Today advanced us to our fifth island, Tenerife.
The trail on Tenerife is a bit complicated, logistics-wise. While the trail in our guidebook is split into five sections, it wasn’t really practical for us to hike them as described. The first section is long, 29.5 km (over 18 miles), with nearly 2000 m (10,000 ft) of total elevation change. The second section is short, 13.5 km (8 miles). The third and fourth sections we are combining into one day, a little over 32 km (20 miles) because the very expensive hotel in the middle is booked full and we don’t want to lose several (more) hours to bus rides. The last section is “only” 18 km (11 miles), but we’ll need to be done with enough time to catch a ferry to the next island, La Gomera. All of the sections involve bus rides to or from (or both) the the trail.
Since CareFree and I did no hiking today, we’ll have another round of bullet points:
- Amber gave us a nice send-off breakfast, with more of the scrambled eggs that were so delicious yesterday.
- We got a taxi to the port. The taxi driver zoomed his way there as if we were already late.
- This time, we took a Naviera Armas ferry, since Fred Olsen doesn’t run from Las Palmas to Tenerife. (They go there from Puerto de las Nieves.) The ship we were on felt a tiny bit more upscale than Fred Olsen, but not enough to make any real difference for us. The ocean was a bit rough as we sped along, and CareFree felt sick.
- As we approached Santa Cruze de Tenerife, we found the island mostly shrouded in haze, most likely humidity. It was immediately mountainous from the coast. Unfortunately, it was hard to get good pictures of Tenerife as we headed into port.
- Once in port, it was sunny out, with haze off the coast; we could no longer clearly see Gran Canaria.
- The port area had a large open-air plaza with some flower and cactus planters. A family with several children were practicing rollerblading.
- A short walk took us to a train station. We passed a large open-air street market of some sort.
- The train gradually climbed us a substantial distance to a bus station that took us the rest of the way to La Esperanza, where the GR131 on Tenerife starts.
- La Esperanza is at 960 m (3100 ft), a pretty significant altitude gain from the port. The GR131 also ends at altitude, with the trail from both coasts remaining incomplete so far.
- As we climbed, it was clear that Tenerife was significantly more forested and green than the other islands so far.
- We got lunch at a restaurant across the street from our lodging, and then checked in.
- We stayed at Hospedaje tu Sito, a small hotel run by a couple that also ran a bakery and restaurant. They were super-enthusiastic and friendly.
- We went to the food store adjacent to our lodging, and got supplies for lunch tomorrow.
- We cooked dinner using the electric kettle, supplemented with (absolutely fantastic) pastries and cake from the bakery.