Yesterday we headed west, well south west to be more accurate, to research a potential new walking route on Tenerife. Apart from nearly succumbing to the searing calima heat during the course of the day, we also crossed paths with three old Tenerife friends – irony, aesthetics and environmental awareness.

The journey to the starting point of the route would normally take about an hour and a half, passing through the lovely Santiago Valley before skirting the hills toward Guia de Isora.

Yesterday half an hour was added to the drive because the normally quiet road was full of lumbering trucks which were too big for the old road which linked Guia with Santiago del Teide. And here’s the irony – why were they on the road? Because they were transporting materials to and from the new ring road; a construction apparently designed to make circumnavigating the island easier.

Personally, I’ve never thought there was much of a problem using the road that’s already there (it’s a beautiful drive)…not until the new road’s trucks clogged it up, churning up the tarmac in the process. We’ve been told that despite Spain’s austerity measures, this new road will be completed – shame. I can only hope that the austerity measures stop some other projects in time to prevent the authorities covering the whole damn coast in tarmac and concrete.

At one point during our walk yesterday we followed a path along the bottom of a picturesque barranco. Luminous dragonflies and bright yellow butterflies fluttered and zipped about our heads as we strolled past wild vines with only the sound of rushing water to break the silence. The running water wasn’t coming from a babbling brook, it was coming from steel pipes which ran through the barranco.

Most of the time these were hidden beneath the flora and fauna, but every so often they had to break cover to travel up the walls of the barranco. And when they did, they looked like this.

Maybe with a little bit of thought, they might have been placed in a way that was a bit more sympathetic to the landscape. Come on guys and girls, if you want the island to be attractive as a rural destination, look up aesthetic in the dictionary.

Environmental Awareness
We emerged from the barranco at a small, unremarkable modern hamlet. Unremarkable apart from one thing; its street lamps were solar powered.

I’ve never seen these before and was fascinated by them. Now I’ve googled them and discovered what I thought were speed traps on the TF5 motorway, might actually be solar powered lights. How about that?

It just tickles me that in the one area there are JCBs tearing up part of the landscape, steel water pipes spoiling parts of a beauty spot…and environmentally friendly street lamps.

Aaah Tenerife, you’re a confused little soul, but I love you really.


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