Sunday, March 13, 2016

Echium callithyrsum, blue candles of Gran Canaria, second go

Tajinaste azul

Last year I found these beautiful blue flowers for the first time, but I set out to look for them a bit too late. This year I wanted to make sure I catch them at the peak of flowering.

So as soon as I spotted some photos of them on facebook, I started to plan my next visit. The biggest colony of them is (still) at Tenteniguada, so I went there. It was cloudy in Las Palmas but as the bus approached the village, the sun came out. It was playing hide-and-seek all the time I was there. It seemed that donkey's belly, the cloud cover of the north, ended just about above Valsequillo.

I am happy to report that finding bushes in full bloom was no problem. You don't even need to walk very far. If you start at Rincon de Tenteniguada, you have about 20 minutes to walk before you see first plants, and then it looks like they go for a goodish while. I went along the route towards "Presa de Cuevas Blancas" again, and there is a lot of plants there. Wikipedia claims that there are even more on the route to the Caldera de Los Marteles, but I can't be sure.

Roque Grande and Roque del Pino (I believe)

Because of the bus schedule, I spent just over two hours there. I think the pics that follow demonstrate nicely how fast the weather can change.

Full sun, beginning of the walk

A bit of blue sky still visible

Everything's gone

Another thing that I am happy to report is that there is a small bar open right next to the bus stop. I don't think it was there last year. I had about twenty five minutes free, so I came in there in search of water and maybe something to eat.

There was a couple of guys firmly planted by the bar. It looked like they have been sitting there for a while, because there were some empty glasses and dishes in front of them. One of them was wearing some sort of uniform - maybe electrician or mechanic. They were obviously in no hurry, sitting there, chatting. Everything about them said "we live here".

An energetic-looking woman in a waxed coat came in, went up to the bar and started asking them about some circular route that apparently exists and starts right there. The two exchanged vacant looks. The woman exhaled noisily and exasperatedly, run out of the bar and came back a minute later, carrying her mobile where she just made a snap of a map next to the bus stop. That prompted them into vague recollection "ah, that barranco! yeah, my granny used to go there... or maybe not, I dunno, but I think it's that way, or what do you think? yeah probably". So off the lady went. One of the guys took his own mobile out, fiddled with it for a while, and said to his friend: "You know what? We sent her wrong way". "Oh. Well, run-run, maybe you can catch her still". Of course, he didn't run, that would be completely out of character, but he did step out of the bar for a moment, came back and said "nah, she's gone".

I think even if he did run, he had no chance, she did look very energetic. It was a meeting of two realities with distinctly different tempi.

When I was leaving, they were still chatting and weren't going anywhere.

Canarina canariensis. Can you get any more canarian than that?

Practical details: You can get to Tenteniguada from Telde on Global bus number 13, or you can drive of course. If you do go on the bus, choose the one that goes to "Casas del Rincón". The ones that go to Tenteniguada itself are also good, but you will have to walk for longer, another 20 minutes, and all the walking there is quite steep. Once there, look for the path signs, if you can't find one, look harder, they are there, I saw them.

Flora of Gran Canaria pics - here

No comments: