Last year I visited the Barranco del Inferno in July, (see my blog from last year) and was surprised to see a few plants in flower despite the fact that it was dry after a dry winter. This year I visited in May, and if anything parts of the Barranco looked even drier than July last year, and there were fewer flowers even though it was earlier in the year.
The Sea Rosemary and the Hyssop-leaved Justicia were both in flower in May, as in July. They seem to flower much of the year. However, the Maple-leaved Mallow flowers were all over, though we had seen one still in flower last July.
One thing I enjoyed from going earlier in the year, was that we heard the frogs croaking in full voice. Running water, and ponds, are rare in Tenerife, and especially in south Tenerife, so we don’t often hear the frogs.
To walk from the entrance to the waterfall and back takes approximately 3 hours. The path is clear and well-maintained, but can be rough in places, so good footwear is still required. You are required to wear a hard hat (provided at the entrance) the whole of the visit. In the winter, especially, it is advisable to book in advance, and there is an entrance charge. For information about the Barranco and how to book, visit the website:
Another walk from Tamaimo, which had plenty of floral interest. We did it last Wednesday, 22nd April, on a glorious sunny day, so the views from the ridge above Tamaimo were great.
We went up the path signposted to the Cruz de los misioneros, which climbs steeply up to the white cross on the ridge to the north of Tamaimo. The path is steep but easy to follow and with plenty of rock steps making the walking easy. It was not the dangerously loose scree path I remembered descending a number of years ago, so that was a pleasant surprise. That was the main reason I had not walked this path since then. So the first half of the walk was relatively new to us, but the second half was the same as end of the walk we did in February which I wrote a blog about entitled A scenic and botanically interesting circular walk from Tamaimo, Santiago del Teide
We walked from the church in Tamaimo following the yellow and white signs to the Cruz de los misioneros till we came onto a footpath taking us to the barranco streambed, which we crossed, and began the ascent, following the signs.
The Retama (Retama raetam)bushes and the Canary Tree Bindweed (Convolvulus floridus), were both covered in white flowers from the barranco streambed until quite high up the ridge. As we neared the top the rocks had clumps of Aeonium sedifolium hanging off them, covered in yellow flowers, and there were also the yellow flowers of the “Queen’s crown” (Corona de la reina) (Gonospermum fruticosum) and the Madama (Allagopappus dichotomus). On the top of the ridge there were also a lot of Kicksia scoparia again with yellow flowers, with a spur on the base, blowing in the wind on their grass-like stems.
We walked up to the knoll where the cross is mounted and enjoyed the beautiful views in all directions, including to Teide, the Santiago Valley and Teno. Then we decided to continue following the yellow and white marked trail up higher to cross the top of the Montaña de Gauma and then down the ridge. The climb from the Cruz de los Misioneros to the top of Mt Guama was steep with many rock steps which were easily climbed, ably led by Andy Tenerife Walker who does Guided walking for tourists. Visit his Facebook page and website for more information if you are interested. http://www.tenerife-guided-walks.com
Madama (Allagopappus dichotomus)
As we continued down the ridge the vegetation was dominated by Retama and canarian Spurges (Euphorbia lamarckii mixed with the Retama, and Euphorbia canariensis on the rocky bits). However, as we descended other plants were interspersed, including Parolinia intermedia, Neochamaelea pulverulenta, and Justicia hyssopifolia. All of these I mentioned and illustrated in my previous blog, but the Justicia was not then in flower, so I have added a picture with flowers this time.
We continued down the path till it turned left to descend to the valley, and had our lunch break on the rocks overlooking the Los Gigantes harbour. Then we went down into the valley, turning left at a T-junction of paths with a signpost, to return to Tamaimo.
The walk took us 3.75 hours and was approximately 7km / 4.4miles long with 492m of ascent.
I described this walk after we had done it in September 2013 in a previous post entitled “A delightful walk from Arona”. I mentioned then that we did not often walk it in summer due to the lack of shade. However, this year July had a lot of cloudy weather, which continued into early August and we chose to do this walk on a cloudy day, the 2nd August. In fact when we reached the highest point we were in the cloud briefly, and had no views to the coast from the threshing floor between Roque Imoque and Roque de los Brezos, but we were below the cloud most of the time.
I am just adding a few pictures of the flowers we saw at this time of year. Some are typical of the time of year, others are normally over by this time of year, but the wet winter, coupled with the recent humid and cooler weather has extended the flowering period.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.