My week in Tenerife was drawing to a close, and what an action packed week it had been. It wasn’t time to get all sad to be leaving yet though, as today we had one of the excursions I had been looking forward to the most: Trekking Teide! While I enjoy almost all travel destinations including exploring cities, and beautiful beaches, there is something really special about getting back to nature.
In much of our lives we are surrounded by crowds, noise, buildings and technology so I really cherish the times when I can escape all this and enjoy the simple beauty of the natural world. This is something I recommend everyone should experience from time to time.
Our trip had once again been organised with the wonderful travel company Travel Tenerife, who had already taken us on an spell binding stargazing experience earlier in the week on their ‘Teide by Night’ excursion. That evening we had gone with Andrew and Charles, but Charles had been the one presenting the stars.
This time it was Andrew’s turn to prove his expertise, and his wife and colleague Paulina accompanied us and helped guide us. John, Dennis and I were picked up promptly at 7:30am from Pearly Grey Timeshare Resort, and we drove up to Teide National Park, stopping on the way for breakfast in a bar with an incredible view across to La Gomera.
As the mini-van wound its way up towards Teide National Park, I was once again struck by how incredible Tenerife is. It is an island of huge contrasts with warm sandy beaches, pine tree forests, a massive lunar like volcanic crater, and of course snow tipped Mount Teide which has a 3,718 metre summit making it the highest peak in Spain. It is incredible how much variety of landscape exists on one relatively small island.
Once we reached our destination we parked up near a grand hotel. Here we were provided with comfortable heavy duty hiking shoes (of which there are all sizes), Nordic walking sticks, a thermal sweater and a backpack with apple and large bottle of water. Travel Tenerife really had thought of everything. It was an absolutely beautiful day with a perfect blue sky and barely any wind. We were all excited to get going. Our hike was along a 11km route and was set to take 3-4 hours.
Before setting off we were shown how to correctly use the Nordic walking sticks to get maximum benefit from them, and we also did some stretching exercises. This is probably something I wouldn’t have thought of doing. I would have just headed off trekking and then been sore for the rest of the day. These exercises were simple but very effective. We stretched our arms, legs, and got the blood pumping by jogging and jumping around. Luckily no one was watching!
We set off and were led along a circular pathway that eventually would lead back in a large loop to our starting point. Along the way Andrew took a number of photos which are then posted to Travel Tenerife’s Facebook page, and of course John, Dennis and I took many photos and videos too. The landscape was so amazing I felt like stopping every five minutes to snap shots, and then had to catch up the group.
Just as Charles had shown how much he knew about the stars, planets and space the other night, Andrew and Paulina both proved extremely knowledgeable about Mount Teide, the national park and Tenerife in general. They are both originally from Poland but speak excellent English and know a huge number of facts about their new home. Along the way we learned about the unique geology, history, fauna and flora of Teide. It really is a fascinating place!
At one point we stopped at some abandoned buildings which Andrew explained were built at one point as a kind of healing centre for those with tuberculosis. This is because the air in the Teide national park is so clear and fresh so ideal for those with lung problems. Unfortunately this centre was never opened, but provided an interesting stopping point to eat our apples, drink our water and take a breather.
Later on in the walk as we neared the point where you can catch the cable car to the top of Mount Teide, we stopped for some lunch. This was delicious pasta with a homemade pesto sauce. Lunch is provided as part of the price of the Trek, and is gluten free and suitable for vegetarians. On a long walk like this, pasta was the perfect food for energy, and was very tasty.
After this we climbed up a hill which had some awesome views up to Mount Teide, and then descended back down on the home stretch of our trek which lasted about another hour. Along the final part of our journey there were far more plants with some beautiful flowers.
It seemed like a totally different country but this was all within the same walk. There were bushes, flowers, bees and lizards and a real abundance of life and colour.
Almost four hours later we reached the mini-bus, handed back our hiking shoes, and walking sticks, and sat back down ready for the drive back. I felt really calm and relaxed after the tranquil Trekking Teide excursion. On the way back we stopped off to see the largest Pine tree in Tenerife which has the affectionate nickname of Pino Gordo (fat pine). This name is very fitting as this tree is absolutely huge! It is definitely one of the biggest trees I’ve ever seen in my life.
We were dropped off back at Pearly Grey Resort and said fond farewells to Andrew and Paulina, who had both been brilliant guides. I would 100% recommend booking an excursion with Travel Tenerife which is a small team owned by Aleksandra, with Andrew, Paulina and Charles making up the rest of the team. My final excursion had come to an end and it was my favourite, providing a great ending to my time in Tenerife.
We had the afternoon free so tried out the gym at Pearly Grey Resort which is fully equipped and has all the equipment you need for a great workout. That evening I enjoyed a delicious vegan pizza in the resort restaurant, and a cool glass of Dorada beer after a very satisfying week.
I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone at Pearly Grey Ocean Club timeshare Resort for making my week so enjoyable including Gemma and Dennis. Also a big thank you to all the excursion companies, and to Poul’s Auto for providing John and I with a comfortable and modern car for the week. Tenerife you have been great, I will definitely be back!
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