Canary Islands, Tenerife

If La Palma was the prettiest and El Hierro was the youngest then Tenerife is the oldest inhabited island in the Canaries and has just under 1 million residents. We docked into Puerto de la Cruz.

Tourism (6 million a year) is the key industry for all the larger islands and as the climate is in the range of 22 to 27 degrees all year round it’s busiest season is northern hemisphere winter when other Europeans are looking to escape the cold in the shortest flight time possible. It is however a year round destination and in summer mainly has visitors from southern Spain trying to escape the 43 degree heat.

Bananas are the main produce but these days generally for local eating only. I remember eating Canary bananas as a child in the UK but due to an EU regulation it was decided that most bananas coming to Europe should be the larger (and far less tasty) ones from South America so while it is still the main crop it has dramatically reduced from its glory days. Now they can only be found in swanky delis.

As it’s all about the impact of the volcano on creating the Canary Islands, I opted to visit El Teide to check out the craters and volcanic scenery. El Teide is actually the highest mountain in Spain and 1200 feet above sea level.

This is the Ucanca Valley in what is the most visited national park in Europe where the original Planet of the Apes was filmed; not to mention 1000 years BC starring Raquel Welch and and the first Clash of the Titans. Most recently Sylvester Stallone just completed filming Rambo 5 (probably not on my list of must sees).
Many Canary pine trees here too and the multitude of pine needles on the forest floor are harvested to make bedding for the animals as they stay under cover rather than in the fields (too little land available for outdoor grazing, they prefer to use what they have to grow things and apparently manure plus pine needles equals a top brand of fertiliser for their land.

En route to El Teide National Park

Vegetation in the lava fields

Movie locations below

We then experienced the stunning effect of being well above the cloud level – beautiful and somewhat humbling.

The guide said you haven’t really been to Tenerife unless you are above the clouds and he was right.

I’ve decided to spend more time here in December so didn’t bother to go into town after this wonderful day. However this statue was by the marina and seemed a much friendlier dolphin than others I’ve met. Nicely blingy too plus can see our ship:)

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