Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Tenerife - Los Roques de García (Roque Cinchado)

As it was our second wedding anniversary we treated ourselves with a stay in a Parador hotel before climbing Mount Teide. Apart from the fact that it is the hotel at the highest altitude in the whole island and therefore staying a night here helps to acclimatise it has another advantage, there are Los Roques de García right in front of it! As soon as we checked in we went to explore these famous rocks.

Los Roques are a string of crazy, bizarre but seriously awesome volcanic rocks that stick out from the middle of the Ucanaca plain. Looking like they were shaped by a mad giant with some artistic talent they dominate the landscape. Walking around them made us feel very small, not only because of their sheer size but also because it made us think about the power of nature that can create a landscape like this.

The story of the Rocks takes us back to the time when the surrounding volcanoes were born. When the sides of two of these were pushed together a huge amount of material was pushed up from the depths of the Earth. As soon as this happened the water, the wind and the ice quickly started sculpting them with their erosive action. Thanks to these unique conditions a range of different rock types surfaced during different volcanic eruptions and were pushed together. These all have a different consistency therefore erode at a different speed.

The best example for this is right at the beginning of the trail at the Mirador de Roulette.  The famous rock called ´God´s finger´ stands seemingly defying gravity but it will eventually collapse on itself. So go and see it now while it´s still standing! Mount Teide provides a great background for the photo.

After you fight your way through the crowd of tourists who only come to take that certain photo you will soon find yourself alone in the shadow of the Roques. The trail No. 3 is a short and easy one with spectacular views at every step. It gradually descends down to the plain only going through about a 100m level difference however you will have to make this up on the last few meters of the walk. I would say give it about 1,5 – 2 hours to give yourself time for the ‘standing with my jaw dropped’ moments and to all the 325 photos you will likely take.    

Another ‘star’ of the Roques is the Cathedral which you will see toward the end of the route. This mini-mountain is a bit further away from the rest of its friends, not joined together like them, and sticks out of the plain demanding all the attention to itself.

The trail is well marked and easy to follow. Make sure you have plenty of water and sun cream as the sun can be harsh. If you need more info on this walk check out this website. If your Spanish is not up to this level use Google Translate to help you.

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