Teide, Spain’s highest peak.

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Spain’s highest mountain isn’t located in the Greatest Peninsula in the World. It’s actually located off the coast of Africa, 2000 kilometres from my home in Valencia. Mount Teide is 3718 metres (12,198 feet) tall and is considered an active volcano whose last eruption was in 1909 at the El Chinyero vent. It’s also a decade volcano due to its history of disruptive eruptions and proximity to populations such as Garachico and Puerto de la Cruz. El monte más alto de España no está ubicado en La Mejor Península del Mundo. Está ubicado cerca de la costa de África, a 2000 kilometros de mi casa en Valencia. Monte Teide es 3718 metros de altura y se considera un volcán activo. Su última erupción era en 1909 en El Chinyero. También se considera un “decade volcano” por su historia de erupciones explosivas y proximidad a poblaciones como Garachico y Puerto de la Cruz. 

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The nature park Teide gives its name to was high on my list of priorities for Tenerife, and on Friday, 16 September, I woke up to early to catch the 8:00 direct bus to Puerto de la Cruz so I could catch the 9.15 bus from Puerto de la Cruz to Teide.  La Parque Nacional de Teide era número uno en las cosas que quería ver en Tenerife, y el viernes, 16 de septiembre, me desperté pronto para coger el guagua/autobús directo a Puerto de la Cruz para coger otro guagua/autobús a las 9.15 que me llevó desde Puerto de la Cruz hasta Teide. 

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The second bus ride was rough, going up winding roads on the volcano. I remembered my visits to the Big Island of Hawaii and Kilauea, although the volcanos are different. It took a little over an hour to reach the teleférico (cable car) that goes close to the summit. It costs 27€ return/round trip. Since I was reliant on the bus, I reluctantly paid it instead of hiking. If you look in advance, there are 200 daily permits issued to climb to the very top. Be sure to look more than a week in advance, which is what I did, and I was out of luck. No permit for me! El  viaje en el segundo guagua/autobús era duro porque subió carreteras sinuosas del volcán. Me acordé de mis visitas a la Isla Grande de Hawaii y Kilauea, aunque los volcanes son diferentes. Tardó un poco más de una hora para llegar al teleférico que va casi hasta el cime. Un billete de ida/vuelta cuesta 27€. Como tenía que ir por autobús/guaguau, lo pagué en lugar de ir caminando. Si buscas con antelación, hay 200 permisos cada día para subir hasta el cima. Pero hay que buscar con más de una semana de antelación, como lo hice yo, y no tenía suerte. ¡No permiso para mi! 

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I did buy the ticket online so I would avoid the queues. I still had to wait a bit (my scheduled time was 11:20. I went up in the 11:40 teleférico.) Compré el billete de teleférico por internet para evitar las colas. Todavía tenía que esperar un rato (tenía un billete para las 11.20. Subí en el teleférico de 11.40). 

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There are other trails that lead from the upper part of the cable car. I walked awhile along number 12 and Pico Viejo. I didn’t go far, as the altitude was getting to me. The rest of the island was having a cloudy day, but Teide stopped the clouds. Being close to the equator and being so high meant that despite the wind, despite my Barcelona hoodie, despite my 30 proof sunscreen (50 proof for my face), I was getting red. I was hot and cold at the same time. Hay más senderos a la parte de arriba del teleférico. Caminé por los dos (#12 y Pico Viejo), aunque no caminé muy lejos como el altitud estaba afectándome. El resto de la isla estaba nublado, pero Teide paró los nubes. Estar cerca del ecuador y estar tan alto significa que aunque fui vestido en mi sudadera del Barça, que me puse crema solar de 30 y 50 por la cara, estaba poniéndome rojo. Tenía calor y frío a la misma vez. 

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I did manage an hour walking around these trails and admiring the fantastic views. Todavía caminé sobre una hora por estos senderas y disfrutando de las vistas fantásticas. 

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I grabbed an expensive bocadillo de jamón serrano, thankful my water bottle was still half full (or half empty, but let’s think positive!).  (Be warned. Food is super expensive there. I overheard Brits, who are more used to higher prices  than the Spanish, complaining about the inflated prices.) before heading on a hiking path to the parador, which took about an hour. I was feeling better and more adjusted to the altitude, but it also wasn’t as high, so more oxygen was getting to me. Para comer, me compré un bocadilo de jamón muy caro y estaba agradecido que mi botella de agua sigió medio lleno (o medio vació, pero ¡pensamos en positivo! He de avisaros. Comida en general es super caro allí. He escuchado británicos quejándose de los precios, y ellos están más acostumbrados a precios altos que los españoles. Después, cogí un sendero hasta el parador, que tardó sobre una hora. Ya me sentí mejor y estaba acostumbrándome a la altitud. Tampoco era tan alto, y había más oxigeno. 

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I love going to Paradores, which are old castles/buildings converted into fancy hotels. One day I will stay at one. Here, I just had a relaxing café con leche for 1.95€ (it was 3€ from the machine at the teleférico) and wrote in my travel journal. The bus back to Puerto de la Cruz was a nightmare as fog rolled in and the twists and turns got to me. Me encanta visitar los Paradores, que son castillos o edificios antiguos que se han convertido a hoteles con estilo. Un día me alojaré en uno. Aquí, me tomé un relaxing café con leche por sólo 1,95 (costó 3€ de la máquina del teleférico) y escribí en mi diario de viajes. El autobús/guagua a Puerto de la Cruz era una pesadilla auténtica como había niebla y la carretera sinuosa me afectó. 

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I went straight back to Santa Cruz de Tenerife to rest after an amazing day. Volví a Santa Cruz de Tenerife después de un día genial. 

Hike #23/40 of 2016
Date/Fecha: 16-September-2016
Kilometres hiked:  At least 6. 
Mountain: Teide
Difficulty: Moderate due to altitude

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12 thoughts on “Teide, Spain’s highest peak.

    • I wish I had the permit to go to the top! It was a pretty cool hike, but the Anagas are even more beautiful. Tenerife is pretty surprising, because all you hear are the reports of the beaches on the south of the island. The north is an undiscovered jewel, much like the north of Spain. Thanks for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

      • The islands are pretty difficult to squeeze in a basic itinerary since they’re a 3-hour flight from the peninsula. Tenerife is worth it though. Gran Canaria is meh shh 😛 I have a lot more of the islands to explore though.

        Liked by 1 person

      • That’s what I realized. It just wouldn’t have fit into my itinerary. If I make it out, I think I’ll plan it around the Transgrancanaria race. I don’t do much trail running, but that race looks incredible.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I haven’t heard of the Transgrancanaria Race, as I cannot run at all, but I presume that’s on Gran Canaria, not Tenerife. I would love to spend a month exploring all of the islands!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Tenerife defied expectations. I was sorry I had to cut my Camino short to save for Tenerife, which has been on the agenda for more time…but in the end I was super glad I finally got to go to Tenerife. It is definitely worth a visit!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Pingback: One of the ten things to do in Tenerife – Learn Spanish Canarias

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