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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Tenerife for pharologists

La Farola del Mar, Santa Cruz de Tenerife

A note at the bottom of Colin Kirby's post about tram spotting in Tenerife, says, "Coming soon on hobby corner, Lighthouse bagging." Er what? Obviously, having lived on, if not under, a rock for 16 years, this new fetish hobby had passed me by. I had to check it out. And, surprise, surprise, it really is to do with lighthouses - well, you can never be sure - and Princess Anne is a regular anorak wearer and "champion pharologist", apparently.

The lighthouses of Tenerife are operated by the Autoridad Portuaria de Santa Cruz de Tenerife. And pharology tourists (a.k.a. lighthouse bagging holidaymakers) have quite a few lighthouses - 8 sites, some have 2 structures - to bag in Tenerife at: Punta de Abona, Punta de Rasca, Punta de Teno, Buenavista, Puerto de la Cruz, Punta del Hidalgo, Punta de Anaga and Santa Cruz de Tenerife Muelle Sur ("Farola del Mar") Not all are working.

The province of Santa Cruz, of which Tenerife is just a part, if you add in the islands of La Gomera, El Hierro, and La Palma, offer even more delights.

Probably the most famous lighthouse to bag on these islands, is the Faro de Orchilla (Punta Orchilla Lighthouse), in Frontera, El Hierro. It's an important lighthouse, because it was once the most westerly point of the "known world" and, from the 17th Century, was used to mark the zero meridian, until the British moved it to Greenwich in the 1880s.

List of lighthouses in the Canary Islands

Photo: CARLOS TEIXIDOR CADENAS [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons