6. Tenerife 2013
by Johan Kjellander 2013 - 2014
After our visit to Salvegem Grande we sailed directly to Santa Cruz on Tenerife, 120 NM. We drove around the island by car for a few days, had a look at Teide and then it was time for Tove to return to her job in Sweden. I stayed until the beginning of August and then I sailed single handed to Las Palmas on Gran Canaria.
We left Selvagem Grande in the afternoon, sailed on all night and the next morning the Island of Tenerife was visible. Can you see it ?
We headed for Santa Cruz, the capital of Tenerife. High volcanic mountains surround the city. A British, classic motor yacht was moored in the marina when we arrived. Why do we think these old boats to be so much more beautiful than newer ones ?
Tove had job to do... Our washing machine is a wonderful thing to have after some days at sea. Drying is almost instant with bright sun and hot breeze.
There was job for me too. Martin's bicycle has been on the boat since it was new, about 4 years ago. Many days of salt spray can do a lot of damage. With lots of oil I got it going again.
The blue one is Toves bike. It has been at sea for 25 years and is still alive. It was with our previous boat, Lynx, to Iceland, around the Baltic, 5 years in the Mediterranean, to the Azores and now with Bird of Passage for 4 years. A real surviver.
We rented a car to explore the interior of the island. To the left you see the 3800 meter high top of Teide, the highest mountain in Spain. The road up to Teide is fantastic with large forests and wonderful views. What you see to the right are the clouds covering the landscape under us.
On a top close to Teide there is a center for astronomical observations. The high altitude, the clear sky and the absence of artificial light makes the spot perfect.
Here is the top of Teide. A cable car takes you up to within 200 meters of the top. It was rather expensive and we have seen many volcanoes before so we skipped the cable car and continued in our own car instead.
We continued to Puerto Cruz, on the west coast of Tenerife. A very charming old village with many signs of festivities. There was a small fishing harbour and beach right in the centre of the city.
Wooden balconies are typical for the Canary Islands. You see them everywhere.
Flag etiquette is sometimes complicated. All the Canary Islands belong to Spain, that's the red and yellow flag in the middle. To the right is the common flag for all Canary Islands and to the left is the flag for Tenerife.
A bulk ship came to the harbour, close to the marina. At the same time trucks loaded with scrap metal emptied their cargo on the quay. A terrible sound and lots of dust.
The ships big claw took bite after bite and emptied it into its stomach. It took several days before she was satisfied ! Interesting to watch but noisy and dirty.
Angulas, or elvers in english (glasål). Tastes wonderful but later we learned that they are endangerd species, so no more of that in the future.
In the south of the island, close to the airport, you find what is said to be Canary Islands most important Pilgrimage spot, the cave/shrine of Saint Hermano Pedro. Pedro was a shepard born 1616 and sometimes used the cave to rest with his animals. Later he emigrated to Guatemala and started a hospital for poor children. He was canonized in 2002 as the first saint of the Canaries. 300.000 people visit the cave each year and many bring offerings.
Natural caves are common in the volcanic mountains of the Canary Islands. The old Guanche people lived in caves but also buried their dead there and embalmed them so that their bodies would be preserved. In the Canary museum in Santa Cruz you can see Guanche mummies found in a cave on Tenerifa.
Even children and babies were embalmed. In the 15:th century the Spanish killed many Guanches but also married their women. A recent DNA investigation shows that Canaries today have around 20% Guanche blood in their veins.
End of Tenerife 2013