Gomera and Tenerife

Led by Bob Rogers
Tour dates: 10 to 24 February 2008.
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Sun 17 Feb

A moving-on day: heading for Tenerife to spend our second week. We left the hotel at 10 with the intention of travelling on the 11:30 ferry from San Sebastian. This was not to be, since the ferry had an electrical problem. Instead we spent the time sitting around San Sebastian waiting for the 16:30 ferry. At that time our ferry was still u/s and we continued to Tenerife by the Fred Olsen ferry.

We crossed back to Los Christianos. Our final destination, Puerto de la Cruz, was at the far side of the island. It is reached by a circuitous route on excellent roads, passing a large wind farm on the way. The sprawling buildings all over the island of Tenerife were somewhat depressing and our in-town hotel made us wonder what we were coming to, but happily the future was to provide some excellent walks!

The evening catering changed today and we marched out from the hotel through the town to have our meal in a local restaurant.

Mon 18 Feb

At 09:30 our coach arrived, totally filling the road outside the hotel. It took us up a winding road towards Mount Tiede where we disembarked at a cafe near a Visitor Centre. The day was bright and clear and we had excellent views in all directions during our walk. Scenery was varied: changing through scrub, woodland, rocks, cliffs and even flat sand.

On our return we stopped to watch a film in the Visitor Centre and had a drink at the cafe before our return to the hotel by coach.

The evening meal was centred around Tapas dishes proved, in my estimation, to be the best meal of the trip. All of the many items had rich flavours and textures and nearly all of them were an exploration of new gastronomic ground for me.

Tue 19 Feb

Our coach took us up the same winding road as yesterday, but this time as far as La Caldera. There is a very small caldera with a picnic spot at its base (which we did not have time to investigate).

We set off on our walk and almost immediately Joan dropped out feeling unwell from travel sickness in the coach. The rest of us continued up a route that zigzagged up through forest then continued for the whole day within forests growing on very steep cliffs.

We travelled amidst many other groups of walkers of whom almost 100% were German. Lunch was taken on two small stopping places with good views.

The path was excellent although a little exposed in places.

The final descent led us down to a forest road which completed our route. We met Joan who had recovered well and had spent the day walking on her own. A quick visit to a hectically-busy cafe took us to 16:30 and a coach ride down.

Wed 20 Feb

A 9:30 coach trip took us W to be dropped inland and then descend a steep barranca to the beach where most people had a restaurant lunch at Playa de la Rambla. Others amused themselves watching crabs doing unexciting things on the rocky beach.

From there the coach took us a short distance along the road to a point where about two-thirds of the group disembarked to complete the journey on cliff and seaside path back to the hotel. This included some memorable scenery including a ruined church down a flight of steps almost to the waves. While further along some natural formations echoed the shape of the church.

There were many attractive private houses along the route and even a few small fields with grazing goats. However there were also some hideous hotels that looked like badly-painted filing cabinets.

Thu 21 Feb

This was a free day. It started rainy so did not go out until 11. Joan and I made our way slowly along the beach and up the cliffs as far as the Botanical Gardens and then back by a different route. We did not immediately return to the hotel but had a light lunch and a beer at leisure.

The evening meal was at the place that serves the Tapas the other night; this time the food was good but less unusual.

Fri 22 Feb

The day started wet and so we left on foot at 10:00. The route followed closely our previous day's route but then stayed on the cliff line and continued further. The paths were interesting and eventually we found ourselves in a wilder area where we stopped for lunch in an overgrown disused garden with a sheer drop into the sea.

The return route took us back along the cliffs overlooking the harbour and swimming pools. The day finished fairly early and Joan and I stopped for a beer on the way back and were joined by Bob who was having a huge slice of strawberry cake.

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