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Barranco del Infierno in May

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.

Allagopappus dichotomus is another Canary endemic of the Compositae family (Daisy)

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.

 

 

Tree Bindweed – Guaydil in spanish – (Convolvulus floridus), another Canary endemic, is a lovely shrub especially when in flower.

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.

 

In the narrow part of the Barranco, leading up to the waterfall, the views are dramatic. Canary Willow trees can be seen in the base where it is wet.

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:

http://www.barrancodelinfierno.es

Dorycnium eriophthalmum, is a rare, threatened, Canary Endemic.

 

A short walk from Tamaimo

The start of the climb up to the Cruz de los Misioneros, with a tall specimen of Canary Tree Bindweed (Convolvulus floridus) in full flower on the right of the path

The start of the climb up to the Cruz de los Misioneros, with a tall specimen of Canary Tree Bindweed (Convolvulus floridus) in full flower on the right of the path

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.

The climb towards the Cruz de los Misioneros

The climb towards the Cruz de los Misioneros

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

Aeonium sedifolium was hanging off the rocks and cliffs

Aeonium sedifolium was hanging off the rocks and cliffs

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 Cruz de los Misioneros, on a rocky knoll with beautiful views

The Cruz de los Misioneros, on a rocky knoll with beautiful views

'Queen's crown', Corona de la Reina (Gonospermum fruticosum)

‘Queen’s crown’, Corona de la Reina (Gonospermum fruticosum)

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.

The waving stems of Kicksia scoparia on the rocky ridge.  It was also very plentiful on the path down.

The waving stems of Kicksia scoparia on the rocky ridge. It was also very plentiful on the path down.

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.comMadama (Allagopappus dichotomus)

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.

Andy Tenerife Walker leading the way up some rock steps on the path above the Cruz de los Misioneros.  There were several rock steps like this before we reached the top of Mt Guama

Andy Tenerife Walker leading the way up some rock steps on the path above the Cruz de los Misioneros. There were several rock steps like this before we reached the top of Mt Guama

View from Mt Guama to the coast

View from Mt Guama to the coast

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 view to Los Gigantes harbour, from our lunch spot

The view to Los Gigantes harbour, from our lunch spot

 

The walk took us 3.75 hours and was approximately 7km / 4.4miles long with 492m of ascent.

Revisiting the Arona walk on Camino del Topo and Camino de Suárez

Sea squill (Drimia maritima)  beside a water channel

Sea squill (Drimia maritima) beside a water channel

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.

Prickly pear flower (Opuntia sp) near the old farmhouse half-way up the Camino del Topo.

Prickly pear flower (Opuntia sp) near the old farmhouse half-way up the Camino del Topo.

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.

 

 

 

 

Canary Bird's foot Trefoil (Lotus sessilifolius) still in flower in July

Canary Bird’s foot Trefoil (Lotus sessilifolius) still in flower in July

 

 

Narrow-leaved cistus (Cistus monspeliensis)

Narrow-leaved cistus (Cistus monspeliensis)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wild aniseed (Bupleurum salicifolium) a Macronesian endemic which flowers in June/July

Wild aniseed (Bupleurum salicifolium) a Macronesian endemic which flowers in June/July

A view from the north side of Roque del Conde where the flat top is not so notable as from the south or west

A view from the north side of Roque del Conde where the flat top is not so notable as from the south or west

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Canary tree bindweed (Convolvulus floridus), a Canary endemic which normally flowers in May.

Canary tree bindweed (Convolvulus floridus), a Canary endemic which normally flowers in May.

Canary spurge (Euphorbia canariensis) with its lovely red, 3-cornered seed pods

Canary spurge (Euphorbia canariensis) with its lovely red, 3-cornered seed pods

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Small copper butterfly (Lycaena phlaeas)

Small copper butterfly (Lycaena phlaeas)

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