It's been a while since I have written. Due to circumstances I didn't have time to sit behind the computer. Nevertheless, a plan had formed in my head to write about 2 subjects that are topical at the moment: the blooming of the beautiful Tajinaste flower in the Teide National Park, and of course the upcoming celebration of the Día de Canarias. The only question was, which subject first?
But, as often happens, fate has made the decision. Just got back from a wonderful Tajinaste excursion and happened to read a recent article on the website of Gobierno de Canarias regarding a destination plan for the Teide National Park (read the full article here). More on this later.
The Tajinaste flowers are in bloom between mid-May and often until the end of June. This endimic flower takes its name from the island's primordial inhabitants, the Guanches, who called this flower Tainast . That means as much as 'needle'. Very appropriate, because the pointed shape of the flower is indeed reminiscent of a needle or perhaps a spear. In any case, it is a beautiful flower and a must-see if you are in Tenerife in May or June. In due course I will also post some more information about this in my chapter Flora & Fauna.
On the road
And so my husband and I set out early this morning, armed with a walking stick, picnic and photo camera. The original plan was actually that I would go alone, with the Titsa-bus. This is mainly in the interest of my website. To see how easy it is currently to get a seat on the bus (since it is no longer possible to reserve a place). I was curious about any possible chaos at the bus stops at Costa Adeje and Los Cristianos.
I'm afraid I owe you the answer. Hubby decided last night that he also liked to come on the trip, but suggested to take the car.
La Fortaleza & Centro de Visitantes de el Portillo
We park around 9 a.m. at the parking lot of the Centro de Visitantes de el Portillo. . Along the way we have already been able to admire meters high Tajinastes that just grow along the side of the road. That promises! The goal of our walk is la Fortaleza, a fairly easy hiking trail located just behind the visitor center. Last year I was able to take beautiful pictures here. For example, the photo of the homepage was taken there.
Apparently it is still a little too early for the Tajinaste on the north side of the island, because once you arrive at the foot of La Fortaleza, not a single Tajinaste is in bloom yet. Whether it might be colder or less sunny on this side of Teide? I have no idea, but it is striking that everything is in full bloom on the south flank of las Cañadas, but everything is still green on the north side.
In any case, we enjoy the walk (which is actually rather strenuous, because of the thin air).
After the walk we visit the visitor center, which is really worth it if you want to learn more about the origin of Teide. Among other things, an interesting film is shown. Be sure to pop in if you're in the area!
Destination plan Teide National Park
According to the article by the Gobierno de Canarias, 'the people' have 30 days to review the public destination plan and to submit their own suggestions. I've tried to find out where this plan is published, but can't find anything about it. Nor a bite-sized suggestion form that is easy to fill out. Making things easy for us... I will try via the Contact form , hopefully my suggestions will reach the right person.
Some situations are really terrifying. I'll cite just a few examples:
- Cars hitting he brakes to take a picture of the Tajinaste (or, in winter, pictures of the snowy landscape). Very understandable, but the street is not exactly wide, so you create a dangerous situation for other traffic.
- Cars that are skewedly parked along the side of the road due to lack of parking spaces. Especially at the base of the hiking route to the top of Teide, Montaña Blanca, a common problem.
- Out of the corner of my eye I saw a young couple climbing the flank of el Teide on a visibly 'goat path' (not an official hiking trail). Him with All-stars and she with open sandals. And they had already climbed quite high. Not only does such a thing harm nature, but we regularly read that tourists once again have to be rescued from the mountain. So now I understand why.
- The Titsa buses that leave once a day from Puerto de la Cruz and Costa Adeje are, in my opinion, not enough, and also leave very late. If I had taken bus 342 this morning at 09:15, as planned, I would not have arrived at the El Portillo visitor center until around 11.15 am. It is actually too hot for people who like to hike, and you also have to be back at the bus stop at 3.15 pm, because then the only bus goes back.
I just wanted to share my observation with you because this concerns not only the inhabitants of the island, but also people who come to visit our beautiful island.
I can't think of a real solution either. It is clear that something needs to be done, in the hope that many generations will be able to enjoy the unique and beautiful landscape at El Teide.
In any case, there has been talk for some time to limit or abolish the circulation of cars, following the example of Parque Timanfaya in Lanzarote, and to transport visitors through the park in a controlled manner in order to prevent massification. I think that will entail a lot of pros and cons. And a lot of controversy. Time will tell.
Stay safe and Hasta Pronto!