This isn’t the piece I intended to post today. You could say this is spontaneous. Spontaneous is what I did today. Spontaneous is probably the biggest difference between a blog and, say, a magazine article, at least if one’s own blog. Sponteous probably describes my current lifestyle….at least it should do.
I should be better-organized, but a glimpse of sunshine and I felt like a kid on vacation! After sitting at my dining table, which doubles as my desk, for two hours, watching the day brighten outside my window, I couldn’t take it any longer. Afterall, hadn’t I spent hours when I was tied to boring jobs wishing I could be outdoors and longing for the freedom to improvise my life?
So I bundled Trixy into the van and set off, with no plan whatsoever. My direction was dictated only by the need to put gas in the car. Rain is forecast for tomorrow. I needed to seize this glorious day.
The sun doesn’t warm the valley until late these winter mornings. It highlights the hillsides, teases through the gaps between the mountains, but doesn’t rise high enough to reach all the nooks until mid-morning. As we left the gas station it seemed that the last chill was evaporating, and the day began to glow.
This post is simply the story of me playing hooky. There is no deep meaning to it. It’s a photo essay of a crystal clear, blue/green day.
Even the familiar view of Tenerife and El Teide looked clearer and bluer than usual. This view is from higher than I usually snap it. We were on our way from Hermigua to Ag ulo. This is a good road. It hugs the coast, but it’s wide, and well maintained; quiet. So quiet, in fact, that on the return journey we were surprised to see a pack of skateboarders, hell bent for leather heading down towards Vallehermoso! Certainly not something I’d want to do, but it looked like fun!
Almost drifting along, mesmerized by the clear air and the views. One of the great things about driving along a curving, coast road like this is that you have a new view every couple of minutes as the road twists and turns. Suddenly my attention was caught by some friendly, yellow flowers waving from a mountainside, so I turned off to find them.
Arriving at a point I’d visited before, but had turned back towards the coast after visiting, I mindlessly headed straight on and up after I’d taken these snaps. The road took me through the tangled, mysterious forest of the Garajonay National Park, but sadly there was too much traffic to make me want to stop. I’m so spoiled and wasn’t feeling friendly. I didn’t want to share my bit of paradise with a coachload of tourists. I know, I know. They have as much right as I to be there.
Arriving on the main road which runs through the opposite side of the Park, I took a right, to circle back to the north coast eventually. In my contentment I’d forgotten that this road would take me through the area devasted by forest fires a year and half ago. The first time I drove through this area, in October, I was utterly shocked. I knew it had suffered enormously, but the extent of the damage, acre after blackened acre, hadn’t registered on my small tv screen. Unlike the pine forests of Tenerife which were aflame around the same time, these forests aren’t comprised of trees which will recover. The barreness is sobering, and thought-provoking. The black was a stark contrast to the deep blue of the sky and the bright green of the spring undergrowth, watered by this winter weather.
Still not driving with any purpose except to feel at one with this beautiful day, I suddenly turned left and downwards. I spotted a signpost for Alojera, a part of the island I hadn’t yet visited. My impulse was rewarded by wonderful views of Teide rising from the ocean beyond the folded hills of northern Gomera. It still surprises me from just how many places on this island you can see Tenerife.
I’ve mostly come to the conclusion that I won’t see the profusion of spring flowers here that I saw in Tenerife last year. Last year was possibly exceptional in any event, but thinking about it, the masses of flowers were in meadows, and it seems to me that in La Gomera there are, quite simply, no flat lands. However, I was in for a very pleasant surprise as we dipped down, down, down towards the coast. Another impulse made me pull off the main road. I thought that I was heading for an abandoned building (always a good photo op), but what I found was the tiny village cemetary, and beyond it wild, yellow flowers tumbling down a hillside, which looked as if it had been used for cochineal production, so dense were the cacti.
The views over to the other side, away from the cemetary were no less spectacular. La Palma floated on the blue, and the skyline was dominated by two graceful wind turbines.
Now one of the joys of traveling with a dog is seeing her revel in new surroundings. Trixy would be a bloodhound if she could choose what kind of dog she wanted to be, and here there were so many new smells!
The coast proved to be the most spectacular yet, with deep ravines meeting the ocean, which crashed and whirled around the land.
Heading back I stopped to take a closer look at the wind turbines.
I love wind turbines. I think they’re graceful and kind of fresh and clean-looking. Perhaps my perception is affected by knowing that the energy they produce is cleaner than most, but I much prefer them to telegraph poles and electricity pylons.
Finally headed for home – because there were still those mountains to cross!