Wonderful Tenerife – Part 2 – An adventurous trek in Mesca gorge

This was my second day in
Tenerife. I had pre-decided to spend the day trekking on foot in the Mesca
valley. Mesca is a small village in the north-western part of the island with a
population of less than a 100 people. This hilly region of the island is known
as the Teno mountains. The Meska village is located at an altitude of about 600
meters in this mountain range. The region around the Teno mountains has a
semi-arid type of climate and is different from the other parts of the island
in terms of its weather and biodiversity. A trekking trail from Mesca leads you
down to the shore. The terrain surrounding this trail is popular with the tourists.
I started off from the hostel at dawn and 4 hours later, after changing buses 3
or 4 times I arrived at Mesca.

If I had a personal
conveyance, I would have easily made the journey in 1.5 hours. But I was not
ready to spend. Besides, the option of renting a vehicle was not available to
me for two reasons – lack of a valid European driving license and lack of
relevant driving skills and experience. So be it. Somehow I managed to reach Mesca.
The village was teeming with tourists. After satiating my hunger and thirst, I
started on my trek down the slope. No sooner had the descent started when a
large board with the danger sign popped up along the path. The risks associated
with the trek were clearly listed on the board. My heart skipped a beat and I
wanted to reconsider my decision. However, looking at the sheer number of
people going down the route, I threw all caution to wind and decided to take
the plunge (or rather, walk).

The terrain around Mesca village

A small brook flowed
alongside the trail. This is the Mesca spring. At times the brook ran along
innocently and playfully along the trail while at other times it surged and
thundered down the rocks like a waterfall.  
The brook criss-crossed the path a number of
times. Hence, many a times we, the trekkers, had to walk through puddles of
water. The rocks, made smooth and slippery by the flowing water, tested our
skill in maintaining our balance. As the path winded down the slopes, the
surrounding peaks appeared to loom taller and taller. At one point, the path
led down into a deep gorge. The brook with its rhythmic sound filling the air,
the cool breeze, the fierce peaks and the peaceful surroundings made me feel so
relaxed that I developed a strong desire to sit down and meditate for a while.
It also made me realize why Saint (Samarth) Ramdas must have chosen ‘Shivthar
Ghal’ for his meditation. However, at that moment, a group of trekkers appeared
on the scene. Their blabber and clamor wiped away all thoughts of meditation;
and I moved on.

The Mesca spring
A bit further down the dirt
trail, the path disappeared into the brook and the brook disappeared below a
huge boulder. Uh Oh! What do I do now? Did I wander away from the track? Do I
go on? I stood for a while trying to make up my mind and at the same time taking
in the beauty of surrounding. Meanwhile, the trekkers that I had left back caught
up with me. They too were travelling along the route for the first time and
were confused by the scenario. So we started discussing our options. It was
impossible to go around or climb the steep slope without proper rock-climbing
tools. One of the brave lads suggested that that we get into the water and look
past the boulder. Since we had no other choice, a few of us ventured into
knee-deep water to look beyond. A bit further down the track through the narrow
crevice below the boulder, we could see the light coming in from the opposite
direction and a group of trekkers walking ahead. In short, we realized that this
was the right route after all. Had the current of water been a wee bit strong,
it would have been impossible to move on along that route. The warning at the
beginning of the track now started to make sense.

The trail descends into the gorge

The rest of the trail was
easy. Eventually, we began to get a feel of the salty sea breeze. The trail got
relatively flat and sand started to creep into our shoes while walking. The signs
implied that we were getting close to the coast but the coast was nowhere in
sight. A cursory glance backwards brought into view the enormous Teno mountain
range. The tiny Mesca village nestled amongst the hills of the valley stood out
in stark relief. For a moment it was difficult to believe that we had traversed
such a long way down the valley. I carried out a bit of photography and moved
on. Just around the bend a lay surprise in wait … an azure sea stretched out to
meet us. There was much elation and my heart did a victory dance. The shore was
rocky and the foaming waves dashed on the rocks. The sheer cliffs of the
surrounding hills fell directly to the waterline and embraced the waves. In the
light of the setting sun, the scenery was mesmerizing. Meanwhile the boat
arrived. I had made a prior reservation for the return journey by boat from the
Mesca coast to the city of Los Gigantes. On reaching the city, I first took
care of my inanition and returned to the hostel. A full day’s adventure had
fatigued me out and I did not realize when I fell into a deep slumber.

The Mesca trail
For more pictures, click here

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