Last week by invitation of my friend Barbara from Bern I visited Tenerife. This was the first time I’d travelled so far south – to the largest of the Canary Islands 62 miles west of Morocco. Barbara and her husband, Paul, own a beautiful house there on the edge of the small resort of Palm Mar in the very south of the island. This year Barbara and I met with our two other friends from the Cambridge days to celebrate 40 years of friendship.
Tenerife has a distinctive, but not particularly attractive, volcanic landscape so I was interested to see all the unusual native plants and trees. Despite what appears to be unrestricted building development in some areas much of the island’s nature is protected by law. There are also many huge scale banana plantations protected from the strong winds by miles of hessian.
Barbara’s house backs onto the Special Nature Reserve Malpais de la Rasca. Sandy footpaths cross the reserve and on Sunday afternoon we stepped out to cross the scrub landscape, keeping parallel with the sea, to the Lighthouse Faro de Rasca, at the southernmost tip of Tenerife. Shortly after passing the lighthouse the Reserve finished and banana plantations appeared. After a couple of miles further on foot we finally arrived at the little town of Las Galletas where we dined at a restaurant on the promenade, watched the sun go down and hailed a taxi to take us back to Palm Mar.
Palm Mar and the island of La Gomera the roof terrace
Typical Rocky Inlet along our Route
Typical Sandy Path and Banana Plantation
Leaving the Nature Reserve
Path Continues Past the Banana Plantation
Hippie Beach Bar near Las Galletas
Marina Las Galletas
Las Galletas Sunset