Thursday, February 10, 2011

Tenerife, Spain: Day 4 - Free Day

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Walking through this park is a pleasant experience. This section of the park which includes a pond, fountains, and a playground covers 40,000 square meters. We always saw people strolling or jogging along the wide paths.

Besides being quite large the park is well maintained and that comes through straight off when you see signs like this one.

Today is our free day and we could not ask for better weather. Perhaps inland and up high it is cloudy and damp again (like yesterday was with mists shrouding our hike around Mount Negras and her lava fields) but down on the coast at Puerto de la Cruz it is clear, sunny, and warm.

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We enjoyed walking through the park with the views of Mount Teide way off in the distance. While we saw some people para-glding, more on that later, I don't think we saw anywhere near the number we had seen soaring on our first day.

Water features prominently in the park's design. Besides the pond and fountains there is this fantastic set of waterfalls cascading down by the 186 steps.

We spent the day strolling through the bustling streets of Puerto de la Cruz. This is a substantial town and it seems prosperous. The streets are clean, there are numerous shops of all types, and overall things seem very well put together. Leaving our hotel we walked once again through Taoro Park (not the official name but the name I am using) and down the 186 steps past the falling water feature (see the photo with Mom and Dad) and from there down into the heart of the town.

The highlight of the town has to be the sea wall that restrains the frothing surf of the aquamarine Atlantic Ocean. Today as we walked along the seawall we saw a couple people swimming in the clear, probably chilly, water. We also saw some people practicing with their paragliders in a parking lot. I suppose they were learning how to control them in a somewhat controlled environment (i.e., on the ground). When we left the seaside for the streets we found them full of shops of al types, cafes and other eateries, and plenty of people that seemed, overall, well off. It is clearly a thriving town.

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The surf of the Atlantic Ocean pounds agains a seawall that is I think made of lava rocks. It has a worn look but a solid one too. At times, though not this time, a wave will crash and boom as it strikes the wall sending spray high enough that it can mist over the wall itself and drench anyone passing by on the top of the sea wall. I believe a lot of the coastline of Tenerife is either cliffs, sea walls like this, or rocky beaches. There are a few sandy beaches, we saw a couple small black sand ones, but they're few and far between. Tenerife is not, I think, the island you would pick if you want a classic beach vacation.

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On the first day we saw numerous people flying their paragliders. Today we saw a couple people, like this fellow, practicing in the parking lot by the seaside carnival (I think that is what it was though everything was taken down at this point). There are quite a few lines that the person controlling the wing has to know how to use so practicing on the ground certainly makes sense.
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