Tenerife, Spain

An Island off the coast of Africa, Tenerife is a typical travel spot for German and English vacationers in winter. Since the climate remains on average between 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s essentially the European equivalent of the Bahamas.

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Palm tree on a beach by our hostel

I was traveling, for the first time, with a friend! Molly and I are both Americans in Madrid, and while the two of us knew nothing about the Canary Islands, we had similarly open attitudes towards adventure. One of our main struggles in booking the trip was deciding whether we should fly to Tenerife South or North.

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The beach by our hostel with a great view of la Montaña Rosa

Well, we ultimately realized how small the island really is when we wound up taking a bus from one end to the other, more on that later.

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Natural rock pools located a ten minute walk from our hostel

Los Amigos hostel had a big role in making our trip unforgettable. It was there we met lots of international adventurous friends who showed us around the island, taking us to see such incredible sights as the natural rock pools, gorgeous beaches, and taught us a cool ball game for the beach.

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Playing a fun game on the beach

But we’d arrived during the rainy season and without warning it started pouring. We ducked for shelter under these flimsy umbrellas (pictured above) and prayed that our cameras wouldn’t get wet.

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Exploring the beach

The storm passed and we continued exploring.

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The views were unbelievable

We passed some men fishing off of these rocks in the ocean. It was seriously picturesque.

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Fishing in the ocean

Day two involved a lot more endurance than the “beach vacation” we had originally planned for. Our new friend Daniel guided us through three different busses to cross the island, where we finally reached our destination, Anaga, a hike through the Macronesian Laurel Forest.

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Hiking through the forest

One of my absolute favorite parts of this hike was this “tour of the senses” that consisted of these plaques placed sporadically throughout the hike with these overly-poetic descriptions of the ambience, often translated so poorly so as to be incoherent. They advised us to “turn yourself into a weather station,” “feel the ground’s folds,” and to “Connect wiht the nature” [sic]. One plaque asked us to reflect on our feelings, other said that “if you close your eyes and walk in silence, a door will open in your mind wich will put you in close contact with nature in this special area.”[sic]. It was so great.

But for real, this place was spectacular.

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The view from our hike in Anaga

Though it was hard to “close your eyes and walk in silence,” where the path was a muddy trail filled with other explorers, the experience was special and I’d never seen such unique and ancient natural formations as the view we reached at the peak of our hike.

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Surreal experience looking out across the mountains in Anaga

Finally, we did get a chance to relax on the beach for a while before the rain struck again. The sand on this beach was imported from the Sahara.

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Sincerely a special vacation. ✿

Annie Rubin

Annie proudly knows all the lyrics to Joni Mitchell's album Blue. When she's not writing, you can find her reading about intersectionality, drinking Lorelai-Gilmore-levels of coffee, and exploring the world.

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