Rolling gently from side to side on the hump of a camel I was enjoying the views of Roque del Conde ahead on the trail and Guaza Mountain and the sea beyond if I peeked behind. Camel Park is a living family farm between Chayofa and La Camella, all just 6kms above Los Cristianos.
A couple of eager cockerels had strutted up to welcome us as we got out of the free pick-up bus, all the animals seemed curious and friendly and were mixing freely. Owner Samantha broke free from the serious world of banking in the UK in 1988 and has developed the rural land with the help of her family. “ There was very little here when we started but we have built two small houses in a traditional Canarian style and have added other animals to our original stock of camels. We now have 10 camels including a two year old, and are expecting more to breed soon, there are also around 70 cocks and hens, parrots, goats, and geese.”
I had a nice wander around the farm, a couple of my new feathered friends clucked away just behind me. There was a batch of plump young chicks trying to scratch the earth aside at the rabbit hutch to grab a few cheeky pecks of extra food. Recently born chicks were protected in a wire run, Samantha explained that local hawks had been known to swoop and carry small chicks and ducks away.
A camel ride is something that has to be tried when visiting Tenerife and it’s good to find somewhere that’s not a long trek away from your resort and doesn’t stick you in the middle of a long train of bad tempered mounts. My party went out on three camels, all of us got on from a standing start as the camels parked between some sturdy wooden frames and one family had small children who settled in their seats with ease.
The trail took us gently upwards and around the farm and the surrounding land as lizards scuttled in the undergrowth and butterflies flitted between the cactus and other wild plants and shrubs. The journey took 50 minutes and the camels were very placid and seemed quite content to plod along with the lead rope slack. I was quite amused to see a few of the loyal cockerels following us around our route. Looking up at the main road in the distance I saw a group of racing cyclists, I’ve seen those blade like saddles close up, on balance I found my lofty perch on my trusty camel a lot more comfortable.
Heading back to the farm we shared some cold drinks and nibbles in the shady courtyard until our bus was ready. There is also the option of a Canarian meal and they have a small souvenir shop inside.
Camel Park, La Camella; (0034) 922 721 121; open 10 am to 5 pm; 20 euros for camel ride and farm; 38 euros for camel ride, farm, and meal.
Category : days out
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