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All content copyright 2010 by Chelsea Biondolillo. Seriously.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Day 15: Tenerife - Anaga north, laurisilva forest

I am recovered almost completely.

Today we hiked through the laurisilva forest on the north side of the Anaga refuge. In our first hike we saw traces of this tertiary forest system that gave way to pine forest and then scrub. But today, we walked through giant ferns and mossy tree branches and heard a LOT of birds and saw many lizards.

I felt fine, but after dinner, I learned that I was not in fact fine at all. So I will be turning in early (again) in the hopes that my last day in town is cramp-free.

For your viewing pleasure, some of today's wildlife.

Laurisilva trail with laurels (natch) and ferns

A rare glimpse down at the sea through the trees

I don't remember the name of this plant, but if you see it, you know you're in laurisilva

Pretty, but invasive

Tenerife Lizard (gallotia gallotii)

Definitely not a Blue Chaffinch

Canary Skink

Canary Gecko

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Day 14: Tenerife from bed

My view, all day, was of the bottom of the top bunk. Sick sick sick. It's not travel without a little misadventure, right?

OR... Rick Steve's Quick Weight Loss plan: "Drink the water!" (Note: I did not drink the water.)

Today was a lecture day. The rest of the group stayed in as well, listening to policy lectures, so I didn't miss any actual adventures--just a lot of useful information. Luckily I asked someone to record the lectures for me.

In lieu of pictures, here are two Guanche legends from Tenerife:

The devil, Guayote, was jealous of the sun god, Magec, and so he imprisoned him inside of Teide volcano--bringing darkness to the world. The Guanches pleaded with the god of gods, Achamán, for relief from the endless night. Thus Achamán came to fight Guayote. He eventually won, and light was returned to the world, while Guayote was doomed to simmer angrily in the belly of the mountain. At night, he would roam the countryside as a huge black dog, eating people and livestock alike.
During long droughts, all of the people would abstain from food, dancing, and other frivolousness. They would take their sheep and goats to sacred, high places and separate the kids and lambs from their mothers. Then the people would cry along with the upset animals in the hopes of melting the heart of Achuhucanac, the rain god. Several of these special places are still called Bailadero or Baladero, which comes from the Spanish "balar", to bleat.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Day 13: Tenerife - Teide volcano and more sickness

Some hiking, some nauseousness. All in a day's living out of country.

My queasiness is actually fairly monumental at this point. Since very little instruction happened today, just amazing views of volcanic rock formations, here they are and here I go.

Some amazing roadside striations (of pumice and basalt)

Hiking to the top of an old peak

The view from most of the way up (the island of Gran Canaria can be seen across the sea and through the clouds)

Teide peak

The view of the caldera rim from the almost peak of Teide

More view from the nearly-top. Glittering ocean out there...

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Day 12: Free day, sick day

Today was a free day and many of us were sick. Including me. While everyone else's troubles seemed to be... digestive in nature, mine were of the more fluish variety. I have been shivering and aching all day. We are all really hoping it wasn't the completely delicious yet raw and unregulated goat cheese we ate yesterday.

I gotta climb a volcano tomorrow, so I hope I feel better.

My New Year's Resolutions

  1. Create as many shitty first drafts as possible
  2. Move every day
  3. Read nonrequired texts often
  4. Write more letters to friends