Tenerife is a Spanish island located east of the coast of Morocco, it is about 81 kilometers long and 45 kilometers wide. It just doesn’t sound that impressive to get lost on such a tiny island, I know!! And yet, we did get lost while heading to the Lunar Landscape and it was overall an interesting and somehow beautiful experience…
The hike to the Lunar Landscape
I had read about the Lunar Landscape, had seen pictures and knew I wanted to go. On internet, I had found out that “The hike “Paisaje Lunar” is an easy and fantastic walking tour (about 4 hours) in the pine tree forest in the south of Tenerife.”
When we finally arrived on the parking lot it was around 3PM, we saw the sign that recommended to start from Vilaflor, looked at the map, it was supposed to be around 6km so we thought we had plenty of time. We went back to the village, parked our car, found the start of the path and finally started hiking.
It was December, the weather was pleasant, warm but not too hot. The conditions were perfect for a lovely walk. M. A & I were not in super shape, exhausted by weeks of preparation of our move, but still fit enough, or at least so we thought… The hike is not by any standard an “easy walking tour”! The path is absolutely lovely and you are indeed surrounded by a beautiful pine forest which lets you admire the ocean from time to time but it is quite hard and very steep most of the time. So when we started wondering if we had enough time to do the full trail that day or if we should come back, the first thing that motivated me to keep on was to not have to climb again all we had already climbed!
The sun seemed to race against us and was setting down much faster than we were going up. We were enjoying the scenery but were both also starting to stress a bit… in silence! Getting tired and hungry, I realized that it’s kind of funny how hungry you can get, when you have almost no food with you and ideas that you might get lost, are starting to pop in your head.
We made it to the Lunar Landscape and wished we could have stayed longer and wander around because it is truly beautiful. And of course, we had the place to ourself which always makes experience like this more special! But the sun had completely disappeared and the sky was becoming dark, very quickly.
We headed down. The path was still as pleasantly beautiful and, somehow, the dark was making every remaining patch of light more special. It was almost romantic… for about 1 km! As the dark was also making it more difficult to walk, we choose to not take the second part of the path which was going back down to the village. It would have been quicker but also more dangerous, so instead, we followed the road leading back to the parking. And that’s when our pleasant 6km walk transformed into a 20km expedition!
When things go wrong… in your head!
And… that’s also where it got interesting! When you spend so much time in the dark, in the middle of forest, your mind start wondering about “things”: Is there any wild & dangerous animals on the island? What was that noise? Did you hear it? Who is going to notice that we have disappeared? No-one knows we are here… Should we post something on Facebook? But of course there is no network, it’s not even possible to call someone… Did you see this? Is there someone, there, hiding? If we get lost and starve, will M. A share the last bite to save me? If I hurt myself, will he carry me or leave me there?! And so on… Some thoughts are more shameful than others but really the wildest ideas can cross your mind!!!
But we finally reached the parking lot and our fears vanished. We hopped a car would drive by and take us back to the village, but no one came. It was only 3 more kilometers so after what we had done, it wasn’t scary anymore as we could see the lights of the village getting closer and closer.
We reached our car safely and somehow proud to be alive!
Looking back, we were probably in no real physical danger but we learned a lot about ourselves that night and that can be scary too.
It’s finally completely dark 😉
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