In the clouds –last day in Tenerife

 

I got up early so that I could have alone-time with the sun as it breaks the night into the early morning’s light.

 

Far to my right, the shore begins to sparkle in coy flirtation as the sun turns its gaze.  A voyeur, I watch as he spreads his favor, lighting each little village in its own special time.

This is the most rugged country that I’ve ever seen.  People told me that the Canary Islands remind them of Hawaii–but I didn’t find that to be true of Tenerife.  For one thing, they seem to have more roads  and dwellings in precarious places!

Rooftop rentals beckon me to climb for the view.
Urg–but once I’m up there, it’s worth it!   (Is that a life metaphor?)

Ancient lava fields have given over to ambitious plants, greedy to grow, reproduce and change the landscape.  People follow–and lizards too.

Agricultura is huge on the northern part of the island.  Netted greenhouses stretch as far as I can see.  The climate is so moderate that the growing season is long and produce is really inexpensive–nearly 1/2 of what I spend back home in Ohio.  I just bought 12 perfect tomatoes for $1.13.  A quart of marinated olives is less than $3.00.   Olive oil is hearty and wholesome,  with-or without the crusty bread that I love so much!

Rooftop rentals beckon me to climb for the view–urgh!  But once up there, I’m glad to have made the effort.  (Is that a life-metaphor?)

The views never disappoint. 
(Photo below by my new friend, Manuel Ortega, owner of our Airbnb in Tacorante.)

Driving the island, I’m impressed by its variety.  The beach-seeking tourists and families hit the south-side.  Many snake our way up the mountain to see the volcano, Teide,  still vibrating and channeling steam through its spout.

(FYI: If you want to rent a car, you must obtain an international driver’s license-no big deal, you can apply at AAA and get it on the spot for around $20.  I can’t help wondering: Wouldn’t it be a good idea to offer relative traffic laws when rent a car?)

One of our reasons for visiting Tenerife was for Ellioto to visit the solar and radio telecsopes.  They look quite futuristic and appropriately alien.

Tiende is a Strato-volcano, also known as a composite, with its cone built up by many layers of hardened lava, tephra, pumice and volcanic ash.

 

The road goes nearly to the top where Ellioto took the cable car another 2000-3000` up to see the view and walk the ancient lava field–which is precisely why I stayed below in the visitor center/cafeteria.

There a hostel up there and it gets quite cold, snowing in the Winter and breezy most of the time.  To stay, you must obtain permission.

Driving here becomes a skill;  the hairpin turns are best described as hairy-which rhymes with scary-and it was at times!  Especially when the clouds wet the road and shroud the view-whew!  It makes for slow-going.

Stopping for gas at about $3.50/gal, an attendant pumped for me while a charming wizened elderly man broke into rich baritone, singing in Spanish–dispelling my nervousness–making me smile!  Sometimes it’s a challenge being a good natured traveler–but I’m up for it!

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