The sun has barely come out from behind the hills to the east but City of Los Adelantados it is ready to recover from the busy day-to-day, in due moments, which we have seen and rediscovered.
This nickname comes from the fact that the village was founded and governed by a Advanced Alonso Fernández de Lugo, the Andalusian conqueror of the islands of Tenerife and La Palma who handed them over to the Crown of Castile-Aragon, already free from the threat of the Guanche natives.
De Lugo received the title of Advanced. He went down in history mainly for the cruelty and obsession with which he imposed his leadership as governor and chief justice of both islands.
And how he made San Cristóbal de La Laguna work and develop, at that time and for some time, capital of the Canary Islands archipelago, the city in which his tomb is located.
In his honor, in what is now treated only by La Laguna, at least one street and a square that we circle around are called from Adelantado.
More than half a millennium has passed. Much of the heart of La Laguna is pedestrian.
It preserves the grandeur and elegance of pastel from several other villages in the Canary Islands, financed with the income that the eight Islands however, they assured the Crown and its colonial masters.
In such a way that La Laguna is, at the same time, the Cultural Capital of the Canaries and, since 1999, UNESCO World Heritage Site.
From San Cristobal de La Laguna to East Island
We met with the guide assigned to us for Tenerife, Juan Miguel Delporte, in the lobby of La Laguna Grande Hotel.
This establishment resulted from an almost-perfect use of the original house (1755) of D. Fernando de La Guerra, home where, even though they were afraid of the Inquisition, the so-called “Los Caballeritos", tertullian who longed for Tenerife to be governed according to the outlawed precepts of the Holy Office of Rousseau, Voltaire, and other enlightened ones.
Juan Miguel offers to lead us. That same morning, we left La Laguna pointing to the Rural Park and Anaga Forest.
In the vicinity of Jardina and Mercedes, a wide valley gives way to a forested slope. We ascend to zigzag, slowly and slowly, behind cyclists who train there.
We stop. At Mirador de Jardina, we enjoyed the scenery in the opposite direction, spread out and diffused in some mist that even enveloped the The Teide, the great volcano of Tenerife, from Canary Islands and from Spain.
Already distant, based on a gentle slope and over what appears to be a large meadow, the village of Jardina gives more meaning to the viewpoint, the village of Jardina, made of a multicolored cluster of houses in warm tones, with some white and blue breaking the monotony.
The Rude and Abrupt Coast of the Northeast of Tenerife
From this kind of meadow, eastern Tenerife evolves into a steep hillside forest, irrigated by the cloudiness that the Alisians push inland.
All around, we see the eastern threshold of Tenerife given over to the Anaga Massif, cut by a range of sharp peaks, some above 1000 meters (Chinobre, Anambro, Roques de Anaga and others).
Where the vegetation clings with efficient roots, the Anaga Rural Park woods proliferate, Biosphere Reserve, a resilient slope forest, full of mysteries and endemic species, one of the most endemic places in Europe, it should be underlined .
At the same time, capricious and demanding home of 2.500 souls, inhabitants of almost thirty children people, with its agricultural and livestock strongholds.
We advance along its verdant crest, with the mist coming in from the north, then held back by the peaks highlighted in the south. Around El Bailadero, we inaugurate an abrupt and winding descent to the island's steep seaside.
Along the way, we stop at the León de Taganana and “Risco de Amogoje” viewpoints. From there, we can appreciate the dramatic peaks and cutouts where the houses of Azanos, Bajo El Roque and, of course, Taganana are housed.
We crossed Taganana. The continuation of road Almaciga leaves us first facing the Atlantic, then progressing parallel to the ocean, at the foot of cliffs parched by the long summer, from which the emblematic Roque de las Animas stands out.
Under a windy weather but warmed by a new wave of top (weather coming from the Sahara desert), more than lively, life went on with pleasure in these parts of Tenerife.
Arriving at Playa del Roque de Las Bodegas, we find the seafront of the inlet full of bathers, surfers and diners at the tables of bars and restaurants that quench the hunger and thirst of the fleeing crowd.
Playa del Roque à Breathtaking Benijo
Viola and jambé tones sound, muffled by much more electronic tones of the reggaeton that swept across the world like an overwhelming Puerto Rican tidal wave.
With the rising tide, the waves hit the base of the sea wall with a crash. When they go back, they collide with the following ones.
They form strange aquatic vectors, temporary fronts of marine foam that contrast with the volcanic blackness of the sand, which we see extending to the rocks of Roque de Las Bodegas that lend the beach its name.
Surfers and bodyboarders throw themselves into the rough sea as if tomorrow's was not the same. Next to it, a solitary bather is sunning herself, lying down, in a thin patch of gray sand lost in a sea of pebbles.
With the morning already much longer than we expected, we sat down at the Playa Casa Africa restaurant determined to replenish energy. The grilled fish comes with wrinkled potatoes and a mixed salad enriched with fruit. We still taste the coffee Barraquito ( zaperoco) typical of Tenerife, enhanced with Tia Maria, Liquor 43 or similar, and lemon.
Then, we took a look at Benijo beach, an unavoidable place for Juan Miguel's adolescence, we would later understand why. At that time, the high tide took away much of the sand and its charm. Okay, we came back another day, about sunset.
The black sand was huge. From it jutted sharp cliffs beaten by great waves.
As the sun set in the west, these cliffs generated overwhelming silhouettes that competed with those of the sharp peaks in the distance.
They originated games of ultimate light and shadow that inspired countless photos, selfies, interspersed with stumbles and dives.
Las Teresitas: the Bathing Recreation of the Capital Santa Cruz
But let's go back to the afternoon before this so-called magical twilight. After another marathon of turns and counter-curves, we return to El Bailadero. From there, we went down the entire slope opposite the one we had explored, towards the south coast of Tenerife.
We face the gentle sea on that side, at Mirador Gaviotas, high above Playa de Las Teresitas, an open inlet of golden sand imported from the Sahara, with an emerald sea, softened by a large jetty and an artificial reef perfect for any type of swimming.
By itself, the beach resort of Las Teresitas gives more meaning to life in Santa Cruz de Tenerife and old pueblos.
The beach doesn't stop there.
Close to the southwest is the village of San Andrés, one of the most eccentric on the island, with its whitewashed houses of assorted colors, huddled almost to the top of a dark brown hill in Anaga, dotted with green bushes.
San Andrés goes further.
On the fringes of its contemporary people and homes, a mummy of a Guanche Indian was found in a nearby cave, not necessarily a real one, although recent sources have found that the Guanche king at the time of the Spanish conquest inhabited the San Andrés Valley.
We skirt the hill on which the village leans. From there, for a few kilometers, the south of Tenerife becomes port and somewhat industrial.
Entry into Santa Cruz, the Capital on the La Laguna Extension
Until we entered the capital Santa Cruz and felt for the first time in an urban and modern domain of the island. Santa Cruz lacks the charm and historical depth of La Laguna. To compensate, Santa Cruz lives on the ocean and its seafront is crowned by two obligatory monuments in the Canaries.
The Castillo Negro de San Juan, from the first half of the 1997th century. And, within reach, the auditorium in the shape of either a wave or a sail, designed by Santiago Calatrava, the most modern civic building in the city, built between 2003 and XNUMX, considered, in fact, the main symbol of Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
We circle it, until we are between the castle and the sea. Without expecting it, we find ourselves in a bathing and alternative corner of the city. A sign states that diving is prohibited. Nevertheless, a group of young people take endless leaps from the jetty.
Closer to home, two women, in their fifties or even sixty, are sunning themselves topless, in the company of chihuahuas and irritable and strident little mutts who make our walk a hell of a lot.
A herb aroma, of the marijuana species, hovers and sweetens the unusual marginal. The sun was also starting to relax.
When we return to the starting point, we find La Laguna en masse on the street, enjoying the mode terrace (terrace) which has long governed the city from five in the afternoon.
We sat down on one of them. We celebrate the Canary Day that we had earned.
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