Now that I finally conquered driving a car, I decided that the main roads where not enough and that I wanted to find the smallest and tiniest roads of Tenerife. Well, not really, but if you set out towards the north of the island into the famous laurel-forests of … you will end up on some very tiny roads. On the first day we set out to find the Punta de Hidalgo. This is a small village with some “natural tubs” on the north-western side of Tenerife. AS we were about to find out, natural tubs means concrete swimming pools that are being filled by ocean waves. They were apparently build back in the 70ies and never renovated. Most of these natural tubs were barred from access and half decayed when we saw them. The colour was peeling off and all in all it look very desolate. The view from the village away from the ocean was quite nice. Tenerife is anything if not dramatic, especially if the clouds are moving in and there’s mist moving all the mountains. Even though the visit was somewhat disappointing we had one definite highlight in the form of a small fish restaurant that had been recommended to us by a local. I would spent the rest of my holidays in Tenerife trying to find an equally awesome Pulpo for lunch or dinner.
Punta de Hidalgo had also been a choice of compromise, it was a short trip for the second half of our first day in Tenerife to test out the streets and the car.
After we successfully managed this test we took on bigger tours before finally returning to the north at the end of our trip. The original plan was to stop shortly at the old town of Santa Cruz and stroll through the historical center and then drive down to another village on the north-west side of the island. We followed the same road and shortly before Punta de Hidalgo we took a turn and went up into the mountains.
Behind Santa Cruz lucious green forest greeted us very soon and the roads started getting smaller and smaller. Long before we reached the natural park of … we (again) started stopping at every view point displayed and some that weren’t labelled as such. For the first hour we still had a view onto the cliffs on the coasts and could see the water smashing against them. The further in we drove, the more the cliffs were hidden away by green walls of forest.
We felt at the end of the world, when the forest opened up and revealed views onto the stretched out mountain backs covered in green forest we could not see our street or any other street for that matter. Every single car we crossed was a large SUV or, much to my distress, on the small roads large tourist buses. We drove on and after a while started recognising the other tourists as we would overtake each other in regular intervals or meet at the view points, while the locals were much to fast to be overtaken and never stopped at the view points. At the highest point of the road we expected to come onto the street that would take us down to the western village,
however there was no such street. Somewhat confused we continued on on our street and watched the road get slimmer and slimmer until it reached a width that was more or less equal to our tiny car. At that point I decided to give up and turn around. On our way back we stopped when we spotted one of the cars that had been overtaking us in regular intervals.
It turned out to be a great decision. We ran into a different couple of tourists that told us of a short hike to a small hill from which you could still see the ocean. The path already was lovely. It looked like an enchanted forest. Lots of moss and green on curly branches and trees left and right and a tiny path leading through it always upwards. The 20 minutes turned out to be very accurate. We reached a large rock from which you could see far out onto the sea. There we stayed until the clouds moved in again and everything was covered in mist. Then we stayed some more to see the mist move over the mountains.
Back at the car, we gave up on our original plan to visit the western village and decided to simply drive down to (new) Santa Cruz and back home as it was already getting late. Shortly after we would come onto a large road and very clear street signs towards …. A bit more persistence and we would have found the road we were originally looking for.
By the time we found the large, newly tarred and two-way street it was getting late. So we decided against driving down and circled back to our hotel coming down in Santa Cruz and stopping at the only white sand beach in Tenerife. Carried there, entirely, from the Sahara as there is no white sand in the Canaries.