I woke up on this glorious morning feeling like my legs were ready for another long island hike. After my last hike during my first week in Tenerife left me walking funky for a few days (results of hiking UP a mountain for hours), I was ready to have another go at it. I prepared my backpack with water and snacks and such and hopped on the bike to head to the bus stop. This island is shaped like a pyramid… and since I live close to the coast most of my adventures require some sort of uphill activity. Getting to the bus stop is a 15 minute bike ride uphill. The bike ride alone leaves me hot and sweaty! So cute. I joke that if my ass isn’t in the best shape after two months on the island I was doing something wrong!
As I boarded the bus I had to let the driver know where I was getting off… I THOUGHT I pronounced the town “Las Canteras” rather clearly but he looked at me confused. So I repeated myself which elicited an even more confused look. Luckily I had the owner of the hostel write the name on a piece of paper so I quickly fished it out and showed the driver who replied “Ahhh LAAAAAAA Caaaaanteraaaaa” and promptly charged my bus pass. I’ve become quite used to people not understanding my American accent. Spanish is more of a rolling language whereas I’m used to enunciating my words more sharply (otherwise it sounds like I’m mumbling). I’ll get this Spanish thing down eventually – even though it hurts my brain and leaves me tongue tied haha!
It was a quick ride to the stop where I needed to get off and catch another bus that would transport me up the mountain to my starting point at Cruz del Carmen. As I neared the second bus stop I took a glance at the schedule posted on the pole and realized there was a THREE hour gap in the schedule… it was 11am and the next but didn’t arrive until 1:30pm!! DAMN. Considering I had nothing but time on my hands I figured I would just walk up to the starting point (I had driven the road with a friend over the weekend so I had a rough idea where to go – plus its only one road that leads there so I figured it was easy enough – right?). Life lesson… always check the bus schedule!
Five minutes into the walk I saw the sign that said “Cruz del Carmen 6km” – I quickly did a conversion to miles in my head (roughly 3.5 miles) – ALL uphill. OK LINDSAY – lets DO THIS! Ten minutes into the walk and I was glistening with sweat and day dreaming about someone stopping to pick me up and offer me a ride to the top. The hot island sun was roasting me as I making my way up the mountain. Not even two minutes later a white car pulled up next to me and the young man rattled something off in Spanish. I said “Cruz del Carmen” and pointed up the mountain and he smiled and started moving stuff off the passenger seat and shook his head yes.
Heck yea Law of Attraction!! I climbed into the car and managed to gather that the guy’s name was Pedro and he lived in the south of the island (and also smelled impeccable). Aside from that it was a LOT of hand gestures trying to communicate – he didn’t speak English and my Spanish is well… ya know. He was very smiley and all seemed nice. Two minutes up the mountain, he pulled off at a viewpoint and we got out of the car. I snapped a quick photo before he motioned that he wanted to leave – way to enjoy the view buddy!! We were barely here for 30 seconds! As we were headed back to the car he came closer and closer to me and was commenting on how tall I was – using hand motions of course (I was taller than him. I’m 5’10” and he was about 5’8”). He stepped even closer to me and put his hand on the small of my back and giggled… then as I walked away he brushed his hand against my butt. OH GREAT – this is about to get interesting haha!
My backpack was still in his car so I climbed in the passenger seat to retrieve it. Not even thirty seconds later he reached his hand around the back of my neck and was pulling me in for a kiss – WTF??????? WHO TRIES TO MAKE OUT WITH A PERSON THREE MINUTES AFTER YOU MEET THEM? Not even in my drunk sorority days did I ever have that happen lol! I swiftly placed my hand in front of my mouth and said “NO NO NO NO NO” – thank the frikkkkkkkkkkkin lord that NO is the same in English and Spanish! He looked at me confused… then tried pulling me in again – like he just couldn’t understand why I WOULDN’T want to make out with him. After the second attempt he whipped out his phone and went to work at typing a message in a translator.
His message? “But you are so beautiful. Why not just one kiss?”
Oh geez. Here we go… Lucky for me I had downloaded two Spanish language apps that morning and the one had a section on Dating & Relationships. I pointed to the “I have a boyfriend” statement and he gave me a disappointed look. He replied be asking me why I was alone. All I could manage to say was he was with his kids. I guess it worked because he left it at that but then was writing me some strange messages I was having a tough time deciphering even with the translator. I eventually pieced it together that he was heading back down the mountain and I needed to go up. YES THIS IS MY OUT! I said thanks and jumped out of the car, and got to walking back up the mountain road.
Overall there was no harm done… just a curious Spanish fella trying to get a little foreign love. The viewpoint was crawling with tourists so if anything had gone south I could have just punched him in the face and screamed. Life lesson…. Don’t get in cars with strangers unless you know how to speak the language.
Eventually I made my way up to the starting point at Cruz del Carmen and briefly stopped for a water break before heading out on the trail. At first I was a bit disappointed at the scenery… the first 4-5k was a wide dirt road/path lined with trees on either side. I don’t mean to sound like a hiking snob but I like at least SOMETHING to look at. Eventually the trail became much more rugged as it zig zagged down the side of the mountain. I came across a couple cave houses… and only passed one other person on the trail. I love remote hikes like these where you can just be one with your thoughts and nature!
Once I reached my ending point in Bajamar I was ready for a cold bevie and some relaxation so I stopped at the market to pick up a cold one and headed to the beach area. After walking 17k I was ready to veg for a bit. I took a swim and enjoyed my drink in the sun for a couple of hours before heading to La Laguna for the weekly Couchsurfing meetup. I arrived a bit early so I ducked into the used book store to buy a few novels written in English. For years I read only non-fiction and saw reading as a way to learn more (mostly about health, business, personal growth etc..)… but now that I’m on the road and have limited access to books in English where I am (I’m still old school and prefer physical books over the digital versions) – I’ve started reading novels again and it’s such a great way to relax and escape!
I sat at the café reading by myself for a bit before people started showing up… we ended up being a very large group! I chatted with a few of my friends before being introduced to a fellow American! This guy was the first American I met who was also living/working on the island. He was a young college guy from Seattle who was living on the island for a month as an au pair/teaching English. He was enjoying some travel before heading to dental school in Colorado in the fall. It was nice to simply chat with someone and not have to worry if my accent was interfering.
And there ya have it. Another adventurous and memorable day on the island!
Photos: Viewpoint (aka site of the hand-to-ass contact), just me and the mountain road, the path at the beginning, the more rugged trail