Tenerife – climbing Mount Teide – by Paula

paulaI slowly put one foot in front of the other. But although I move with the speed of a slug, my heart beats fast and my breath goes fast, too. I only recognize the way in front of me, nothing else around me. Suddenly, I can see it, although one hour ago it seemed days away: the peak of the mount Teide. The last steps, even slower than the ones before. Then I am at the top of the world: 3718 metres above the sea level, the highest point of the Canaries and of Spain. The sky in the east is red and orange, in some minutes the sun will rise.

Our journey began the day before, when we stepped into the bus. We all had more or less large backpacks with us. In these bags there were warm clothes, food for two days and two and a half litre water per person. The bus carried us across the island of Tenerife, to the foot of the Teide.

The Teide is a volcano, and it is still active. But at the moment it is sleeping. After we got out of the bus, a girl of our group told us everything about volcanoes. The presentation was very impressive in front of the Teide, seeing a lot of the things we were told with our own eyes. It was time to start: we had to walk from 2200 metres to 3200 metres until it would be dark. So let’s go! Since we were so high above the sea level, we were supposed to walk much slower than we were used to. Besides, our teachers told us to drink a lot of water so we wouldn’t get a headache.
The landscape around us was very beautiful, even though there were nearly no plants. It was very stony and dry. The stones were surprisingly light. That was because they had come out of the volcano. When we got higher, the colours of the stones around us began to change. In the lower areas the main colours were orange and a kind of yellow. In the higher areas most of them were brown and gray. On top of that, on the Teide you can see some rocks which are shaped like eggs. So in the breaks near such rocks we climbed them and took some photos. In the evening, one after another arrived at the mountain cabin where we would stay one night. The view from there was great, you could see the different coloured stones, the clouds below us and even another Canarian island. But after the sunset it got cold outside, so we all went into the house. On this evening we all went to bed very early.

This was good, because for us the next day started at 4 o’clock. After we all got dressed with our warmest clothes, the temperature outside was only five degrees, we started to walk in the direction of the peak again. Although now we shared our backpacks and didn’t have to carry all our stuff, it got exhausting again because now we were even higher above the sea level than the day before. In the east the sky started to look like it would burn. When the sun would rise, we wanted to be on the peak. So when I saw the peak and it seemed to be hours away, I was a bit scared that we wouldn’t manage this. Then for a while you couldn’t see the top of the mountain at all. Because of this I was very surprised when suddenly it appeared again and there where only some metres to walk. Around seven o’clock, everyone of our group was there 3718 metres above the sea and the Thor Heyerdahl: 34 students, our teachers Dagmar, Kai, Anja, Hennes and Alex. We all had made it! The rising of the sun was magnificent and you could see the whole island from this point. We all were very happy about the sun because it was awfully cold up there. So after we had taken a lot of photos, the first of us began to walk the steep path down to the mountain hut again. There our breakfast was waiting for us. We were eating and resting in the warm sun, but at 11 o’clock it was time to start with the way back down. Since now we came closer to the sea level again, it wasn’t very exhausting any more. One view backwards to the peak again, unbelievable that we were really there this morning, then we went to the bus and drove to the Thor Heyerdahl again.

In my opinion, the visit of the Teide was the best thing we did in Tenerife. The Landscape was so beautiful and we were very lucky with the weather. I think we can be proud of us and it is really cool that everyone of us made their way to the top.