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Thursday, February 01, 2007

Almond Flower Route 2007

Almond BlossomThe notice board at the Albergue de Bolico - the rural hostel at the head of the El Palmar valley - brings us the news that, "Once again, the beginning of the year offers us the possibility to enjoy an emotional experience: the flowering of the almonds." And so it is.

The Tenth Edition of the Almond Flower Route is organized jointly by the Council of Culture at Santiago del Teide Town Hall, the Council for the Environment of the Tenerife Island Corporation, the Teno Rural Park, the company El Cardón and the Los Poleos association.

This year, due to the increase in participation in recent years, two guided walks are offered, on Saturday and Sunday, February 10th and 11th 2007, through the higher areas of Santiago del Teide, on an old footpath that runs from the village center to Arguayo. The spectacular sight of hundreds of almond trees, with their white blossoms and blue tinted leaves, can be seen in this singular landscape, marked by the lava flows left by the eruption of the Chinyero volcano in 1909.

Before arriving at Arguayo, the walk passes through the Valle de Arriba to reach El Calvario, which, according to reports by the local people, is where the Cristo del Valle (the valley's figure of Christ) stopped the lava flow that threatened to bury the houses.

The itinerary is of low difficulty and a duration of approximately four hours (09:00 to 13:00), which allows the visitor to enjoy the rich heritage of this part of the island, where once, the cultivation of almonds was an important part of the area's activities.

Bookings for the walk on Saturday, February 10th 2007, can be made via the Council of Culture at Santiago del Teide Town Hall, on 922 863 127.

For the second walk on Sunday, 11th February 2007, bookings can be made via the Central Booking office for Canary Islands Hostels, on 902 455 550.

There is also a X Concurso Fotográfico “Almendro en Flor" (Tenth Almond in Flower Photo Contest) to compliment the walks, with a top prize of 300 Euros. Also, all of the entries will be exhibited in the patio of Santiago del Teide's town hall between March 9th and 23rd - making a nice visit also for those who cannot make the walks.