The islands of eternal spring. Tenerife and La Palma. Surfing, volcanic eruption, food.
*A quick but informative intro* Hi! This is Tenerife, the largest island of the Canarian archipelago, and an absolutely mind-blowing place. Tenerife This is Tenerife. This, this, and this are also Tenerife. This is the sunset over Tenerife, and this is the night sky. Yeah, the same place. This is the highest mountain in Spain.
This is delicious seafood, and this is me going surfing. Tenerife is famous for all of the above. And this is not Tenerife, this is another island in the Canaries. In fall of 2021, it was one of the most dangerous places in Europe.
It's really hard to breathe here. Though, it's not actually in Europe. This is a satellite image of the Canary Islands, where you can clearly see that they’re quite far from Spain, which they are a part of.
Geographically, the Canaries are rather closer to Africa. Spain Also Spain Africa The thing is that the Spaniards colonized this archipelago in the 15th century, and since then no one could take it away from them. And nowadays, legally, it's pretty much Europe. So I took a 4-hour technically domestic flight from Barcelona to Tenerife North Airport. Barcelona Tenerife It is located in Santa Cruz, the largest city on the island.
It's a home of 200,000 people, but I wasn't planning on staying here. Santa Cruz de Tenerife From here, I immediately go to the southern part of the island. To do this, I bought a one-day bus pass for 10 euros.
Public transport is not the strongest side of the Canaries, to put it mildly. Buses are rare and only go through the main towns. It's gonna be quite hard to navigate the island without a car. On the way to the south, two things caught my eye in particular.
The first is the unusual volcanic terrain. And the second is an astonishing number of wind turbines. And they are not just here to look eco-friendly. 60% of electricity in Tenerife is produced
from renewable sources, namely solar and wind. And this is a very impressive number considering that it has a population of almost a million people. All in all, the Canary Islands are a very progressive place in terms of green energy. And while we are on the road anyway, let me tell you about another island, El Hierro.
60% of electricity from wind turbines and solar panels El Hierro This volcanic patch of land is much smaller than Tenerife. There are only 10,000 people living here. In 2015, something unique occurred here: for the first time in history, the island was able to meet 100% of its energy demand with renewable energy sources.
To do this, they came up with a system of generators that support each other. When the wind is strong enough, it supplies electricity to everything, including pumps that push water into reservoirs on the mountain. And as soon as the wind subsides, the floodgates open, and the water, flowing into the lower reservoirs, turns the turbines of the hydroelectric power station. Of course, it's difficult to pull this off on a larger scale, but this is a very important engineering step. 100% electricity from renewable sources Meanwhile, the bus is already approaching my southern stop.
My first impression of Tenerife from the bus window is that it is kind of an “explosive” mixture of volcanic terrain of Iceland, Turkey, both Cappadocia and southern Turkey, and Mexico, because cacti and everything is in Spanish. So, all in all, it looks quite interesting. Las Americas The town I came to is called Las Americas. It’s a typical hotel resort, but it stands out greatly by the presence of huge volcanic mountains in the background.
We'll talk about the town a little later. And while I'm solving housing issues, let's move a few miles to the south and look at one of the most unusual places in Tenerife. Montaña Amarilla This is Montaña Amarilla, which means "yellow mountain".
It is a mountain, and indeed, it's yellow, and at its foot is the most unusual beach I've ever seen. This is the result of centuries-old cooperation of volcanic rock and ocean waves, and yet another example that nature is still the best landscape designer. You know, it's pretty convenient to travel via YouTube. While you’re admiring the beautiful landscape, I've already managed to check in. I'm renting a small room by the sea from a kind-hearted woman who showed and explained everything I needed to know, and even gave me clear instructions on how to properly lock the door with the key. If you want more picturesque views and interesting travel facts, hit "Subscribe" and leave your likes . Basically, this is a typical Tenerife residential
complex. Local people live here, mostly Asians, for some reason. *Gossip from over the fence, rough translation* Have you seen the weirdo with the cameras? Yeah, he's constantly filming something. For YouTube, I think.
It seems so. We should smash like and subscribe. Yeah, and leave a comment. The landlady rents out every room here separately, and I think I even have a neighbor.
But so far, I have never seen him or her, so, basically, I live alone in this gorgeous bungalow. It cost me 190 euros for 4 nights, and this is the cheapest thing I could find inTW this resort town. The history of this place is absolutely typical. In the 1960s, there was a great demand for beach holidays in warmer places, and there were not so many offers in Europe. So, they decided to build this hotel oasis almost from scratch next to other older towns. But as is often the case with such locations, the town looks nicer from above than from the street.
Casinos, souvenir shops, tourist shops with huge signs, and an insane number of restaurants, clubs, and pubs with promoters on the streets. Basically, the main part of the town looks like Turkish Antalya, but more focused on British tourists. Here you have broadcasts of the English Premier League, beer in pints, not liters, and of course, all sorts of snacks like fish and chips and English breakfasts.
And as always, all this is laced with ads of all kinds of tours and excursions, among which two parks stand out the most, Loro and Siam. They're also often among the first places mentioned in the articles like “The 10 Best Things to Do in Tenerife.” But I'm deliberately skipping both of them, because one of them is famous for its killer whale and dolphin shows, and it's not my thing, to be honest.
And the second one is just a huge water park. But my water park is over there, the ocean waves. I noticed that personally, I like a town much more, if it has a place to surf.
The same goes with this one, the closer to the water, the better it looks. Instead of grotesque venues, I see numerous surfboard rentals and surf schools. All local surf schools operate the same way, more or less. You come with just a towel, they give you a wetsuit, water shoes, and a board.
And you get an instructor for your group or just for yourself, if you're rich enough, of course. 30-35 EUR group classes from 70 EUR personal classes I took a class at Tenerife Surf Point. This school was recommended to me by several of my friends, so I decided not to waste my time on the other ones.
There are many good instructors working here, for example, this is Alexander from Ukraine. Like many European surfers, he started in Portugal, but then moved to the Canary Islands to teach surfing here. Alexander Portugal's main downside is quite a short season.
The water is also cold. It's still too cold to start surfing in March and even in April. In summer it's great, but in autumn it's too cold again. The Canaries are much better in this regard.
In the Canaries, you can surf all year round, but the difference between summer and winter is still present. In winter, the waves are bigger, in summer, they're milder. You can pick a time to come here, based on your preferences. If you want to ride bigger waves, come in winter, and if you are a beginner, come in summer. Basically, on paper it all looks like a real surfing paradise. We'll talk about the specifics of surfing on this beach a little later.
In the meantime, let's move a little deeper and higher up the island. When I suddenly decided to fly to Tenerife, I knew only 2 things about this island. The first is surfing, and the second is the huge Teide volcano, with a whole national park around it.
And the only thing I managed to book, besides my wonderful room, was an astronomical tour to the upper part of this National Park. And right behind my back, there's our tour bus that will take us there. And by the way, it has already taken us to an altitude of more than 3,200 feet. As you may have already noticed, the landscape at the top of Tenerife changes to a pine forest. Up to 6,500 feet it's very foggy, cool, and humid, but we gain altitude very quickly and literally rise above the clouds. These pines look very similar to ours, but in fact, it's a unique Canarian species that grows only on these islands.
It has a whole set of superpowers: it's resilient, strong, tall, and it can survive any drought. But most importantly, it's illegal to cut it down, because it accumulates the moisture from the clouds and channels it through the roots into underground streams. And this is an extremely important source of water for the entire island. So, this is like a super pine. After about a half-an-hour ride, the forest begins to thin out and we can see the Teide volcano through the window. The surrounding national park is among the ten most visited in the world, and it has a whole list of restrictions.
Actually, I thought that I could just go to the top of Teide, but it turned out to be more complicated. In order to go there, you need to buy a special pass that is valid for exactly one specific day. And these passes have already been sold out two months in advance. So, we can admire it only from below. But, fortunately, we have the Internet, and with stock videos and a satellite model of the Earth, we can look at it from a variety of angles.
Teide The Teide volcano is still active, although it's been more than 100 years since its last eruption. But when you see the consequences of volcanic activity on the island of La Palma, you sure hope it's gonna sleep for as long as possible . We'll talk about this eruption a bit later, but for now, let's return to Teide. It's the highest mountain in Spain and the third highest volcano in the world, if you count the height from the bottom of the ocean. Teide is surrounded by a giant caldera of an older volcano. Its diameter is 10 miles.
This is 10 miles of absolutely fantastic landscape, rocks of various shapes and volcanic plains covered with persistent high-altitude vegetation. 12,188 feet 10 miles Drone flights are also restricted here. You need to get a special permit, or there is a risk of getting a fine of several thousand euros.
With prices like these, it's much cheaper to just take a walk and enjoy the views. By the way, you can only walk along the official trails here. The silence here is just terrifying. No wind, no birds, no insects, nothing. It's like you're in a vacuum, for real.
Damn, it sounds corny, but it feels like I'm in space. Though, I don't know how I can say that if no one has been there. But someday, someday we'll get there.
*I'm talking about travel YouTubers. The Americans did land on the moon after all. But, of course, the real cosmic vibes appear at the very cosmic time.
I present to you the sunset on El Teide. I should add a little context to this beauty. The island of Tenerife is over 12,000 feet above sea level and is located in the middle of the ocean. And all the humidity accumulates around it in the form of clouds, but they don't reach the very top, so here you can see an unbelievable sunset over a whole sea of clouds.
So, we discussed the sunset, but the most interesting thing should begin right after it. This is why I called the tour astronomical. The thing is that the sky over the Teide National Park is in the top 3 of the world's clearest skies for stargazing. First of all, yes, this list exists, and it also includes Chile; an observatory in Hawaii, and, as I said, this National Park.
And now we're gonna have a little dinner and wait for the main stars of the night to arrive, literally. On our way to dinner, let me tell you a little about stargazing. There are a large number of so-called Starlight reserves in the world, places where light pollution is minimal and you can admire the stars unhindered.
But few of them have a number of special properties, which we will talk about a little later. Because of these properties, people can conduct serious astronomical research there. So, the building behind my back is the famous Canary Observatory, which houses the world's largest solar telescope. The trip here was not part of the tour, it just turned out that our guide that day worked at this very observatory.
telescope GREGOR Observatorio del Teide Due to quarantine, tours and training programs at the observatory were suspended, and our guide Fernando was an instructor for students who came to the observatory for internship. And now he conducts these night tours. And over dinner, we talked a little bit about Teide, the observatory, and the stars in the sky.
Fernando Well, the sky over Teide Park, it's, I'll tell you this, the same as the one over the island of La Palma, they are very special because of different things. There is not much light pollution. Both observatories are situated above 6,500 feet. That means that the higher you go in altitude, the clearer the atmosphere. Also, the winds blow away the rubbish, the dry winds that come from the anticyclone area.
The very important thing also, is the very low humidity levels that we've got in the National Park. If you compare the National Park with the bottom, maybe you can have 60 percent humidity close to the coast. But here, inside the caldera, it's continental climate, so it means that it's very dry. And the sky of the National Park is protected by the international law that forbids all the planes to fly in the sky of the National Park. Because they produce turbulence in the engines, it's a difference of the temperature in the air. So if the light passes through the turbulence, it's not good for us, same as the humidity.
When we were about to leave, Fernando mentioned that besides some theoretical calculations, the observatory actually has a practical purpose. We study the space junk. It's the rubbish that keeps orbiting around the Earth. There are more than 5,000 satellites, especially the Starlink that they're sending right now for the 5G. It's amazing how many they are putting up there.
And the thing is that the satellites finish their lives, and they just pass them through the atmosphere and destroy them. But sometimes they just explode, and so one of those little pieces of metal can crash with those satellites. And those little pieces of metal can sometimes go faster than a bullet, and from here they're working with more than 26 countries and 60-something companies, they're advising them, "move your satellite, or there'll be a hell of a problem". So, basically, this station makes space travel safer? So, basically, this station makes space travel safer? Exactly.
After this conversation, my interest in stargazing went over the roof. Now we came to a special observation deck with no light source around at all, except for the headlights of the bus. And the sky here looks like a painting, not gonna lie. It was the clearest sky in my life.
The Milky Way, the stars, the passing satellites. I could see everything almost as clearly as in the photographs. Fernando used a powerful laser pointer to show us different constellations. And we pretended that we knew what he was talking about, like, “yeah, sure, this is Capricorn, this is Cuttlefish, and this is obviously the Pig constellation”.
But to be honest, you need a very vivid imagination to see them. And at the end of the tour, we unpacked the telescopes, and with no need for our imagination, we examined the rings of Saturn itself. Of course, we didn't manage to photograph them through a telescope, so you have to take my word for it.
I didn't get home until 1 a.m., and what can I say? Of course, you can go to all these points in your rented car, and it will be much more convenient, you'll have enough time to film it all. But having such a cool and competent tour guide is a big advantage.
So, with all the disadvantages of this tour format, I enjoyed it. 85 EUR the price of the tour (basically, the main disadvantage) Despite the very late return, I was ready to go to Playa Las Americas very early in the morning. This beach is a very popular place, and it can be quite crowded during the day, so the guys from school advised me to force myself to get up when it's still pretty dark and come to study at dawn.
A few words about surfing on Las Americas beach. First of all, you need to know that the seabed here is not sand, but reef. That's why we need water shoes and a wetsuit. Considering the local climate, it's more for protection than for warming. And if you get hit by a strong wave, there is a risk of a head injury.
But the waves are mostly moderate, so the ocean is quite predictable and well suited for training. If it's your first time or you haven't surfed for a long time, it's a great spot for you. As for my personal progress, the last time I surfed was six months ago in Mexico, and for the first two days I just tried to remember what to do to stay on the surfboard. And only by the third day, I kind of managed to ride the wave a little. By the way, these photos are not just for Instagram clout. After a two-hour lesson, the whole group uses them to analyze their own and each others' mistakes.
This is included in the price and it's quite effective. I don't know if the other schools do it, but I really liked the way the process is organized here. Surf Point, by the way, was founded by Kristina, who moved here from much colder Latvia to live and run a surfing business.
Kristina Tell me, do the locals somehow interfere with your business? After all, you're still a foreigner, not a local. Do they bother you in any way? Actually, most of those who open their own business here and who want this business to work are foreigners. The locals aren't very interested in business. But, of course, the locals don't particularly like the situation. For example, when I started teaching surfing on this beach, I suddenly had a huge flow of people, because I teach in 5 languages. And the locals usually speak two and a half languages.
And because of that I had an enormous flow of people, while I was still new to this particular beach. So, everyone pretty much hated my business, they wrote complaints to the federation, even though I had all the paperwork in order and all that. Basically, they tried to drive me out of the business, but without telling me about it directly. In person they were all like, “Oh, hello, dear, how are you doing today?”, and behind my back they were trying to drive me out. There's also the fact that I'm a woman.
The locals hate the idea that a woman can run her own business. Wow, but why? Is it just the Canaries or...? Well, I felt it here. I mean, I created my school with my own rules, I do classes on my terms. You can't just slack off and surf while you're teaching people. But it seems fair to me, because you get paid to work and to teach people how to surf.
And some instructors just go into the water and surf, or as they put it, watch people so no one drowns. Something along the lines. I don't work this way. And they don't like being told that because they consider themselves, well, like... the
best of the best. But despite all the troubles, the climate greatly helps with the business. No wonder Tenerife is called the Island of Eternal Spring. The coldest month is considered February. I don't know what it's gonna be this year, this year is very weird.
Okay, what counts as cold here? A cold month is when it's around 71 F in the afternoon, and, well, around 59 F in the morning. Wow, that sounds like freezing cold… Okay, pretty chilly. Yeah. Thanks to this weather, heat-loving Europeans often move here to live. And most of them come from well-established countries like Britain and the Baltic States. Here's another instructor from our school, Jörg.
He moved here straight from the rich and successful Germany. Jörg Why did you come here from Germany? Well, my parents just moved here with me. Here? Yeah. Did they move here to live? Yeah. Do you like it better here? Well, at first I didn't like this idea, but then I lived here, and then I went to Germany for 5 days.
Then I realized that it feels like a factory, you know? What do you mean by that? You know, a factory. It's like people there only live to work, you know? No one smiles. You know what I mean? And this place has a great vibe, the island, palm trees, the sun. They don't pay much, but after all… You don't need much. Yeah.
So, for those who like a relaxed and warm lifestyle, it's just heaven on earth. But for those who prefer more active recreation, the small area of the island allows you to surf in the morning, and in the afternoon, to go to the other side of it to explore a completely different landscape. Traveling around the island, especially when you don't have a driver's license, is a rather challenging endeavor.
Because public transport is not very cheap here, as you may recall. And it doesn't run very often, because it's not much in demand. So I was super lucky that while surfing, I met these guys. They're waiting for me to finish my YouTube thing. They invited me to go where I was planning to go anyway, to the north of the island. Valery Katya Valery and Katya came from Ukraine to the Canary Islands for a few weeks with a plan in mind: surfing, driving around the island, and working remotely to support this lifestyle.
And speaking of support. On the way, they told me about their friend who approached the concept of the “island lifestyle” in the most radical way, as they say. Squatting is the action of occupying an abandoned or unoccupied area of land or a building that the squatter does not own, rent or otherwise have lawful permission to use He's been living here for two years. He doesn't own a home.
They squatted a house somewhere in a mountain village on the outskirts. It's actually a pretty good two-story house. It's in the forest, they've set up a whole camp there.
They even have a tree house. 10 people from different countries live there at once. 3 people from Ukraine, there are Russians and others. I asked them: what do you do? They said: recycling. Like, the local big supermarkets throw away a lot of food every day. They say: we just go there, and take the food.
There are full crates of food. And it's not expired, it's just fruit that… That will expire soon. Yeah, they'll expire soon. Or cheese in vacuum packaging that has expired, but it's still quite edible. And they say that they eat better doing this recycling thing than they ate in Ukraine. Damn.
Personally, I was quite surprised that people can live this hippie lifestyle in the European Union, and not somewhere in the Indian Ocean. It turns out that Tenerife gives opportunities to everyone: from business owners, to extreme downshifters. During this interesting conversation, the road north just flew by, and we are already approaching our first location. So, the first stop on our way is an observation deck. Well, it's not really an observation deck, it's surrounded by a fence.
But you can stand here, on the edge of the road, to make your own observation deck that overlooks the beach of Playa de Las Teresitas. This is an artificial beach. Teneriffians once used all their sand reserves for construction.
And then they realized that they had no beaches left for tourists. That's why they brought sand from the Sahara and built almost a mile of this beautiful beach. I don't see any point in going to the beach itself, but if you look at it from above like this, it's pretty beautiful. Playa de Las Teresitas Of course, we didn't go north to see this. The Anaga Park is just past the beach.
This is a nature reserve where vegetation and landscape are considered relict. This area has not changed its appearance for many millions of years. Except, of course, the appearance of roads, settlements, and observation decks. Now that's what I call an observation deck. It feels like you're really looming over this whole valley. I don't even need my drone that much.
Though... I'll use it anyway. The nature here is not like either the southern part of the island or Teide.
But the problem is that most of the road goes through dark dense bushes. One of the notable places we managed to visit is this tunnel, which was cut right through the rock to pave the road. And the most picturesque serpentine road in the Taganana Valley. Taganana This road descends directly to the north coast through several small villages. And it's not like it's very long, it's not Trans Fagaras, but it's very fascinating. I literally wanted to stop every minute and film something.
But we couldn't stop that often, because we had a very specific goal. This is a fish restaurant that has some sky-high ratings on TripAdvisor, which operates according to the Spanish schedule till 4 p.m. And the owner is a very charismatic guy. His name is Borja, and he loves his job very much.
He tells all new guests about how long he has dreamed of opening this place and how much he loves surfing. By the way, the cafe is called “La Ola”, which means “wave” in Spanish. But he can't surf because of back problems.
And he personally and very passionately responds to negative reviews on TripAdvisor and advises you when you make an order. Borja 2 octopuses. One goat cheese salad, one cuttlefish… Stop. Too much? Yes, one goat cheese salad, 2 octopus, one cuttlefish.
I think it's enough If you say it's enough, it's enough. If you say it's enough, it's enough. Well, I'm here to sell, but I want to make sure you don't spend money for nothing.
So, if you didn't realize what just happened: the owner of the restaurant took our order, and when we kept ordering, he said: “that's it, enough, stop, that'll be too much for you. That's enough.” I'm ready to give this place 10 out of 10. Prices are not the cheapest on the island.
The food costs around 12 euros, but the portion sizes are decent. Caramelized octopus. Actually, this is the second time I've ever eaten octopus, and this one is the best so far.
It’s not as rubbery as the one I ate last time. Delicious. The octopus tentacles, combined with sweet caramel and baked vegetables, were just delicious. The northern coast of Tenerife is the oldest part of the island. This place is very serene and majestic.
Here, beneath the mountains, there are several beaches with black volcanic sand and rocks sticking out of the water. You can even climb one of them if you wanna film an epic drone takeoff. By the way, I fell into a classic trap on this rock, when you climb up just fine, but then you realize that you have no idea how to climb down. And the way down was much harder. I'm also wearing crocs And of course, besides content creation, this place is great for real wild surfing.
This beach is marked on the map as Surf Point, but there is no rental point nearby, so if you want to surf here, you need to come with your equipment. ALMACIGA The settlement right above the road is called ALMACIGA. This is probably the most beautiful Tenerife village that I’ve seen on this trip. This coast is also famous for stunning sunsets when the sun dips below the mountainous horizon.
But unfortunately, the weather was not on our side today, too cloudy to see the sun, so we drove back without waiting for darkness. And I'm absolutely sure that we have seen only a fraction of what this reserve has. You should spend much more time in this area.
I spent 6 days in Tenerife. I went to surfing classes every day and wasn't in much of a hurry. And I had an extra day to see the rock formations of Los Gigantes and visit the famous Masca Valley in the southwest of Tenerife. These places are considered super must-see.
But on that day I decided to change my plan a little. This trip happened in the fall of 2021 and back in the day, a huge volcanic eruption hit the neighboring island of La Palma. It was visible from almost any point in southern Tenerife.
But to go there alone and without a car is a rather pointless idea. But the island once again surprised me with a very cool acquaintance. On Instagram, I met two people from Belarus, Alexey and Kristina. They happened to be in Tenerife with a rented car.
We teamed up, bought ferry tickets, stocked up on snacks at the supermarket, and set off on a four-hour sea voyage. Alexey Kristina The car . 105 EUR 2-way ticket (per person) La Palma Let's leave the terrifying eruption for later and start exploring the island with its northern part. It strongly resembles Tenerife. It also has a rocky coast and high green mountains. However, the mountain serpentine roads have much more twists and turns. So, we decided to take a ride through this part first, because here we can find a place with an incredible view of the caldera of the ancient volcano Taburiente.
The view from this observation deck is supposed to be one of the most scenic views in all the Canary Islands. But it was slightly spoiled by the main reason for our arrival here. La Palma, like Tenerife, has a large high-altitude observatory, and as you remember from our conversation with Fernando, it's supposed to have a crystal clear atmosphere above it. Roque de los Muchachos Observatory (now) But the ash from the volcano had a negative impact not only on tourism, but also on astronomy.
And this is far from the worst consequence of this eruption. We quickly drove through the north and headed towards the town of El Paso, the closest we could get to the scene. And the closer we got, the more the feeling of excitement from the natural phenomenon was replaced by anxiety. This parking lot near the observation deck is the closest place you can legally watch the eruption from. Anything closer is blocked by the police.
And there's a huge number of people here. Let's put aside the background information and take a closer look at the epicenter. I don't want to sound like I'm bragging or something, but this is my third volcano this year, and it is definitely the scariest among all. And it's not even about the eruption itself, which looks impressive even from a 2-mile distance. It's about the damage it caused for the locals.
In September 2021, on one of the slopes of the Cumbre Vieja volcano, several new craters opened at once, and it caught everyone by surprise. This was preceded by a series of earthquakes. So basically, the scientists knew about the danger, but no one expected that the eruption would be so strong. Cumbre Vieja Meanwhile, ash “rain” from the volcano has forced Islanders to wear masks and goggles.
The 4-mile long lava flow reached the ocean and actually created a new small peninsula. Along the way, the lava completely destroyed several small towns, and more than 7,000 people had to be evacuated. And those towns that were bypassed by the lava were completely covered with ashes. It was all over the place, on roofs, sidewalks, plants, and even in underground parking lots. This ash was one of the reasons we came here by ferry, and not by plane. Mixed with clouds, it was covering the island like a huge dome, so all the flights were canceled.
I'm wearing a mask not because I'm in the middle of a crowd and Covid is still a thing, but because it's really hard to breathe here. I don't know how the locals feel, but after 10 minutes I started to have trouble breathing. I began coughing, and pulled out my reusable covid mask.
Despite the fact that La Palma is literally a disaster site, it drew tourists, photographers and, of course, reporters like a magnet. On top of all the troubles from the volcano, the locals complained that for the first time this small town began to experience traffic jams due to improperly parked tourist cars. The most terrifying thing is that people have to literally live on a volcano, and you can feel its presence everywhere. For example, right now we are in a small cafe in the town, and this volcano is erupting right behind my back. After dinner, we watched the gushing crater for a couple of hours, and it was a truly horrifying sight.
Just listen to what it sounds like from a few miles away. This is the most powerful volcanic activity on La Palma for many centuries. It lasted for 85 days and the lava damaged an estimated 3,000 buildings, cut off a regional highway and completely destroyed Todoque, a town of some 1,300 prior to the eruption. While we were getting from La Palma to Tenerife Airport, we scooped out a bunch of volcanic ash from the hardest-to-reach places, as they say, from pockets, from a backpack. And it even covered the whole car with a thin layer.
And this is the amount of ash we've got during a single day. I can't even imagine how people live there on a permanent basis now. And it's like a visual proof that volcanoes are not only beautiful, but also terrifying. But let me end the video on a slightly more positive note. I was in Iceland literally a month and a half ago, and I thought that no place could impress me after that.
But I'll remember Tenerife for quite a while. There is an incredible variety of nature here: these mountains and coniferous forests above, Martian landscapes and, of course, the ocean and surfing. This is just an amazing combination. And in general, the Canaries are probably the perfect place for those who are not very interested in mountains and snow, and just want to spend the winter somewhere warmer and without spending a lot of money. Because the prices here are really very reasonable by Spanish standards. Coffee costs from 1 to 2 euros.
And the prices in the stores are quite low. As for me, I'm very much interested in mountains and snow, and when I come back home, I'll probably start planning a trip somewhere colder. And, as always, thank you very much for watching this video, and see you in the next one!