El Guingo

Trip Start Jun 12, 2007
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Spain and Canary Islands  ,
Friday, March 7, 2008

I looked at the map and noticed a road through the centre of the island which we hadn't yet taken, I wanted to get up into the north of the island again and this seemed the perfect route.  We would approach Mount Teide from a different direction, join up with a half mile section of road we drove along earlier in the week, then turn off and see the landscape and mount Teide from yet another direction. The landscape was once again completely different, we saw miles and miles of lava fields - they look like giant ploughed fields of mud, but its not mud its volcanic rock.
We arrive at La Oratava where we had thought we'd have lunch, but we got stuck in a traffic jam and ended up turning off in the direction of Puerto de la Cruz to get away from the traffic. John was really hungry, so we decided that we would park up, eat and move on as originally we had planned to skip this port - mainly due to the fact that I had read that is was "a jumble of high rise hotels, bars and discos". I had read a report on the internet that said it was the Playa de las Americas of the north - I quite possibly didn't see everything that was there, but from what we did see it couldn't be compared in any way, shape or form - yes there were some touristy souvenir shops and yes there were hotels there, but that is precisely where the comparisons end. I was seduced and completely hypnotised by the sea here and we ended up watching and photographing the giant waves breaking the surf - they were completely amazing - the sea was so blue and as the waves came to their peak the water turned turquoise and crashed into a foaming white crescendo crashing into the rocks, shooting spray miles into the air. The sea is so majestic and powerful, it fascinates me.
After this we head out along the coastal road heading out to Punta del Hidalgo in search of El Guingo lighthouse. We came across some dramatic scenery along the way, but never actually managed to find the lighthouse. We turned up a tiny unsignposted road, which was the only one along that stretch that looked like it might go in the right direction, we became gridlocked into a maze of residential streets, that really were not negotiable by car. We came to a dead end and then provided great entertainment for some old men sitting on a bench as they watched eagerly to see if John could actually turn a car in this space without bashing one of the walls or running over some random dog that just wouldn't get out of the way, we were a great source of amusement for them and they almost seemed disappointed when the car was finally turned around and we were driving off.
I was determined to see a lighthouse today and saw another one on the map which was half way back to the apartment, so we made our way over there. When we got there the building was boarded up and it looked pretty much derelict, everything around it seemed desserted. We watched the sea for a bit and then made our way back, stopping to have some dinner on the way because John wanted one last plate of seafood before going home.
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