Visual Inspirations: A Day In The La Vega Valley

The La Vega valley is one of the oldest inhabited areas of Tenerife – before the spanish invasion, it was inhabited by Guanches already, for its mild climate, fertile soil and abundance of water sources. Right now it is part of the county of San Cristóbal De La Laguna, and since it is quite near to where we live, it is often the focus of our wildharvesting excursions. Today we didn’t went in search of herbs, but just to explore new roads, but we came back with a wonderful harvest of pictures :).

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Today, we explored the mountain of Saint Roch, a tiny mountain by the side of the city. We chose the wrong road, got lost, and had to go back down, but it was fun anyway, and the sights of the city and the nearby mountains were beautiful. In this area you see in the picture above, one of the biggest battles between the Guanches and the Spanish happened. The battle led to the death of the Mencey (King), right in the fields you are looking at, and to the final submission of the last rebel Guanches of the area.

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Asters were blooming everywhere, making gold and green carpets in the abandoned fields.

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The gorgeous flowers of the Cerraja (Sow Thistle, Sonchus Oleraceus), a giant cousin of the dandelion.

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After breakfast on a favourite roadside cafeteria (which has the lovely name of The Sweet-Toothed Buddha) and a visit to the nearby plant nursery (with of course a purchase of new plants that I will be documenting shortly), we stopped by this very old house to take pictures for my future paintings. It is crumbling down beside a very busy road, and shut down completely to avoid people getting in, but Fernando managed to get some lovely and interesting shots. This house could be between 200 and 400 years old (it was built in several stages), and it’s a beautiful example of traditional Canarian houses. I wanted to capture it before it disappears.

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And, the Spirits were saving the best for last – our final visit was to gather soil for our garden at a regular wildharvesting spot (not in the La Vega Valley, but quite near), and we happened to coincide with the area’s goat shepherd family, and their 90 goats! We didn’t want to disturb them, so I took some pics and a short video, and we moved a little further in the road to do our work – but you can believe me when I say I was squealing like a teenager :D. The perfect end to our little adventure.

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