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Volcanos and Pyramids in the Canary Islands

by Didier on November 27, 2011

By Didier Leclerc, translated and edited from the French original by John Mensinger

Hola! We exchanged our home with a Spanish family for three weeks this summer. We opted for a traditional Spanish experience, far from the touristy vacation villages. We chose a home on its own built on an ancient lava flow.

Leaving France wasn’t easy, after months without rain there was a storm that caused a leak in the roof. We had to redo the sealing of a roof window and repair a sink blocked up by one of my daughters, she helped clean the tools. Everything was operational when we left the house.

The swap was perfect as our exchange friends had carefully planned our vacation. A traditional hot meal was waiting for us. The house was contemporary, well equipped, and decorated with style. Our partners belonged to an Astronomer’s Club; they put us in touch with them. We had an observation session on top of a volcano. Other activities included swims in the ocean, touring ancient villages, and discovering local cafes from a list curated by our Spanish friends.

We had the time to leisurely explore a great rock lost in the middle of the ocean. Our island was small but diverse. The house was sheltered from prevailing winds with a hot and arid climate. To the north and the west the island was green, the clouds colliding with the mountains and raining profusely on forests and banana plantations. To the south rain was rare; massive cliffs protected the large concentrations of tourists in their vacation hotels.

For us the highlight of the island was the volcano park. The landscapes are grandiose, once you get away from the roads and parking lots you can find yourself alone with fantastic views. Looking west of the volcano there is an endless sea of clouds, to the east, towards Africa the blue of the ocean.

Our most surprising excursion was to the Pyramids of Guimar. There are six pyramids that could be categorized as Pre-Columbian on the island. The archeologists disagree with each other as to their origins. For some this is proof of trans-Atlantic voyages made during the Stone Age. For others they are simply piles of stones created by farmers clearing their fields of rocks. The first group claims the main pyramid is oriented towards the solstices, the rocks are cut, and the funeral customs of the ancient people of Tenerife are reminiscent of those of Central America. The skeptical camp claims the pyramids were built in the 19th century.

I would say the site functions like a calendar but it could be a coincidence. The debate is unresolved, stay tuned!

You can view Didier’s original post in French by clicking here.

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