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Saturday, 31 August 2013

Garachico – A picturesque suburb of Tenerife


Each time I come to Tenerife, this quaint little town, Garachico fascinates me.



I have blogged about this town several times.


“Garachico was once a port where ships anchored but this port was completely destroyed during the volcanic eruption. However the castle with the stone doorway of ‘San Miguel Castle’ still stands there at the end of the promenade. This is the finest building, a 16th century stronghold belonging to the Count of Gomera’ that survived a volcanic eruption in 1706 unscathed.”


Last week, I visited again and decided to walk inside the castle (which is now a small museum) to see the interiors of this stone structure. It was like entering a cave. It has windows on all sides. A big iron canon (with a thick layer of rust) stands in one corner, with its mouth jutting out of the tiny window. I could imagine the guards protecting their village in that era. There was a winding stoned steps leading up to the terrace of the castle. The view from the top was spectacular. Clean fresh breeze blowing over the vast sea and natural pools at the shores. On the other side of the castle lay a flowered lined motorway leading towards the by-lanes of the village.


I walked to the town square. People were in festive mood celebrating the annual festival ‘San Roque’. Every August, during the second week of the month, this village is glittered with music, dance and street market. There is no place to park. There were many people walking instead, their hips swaying slightly as they walk in a rhythm to the loud street music played at every food stall. The fragrance of freshly baked bread, pastries, cheese and roasted meat fill the air.


Farmers and artists display their products and handicraft stuff in their balconies and windows facing the road. There is procession during this festival, where people are dressed in their traditional clothes. They sing traditional songs, play the music on guitar and ‘Timple’. They bring along their farm products and their animals too and the prayers are offered to their deities.


What is interesting about is this village is the main square- ‘Plaza Juan Gonzalez de la Torre’. Numerous small red fishes swim in the small pond surrounding the fountain at the center of the plaza. There are wooden benches scattered all over the place where people gather in the evening for a friendly chitchat.


A big iron gate on one side of the plaza caught my attention. On the side of this huge gate is a plaque. I went up to read the plaque placed on a barbed gate



Behind the gate, there are stone steps leading down to the beautiful botanical garden called ‘Parque de la Puerta de Tierra’




The valley has been converted into a beautiful garden with neatly manicured trees. I wish they had installed some railings for support during climbing up the stairs. There were too many steps to climb and one needs stamina to enjoy solitude of this place. But it was very peaceful and picturesque.



I am never tired of visiting this place. There is so much to do, if nothing else, just go fishing? Yes, I blogged about that too…

“First thing that caught my attention were the rows and rows of boats parked side by side at ferry wharf. Creatively painted with bright colors and designs, they were a welcomed distraction.”

Modern civilization has not yet touched this rural suburb. There are no tall buildings or any fancy malls. This is a beautiful village with cobbled streets, centuries old stone buildings, tradition and culture retained and some of those quaint houses with beautiful patios, now converted into rural hotels. Here people can spend few days, away from hustle and bustle of the society, close to the nature, transported into the 18th century…..


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