Living on the edge of an active volcano

I took a hike along an active volcano on the island of Tenerife, Canary Islands.

It was the most peculiar experience and also the most wonderful thing I have ever done.

Tenerife is one of seven islands which form the Canary Islands and is located approx 998km off the west coast of Africa; Morocco to be exact. And although they are solely owned by Spanish government, they are fairly independent with their own Canarian government.

Most of the islands within the Canary Islands contain one of more active volcanoes. Yes active. Which are closely watched by volcanologists (scientists who monitor Volcanoes), due to their constant activity. Particularly on Tenerife, where they keep a watchful eye. Rumour has it, it is overdue for an eruption.

So, of course, as soon as I arrived to Tenerife, I just had to experience this amazing adventure for myself. Even with the knowledge of knowing it may erupt soon. I’m not sure whether that makes me incredibly stupid or really really brave. LOL.

Feeling on top of the world - literally.
Feeling on top of the world – literally.

The name of the Volcano is Mount Teide.

From where I was staying in Los Cristianos, It’s about an hrs drive to the base of the mountain. The base of the mountain sits an elevation of approx 2356m above sea level, and you feel it. It wasn’t until the car was parked and I began to walk up to the cable car (which takes you higher up the volcano), you begin to feel the impact of the air pressure around you. The air feels thick and heavy, and your legs feel like they have been filled with concrete. Once adjusted though, probably after 5 minutes, my body felt back to normal again.

It’s a fast ride on the cable car, which whisks you up the mountain side to an elevation of approx 3555m above sea level. Again, you need to allow some time for your body to adjust to the altitude. At this level, it almost feels like your walking in a space suit. Not that I’ve ever worn one. It took my body around 10 minutes to adjust to the altitude. It just felt super weird.

There are 3 different walking tracks you can take along the base of Volcano, which slowly wind along some of the most spectacular views I’ve ever seen.

And if your feeling super adventurous, you can pay extra to make the long trek up to the summit of the volcano at 3718metres (12,198 ft). No, I didn’t take this option. I was happy with the views at 3555m. EEK! Did I mention I’m actually afraid of heights?

Now I did mention it’s an active volcano, so you do often smell sulphur along the way, as there are a few ventilation holes around, where you can see the fumes of the sulphur escaping. However, the walking tracks are not too close where the fumes will do you any harm – it just smells really bad. Like a bad fart hehe.

I highly recommend this adventure to anyone visiting Tenerife. Take the time and go visit Teide, you won’t regret it. Don’t stress if you don’t have a car though, as there are plenty of tour buses which take people up & down the mountain all day.

 

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