So they all rolled over and one fell out...

So I went to the mountains today. it was fantastic. I took the local buses again. I went to Tejeda and walked partway to Cruz de Tarjeda. It was a lot further than the 30 minute walk they said. After probably 40 minutes of walking a really nice Canarian man offered to drive me as he was passing there anyway. It was another 15-20 minute DRIVE, ALL UPHILL!!! no I revise that, up-mountain… 

Beautiful church in San Mateo - there are lights in between the flags - it must be lovely at night.
I love these "green roofs" The soil and plants seem to blow onto the clay roofs and grow a lovely little wild garden on some of the most well kept houses!
San Mateo
A reservoir on the way up from San Mateo to Tejeda
It was beautiful a the top and I decided to walk at least part way down. The smell of the eucalyptus and almond trees is so wonderful.I decided to follow a little trail that cut down between the switchbacks. I knew of course that this was a dumb idea too, since I was in the mountains, and little mountain paths are always  longer and more complex than you would think. Also, everything is just so much bigger and further away than you think too!!! The hike, I can now definitely call it a hike, was a lot more difficult and strenuous, but it wasn't going back to any roads anytime soon… I kept on and I could see the little villages below, and realized that they all looked the same, white buildings, terra cotta roofs, nestled in the little valleys. Now which one was I actually headed for… hmmm. I did finally make it back to a road after about 45 minutes, and I started to look at the sign, which wasn't being very helpful because it didn't say the name of the village I needed - Tejeda. I was about to pull out my tourist map, which probably didn't label the other villages, and a couple of really nice Canrian guys stopped to ask if I was ok. I said I was a bit lost, and they offered to drive me to Tejeda - even though they were headed up the mountain. It was a good 15-20 minutes back. So glad people are so nice here. 

The volcanic basalt formations are the important features of this area.

Not sure what this plant is, but lots of it grows here and it gets really big!
Old walls and gates surround the lookout and hotel up on the Cruz de Tejeda
What can I say, lovely, beautiful, stunning??? All of the above!
My hiking trail down the mountain
The smell of Eucalyptus and Almond trees was euphoric
And of course the mountain flowers
Just stunning

I walked through the village and found my bus stop. The bus arrived and I asked the driver if he was the 5pm bus to Maspalomas. He looked at me, and tilted his head to the side as if trying to understand. “No señora, I stay here tonight”. “oh, I said, pointing at the other bus, is that the 5pm bus then?” I knew there was only one bus in the morning, and one at 5 pm. That was it, there were no others. “No, señora, that bus is finished for the day”. I said “but the schedule on the board says there is a bus to Maspalomas at 5pm, and the bus driver that brought me here said the bus to Maspalomas is at 5pm”. My mind was racing circles, what now. Was it too late to get a bus back to San Mateo, but then, when I got there, it was unlikely there would be a bus back to Las Palmas that night. “Sorry señora, is your hotel room in Maspalomas?” “No, i have to continue to Las Palmas”, my head spinning, I was starting to look around quickly and take stoke of my situation when I noticed the tiniest crinkle in the corner of his eye, and I saw him glance at the old man on the bench that was hiding a grin. He was having me on! He totally got me. I laughed and almost cried at the same time. He lauded too. We had popsicles together and he did drive me down out of the mountains to Maspalomas at 5pm.

Yes, of course this is a driving street - notice the speed limit?
This street in Tejeda is so steep it needs handrails. I scoffed at them on the way down. Then I used them and counted my steps on the way up - 25 steps, rest, 20 steps, hold the rail, don't pass out, rest...
In the background, you can see one of the other islands - Tenerefe.
Here is my summary of Maspalomas. Beach, expensive resorts, gated golf vacation communities, shopping centres, theme parks and a disproportionate number of gay bars and overpriced everything. If any of that appeals to you, then Maspalomas is your paradise. A tiny $4:5 glass of orange juice and then to have to pay to use the bathroom on top of that… Well, just not my cup of tea, thought the gay bars might be fun...

The view of Maspalomas - you can see from here that it is a desert. Some enterprising person has imported camels so you can take a camel ride through the desert! 

This is the beginning of the dunes. They go on for about a one hour walk.
The expensive resorts have to water constantly to keep their complexes lush and green.
A lovely sunset ride back to Las Palmas
So I got back into Las Palmas fairly late and stopped and bought ramen noodles, maria biscuits, apples and a couple of red peppers, some chocolate and a bottle of Spanish Champagne just because I couldn't resist buying it for €1.25. 

I went back to the boat, and Jon was waiting for me. “John has decided to fly home”. he said. We talked for a while. We will leave Saturday morning, but now there are only two of us to sail the boat across. This adventure just keeps getting more exciting. That’s the great thing about adventure, you never know how it will end, or what exactly will happen next. If you could see the end, then it would all be so easy and you could prepare for it all. Jon was surprised that I would make a decision so quickly and easily. He is starting to learn that I am not made of the same stuff as regular people are.


iain said…
Those tall plants are yucca, if they are the same as we saw in the mountains in Peru.. which they appear to be!
So glad you arrived in the Canaries safely.. I'm sure it gets more and more exciting each stop...
Will you be able to do the trip across with just 2 of you? Isn't is a week or more to sail across?
But I guess you guys know what you're capable of.
Too bad John has decided to cancel.. Wasn't there a contract? ;))
Maybe there's someone in the Canaries who'd like to escape and get a free trip to the USA in exchange for sailing assistance?
Anyway.. how long is the crossing part of the trip?
Canaries looks amazing.. Must get there..
I was saying to Ray.. I could have planned a trip to travel along the coastal route and met you in each stop.. if I'd been thinking :))
Wishing you best of luck, and excitement but not too much!