Those who like walking are lucky here. We can choose between volcanic badlands like Güimar; lush forests like the Anaga Mountains, or meander coastal paths with breathtaking views; but the other week I “discovered” a walk which surprised me.
I walk to exercise, to photograph, to appreciate nature, and to discover more about Tenerife, and this lovely walk encompassed all of those. The surprise was the glimpses of village life along the way. It began in one village, Chirche, above Guia de Isora and ended in another, Arguayo, above Santiago del Teide, but I didn’t realize that it would open up like a picture book of village life and history.
The walk is more-or-less a straight line, and we had only a half day, so we left one car in Arguayo, and drove back to Chirche to begin, the Atlantic endlessly blue below us.
In Chirche we wasted no time in setting off from just behind Restaurante Las Brasas. Chirche is a tiny village of roughly 200 inhabitants, and was just waking as we tiptoed out. We were instantly in a green landscape, where the only sound was birdsong, as we followed the route of an old water channel. The route isn’t especially well-marked, but those water troughs (including new, plastic ones) make it fairly easy to follow.
The pathways vary from rough roads, where three of us could easily walk side-by-side to rocky inclines. You don’t need to be super-fit, but it is steep in a couple of places, and a reasonable level would be desirable. There are pathways all along, however. We passed only one other couple, walking in the opposite direction, and at another point we had to stand aside to allow a farm truck to pass, a cheery wave from the driver in thanks.
The next village was Chiguergue, another sleepy pueblo, whose near-vertical streets made me wonder how folk live there, where smart, modern houses nestle between the traditional. Who wouldn’t want to get away from the bustle of Playa de las Americas to return to somewhere so peaceful each night? An old threshing circle, has been preserved, and a sign told us an historic oven could be visited, but this day there was no time and we pushed on.
It was early Spring and our way was marked with almond blossoms, meadows full of wild lavender and margaritas, vineyards yet to bud, the occasional finca where a dusty dog barked at our passing, and stunning views at every turn.
We spied the next village, Chio down below us before we reached it. Chio is busy by the standards we had passed through, folk sat on walls or in street bars chatting, and the main TF82 runs through the pint-sized town. It would be the perfect place to take a break on a warm day, and dive into one of the shady bars, but we had a schedule to keep, sadly.
So we turned right and upwards again, rambling peacefully along the narrow way until we reached Arguayo. Again we glimpsed the hamlet in the distance, above us as we approached, and trudged the final uphill stretch.
We started the walk early, but were finished by lunchtime as one of us was working that afternoon, but next time I would like to take it even more slowly, and mooch around those tranquil villages some more.
Category : days out
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