On our second day on the incredible island of Tenerife we started early – the best part of the day before 10am when the cloud rolls in from the South – and headed out of the sleepy village of Vilaflor towards the pine forests.
Our goal was another little village called Ifonche south west along the GR131, just over 10km away and a gradual downhill most of the way. From there we would take the road for a short distance to La Escalona, for coffee and a quick bus ride back to Vilaflor.
Sheltered by the tall trees it was warmer than the day before, so I stripped down and felt comfortable running in my skort and a vest.
Throughout my trip I wore my Inov8 Roclite 290 trail shoes – I’d only packed one pair as we limited ourselves to hand luggage – and these were perfect, light, snug and grippy. I also carried everything for the days out in my Salomon 5l pack, with soft flasks tucked in at the front and everything else stuffed in the back – layers in case it got cold or wet, my OMM Kamleika waterproof jacket and all the snacks.
Talking of snacks, although we managed to find some (over priced) trail mix of nuts, dried fruit and seeds in the local supermarkets to carry with us, I was so glad I’d smuggled in some Trek flapjack bars* from the airport to fuel my running every day. I told Nige they were my safety blanket and I carried one in my pack most days as my treat at the end, usually to enjoy with the strong coffee they serve in the cafes over there! My favourites are the Cocoa Coconut and with 9g of protein per bar they’re the perfect snack after a run (or anytime!) and that little sliver of dark chocolate on top of the oats? Yes please!
The trails along this section were a little softer than North of Vilaflor, the ground a little more cushioned by dropped pine needles and even sandy in some places. Apart from a few walkers we had the trail to ourselves again, racing against the cloud slowly creeping in during the morning, taking the heat of the sunshine streaming through the trees. The air was fresh, there was enough technical bits along the way to keep us on our toes, and we breezed along, reaching Ifonche in good time – too good time, as the cafe hadn’t even opened its doors for the day.
We took the closed doors of El Dornajo cafe, which if you’re visiting opens at 1pm, as a sign and headed off on the twisty roads to La Escalona, 4km away. We passed more closed cafes and a few cars on the road, but soon arrived in the town and were greeted by an old still-decorated Christmas tree and a welcoming coffee at Restaurant El Chamo – a colourful jungle inside full of hanging plants, overflowing fruit bowls and marrows the size of a your kitchen sink!
After a quick coffee and using the free WiFi to check the local bus times, we hopped on the bus towards Vilaflor, home in time for a late lunch of fresh pizza, eaten while planning the next days adventures!