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The Tajinaste trail in the National Park 

Sunday 12th June saw the 8th “Talk the Walk” organised by Andy Tenerife Walker of Tenerife Guided Walks for En Pie, the Mental Health Charity here in the Canaries.

En Pie do extraordinary work and no more so than on our own doorstep in Tenerife. They help people from all walks of life and all nationalities who suffer with mental health issues, from chronic depression to schizophrenia.

Andy Tenerife Walker is always pleased to help this very worthwhile cause, and to this end, Andy has been organising these Talk the Walks since August 2015 to help raise money for En Pie. The other aims of these walks is to help people experience our beautiful island whilst learning a little of each other’s language.

This Talk the Walk was another triumph on Andy’s part; the Tajinaste Trail in the National Park. Of course, this is a seasonal walk as the Tajinastes come into full bloom in April, May and June depending on the weather. They were rather early this year as we had a very mild winter, and so some of them were over or past their best.

Huge, spectacular Tajinastes echium wildpretii came into sight only 5 minutes in to the walk, their strange red conical shapes thrusting their heads up to 3m high into the air. Also known as the tower of jewels and tajinaste rojo by the locals, this bizarre but beautiful plant is endemic to Tenerife and mainly found in the subalpine zone of Las Cañades de Teide.

Andy took us off trail on a faintly defined path up and around a mountain which led to panoramic views over the coast and the islands of El Hierro, La Gomera and La Palma. Our path eventually led us to one of the fire-towers which are extremely well placed for observing vast amounts of landscape in order to spot any possible fire as soon as possible by watching for smoke. From here we followed the forest track for a couple of kilometres before descending back on to the plain, many other flowers were in abundance including several species of lavender and bright yellow sticky broom adenocarpus viscosus.

Needless to say, photo opportunities were plenty, and even though our numbers were somewhat depleted due to some of our regulars being on holiday, it didn’t detract from the enjoyment of the day and everyone had a thoroughly good time as always.

By Lynne Scaife