Our first adventure on Tenerife was a round way starting from the mountain town of Chamorga, over the pass of the Casas de Tafada, passing the light house down near the coast, going the optional way down to the ocean through the little abandoned town of Roque Bermejo and then back up through the corresponding canyon Barranco Roque Bermejo all the way until Chamorga.
The way the trail started off going up a ways into the mountain is perhaps the most beautiful trail beginning I have run so far. The weather was warm and sunny with a slight breeze, bringing out the lush colours of green plants of all the hues of green you can imagine all around, and making the colour splotches of mostly yellow, purple and a few red flowers pop. The trail was beautiful and demanding but very runnable, there were beautiful beige rocks all around, and every now and then, a small animal would rustle out of sight into the underbrush noisily before I could get a look at it. The blue hues of the ocean together with the flawless blue of the sky made for a fantastic combination.
But the vibrancy of the colours notwithstanding, the quality/attribute that left the deepest impression (in this more original sense of the word, I think) on me was the herbal, earthy, green, fresh and flowery scent that wafted through the air, woken and whirled around by sun and breeze. This perfume is something I will never forget, and which reminds me how mesmerising not only the colours of nature are, but also its many nuanced scents.
The ascent ended at the Casas de Tafada, the “Tafada Houses” – a few picturesque ruins which used to be of strategic importance to the estates around.
Incidentally, around this point, Ole got it into his head that it would be a great idea to try eating one of the cactus pears that were growing on many a cactus around.
From the Casas da Tafada, we had great views around and started the descent towards the lighthouse we would pass on the way to the shore. And as would become a recurring theme on the island of Tenerife, the ground and the plants changed quickly in accordance with the altitude. This quality is even more of a central theme since the landscape never once looked quite the same in any two places I was going to see in the following ten days – as with each new adventure, the frequent changes of scenery on this route were always full of surprise. The scenery slowly turned greener; the frequent cacti disappeared and palm-ish plants and brilliantly green grasses took their place.
But the green lasted only for a short while — around the lighthouse, a formidable amount of unusually trusting lizards heralded the stonier and drier descent from the lighthouse down to Roque Bermejo.
Roque Bermejo can only be reached on foot or by boat. It is a relatively big collection of low-roofed white stone houses and terraces that climb quite a way up the Barranco leading to Chamorga. After a small run through sandy alleys, we were greeted by a marvellous stony beach surrounded by cliffs. I had great fun playing tag with cold big waves and climbing around on stones! The air was full of spray and sun and wind and a few hikers settled in the shadow of the town wall. Everything felt playful and happy.
After the cool ocean, the ascent back up towards Chamorga went easily enough despite the effort it required. We first passed through a few village fields before the path went back up into the mountain and climbed upwards along the flank of the ridge over whose other side we had ascended. The way was rocky and earthy, fun to follow and with beautiful views everywhere!
We ended the adventure with a nice cool soda from Chamorga’s tiny bar and drove home with dirty shoes and sunny minds. I had felt great and strong, more like a butterfly than like a human runner who has to train and recover. Moving along had felt natural. Although the car ride back through the mountains made me feel sick and dizzy all evening, the memory of the Chamorga round stays with me as a beautiful beautiful time.
– Time: 3 hours 30 (12:20 – 15:50 o’clock)
– Distance: 8,65 km (avg 16:13 min / km)
– Elevation: 716 m up, 734 m down
– Weather: sunny and warm, windy near the coast
Two later attempts at another group selfie