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Published: June 20th 2015
Our transportation for the day
From time to time, we treat ourselves to a day out.
Masca was one of the last found villages of Tenerife. It is nestled within the mountains towards the north west of the island. Masca is accessible by a very much cork screw windy road down into the ravine by car, or by foot down to the sea when there is a half hourly water taxi service to Los Gigantes.
During one of our very first visits to Tenerife, we had hired a car and ventured towards Masca. Unfortunately, we had met a bus coming the other way on one of the very tight corner on the way up to the lookout over Masca, so had not ventured down into the village. We always promised ourselves that we would get to Masca one day.
Today was that day.
As we live a way out of the tourist area, the first part of the journey was driven by us to one of the bigger hotels in Los Cristianos. From there we were taken by 4 X 4 jeep to Gran Sur car park to meet up with all the other jeeps that will be travelling with us today.
Our travelling companions and Sonic
We change jeep here and are now passengers of ‘Sonic’ our driver and guide for the day. He is English so we were in for a truly great commentary today. As we were the only English of the 33 people on the tour today, it was only us and another couple from the Netherlands in our jeep, as opposed to the other jeeps that look to be full to the rafters.
We start our journey by taking some of the smaller back roads towards Vilaflor. Tourists would not normally get to see these roads, as they are too small for even the smallest of buses, so it was really great to see some of the quieter villages around that part of the island. Not sure what the locals thought of us though, as 8 noisy jeeps were roaring through narrow lanes on a journey that they made most days. Much of this was single track roads across bumpy terrain.
Several stops were made along the way so that we could take photos and ´Sonic´ our driver explained some of the history of the areas that we were visiting. We were to be tested on our knowledge of the
Our first stop for coffee and donuts
island and we did not do too badly either. Even though we have lived in Tenerife for four years, there were lots that he told us that we did not know already.
The stop in Vilaflor was slightly longer, so we had time for coffee and donuts to keep us going to dinner. This stop was at a restaurant we had stopped at on previous visits to Teide on our own. It was a very hot day. The authorities are currently very worried about the possibility of further forest fires up in the mountains in the national parks. A recent forest fire in this area took several days to extinguish.
Vilaflor is the highest village in Spain, at 1,400 metres above sea level. It is a popular starting point for hikers into the national park and above.
The next stop was at the Parador Hotel Canadas del Teide. This hotel is set 2000 metres above sea level just by the cable car up to Mount Teide. Here, ‘Sonic’ explained about all the different rock formations in the area. He also gave a brief history of some of the various movies that have been filmed in the area
over the years. We took a short walk to get a closer look at some of the formations and came across a group filming a new advertisement for an Iberian Airlines. Seems a strange place to film this considering planes are normally prohibited from actually flying over the mountain, but hey this is Tenerife.
Whilst we were parked at the hotel ´Sonic´ removed the canvas top to the jeep. More sun cream needed and a hat to protect from the sun and more on board refreshments. We are currently receiving high UV levels so the sun is to be respected at all times.
From the hotel we proceeded through the various lava fields with stops at some more places where ´Sonic´ explained more about the volcanic activity of the area. This covered dates of past eruptions and current volcanic activity. Tenerife has not seen an eruption for over 100 years. The thinking is that we are overdue one. On the afternoon of Saturday 13th
June 2015, 4 small tremors were felt just off the east coast between Tenerife and Gran Canaria along our local coast line.
We stopped for lunch at Restuarante Vista Guama which was just
outside the village of Tamaimo. Here we were served with a set menu of homemade Canarian vegetable and pork soup, followed by chicken, Canarian potatoes and vegetables. There were also bread rolls for everyone and an apple for desert. This was a delightful substantial enjoyable lunch. There was also a never ending supply of bottled water and red wine included in the meal. All this for €9 each. Great food for a great price at a superb venue.
From here we proceeded to the lookout over Masca. Here ´Sonic´ explained more about the history of Masca. He explained that up until about 40 years ago, the only way of getting into the village was by donkey. The road into Masca was apparently built by local penal inmates by hand and took about 16 years to complete. The route of the road follows the original donkey tracks so is very bendy and steep. Not for the faint hearted.
There are about 40 buildings in the tiny village of Masca. Due to the number of tourists that now visit the village 16 of these are now bars or restaurants.
Masca is nestled between two mountain ranges, so to get
anywhere in the village means going either up or down hill. We took a short walk down hill to try to get some good shots of the road we had just travelled down, but decided that this was not going to be possible.
The buildings in Masca are much like many others found within Tenerife. What makes them incredible, is they were built before the road. All the building materials and labour used to build anything in Masca had to be brought down the steep tracks on the back of a donkey. Puts a whole new dimension to building a property.
After leaving Masca on the same winding road up the mountain we proceeded to Santiago del Teide where we used the new extension to the TF1 back to join the old section of the motorway. This is our first journey on the new section of motorway which has only been open for a few weeks.
We got back to our car at about 4.30pm. What a great day we have both had. We are a little sunburnt from the open top, but not too bad. Memories of today will last a long time.
33 people in our party for the day
we do Masca, we will try to drive ourselves, but not sure about THAT road.
Our thanks again to Vanessa and Ket Pindoria of Tenerife Sunshine for arranging this trip for us – www.tenerifesunshine.com
See further pictures below.
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