This day was reserved for wandering amongst the Anaga hills. The north-eastern hilly region of Tenerife is known as Anaga. Of the triangular island this region forms one of the narrow vertices that tapers into the sea. It has a unique terrain that harbors an indigenous flora. Its main feature is the Laurisilva or Laurel forest that is typically found in the warm and temperature stable subtropical zones. The plants are broad-leafed and evergreen. In India, such forests are found in the Western Ghats of Kerala and in the hills of the eastern Himalayas. Amongst the Laurel forests in Europe, the forest in Anaga has the highest plant diversity. To wander around in such a forest was an activity I was eagerly looking forward to.
|The laurel forest in Anaga|
After looking up the maps and bus timetables, I finalized my route. After attending to my growing hunger, I set off towards the forest. Cruz del Carmen is a village located at an altitude of 900 meters in the Anaga hills. A path from the village leads to the coastal village of Punta del Hildago. It was this path that I had decided to tread. While having a conversation with my co-passengers in the bus I realised that most of them were taking the same route. Assuming that the place would be crowded like Mesca, I felt a bit disappointed. However, I then remembered the incident at the gorge in Mesca valley and perked up by saying ‘it’s always safe to have company’. Finally, the trek started. The path through Laurisilva was uncanny. While there was a blazing sun outside, the forest was a cool and humid. It reminded me of the paths of the fort trails in Sahyadri (a mountain range in Maharashtra province of India) during the monsoon season.
|Anaga hills and the Atlantic ocean|
|The green valleys of Anaga hills|
After some distance the forest started thinning out. This was an easy walk. Although the place was teeming with tourists, it was devoid of commotion. From the wilderness the path led to a plateau on the top of the mountain. This was the most picturesque part of the route. The green blanket of the forest covering the hills could be seen sloping down gently towards the azure waters of the Atlantic. The quiet and serene Atlantic Ocean appeared to lovingly embrace the gentle slopes. On the other side, the peaks of the Anaga mountains were visible. The path now became a steep descent down the slope. Every nook and corner presented an enchanting spectacle of the peaks and the ocean at different angles. After walking for a while, the village of Punta del Hidalgo appeared at a distance. The tiny village located on the shore and its lighthouse appeared as custodians of the surrounding natural beauty. Taking in the view, I moved on. The green hills started to fall behind leading to a valley with dusty and rocky grey rocks. This part of the route was lined with comparatively rough edges. Finally, we reached the village. After a bit of photography around the beach, I boarded the bus for my return journey.
|Punta del Hidalgo as seen from Anaga hills|
For more pictures click here.