A Ridge walk to Finca Guergues in the Rural Park of Teno, NW Tenerife

Wild aniseed (Bupleurum salicifolium) is a Macronesian endemic. Here is is growing on a cliff out of reach of the goats

Wild aniseed (Bupleurum salicifolium) is a Macronesian endemic. Here is is growing on a cliff out of reach of the goats

This walk in Teno is  a there and back walk along an old path along a rocky ridge which is quite narrow in places. There are quite a lot of ups and downs on the rocky paths with fabulous views either side of the deep ravines, or barrancos, and the ridges beyond.

We met a herd of goats coming the other way on the path at a fairly narrow point of the ridge.

We met a herd of goats coming the other way on the path at a fairly narrow point of the ridge.

 

The narrow ridge ends in a surprising way, the path goes to the left of a rocky pinnacle and comes out at the top of a wide meadow sloping westwards down towards the sea. It is actually a series of terraced fields which in the past were used to grow cereals. There is an old farmhouse and some other small buildings.

A rare Sow-thistle species endemic only to the West of Tenerife - (Sonchus fauces-orci)

A rare Sow-thistle species endemic only to the West of Tenerife – (Sonchus fauces-orci)

The walk starts from the second lay-by on the Masca road as it leaves Santiago del Teide, where we parked. Then we walked down to the point of the hairpin bend, which is where the path starts, to the right of a track leading to the Casas Araza, a farm which can be seen from the road.  Follow the clear path with cairns across to the right and down a slope to join the path onto the ridge. The ridge is grazed by a herd of goats and we met them half-way along going back for milking.

A lovely specimen of Canary tree bindweed (Convolvulus floridus) on a cliff.

A lovely specimen of Canary tree bindweed (Convolvulus floridus) on a cliff. This Canary endemic is used as a street shrub, but it is great to see it in its natural environment

 

Because of the goats the rare Teno vegetation was confined to cliffs which were inaccessible to them. There was also plenty of Retama (Retama raetam) along the route which would have been giving off it gorgeous scent a month ago, but the white flowers were mainly over.

 

When we reached the fields, we just walked down to the farmhouse and the threshing floor and returned to the ridge path. If you want to explore further you can walk down towards the cliffs, but remember you have to walk up again!

 

 

 

The narrowest point of the ridge where the path crosses a traverse and climbs beside this pinnacle to get around the back

The narrowest point of the ridge where the path crosses a traverse and climbs beside this pinnacle to get around the back

Our walk took 3.5 hours and was 6 km long with around 400m cumulative ascent. However, you could lengthen the walk with further exploration at the far end.

The old farmhouse beside the old fields at the end of the ridge. The fields are now dotted with Retama bushes

The old farmhouse beside the old fields at the end of the ridge. The fields are now dotted with Retama bushes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A view towards Teide from the far end of the ridge

A view towards Teide from the far end of the ridge

A view down to the village of Masca from the rocky ridge

A view down to the village of Masca from the rocky ridge

 

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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 June 2, 2014, in Botanical interest, West Tenerife and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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