ROCKY AND SPIKY TENERIFE

Tenerife, the main island of the Canarian archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean, is a place full of contrasts, that it’s almost impossible to find an adjective that describes them all.  Created by volcanic forces long time ago the centre of the island is dominated by an impressive huge caldera and the highest mountain of Spain. Besides there are canyons, trails, abrupt coastlines, spectacular cliffs, sand dunes, semideserts, tropical plants, pine or laurel forests which are perfect for hiking and wandering in the diverse biospheres and climate zones. The following pictures taken by my loved Beatrice during our various visits show more the multiple rocky aspects of Tenerife.

Cactees in the semi-desert

Layers of lava stream

View on Mt. Teide (3718 m) seen from Mt. Guajara (2715 m)

Abandoned cottage in the countryside

At the edge of the volcanic caldera

Cliffs at Costa del Silencio during low tide

View on the Atlantic Ocean near El Puertito

Field of succulents

At the edge of the volcanic caldera

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Rock

 

RURAL CANARIAN INTRODUCTIONS

The Canarian Islands archipelago can tell us a lot of fascinating stories concerning the predominant diverse elemental influences on our unique home planet because mighty primeval forces have once created and are still transforming these islands in the Atlantic Ocean: volcanism, wind and erosion, rain and ocean waves, sunshine (while human beings firstly settled here only around 2,500 years ago). So in the centre of Tenerife you will find for instance a real huge volcanic caldera at the bottom of Mt. Teide (3,718 m) and when passing this bizarre landscape it really feels like being a tiny ant in a giants’ world. Here are some photographic impressions from my latest visit to Tenerife in March 2017 such allowing a rather more fragmentary glimpse on it, there is of course much more to discover.

Somewhere in the Teno mountains near Masca.

The volcanic pumice stone gate to nowhere.

Rocky view on the ocean near El Medano.

Graffiti scenery in the coastal semi-desert

In transit at picturesque El Puertito.

Water wave fountain at the basaltic shore.

 

LABYRINTHIC VOLCANIC AMBITIONS OF LA PALMA ISLAND

Is this still Europe but with papaya trees and silkmaking? Maybe, in any case La Palma or “La isla bonita” is one of the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean being situated on a still active volcanic hotspot not far away from Morocco. It is geologically quite young (1.5 million years) and still growing mainly in the south due to the volcanic activities with the last eruption in 1971. People call it also the green island as the volcanic ash is a highly efficient fertilizer for the soil, and agriculture today is mainly comprising banana farming at the coast and vineyard cultivation on the slopes a little bit higher. Fortunately, tourism is limited, so that the island is still quite original and normal, a real very nice place to go especially in spring when all plants are in astonishing  blossom with all brilliant colours of the rainbow.

Blick auf Bananenplantage mit Lilien von Tazacorte gesehenView on the banana “ocean” from Tazacorte town

Allthough unemployment is very high (> 20%) only few people leave the island today as for instance in the 19th century when a lot of  people immigrated to Cuba and Venezuela especially. So the Latinamerican influence is quite strong here, but people see themselfes as Canarians while being an autonomous region of Spain which is truly quite far away (at least 1 hours flight time over the ocean).

Vulkan im Nebel_oberhalb El TeimeFoggy trail to the volcan Tajuya

There are diverse impressive vegetation zones (subtropical, semi-desert, foggy forests etc. pp.) on the island with mountains raging up to 2.450 m altitude over sealevel. The complete island is a protected biosphere reservat. But sometimes you have to take care of not getting lost on a nebulous path in the mountains leading apparently to nowhere.

Caldera de Taburiente_unterhalb Pico Bejenado gesehen    Heart zone of the national park / Caldera de Taburiente

All persons wishing to go by car to the central situated volcanic created caldera are in need of special authorization to enter as there is only limited space available for parking the cars. So nature has a chance to survive with no gift-shops or restaurants nearby. Before, the violent conquest and colonization by the Spanish in the 15th century, the caldera was a main spiritual place of the original population, the Benahoaritas, with the holy rock Idafe there as part of a ceremonial worship location with remainings till today.

Kaktus m. orangefarbenen BlütenSpiny path from Puntagorda to Las Tricias

The old paths of the aboriginees are still passing the often wildly countryside, going up and down and passing crucial canyons on the way to the next dead volcano getting alive sometimes unexpectedly.

Kraftort_Steinspirale

Spiral place of power at the trail to Pico della Nieve

Everywhere in the country scattered meeting places of the Benahoaritas – the tagorors – can still be visited which are dominated mostly by geometric symbols such as the neverending spiral standing not only here for the eternal cycle of life and re-beginning.

FarbigeKlippen_nähePuntagorda_unten

Colourful volcanic cliffs near Pirates’ Bay / Playa del Jurado

Steep cliffs are surrounding the island with some quite often difficult reachable beaches here and there such as the Playa del Jurado, a bay frequently used by pirates in former times. Nearby the geological activities have created really beautiful cliffs by multiple layers of diverse metallic volcanic ash types.

Fajana_Friedhof_Petroglyphen

Aboriginal petroglyphs at la Fajana graveyard

Near the city of El Paso the archeological site La Fajana is showing the typical petroglyphs of the Benahoaritas, eternal relicts of old cosmological believings as first settlements on the island are going back to 500 BC – most probably the first settlers came from North-Africa to La Palma. The Benahoaritas have also left two quite big stone pyramids on La Palma each with staircases leading to the upper platform of the building, but the real purpose of these pyramids is nowadays a secret.

Fiesta_LaMancha

Local annual fiesta at La Mancha

The Canarians today like very much their longlasting fiestas. At La Mancha there is a short fiesta in April and when you go there you will get free of charge eating, drinking and Canarian music in the street. But the real fiesta season starts in May until September when days are longer. Then, each village and city will hold some time its fiesta (normally lasting 1 week), subsequently during this time you always have the chance to attend somewhere such a party, so really the hottest period of the year in each sense.

Blumen und Wasserleitung

     Plants and water Irrigation system near El Paso

I must return sometime to this small island in the Atlantic Ocean, with all its different shapes of nature, the original creative force of earth in its diverse volcanos, tropical flowers arising from a stony ground by surprise and desertic landscapes covered with black volcanic sable and cryptical lava bombs, so that sometimes it feels more like being on another planet.