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21 November 2009

Could be Tenerife, could be the moon...

Heidi and Casey and Anne took a day trip off to the middle of the island to go see the volcanic mountain that's the highest peak in Spain - El Teide. Wild Tigris - Trip to El Teide, Tenerife Driving up from the coast, we first were in the coastal-desert-like surroundings we'd gotten used to from bopping around Santa Cruz. As we climbed, though, suddenly we were surrounded by a beautiful pine forest made up primarily of the Canary Pine, and incredibly long-needled pine. The road, built along a huge ridge that runs up the central axis of the island, brought us back and forth to views of the southeast coast, and then the northwest coast, and occasional views of the mountain towards which we were heading. Wild Tigris - Trip to El Teide, Tenerife Just as suddenly as the change from dry scrub to forest, we drove out of forest... and onto a near moonscape. The whole central part of the island, apparently, had been a huge volcano, which became unstable and slid off into the ocean to the north/west coast of the island. Later, another period of eruptions caused the current mountain to form in its place. Wild Tigris - Trip to El Teide, Tenerife The bulk of the mountain, almost hiding the top, symmetrical cone. Wild Tigris - Trip to El Teide, Tenerife We took a tram up to the base of the final cone; this shot is looking down along a lava flow down the mountain face. The whole valley down below is what is leftover from the original volcano-slides-into-the-ocean event, with various other lava flows and smaller cones inside. Wild Tigris - Trip to El Teide, Tenerife The final cone at the top of the mountain. The top is 3,718 meters above sea level. We think the top of the tram station was at around 3,600 meters. The view was incredible. A most amazing and wonderful trip.