A dramatic ridge walk in Teno

The start of the walk from Los Carrizales

 

Halfway along the ridge – note the path zig-zagging up the rock

I did this walk last Friday with a friend.  It was a lovely sunny clear day so the views were amazing.  The walk starts near Los Carrizales, a little village in Teno.  We drove north through Masca and on past the Mirador de Hilda till we reached the turning left signposted ‘Los Carrizales’.  Turning down this narrow road, with very broken tarmac, we stopped on the first big bend where the road continued to the right.  On the bend there is parking off the road for 2-3 cars.  The path starts from just off the point of the bend, and is track-width with a metal post in the centre.  It is a very clear path, and continues that way even though it gets narrower, until reaching an old farmhouse with a threshing-floor and corral adjacent, after about an hour’s walking

Purple spurge with seedpods (Euphorbia atropurpurea)

As we set out along the path a high rock, called, appropriately, El Roque,  towered over us to the left.  I looked up it and used the binoculars to discover it was covered with Canary houseleek (Aeonium canariensis) and Tenerife samphire (Vieraea laevigata), both of which were in flower.  As the path climbed up to the far side of the rock it divided, the left-hand fork with a rope handrail led up to a ridge with fine views, and nestled down just below the ridge was a little cottage.

 

Continuing with the path along the ridge I noticed we passed plants of Purple Spurge (Euphorbia atropurpurea), which, although they were past flowering, were still colourful with their purple bracts and seedpods.  There were also some compact, erect false sage plants with white felted small leaves.  Few were in flower in the drought conditions, but the few there were enabled me to confirm it was the local endemic Sideritis brevicaulis.

Sideritis brevicaulis a Tenerife endemic false sage found only in the NW and W of the island

The path then approached another rock with a dyke going straight through it (see photo), and climbed up its side in a zig-zag.  This part of the walk could cause problems for those who don’t like heights as there is a drop off to the side, but the path itself is safe provided you watch your step.

Canary houseleek (Aeonium canariense) near the start of the walk

As you round the side of that rock, the path stretches out in front, then another zig-zag takes you up to another open area with fantastic views, looking ahead at another rock to skirt around.  Beyond that another rock is passed by a cobbled path up the side and then the landscape begins to open out.  We made our way off the path up to a cairn on the left which offered views to the south, and to the north we could see the meadows spreading out down the hill towards the cliffs below.

The threshing-floor, with the farmhouse beyond, at the end of the well-defined path

Continuing on the path we soon caught sight of the old farmhouse.  The roof has caved in but the threshing-floor and corral are still in good condition.  They nestle just below the ridge, facing north over the farmland.  This is where the good path ran out.  We spent quite a while trying to find paths continuing but all were ill-defined and involved pushing our way through retama bushes, etc.  It was time and energy consuming.  We finally gave up and made our way back up to the farmhouse on the exposed rocks at the edge of the ridge, this proved easier than our way down, though it did involve a little rock scambling.

Masca daisy (Argyranthemum foeniculaceum)

The only way back is, of course, back along the same narrow ridge.  But the reverse trip gives you different views, including glimpses of Teide, as well as views to Los Carrizales village with its fertile fields, and to the Barranco Juan Lopez on the other side of the ridge, and of the Fortaleza de Masca – the massive fort-like rock on the next ridge to the south.

 

A view past a cairn to ‘La Fortaleza de Masca’ on the next ridge to the south

On the return journey I noticed a diminutive plant of the Masca daisy (Argyranthemum foeniculaceum) flowering by the path – most of the plants I had seen were not in flower.

 

The walk to the farmhouse takes only 1 hour and the return 1 hour.  The gradients are mostly gentle, with several ups and downs but nothing too strenuous.  My GPS did not record the cumulative climb correctly but it was probably around 300m for the both ways path to the farmhouse.  Beyond the farmhouse is only for the adventurous, and remember that the more you go down there, the further you will have to walk up again.

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About Sally Whymark

When I retired and moved out to Tenerife a few years ago, one of the things I really wanted to do was go walking in the mountains. The scenery is very dramatic, and varied. The views are amazing. The native birds and butterflies and other fauna are remarkable. But the flowers - they're just stunning. Little did I know how this would fire up my interest in plants. While living in England, I had always had an interest in flowers and plants, indeed I ran a plant nursery with my husband for many years, but had not spent a great deal of time pursuing botany. But when walking in Tenerife, I noticed all the unfamiliar shapes of the local flowers, and longed to find out more about them. There are literally hundreds of species endemic to just Tenerife (or even just one part of it), the Canary Islands, or Macronesia (the Atlantic Islands, including Madeira, Canaries and Azores). They are so exciting, and so many of them are really showy as well. So I have started this blog to share with you my excitement at all the great sights I see when walking in Tenerife. I hope you'll enjoy it - and want to come here and experience it for yourself.

Posted on May 27, 2012, in Walks in Tenerife, West Tenerife and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Hello Sally! I have just enjoyed reading your blog about a walk I haven’t yet done but I will have to rectify this I think. I have walked to Teno Alto though via other routes. I share your love for the flora and fauna of the island.

    • Glad you enjoyed it Steve. It’s a fantastic ridge. I had not walked it for about 6 years and had forgotten how lovely it was. I have seen your pieces in the local newspapers – always interesting.

  2. Hello Sally,
    I live in the UK but have booked a 3 week holiday in Tenerife next year. Your reports are great to read. Could I trouble you to provide the approx coordinates of the farmhouse/threshing-floor. I tried to locate it on a 25k map and on Google Earth, but failed.
    Regards
    Clive

    • Sorry for the delay replying. I was away from home and my computer. The coordinates for the farmhouse and threshing floor are approximately the following: Lat/Lon: 28 18.536; 16 52.130; UTM: 316760, 3132843. Enjoy your holiday in Tenerife.
      Sally

  3. Felicidades, muy buena entrada.
    Un abrazo chicharrero.

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