Sunday, 22 January 2012

Tenerife, Canary Islands – Part 2 – Los Gigantes, Icod de Los Vinos

First day of our “around-the-island” tour - Thursday. We got the car right after breakfast, so it was already too late to go to Loro Parque. We had our Pico del Teide access permits scheduled for Saturday. So we decided to visit the western part of the island first. 

We knew in general what we wanted to see there. And we were aware that we might have problems seeing it all. First of all, we wanted to see the cliffs of Los Gigantes. Second, we wanted to go on a boat trip to see dolphins. Third, we wanted to visit Icod de Los Vinos, but we didn’t know when to do it (combine it with Loro Parque? Are we gonna have enough time?). Four, we were open to any other suggestions. 

We chose a company we wanted to go on a boat trip with – Flipper Uno. We chose the time of the trip – 2.30 pm. (the other option was 11.30 am but because of the power of sun on the open ocean we chose the later hour. We thought it was much safer for our skins, or especially my bright one). The trip was to take 3 hours. We knew that we should buy the tickets earlier in order to get them. So right after getting the car we headed off to Los Gigantes. Wow, that was spectacular! You drive along the flat coast most of the way. Suddenly you get so high above water that it’s soooo unbelievable. The cliffs are breathtaking, amazing, spectacular… No words can describe that. You just have to see that. They’re up to 600 metres tall. It’s really amazing when you look at them from a distance seeing boats sailing next to them – so tiny, so vulnerable… But it makes even greater impression on you when you’re sailing right next to them… Wow! But I’ll get back to that later. 

So once again, we got to Los Gigantes – first the viewpoint on the top, then down to the centre. We bought the tickets for the trip and decided to head off to Icod de Los Vinos. We thought that we have 4 hours to go there, see the town and get back for the boat trip. We thought we had sooo much time. Boy, how wrong were we ;) Yet, we made it. But, first things first. We looked at the map, thought that the distance is not that far. Of course, we knew that the road goes through the mountains so there are lots of turns and twists ahead of us. Still, I had no idea it’s gonna be that tough for me… Nevertheless, it was all sooo worth the pain. The views on the way were… wow! And the northern part of the island was so totalny different from the southern part!

Icod de Los Vinos is a small town right behind a tunnel. You drive out of the tunnel and you’re almost right in Icod. What can you see there? Well, it’s most famous for El Drago Milenario – the oldest dragon tree said to be a thousand years old. In fact it's about 600 years old, but that's still impressive. 

Drago Milenario - see the tiny people next to it?

There is also a butterfly museum, haven’t seen one before, but we didn’t get in, we didn’t have that much time and weren’t that eager to see the butterflies ;) “Nobody ever suspects the butterfly” as Bart Simpson said it, so we didn’t take that risk ;) 

After the short walk around the centre of Icod (if I can call it like that), we got back to the car (very nice and quite cheap underground parking – I fancy it a lot for the fact that when we got back to the car it was nicely cold inside. Well, not Arctica or anything, but wasn’t Sahara either). 




We moved back to Los Gigantes for the BIG BOAT TRIP!  

There were already loads of people waiting to get on the boat. We got something to drink – one could choose from juices, water, beer and wine. All like settled in the “pirate style” (like the whole trip). We sailed off. Quite soon we got to see the first dolphins swimming around our boat. 


We could also see the island with Teide from the distance. After the so-called whale-watching, we started sailing along the cliffs to the place where the canyon from Masca ends. We got dinner on the way – paella, as far as I remember. We stopped there, but not at the coast. A couple of hundred metres from it. And another part of fun began. Whoever wanted to could jump into water from the ship. Of course, I did it. A couple of times really ;) That was a lot of fun. Me being the first girl to do it (one of two, as it turned out). All we were doing was keep in our hands a rope with a metal triangular bar at the end (I have no idea what it’s called, even in my own lg) and jump. Then, being as far away from the ship as possible, let go and dive into the ocean. Sounds a bit scary but was totally brilliant. And safe. After some time spent around there we headed off to the harbour. When the trip finished, we got to the car and drove back to Costa Adeje. A lovely day. Tiring. Still worth it.


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