Another circular walk above the Barranco de Tagara
We did this walk last Saturday, starting from the Mirador below Pico Viejo, (rather confusingly called the Mirador de Chio) near km 3 of the TF-38, in the National Park. The first half followed the route taken by our walk on July 4th, but when we reached our lowest point, instead of turning right as we did then, to complete a circle, we turned left. I was introducing my winter walking friends to the new path down from near the El Cedro firepower, which we had discovered on the July walk.
The new path had been further improved since we had used it before, and the lower part was much clearer and easier to walk. We all enjoyed the excellent views into the dramatic and beautiful Barranco de Tagara. The barranco was the worst-affected area during the forest fire in 2012, and was like a war zone after it – see my blog at the time. It was lovely to see that the barranco is recovering its natural beauty. Most of the trees, which are Canary Pines (Pinus canariensis), are recovering well, with green sprouts appearing all up the badly burnt trunks. So instead of a broad green canopy, there are lots of green lollipop sticks! However, that lets more light reach the forest floor and the ground herbs are making the most of it, growing up and even flowering at this time of year.
I was amazed at the number of different flowers, which I had not expected at this time of year. We have had a little rain recently, and it has been quite warm, so some flowers we would see in spring have already started flowering.
On the north side of the El Cedro mountain there are a couple of water springs. They have been tunnelled in a little to increase the flow. Because there is always water there, there are always birds around too. And there are a wide variety of plants too, including the Tenerife endemic Night-scented campion (Silene nocteolens), which I did not get a good picture of, Mountain parsley (Pimpenella cumbrae), which was not in flower, and the Moralito (Rhamnus integrifolia) an evergreen shrub which is a Tenerife endemic also. Before the fire there were a few of these shrubs but yesterday I could only see one small one, but that is better than none.
We descended on the path past the firetower, and a few metres after passing it on our left we reached a cairned path on the right which we took for a short while, till we reached the new path going left marked by cairns and white paint spots, which crosses above the Barranco Tagara, with fantastic views down into it.
When we reached the track we crossed it, found the yellow/white way marked path from Boca de Tauce to Guia de Isora, the PR TF 70. Initially we went a few metres straight along it to have lunch at the lovely viewpoint on the top of the small hill called Mt Tafosaya (point 8 on walk 9 in the book ‘Tenerife Nature Walks”.
It was warm and sunny and the view was great, although clouds were beginning to gather below us. We sat chatting and lunching and enjoying the scenery and ended up spending 30 minutes at the viewpoint!
After lunch we returned back to where we joined the PR TF 70 and continued in a southerly direction, back towards Boca de Tauce, and followed it until we came to the track on the bend with a fine view of Pico Viejo and Teide (see the last photo below), which is point 3 on walk 9 in the book.
From this bend we took the track descending gently on the Teide side of the caldera wall, and stayed on it till it reached the main road TF-38 near Km 3.
I noticed that on the left of the track as it ran next to the caldera wall the National park had clearly cut down some burnt shrubs and a few pines, and consequently a vast number of native plants had sprung up, including many of the iconic Teide Vipers bugloss (Echium wildpretii). In a year or two when these come to flowering there will be a lovely show there in May/June.
Despite our long lunch break, the walk only took a group of 8 fit walkers 3hrs 40m. It was around 10 km/6.25 ml long, with only 420m /1379 ft of ascent, although quite a lot of it does come at the end of the walk.
This very hairy caterpillar was seen, on its own, on the ground below pines near the firetower. I tried looking it up, and thought I had cracked it as the Pine processionary moth (Thaumetopoea pityocampa), so called (the english name) because the caterpillars tend to follow each other walking in long processions. However, I looked up the list of species for the Canary Islands and that moth is not found here. So has anyone any ideas?
Further research on this caterpillar leads me to think it is probably Calliteara fortunata which is a Canary endemic species whose caterpillars feed on Canary pine trees (Pinus canariensis), Retama (Spartocytisus supranubius) and escobon (Chaemacytisus proliferus).
Posted on November 18, 2013, in West Tenerife and tagged Argyranthemum teneriffae, Barranco de Tagara, Canary endemic, Canary mountain figwort, Carlina xeranthemoides, endemic, Erysimum scoparium, Flor de malpais, hiking, Mirador de Chio, Montana Cedro, Moralito, Pico Viejo, Rhamnus integrifolia, rural tourism, Scrophularia glabrata, senderismo, Teide marguerite, Teide National Park, Teide wallflower, Tenerife, Tolpis webbii, tourism, walking. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.