I never thought I would be very attached to nature, especially, to mountains. They remind me the feeling of being, alive.
Most of the times, I am a ‘metropolitan’ traveler, wandering from one city to another, exploring the culture, architecture, people, and all the urban mysteries. I did appreciate the beauty of nature but never felt attached to it.
Things are different now.
I started feeling the urge to be surrounded by nature, going into the woods, mountains, diving in the sky and floating on the ocean. I start feeling more like me, while in nature.
This is something I can’t explain. Jean-Paul Sarte once said: “The more sand that has escaped from the hourglass of our life, the clearer we should see through it.” Maybe that’s it, aging isn’t bad after all, it reveals a new side of you.
The trip to Tenerife started somehow random. I came across a picture of Mount Teide and started reading an article about the mountain, then I just booked the flight tickets. It turned out to be one of the best ‘fast’ decisions in my life. Tenerife has its own magic, being solo outthere brought me to even more magical moments. Full of Germans and Dutch as well.
I had a really lovely apartment right beside the best beach, but most of the time I went into the mountains. So it wasn’t about the beach, although I did love the black beach there very much. I ended up with days of hiking, intense for a never super sportive person like me.
There is simply too much to see, also because I was kinda lost on the first hike in Teide National Park and the surrounded mountains. Now it feels like it was meant to be. It was a real ‘solo’ hike, I did not see a single person or an animal or an insect for hours. The rawness, silence, and prettiness of this solo journey really made me feel, me. Sometimes I find it hard to be in moments like those, when you are just with you, physically and mentally.
There was also magic. I stopped to look up to the sky and the cliffs a few times, and it was absolute stillness. It felt like the world is still around but it was paused, even me was paused. I did not hear my own breath or heartbeats. I never experienced those moments before in life. I, unfortunately, did not reach the top of the volcano. Apparently, you need a permit to climb up and the permits are reserved months in advance, nothing left for a spontaneous person like me. But the way up and the park already worth days of exploration.
Teide was raw, it felt a bit lifeless sometimes, but it could bring the truest feelings out of you. Other mountains on the island are a bit greener and more alive, although they are not easy to conquer. One day I was in Masca gorge visiting the small and remote village Masca, the roads were so winding and narrow, yet beautiful. This village used to inhabit hundreds of people, now only 60-70 people are left. Most of them work with tourists. There is a strenuous hiking route, starting from the village, ending at the black beach on the Atlantic Ocean. It is strenuous not because of its length, but because there is hardly ‘walking’ path. A lot of times, I was climbing over and under the stones and plants. Got bruises over my toes and muscle pain for a few days, but every single scene along the way, was unforgettable. I once again felt connected with the nature.
However, nature isn’t enough for everyone t0 live a life here. Most people live in Masca are older generations, they are too old to farm, tourism then became their main income. Luckily many tourists come to visit and challenge themselves with the hike. The younger generations want to explore something bigger, something more exciting, they left the village to bigger cities, even outside of the island.
Tenerife has extraordinary things to offer, but they do not see, not yet. Maybe when more sand has escaped from our hourglasses, we will all see.