When we woke up this morning, our first task was to find somewhere to have breakfast in Santa Cruz. As we were walking around the town, we were able to admire the flowers displays which it had been a bit too dark to appreciate last night. We hadn't realised that there were poinsettias growing in the street!
They were really beautiful, especially these light pink ones!
After breakfast we checked out of the hotel and went to retrieve the car from the nearby car park. Soon we were on our way, discovering that it isn't a whole lot easier to drive out of Santa Cruz than it is to drive into it We went around in circles for a while, before eventually finding the road we were looking for towards the Anaga national park.
The Anaga national park is a mountainous region in the far north of the island. The road towards it twisted and turned quite a lot, but it seemed quite tame in comparison to the road to Masca yesterday! We were driving towards a viewpoint called Cruz del Carmen, where there was supposed to be a visitor centre with a car park. When we arrived, however, we found that it was a very popular destination and the car park was already full
It seemed a shame to drive all this way and miss the view, so Tim drove around for a while and eventually managed to find a roadside where we were able to safely park the car, then walk back up the road towards Cruz del Carmen. We had to walk quite steeply uphill for a while, but when we finally got to the viewpoint it was definitely worth it
In the background we had a clear view of our main destination of the day; the Teide volcano.
It was a really pretty location, although a little bit breezy
After admiring the view for a while, we walked back down to the rental car. We were rather alarmed when, turning the corner towards it, it looked like we'd somehow managed to bash in the front lefthand corner of the vehicle
Luckily, once we got a bit closer we were able to see that the car was absolutely fine and it was just the angle we'd been looking at it, combined with the slightly weird design of the front of the car, which made it look like it had been crashed
We set off on the road towards Teide.
It turned out to be a beautiful road, which took us gradually uphill towards the volcano, initially travelling through a very forested part of the island.
Once we had climbed to above 1000m, we were able to stop the car at the first of many viewpoints and look out over where we'd come from.
The cloud was quite low, so we could only just about make out the sea.
We followed the road further up the mountain.
Next time we stopped at a viewpoint we were a lot higher, and the view was a lot clearer
I have to admit that I had vertigo at this viewpoint and didn't want to get out of the car
Off we went again.
It was a good job that we had the car, because there was a lot of uphill to do. Teide itself is enormous, with a summit at 3,718m making it the highest mountain in Spain. The road that we were following climbs to around 2,300m on the side of the volcano.
The higher we went, the rockier the landscape became.
Soon we were above the tree line...
...and it really did begin to look volcanic!
Next time we parked up, Tim caught sight of some rather striking rock formations.
Wow, you definitely don't see landscapes like these every day
By the next time we stopped, the ground had turned red.
It was really unusual!
If we'd been here a bit longer, it looked like there were various trails you could follow from this point to explore the area on foot.
We were on a schedule though, so we needed to keep travelling up.
As we got higher, some of the rocks looked quite menacing....
...and then we got to a viewpoint where the ground looked almost sandy!
It wouldn't be hard to imagine this was the surface of the moon
As we got closer to the highest point of the road, the weather began to take a turn for the worse. The summit of the volcano was shrouded in cloud and it rained quite heavily for a while.
In good weather there is a cable car which leaves from here and goes almost all the way to the top of the volcano, so we may have to come back another time and try that
For today, we just had time to visit a couple more viewpoints and admire our surreal surroundings.
We parked the car to admire a particularly striking rock formation, and were slightly surprised when a guy walked over to us and said hello to us in English.
It turned out that he had been on the same flight as us the previous day (and annoyed by the same other passengers!). He'd then followed almost the same itinerary on the island as us and said that he'd kept pulling up behind us at viewpoints us all day. Even more of a coincidence was the fact that he has also just come to Tenerife for the weekend and is flying back tonight. So at least we know that we are not the only people crazy enough to come all this way for a weekend And he was nice enough to take a picture of us together at the rocks
From there, it was time to start travelling back downhill towards the southern coast and the airport.
The countryside soon became a lot flatter, and it wasn't long before we were close by the sea again.
All that remained was to hand the rental car back in and wait at the airport for our long flight home. Happily there has been good wi-fi at the airport, so I've been able to do this blog.
Overall it's been a tiring weekend, but a very exciting one I can't pretend that Tenerife is somewhere I've always dreamed of visiting, but it has definitely surpassed my expectations and we've had a really good time Who knows, we may even be back some day!