Tenerife, Canary Island

Before taking this cruise, all I knew about the Canary Islands was what was in books about the first sailors and discoverers — basically, not much at all.  However, after 6 days of not seeing land – land is what I wanted to see.  I wanted to experience nature in all its glory.  Tenerife, the largest of the Canary Islands, can provide an amazing experience if you want to get close to nature.  I set out with several friends to see the Teite volcano which helped form and shape this island.  We basically went from sea level to over 3,000 feet in a little over an hour and a half.  Talk about feeling light headed! On the way, we learned some fascinating things about the local ecosystem and how the unique Canary pine trees help maintain the water supply of the island, their long needles collect the moisture from the trade winds and low clouds. We saw how quickly a clear day becomes cloudy then clear.

First view of Teite Volcano
First view of Teite Volcano

We also saw the change in vegetation as we climbed up the hills to the area of the lava flows. From tall trees, to small bushes to a crater filled with rock formations of obsidian and crystals, we saw it all. Looming over this whole adventure was the top of the volcano – at first just peeking through the trees. Several of the rock formations have been given names based on what they seem to look like.  One looks like a first, while the most famous is called the “Finger of God.”  The grouping of rock formations was used in the movie the Ten Commandments when Moses is given the ten commandment tablets.

Rock formations near Teite Volcano
Rock formations near Teite Volcano

Another area filled with obsidian rocks was used at a background for the latest Clash of the Titans movie.  There is an “other worldliness feel” to this whole area.

On a more practical note, it was nice to be able to breathe this very fresh and clean air.

This island also has a stepped pyramid that intrigued discoverer and adventurer Thor Heyerdahl. He seemed to feel this was a connection between the Mayan and Egyptian pyramids. Other people seem to disagree because they have not been able to place the date as early as it should be if it is a link between these two civilizations. Regardless of the history, they are very intriging

There are black sand beaches, lovely towns, and beautiful people that combine to make this a great place to visit.

And there are also great sunsets!

Sunset to a great day!

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