Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Walking in the Hills and Mountains on Tenerife

If I had a euro for each time that I read that it can be cool during the day on Mount Teide even in summer, I’d be rich. Well I might not be rich, but I’d be able to pay for a nice meal.

It’s one of those Tenerife myths of which there are a few. It’s usually advice given by well meaning people, but where they got this idea I really don’t know and anyone walking at altitude on Tenerife in summer expecting it to get cooler the higher they climb is in for a shock.

This post is a sort of companion to a recent post about taking precautions at this time of year, but with the temperatures blowing the top off the thermometers we felt that it was important to reinforce the message that during the height of summer, the higher you go the hotter it is likely to get and it’s essential to realise this.

Last weekend we had planned to camp on the North West slopes and do some walking in that area in preparation for the next in our walking guides. Unfortunately I developed a 24 hour tummy bug and didn’t feel up to a long trek. But we headed into the area anyway to go to the splendid little Dia de la Trilla fiesta near El Tanque at around the 1100 metres mark.

It had been 30+ degrees at the coast, but as we drove higher with both car windows open and my arm leaning out of the window, the air rushing past became hotter and hotter until it felt as though someone was pointing a hairdryer at it. By the time we reached the fiesta the temperature was in the 40s and we bought a couple of straw hats to protect our heads.

Within moments, even with the hats, we were a pair of sweaty messes. At that point it occurred to us that my tummy bug had been a blessing in disguise. To walk in these temperatures would have been madness.It is incredibly hot at the moment, even for summer and most of the time you can still enjoy walking on Tenerife at this time of year as long as you are prepared. But don’t head into the hills expecting some relief from the heat or you might find that it feels as though you’ve literally stepped from the frying pan into the fire.

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