light, so being suddenly transported from grey and rainy Yorkshire to a deep green forest with sunlight pouring through the leaves felt like a dream come true.
We followed the trail down into the Cuevas Negras gorge, and explored some abandoned houses here. We passed one house that was still inhabited, buried deep in the jungle with a citrus tree outside of it, a picnic bench and a black cat wandering around. It looked totally idyllic. After some back and forth we found the start of the next 'trail' that my itinerary said we should follow. It clearly wasn't very well used, as it was very overgrown, but we still managed to follow it and it was nothing a bit of bush bashing couldn't fix. We followed it up the mountain to a ridge with brilliant views across the sea, where we stopped for a breather (both sweating profusely at this point, it was SO HOT!).
Then we went back into the bushes, this time on the other side of the ridge, heading into the next gorge. Our path took us along some pretty dodgy cliffs with lots of big drops and loose rock but nothing too traumatic. Eventually we found ourselves in the bottom of the gorge, where there is an authority-maintained trail. Here, we bumped into a group of Spaniards who seemed very confused about where we had come from. When we said 'down the mountain' and gestured to where we had come down, they said 'but that is not a trail', and when we said 'there is definitely a path there, we've just come down it' they looked at us like we were absolutely mad. A strange exchange.
We explored the bottom of this gorge, and it was just fantastic. It had a small river running through it, clear water, lush green leaves. We even found a cave that was clearly known by some as a wild camping spot - it included stone tables for cooking, a fireplace, and places for candles. Looked like a great place to spend the night. After some lunch near thus cave we went to find the entrance to our way back through the mountain. This was perhaps the craziest part of my plan.
I had noted an aqueduct flowing from Cuevas Negras to the parallel gorge, and decided it would make a perfect short cut through the hill for a circuit walk. I was aware that 6 people had died in the parallel aqueduct some years earlier due to 'volcanic gasses' or 'a lack of oxygen' depending on the news report. That one is gated off now, and due to my extensive research I knew 1) what the entrance to the deathy one looked like and 2) that people had used the canal I intended to use as a shortcut previously. We passed a 'atmosphere not breathable' sign with a skull and cross bones in a yellow triangle but decided to ignore it. 15 minutes and a couple of 'hard caver' renditions later and we were back in the cuevas negras. We explored further down the gorge a bit more to admire the fantastic geological features that give the gorge its name, and then started the hike back up to the car, with me carrying the rucksack whilst Todd (with no rucksack to carry) complained about how long the walk was.
On the way back Google maps trie to take us down some dirt tracks so we had to go back on ourselves a bit. We stopped off to try and find a way into the 18km Cueva del Viento system. Unfortunately all the entrances on mapy.cz are gated. I know from a survey I have of the system that there are other entrances, but we couldn't find them in the woods without location info. Very sad and frustrating to know the underground is so close, yet so far (due to some silly metal gates). Is this what it's like in mendip?
The end of day 1.
 

Pegasus

Administrator
Staff member
Loved reading your Day 1 post. As Badlad said, we had a fabulous holiday in Tenerife, one of my favourites ever - loved the scenery, the plant life, the food etc etc. Post some photos if you can, would be lovely to see some warm sunshine 🌞
IMG-20220329-WA0008.jpg
 

Shapatti

Member
A word of warning if it hasn't been mentioned here already, be careful if you leave official trails, especially inside the national park areas.
A couple of our group a few years ago, were faced with a 3k Euro fine for being caught off of the official trails.
The Spanish authorities have gotten very strict in the last decade and have ramped up their efforts, from my experience the general mentality on Tenerife is if it's not an official trail then they don't use it, which might explain the interaction you had with some locals. Of course that doesn't work for all the tourists that flood to the Canary Islands who are used to just following anything that looks like a path :p

It is truly an amazing place though, just a shame that getting underground on the island is becoming more and more difficult.
 

mrodoc

Well-known member
All the Canary Islands seem to have tightened up on wild exploration. I was interested to see you have to book the Barranco de Masca. When my wife and I did it some years ago we met one group at the beginning then not a soul all day. Nice skinny dip in the sea at the far end. We also visited the tubes on the side of Mount Teide that seem to be out of bounds nowadays. Got a few photos of them.
 

cavemanmike

Well-known member
Les Williams from the Wessex has some really good contacts over there regarding lava tubes 😉😉. Although he doesn’t use this site so you will have to find some other way to contact him
 

thehungrytroglobite

Well-known member
All the Canary Islands seem to have tightened up on wild exploration. I was interested to see you have to book the Barranco de Masca. When my wife and I did it some years ago we met one group at the beginning then not a soul all day. Nice skinny dip in the sea at the far end. We also visited the tubes on the side of Mount Teide that seem to be out of bounds nowadays. Got a few photos of them.
Wow, would love to see the photos of the tubes! Totally barred these days, such a shame
 

mrodoc

Well-known member
Ed Waters is the other person to contact. Some photos taken about 30 years ago on Tenerife.
 

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