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Guimar

Pyramids, Pottery and Plants

sunny 30 °C
View Tenerife 2012 on Grete Howard's travel map.

The original plan was to spend today at Loro Parque with the world's largest penguinarium, but a chance conversation with a lady on the whale watching trip the other day revealed that, although the rest of the park is fabulous, the penguin pool is in fact closed for restoration at the moment. Evidently as much of a penguin fan as I am, she was bitterly disappointed, just as I would have been had we made the two hour journey to see the (invisible) penguins.

So, instead, as I mentioned yesterday, we spent the best part of the day at the mysterious pyramids of Guimar, and the extremely interesting Thor Heyerdahl museum. Convinced that the ancient Egyptians sailed to South and Central America way before the Europeans 'discovered' the Americas, he also believes they stopped off in Tenerife and has gathered a lot of compelling evidence. The step pyramids at Guimar being a large part of course, but also similar pottery and the art of trepanning (drilling a hole in the skull to remove pressure without disturbing the brain) which was only practised in the ancient world in Egypt, Mesopotamia and Peru/Mexico. And by the Guanches, the original inhabitants of Tenerife. Coincidence? I think not. The same goes for mummification as we saw evidence of in the museum yesterday. The pyramids here in Tenerife were more used for sun worship than as burial chambers, and are flat-topped step pyramids, lined up towards the sun at summer solstice. Contained in beautiful grounds, we were for a long time the only humans around the pyramids, along with several cats, literally hundreds of lizards and a cute little rabbit.

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The Ruta Botanica Canaria and Jardin Secret is a tranquil botanical garden specialising in poisonous and medicinal plants. Well labelled in Spanish, English and Latin, parts of the park were still very new and lacking established and mature plants, but nevertheless it was interesting to read all about the use of poison in medicine and crime over the years.

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Avoiding the motorway, we took another narrow, winding, road back, zig-zagging its way along the hillside, with stone bridges over deep ravines, and the sides lined with gated caves, which were once lived in but now used mainly for storage.

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Later we passed an amazing wind and solar farm. Great use of the otherwise barren landscape.

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Only one thing left on my Must-Do list now (which is just as well as we go home tomorrow): churros. I'd seen a churrario not far from the hotel, but it was alas closed for refurbishment. Driving along the coast road back to our hotel, we stopped at a cute little resort called San Blas. With more of a 'centre', and more shops and restaurants than Golf del Sur, it was still almost deserted. No sign of any cafés selling churros, so when we stopped for a very refreshing iced coffee, I asked the English waitress where could buy my much desired sweet. I was rendered speechless when she asked: “What's that?” I could buy steak and kidney pies, sausage and chips and apple pie, but she had never even heard of what I was led to believe was a traditional Canarian speciality. Oh well, the iced coffee was delicious and rather cooling on a hot afternoon and I suppose I could always go to Chiquitos in Bristol when I get back home for my churros.

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Delicious iced coffee

I was determined to give my swimsuit an outing on this trip, so when we got back to the hotel we went for a quick dip in the pool. A few children were playing about in the kiddies' pool, but we had the big free-form pool to ourselves. There were, however, enough people about to give the place a bit of an atmosphere, but still plenty of free sunbeds around. It seems May is a quiet time to visit Tenerife.

Tonight's Last Supper will be prawns in white wine, cream and garlic, served with rice. With just two small cooking rings, my gastronomic repertoire is rather limited. Cooking on electric has certainly made me appreciate the instant-ness of my Induction Hob at home! We've been 'enjoying' rather well-done bacon every morning, as I haven't yet got used to how long it takes for the frying pan to heat for the eggs...

Posted by Grete Howard 10:06 Archived in Spain

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