7th February 2013 Chavao

On 6 February we planned to have a walk the following day with Carol, John, Punto & Polka at Erques followed by an afternoon meal at the Adeje chicken restaurant. But holly's cold got worse, Polka lost a claw and could not go for a walk so we cancelled. The next day holly was feeling better so we planned to go for a short walk and have a meal at the Chinese in the evening. Holly said number 81 on the menu would be appropriate for me although we had no idea what it was. We drove through Vilaflor. Before reaching Boca Tauce, the entrance to the caldera at Ucanas de Ucanco, we began to see the effects of last Augusts' forest fire. We took the turning to the left, TF38, a very straight road over the black lava.

We would have parked at the beginning of the walk to Chavao but the two parking spaces were taken. We drove on to the viewpoint parking on the left where there was plenty of space. By that time the car was making funny noises so we said we would check the oil & water on our return from our walk. It was 11am.
We walked back along the road and started our walk where signposted on the right-hand side. It was a level vehicle track barriered off so we couldn't have driven along it. 

The Roques del Cedro and Montana del Cedro were quite spectacular when seen up close.


We had a good view towards Teide and Pico Viejo, where the last eruption in the Teide caldera took place in 1798. The large quantity of lava which flowed out is called Lavas Negras and nearly reached the wall of the caldera. The track runs between the lava, which piles up about 20 ft high, and the Roques and Montana del Cedro.

The track climbs not too steeply upward to the top of Barranco del Chavao. Two footpaths are closed at this point for restoration but the track continues on gently downwards along the side of the barranco. At 1pm we rested in the shade of a tree and had our packed lunch. Most of the trees had been burnt in the forest fire and are regenerating, but not all. We continued on until the track took a left-hand hairpin bend, and as it was increasing in gradient downwards we decided we had gone far enough.

Holly decided to go for a pee but soon came back from behind the bushes saying she had just spotted a fire look-out tower on the hill above.
After that 2 council vans, a council lorry and a group of German hikers came by,    no chance. We walked back to the road and the view point parking spot and checked the oil and water. All OK. It was about 3.30.

Holly started driving home but after a short while started an intermittent high pitched whine and occasional low sounding groans from the gearbox. She nursed it out of the caldera and up the first kilometre of the road to Vilaflor. From there on we knew it was all downhill to El Medano.
Holly found that with her foot on the clutch the horrible sounds stopped so she drove like this for a long while until her leg ached. Below Vilaflor we phone John and told him of our predicament. He said he would met us near San Isidro if we could make it that far.
We then realised that the car, named The Silver Hornet, ran just as well in neutral, regulating speed with the brakes. Although the downward slope would have allowed us to so, we dare not go too fast.
At one point we were overtaken by a cyclist! In in order not to cause congestion holly pulled in to let any following cars overtake. Luckily there were not many. 
We avoided going through through the main street of Granadilla by taking a one way steep downhill small bypass road.
We met John in his van as arranged. He drove the car and holly drove the van back to his house, with its very welcome loo.
Holly had driven over16 kilometres with no engine!!!!
John inspected the engine once home and said it had blown a gasket and had sprayed oil all over the place.
We had an impromptu evening meal with John and Carol at the Caballo Blano, the White Horse, in El Medano, and they took us to our apartment. The next day the poor car was 'grua-ed' ( breakdown vehicles are called gruas here ) to the car dump.

 Quite a eventful 81st birthday for me.

The poor car in better days

Other photos taken on 7th February 2013

Roques  del Cedro

We thought the top of these rocks looked like a little house with a rectangular door and a balcony.


Roques del Cedro

Crumbling rocks

Trees recovering from fire in August

Tracks down Barranco del Chavao showing many burnt trees


View of Pico Viejo with Teide in the background


The 1798 eruption 

Panorama Roques del Cedro







El Sombrero and El Sombrerito

More photos

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