Dramatic circular walk from the Parador around Mt Guajara

A view of Mt Teide from the track at the foot of the caldera wall

A view of Mt Teide from the track at the foot of the caldera wall

A view across an aa lava flow, looking towards the north

A view across an aa lava flow, looking towards the north

 

On Wednesday, 25th March my friends and I did this walk which is mainly Walk 31 in the book, except we did not go to the top of Guajara, and, instead of walking down to Vilaflor, we turned right half-way down, to walk up the Ucanca valley back to the Parador.

 

 

 

 

The route we took uphill back to the Parador is shown on the map for Walk 31, as an alternative route, in purple.

 

 

A cliff of pumice on the flank of Mt Guajara

A cliff of pumice on the flank of Mt Guajara

Here we were walking on the GR131 down from Mt Guajara and passing by a large Cedro tree (Juniperus cedro)

Here we were walking on the GR131 down from Mt Guajara and passing by a large Cedro tree (Juniperus cedro)

 

 

 

 

We turned right at the path junction for the lunar landscape walk, using a small path marked with a cross. This little path, as we had expected, took us through the woods roughly on the contour to meet the Ucanca valley path, and by so doing we saved ourselves walking further down to the main path junction, and then having to walk up again.

 

 

The signpost at the junction where we turned right following the small path with a cross beside the signpost.

The signpost at the junction where we turned right following the small path with a cross beside the signpost.

Looking up the Ucanca valley to Mt Guajara

Looking up the Ucanca valley to Mt Guajara

 

At this time of year, especially as it has been both dry and cold this winter and spring, there are not yet many flowers. In fact the only ones I saw were the Mountain shrubby plantain (Plantago webbii), some Tenerife birds-foot trefoil (Lotus campylocladus) in the pine forest above the Lunar landscape, and some Teide marguerite (Argyranthemum teneriffae), on the way back down to the Parador.

 

 

 

However, later in the spring and summer this route, especially through the Ucanca valley, has plentiful flowers, including, in May and early June, many of the huge red-flowered Teide Viper’s Bugloss known in spanish as Tajinaste rojo, (Echium wildpretii).

Another view up the Ucanca valley

Another view up the Ucanca valley

Mountain shrubby plantain (Plantago webbii) growing near the top of the Ucanca valley

Mountain shrubby plantain (Plantago webbii) growing near the top of the Ucanca valley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So Wednesday’s walk was just a feast of dramatic landscapes, shown at their best because we had glorious sunshine and blue skies all day, despite much of the rest of the island, lower down, having a cloudy day!

 

 

 

 

 

The mountains were just enhanced by a light sprinkling of snow they received in the last week.

 

 

Looking north in the caldera past the Roques Amaryllis (Yellow rocks) on the descent from the Degollada de Ucanca

Looking north in the caldera past the Roques Amaryllis (Yellow rocks) on the descent from the Degollada de Ucanca

 

The walk took us 5hrs 20mins, was 15.3 km long and involved 880m of climbing, unfortunately mainly in the second half, but although it was lovely sunshine, it was not hot, and there was a pleasantly cooling breeze too. In summer you might find it takes longer, and be sure to take plenty of water. There is one place where you can get water, but it is not guaranteed to be of drinking water quality, though if you were short it would probably be worth the risk!

 

A GPS track of the walk can be viewed on maps, and downloaded from the following link:

http://www.wikiloc.com/wikiloc/view.do?id=9180648

 

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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 March 27, 2015, in Teide National Park, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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