Spain
Orotava, La

Here you’ll find travel reports about Orotava, La. Discover travel destinations in Spain of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

41 travelers at this place:

  • Day387

    Time to leave the city and head south! We took our leave of our host and his kids after giving them one last pat of Schnitzel. Caught a bus back to the airport where we picked up our hire car for the day - an unexciting but workable Ford Fiesta.

    Drove southwest across to the larger part of the island heading for Teide - the volcano and national park that covers much of the centre of Tenerife. And yes, it's the volcano that has basically formed the island over the last few million years.

    You can't drive to the top but we drove up to the crater rim in various spots, taking in viewpoints and enjoying the scenery - and filming of course, since this is the second WHS here.

    There's a cable car that runs up to near the summit but sadly for us it was closed today due to high winds (I think it's a common occurrence), though we hadn't really planned on doing it anyway. Though that had the unfortunate down-side that basically every tourist was now doing the hike we wanted to do. It covered about 3km near some interesting rock formations, but given the high winds we turned back fairly soon anyway.

    Very interesting landscapes though - lots of rocks and moonscapes, very alien. Apparently NASA, the ESA and Hollywood have all trained and worked out here since it's so similar to Mars and the Moon.

    We kept heading westwards and stopped at a place known as the Black Lava flow, from the most recent eruption (1896). Quite cool to see how the road has just been cut directly through it!

    Eventually we drove down out of the national park and eventually reached the western coast of Tenerife. Main spot of interest here is a cliff formation known as Los Gigantes - for reasons that should be obvious! They were indeed gigantic, though the best views are from boats and we didn't have time for that.

    Instead we drove down to a little town on the southern coast called Las Galletas, where we'll be staying for the next five nights on a little sailing boat! Something a bit different.

    We met our host and settled in - it's a bit cramped but comfortable enough. Small kitchen, though the toilets are in the marina building a couple of minutes walk away. Sort of like camping I guess.

    Shandos set to organising things while I drove to the southern airport and dropped off the car since we didn't need it! Splurged and got a taxi back to the boat. I was expecting a tiny little town but it was busier than I thought with quite a few restaurants around. We ended up having a light dinner at a pizzeria with some bruschetta and a seafood pizza - very tasty.
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  • Day2

    Introducing Tenerife

    June 14, 2017 in Spain

    When I first went to live abroad, I was often asked all kind of bizarre questions when people found out that I was from tenerife. A holiday island for most, they could just not imagine that there were people who grew up there and led a normal life, just like they did everywhere else. Do you live in a hut at the beach? No, I don't. Haver you ever been to the movies? Yes, like a hundred times. Are there schools in Tenerife? No, I learnt everything I know at home and somehow I landed an Erasmus scholarship and ended up here. Just kidding. Of course there are schools in Tenerife. We even have a university. Two, actually.

    However, what puzzled people most was my relationship with the weather. The cold weather, to be more specific. Everyone assumed that I must love hot, sunny days and would be freezing to death as soon as temperatures dropped below 20°C, which is not true at all. And everyone assumed that I had never seen snow in my life. Wrong again. Most people are surprised to find out that there is snow in Tenerife; not too often and not too much, but there is definitely some snow nearly every year. And last year was quite a snowy year with some of the biggest snowfalls of the 21st century.

    I went to Tenerife on March 2016 and was totally amazed when I first glimpsed the island from the plane, as most of the centre was gleaming white under the sun. There was snow. A lot of snow. A week later I drove to the National Park of Las Cañadas del Teide and there was still some snow on the north side of the mountains and valleys (a lot of snow had already melted within that week as temperatures went back to their subtropical normality). It was quite a joy, I can tell you. I love snow anywhere, but there's something very special about seeing your beautiful home island blanketed in white.

    In fact, there are many special things about Tenerife. There are many stories I could tell you and I might obligue in future footprints. But until then, enjoy the snowy view.
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  • Day335

    Tenerife

    December 31, 2016 in Spain

    My contact lenses felt like ice flakes in my eyes. Blizzardlike wind swept past me with up to 70h/km and made every step in the dark to a tightrope walk on the way to the summit of Teide, the highest mountain in Spain (3717m). It is also the third-highest volcano in the world. I tried to protect my face from the cold. My thoughts went to Nepal. Was the night-time hike on the Manaslu Larkya La Pass on 5213m even nearly as exhausting? I played with the thought of tweaking. On the summit of the crater rim, there was no chance of a sunrise. Even the day before, clouds hung like an inverted soup bowl over the volcano peak. I tormented myself step by step, sometimes four-footed, not to be swept by the snowy and icy road. A few days before it had snowed up to 2000m altitude. At dawn we reached the summit. The black gave way to a blue. The sight was 20m. Our emergency thermo blanket tore up within a few minutes due to the persistent strong wind. After 15 minutes we went down again.

    It was a strenuous mountain climb after a short night in the mountain hut Alta Vista. After about five hours we reached the parking lot and found ourselves in a red-yellow moon landscape again. The landscape of the national park is so unique that it was used in different films. The Ucanca area was even test area for the Mars robot Rover ExoMars, which was to go 2011 as part of the Aurora program of the ESA on mission. So we were back in the bright sun. There was no snow and no clouds. We decided to go rock climbing in the breathtaking scenery of the Las Cañadas del Teide - with an awesome view of the Teide. Climbing in this area is surreal and beautiful. The actual rock climbing hotspot on Tenerife is however Arico - not to be confused with Italy's climbing mecca Arco. But there are climbing areas all over the island. Unfortunately, not all rocks are as well-maintained as in Arico, so that the majority of the climbers can be found there.

    Tenerife has even more to offer. It is also a popular surfing, diving and paragliding area. The diving was particularly charming. The lava rock, which cooled in geometric shapes, fascinated me. Boxes on cuboids, cushions on pillows form a familiar landscape. As if architects had built underwater cities for the sea-dwellers.
    The Canary Island is also a popular surfspot. After I did not dare to learn to surf in Bali, I had overcome myself and completed a one-week surf course. With a five-millimeter-thick wetsuit, I surfed the waves - more or less masterly. The fear of the so-called washing machine was always present, especially when the waves already built up far in the sea and became much too powerful for beginners. It was fun though, but from the fourth day on, I had no strength to catch waves anymore. My muscles were tired. Nevertheless, I would do it again, but never exchange it for climbing. My element is the rock.

    Tenerifes history dates back more than 12 million years. The Anaga Mountains in the north of the island, with its beautiful and fairy-tale rainforests (laurel forests), is the oldest part of the island. The volcanic Teide and the Las Cañadas are of younger age. The year-round mild climate (in the south warm and dry, in the north cooler and rainier), the different high-altitude zones and the seclusion helped to develop a special flora and fauna on Tenerife. There are many endemic species. Examples include the Canary Pine, the Canary Dragon Tree, or the Cactus-like Euphorbia canariensis. In addition there are many endemic mushrooms and algae, as well as birds and lizards like the Tenerife blue chaffinch or the Tenerife giant lizard (Goliath Gallotia). Thanks to my travel companion, Julia, who brought up this new aspects into our journey.

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    Meine Kontaktlinsen fühlten sich in meinem Auge an wie Eisplättchen. Klirrendkalter Wind fegte mit bis zu 70h/km an mir vorbei und machten jeden Schritt in der Dunkelheit zu einer Gratwanderung auf dem Weg zum Gipfel des Teide, dem höchsten Berg Spanien (3717m). Er ist ebenso der dritthöchste Vulkan der Welt. Ich versuchte mein Gesicht vor der Kälte zu schützen. Meine Gedanken wanderten nach Nepal. War die nächtliche Wanderung auf den Manaslu Larkya La Pass auf 5213m auch nur annähernd so kraftraubend? Ich spielte mit dem Gedanken umzudrehen. Auf dem Gipfel dem Kraterrand, gab es eh keine Aussicht auf einen Sonnenaufgang. Schon den Tag zuvor hingen Wolken wie eine umgedrehte Suppenschüssel über dem Vulkangipfel. Ich quälte mich Schritt für Schritt hinauf, teils vierfüßig, um nicht vom verschneiten und vereisten Weg geweht zu werden. Ein paar Tage zuvor hatte es bis auf Höhenlagen um 2000m geschneit. Zur Morgendämmerung erreichten wir den Gipfel. Das Schwarz wich einem Blau. Die Sicht reichte 20m. Unsere Notfall-Thermofolie zerriss innerhalb weniger Minuten aufgrund des anhaltend starken Windes. Nach 15 Minuten stiegen wir wieder hinab.

    Es war eine kraftraubende Bergbesteigung nach einer kurzen Nacht in der Berghütte Alta Vista. Nach circa fünf Stunden erreichten wir den Parkplatz und fanden uns in einer rot-gelb Mondlandschaft wieder. Die Landschaft des Nationalparks ist so einzigartig, dass es Drehort in verschiedenen Filmen war und die Ucanca-Ebene war sogar Testgebiet für den Marsroboter Rover ExoMars, der 2011 als Teil des Aurora Programms der ESA auf Mission gehen soll. Nun standen wir also wieder in der strahlende Sonne. Es gab keinen Schnee und keine Wolken mehr. Wir beschlossen in der atemberaubenden Landschaft der Las Cañadas del Teide klettern zu gehen – mit Blick auf den Teide. Das Klettern in diesem Gebiet wirkt surreal und wunderschön. Das eigentliche Klettermekka Teneriffas ist allerdings Arico – nicht zu verwechseln mit Italiens Klettermekka Arco. Es gibt aber überall auf der Insel Klettergebiete. Leider sind nicht alle Kletterfelsen so gut gepflegt wie in Arico, so dass sich die Mehrzahl der Kletterer eben dort findet.

    Teneriffa hat aber noch mehr zu bieten. Es ist ebenso ein beliebtes Surf-, Tauch- und Paraglider-Gebiet. Das Tauchen war besonders reizvoll. das Lavagestein, das in geometrischen Formen erkaltete, faszinierte mich. Quader auf Quader, Kissen an Kissen formen eine vertraut wirkende Landschaft. Als hätten Architekten Unterwasserstädte für die Meeresbewohner erbaut.

    Die kanarische Insel ist ebenso ein beliebter Surfort. Nachdem ich mich auf Bali nicht getraut hatte, surfen zu lernen, habe ich mich überwunden und einen einwöchigen Surfkurs absolviert. Mit einem fünf Millimeter dicken Wetsuit stürzte ich mich also in die Wellen – mehr oder weniger meisterlich. Die Angst vor der so genannten Waschmaschine war immer zugegen, besonders wenn sich die Wellen bereits weit im Meer aufbauten und viel zu mächtig für Anfänger wurden. Es hat Spass gemacht, aber ab dem vierten Tag fehlte mir die Kraft in den Armen, überhaupt noch Wellen zu erwischen. Meine Muskeln waren müde. Dennoch, ich würde es wieder tun, aber nie für das Klettern eintauschen. Mein Element ist der Fels.

    Teneriffa entstand vor etwa 12 Millionen Jahren . Das Anaga-Gebirge im Norden der Insel mit seinen wunderschönen und märchenhaften Nebelwäldern (Lorbeerwälder) ist der älteste Teil der Insel. Das Vulkanmassiv Teide und die Las Cañadas sind jüngeren Alters. Durch das ganzjährig milde Klima (im Süden warm und trocken, im Norden kühler und regnerischer), die verschiedenen Höhenzonen und die Abgeschiedenheit konnte sich auf Teneriffa eine besondere Tier- und Pflanzenwelt entwickeln. Es gibt viele endemische Arten. Beispiele hierfür sind die Kanarische Kiefer, der Kanarische Drachenbaum oder das kakteenähnliche Wolfsmilchgewächs Euphorbia canariensis. Darüber hinaus existieren viele an endemischen Pilzen und Algen, sowie Vögeln und Echsen. Zu erwähnen sei hier der Teydefinke oder die Teneriffa Rieseneidechse. Der Dank gilt hier meiner Reisebegleiterin Julia, die durch ihre Interessen im Bereich Flora und Fauna neue Aspekte in unsere Reise einbrachte.
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  • Day18

    Unsere Fahrt mit dem Bus führt uns durch die ehemalige Hauptstadt La Laguna in den 1954 gegründeten Parque Nacional de Las Cañadas. Hier wachsen die Kanarischen Kiefern, die sich dem Klima der Insel angepasst haben, in einer Monokultur. Sie wachsen schlank bis zu 25 m hoch, um die Feuchtigkeit aus den Wolken zu sammeln und sind entsprechend wichtig für die Wasserversorgung der Insel. Ab 2000m Höhe verschwinden sie und man sieht nur noch Sträucher und Flechten. Während der Fahrt blicken wir in die grandiose Caldera von 17 km x 12 km Größe und haben einen Stopp, der uns mit einem kleinen Spaziergang einen grandiosen Blick auf den 3718 m hohen schneebedeckten Pico del Teide ermöglicht. Kleine Schneefelder sehen wir immer noch und erfahren, dass es dieses Jahr im Januar und Februar 1,5 m Schnee auf 2000m Höhe gegeben hat. Auch jetzt sind die Temperaturen mit windigen 13 Grad eher kühl, waren es doch 26 Grad auf Meereshöhe.Read more

  • Day6

    Pico del Teide, Teneriffa, Spanien

    November 17, 2017 in Spain

    Der drittgrösste Inselvulkan der Welt ist 3718m hoch und steht im Cañadas del Teide und gehört zum UNESCO Weltnaturerbe.

You might also know this place by the following names:

Orotava, La

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