A downhill forest trail.
The only bus back up to El Portillo departs the bus station at 9.15 and when we arrive there is quite a queue of walkers and mountain bikers, the Teide National Park is popular. The island’s buses are run by TITSA, an unfortunate name. They proved reliable, comfortable and user friendly with screens updating stops. We never payed more than a few euros for quite long distances, this morning’s journey was an hour long and rapidly ascended hairpins for 2000m. Coffee was soon being enjoyed in the sun at the cafe we had visited yesterday afternoon.
Crossing the road the GR131, still the Anaga-Chasna way, was picked up as a little track heading down rocky ground into the pine forest. The day was warm and sunny and it was a delight to be walking downhill on good tracks. The forest was varied with pines, tree heathers and strawberry trees. Occasional views down to the north coast appeared. We couldn’t find water at the whiteshrine near Barranco Siete Ojos, Cruz del Dornajito. The day drifted on as we followed the ample 131 signs. At times when we were on a good forest road our track seemed to disappear into the trees only to reach the track further on. It felt we were being kept off the easy trail, used by mountain bikers, in favour of smaller tracks. Towards the end we just followed the forest road to avoid unnecessary ups and downs.
We emerged onto the main road next to the entrance to the ‘Caldera’ a tourist hot spot and a few hundred metres of climbing through the trees brought us out at a bus stop for our return to Puerto de la Cruz. Easiest day yet and we would leave the Caldera till tomorrow. Within an hour we were back in the now familiar back streets and enjoying dinner and an early night.