Garachico one of the prettiest seaside towns in Tenerife

If you want to impress your friends, take them to Garachico. The town and harbour in the north west of the island is small enough to walk around in 20 minutes but I don´t know anyone who has done that.

We parked along the seafront, El Caletón. It was a lovely day, the sea was a high as we walked amongst the rock pools but not high enough to be cordoned off, as sometimes happens in the spring, when the waves can be spectacular but dangerous. It is here that the council have created walkways and paved areas, where people can sunbathe, go swimming or just walk amongst the lava flow, which once buried most of the town in the 1700s. The small beachfront cafe had closed so we strolled up into the town, checking out the beautiful Canarian wooden balconies on many of the buildings along the way.

Things to do in Tenerife, Guarachico

We headed for the Plaza de la Libertad, a typical Canarian square, surrounded by old houses and small cafes where you can while away time nursing a drink by the bandstand in the shade of the trees. At the edge of the square is the Convento de San Francisco.  The convent and church are the oldest buildings in town and house the town’s museum.  For the €0.60, entrance fee you see the exhibition that describes how the lava stopped just at the edge of the town, but it is also worth visiting for the fine carvings and beautiful floors around the central courtyard.

Things to do in Tenerife, GuarachicoThings to do in Tenerife, Guarachico

Fortunately, our dogs are small, so tucked under our arm we entered the Church of Santa Ana to see the figure of Christ made by the Tarasco Indians in the 16th century. Then down to Plaza de Abajo, a small park where the famous ‘Puerta de Tierra’ (Land Gate), one of the few remains from when Garachico was destroyed, can be found. The park also contains the old wine press, huge and overgrown with flowering shrubs.  On turning again, we spied a suggestion that a drink was in order, it was a statue holding a barrel of wine.  This commemorates the occasion when in 1666 the local wine producers poured barrel after barrel of wine down the drain in protest to the prices the British were charging. Finally we went to the strange Museo de Carpintería y Vinoteca part exhibition of old woodworking tools and part wine shop – what is this obsession with wine.

Things to do in Tenerife, Guarachico

After a pleasant afternoon in Garachico we headed for the car taking in the view from the ramparts of Castillo de San Miguel, a small fort built to guard the harbour from pirates.

As you leave Garachico, you can easily make a detour to see the famous Drago Tree in Icod de los Vinos or visit Puerto de la Cruz, however we had seen so many references to wine that we decided it was straight home for a few glasses of plonk on the patio.

 

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The old road to Santa Cruz

Looking back to the past, one of the trails used for the comings and goings of people to get from Santa Cruz to La Laguna and vice versa has been recognised by the capital’s City Hall. The Council, aware of the importance of these roads that form the footprint of Tenerife’s past are preparing to revive it so that, we can relive our history and better know our culture.

The road from La Laguna used to be linked to the arrival of daily milk to the capital. The milkmaids were women from the Valleys of Aguere who, in the first half of the 20th century, through rain, cold or heat, got up early, and carried a wicker basket on their heads, full of fresh milk. After two hours of walking, they arrived in Santa Cruz and began to visit the homes of their clients, so they could have milk for their breakfast.

To cushion the heavy load (40-60 kilos), the women placed a piece of cloth inside their straw hats. They wore white blouses, skirts, mostly black or blue canvas. The money they collected for the milk was kept in a pocket tied with ribbon, between the skirt and the petticoats.

To avoid the fielatos (municipal offices who collect taxes on certain consumer items – wine, milk, potatoes, etc.) the women used side roads and paths thereby creating El Camino de las Lecheras, which started from the Cruz de los Álamos (Las Mercedes), crossed the Carmona ravine, descended through the Jiménez ravine, until arriving at Cueva Roja, in Santa Cruz. From there they entered the city through the barranco de Santos, next to where the Guimerá Theater is today.

Camino de las Lecheras is 16 kilometers and you can still see caves where the cattlemen used to shelter in the summer months when they moved with their cattle in search of new pastures.

In 1931, Transportes de Tenerife (La Exclusiva) began to operate, and the milk bus left daily from La Laguna, at 5 o’clock in the morning and the milkmaids used to arrive very early to distribute it.

Due to some milk makers adding up to 20% water to milk, in 1962, the Láctea de Tenerife (Iltesa) and the Dairy Farmers of the Country (Celgan) were created and were in charge of buying milk from farmers, distributing it, house by house, bottled, as it was more hygienic.

Source: José Manuel Ledesma Alonso. Official chronicler of Santa Cruz
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Montaña de Guaza – Arona

From my house I have an uninterrupted view of Montaña de Guaza or as we say Mount Guaza.

When we first moved to the island I thought it was the only blot on the landscape but over the years I have changed my mind and now I think it is rather beautiful. It teases me daily as I open my eyes to see how the light hits it. Is the sun bouncing off it or are there deep shadows in the crevices, cracks and crannies of its steep sides. I also like to listen because it is a place where seabirds make their nests and at certain times I can hear them calling to each other.

On one side it sits just beside the sea and the far corner of Los Cristianos, while the other side is next to the town of the same name (Guaza). The mountain separates Palm-Mar from Los Cristianos, and for those fit enough to climb it, they will be rewarded with beautiful views, not just the magnificent stretch of the southern coast, La Gomera and the nearby Roque del Conde, but on a clear day you can also see the tip of Mount Teide or glimpse El Hierro and La Palma.

Mount Guaza rises more than 400 meters above sea level, and although it looks to be just a large hump of deserted agricultural land, with telecommunication towers mounted on its long flat top, it consists of two concentric craters. It is also a protected area having been declared a Natural Site of National Interest in 1987, then reclassified as a Natural Monument in 1994. In the past, pre-Hispanic remains have been found in the form of caves, remains of old cabins and, even, Guanche burial sites. As arid as it looks you will find several types of cactus lots of small bushes and shrubs growing and of course reptiles such as lizards.

J and I once went on one of those ‘blanket trip’ excursions and the guide told us a story as we were leaving Los Cristianos. It went along the lines of …. Mount Guaza was an important place for the Guanches, the original Aboriginal population on the island. When the Spanish invaded in 1496 they tried to convert the Guanches to Christianity and those who refused were hurled into the sea from the top of Mt Guaza which is one of the reasons the town below is called Christianos…. I don´t know whether or not there is any truth in it but it is a good tale.

So to the present and again this morning I look from my bedroom window and imagine the mountain is whispering ‘climb me‘ across the gap. If only I was young and fit and could do it but those days are long gone.

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REALLY EASY Cinnamon Buns

These are the easiest cinnamon rolls in the world. Just 4 ingredients and no complicated steps. Just roll out, spread and bake!

I didn’t know how these would turn out so used just half the roll of ready-made pastry and you could probably also use ready-made puff pastry.

Ingredients

½ packet of ready-made yeast pastry on a roll from Lidl
1 teaspoon powdered cinnamon
1 tablespoon brown sugar
Icing Sugar and a little water for mixing

Method

Keeping the pastry on the greaseproof paper it comes on, unroll. Mix together the cinnamon and brown sugar and spread over the pastry

Re-roll using the original paper which makes it very easy and then slice into buns. I got 4 out of my pastry. Leave to rise ( I put mine outside in the sunshine with a tea-towel over the top to keep the flies away)

After about an hour, place into the oven and cook for 15 minutes or until brown and sticky.

As they cool add a little icing just to make them look pretty. Easy and SO delicious, fluffy, and gooey

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Views from Puerto de la Cruz

Puerto de la Cruz is a lovely town with many worthy views to enjoy but there are some more spectacular than others.

Mirador de la Paz

One of these inspirational views is from the Mirador de la Paz, which is arguably the best known in Puerto de la Cruz. The only downside is that you may find it a little abandoned, but nevertheless, the views are worthwhile. From here you can enjoy breathtaking views of Martiánez beach and Lake Martiánez as well as a part of the fishing pier and around the coast of the La Orotava Valley. It is a residential area and has two heights connected by stairs, gardens and benches.

Most visitors agree that the best time of day to visit is at dusk, to witness a spectacular sunset.

Mirador de Alexander Von Humboldt

Like other famous people Alexander Von Humboldt left his mark in the history of Puerto de la Cruz and this spectacular viewpoint in the Orotava Valley is in his honour. Opened in 2010 visitors can enjoy a stunning panoramic 360 degree view that sweeps around from Puerto de la Cruz, to Los Realejos, small remote villages in the mountains, Icod, and the majestic Teide.

Image Webtenerife

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