"The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page."

Exploring Tenerife island

Ever since I've seen "TSO Photography" video that was taken on Tenerife island I decided that I had to come there and see all the beauty with my own eyes. So in April 2012 I got on a plane and opened my one week journey through Tenerife.

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Our trip began at the hotel. Here it is - our 3 star hotel. It was nice but since we didn't spend much time in it, it really didn't matter to us that much.

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Interesting TV in our room.

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Enjoying a great view on the balcony.

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We could see an oldest mountain ranges in Tenerife that rose from the Atlantic Ocean by volcanic eruption which gave birth to the island around twelve million years ago.

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Our hotel was located right in the center of Palma Las Americas. Great resort city with many hotels, restaurants, shops, pubs and bars.

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A small road to the seashore which takes about 5 minutes max to reach.

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The island itself is really clean and modern.

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Once you get there you see a great coastline.

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Coastline is very clean and modern. Lots of small restaurants and shops right in front of the coast.

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We can spot another island on the horizon - La Gomera. This is a smaller island, which has no volcano on it. It is popular for its green nature and forests. Unfortunately we didn't get a chance to visit it, but the ones who did told us it was spectacular.

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Walking down the coastline.

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From some points of view it is really paradise.

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Coastline of our city - Palma Las Americas. Whole coastline is divided into small harbors.

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And there is no such thing as private beach. Even most expensive hotels that are located right down the coastline don't have their own beach. All coastline is public and free for everyone to use. Although sunbeds could cost you about 10/15 euro a day.

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Some restaurants are located right on top on the cliff.

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Interesting elements down the road. These chairs are nailed down and can't be moved. All there is to do is to enjoy the view.

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In the end of April the temperature was about +28C degrees.

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Great resort place.

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Fast food on every step..

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..and of all kind.

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Police is working hard to ensure everyone's safety.

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You can just feel life. And this is just an opening of the season. Can't imagine how it is there right in the middle of the tourist season.

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Sea level and structure between two islands. A great place for sea creatures..

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What a great place for cycling.

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Great two story hotel balconies in one of the hotels.

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One of the largest beaches that we have seen.

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The water temperature was about 20C. Which isn't really that warm but was absolutely enough to enjoy the Atlantic ocean.

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Short walks back to the hotel.

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And another fast food example on the background

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You could just stay there forever..

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..spectacular.

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Day 2: Exploring the island:
The next day we rented a car, which was taken right to our hotel and headed straight for the "Loro Parque" which is located in "Puerto de la Cruz".

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The car can be rented everywhere. There are lots of small companies that provide these services including bikes, scooters and other vehicles.

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We rented a car for 3 days which costed us 85 euro without any safety balance. Fuel is really cheap there as well. About 1 Euro per liter.

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The main road round the island is great. 120km/h speed limit, no traffic and astonishing views.

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The Puerto de la Cruz city is located on the other side of the island. This side is more cloudy and windy. I have no idea why. But it is always there like this. The minute we drove back to our side of the island it became sunny and warm.

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You can see the top of volcano rising above the clouds as you driving.

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And here we are. Loro Parque - one of the biggest Zoo parks in Europe. Entrance is about 30 euro per person. And you will need at least 4-5 hours to see all of it.

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There are many animals and shows.

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Great idea to place people on a horizontal escalator so that they could admire animals without unnecessary movements..

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Looks like they feel quite comfortable.

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It feels like you're walking through the jungle.

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The best place is where you can walk right through the parrots place, which feels amazing.

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Parrots are right there with you..

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..and it looks like they aren't afraid of people at all.

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You can even feed them even though it is forbidden there.

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The whole place is surrounded with think nets so parrots couldn't fly away.

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As I already mentioned - there are lots of different shows. The first one is the one with sea lions.

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When time came to play with them I volunteered..

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..and got a kiss for that.

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..and a free cap.

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Next were dolphins.

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I've always loved dolphins. And this time was no exception. The show was awesome.

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And the last ones were whales.

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It is really amazing to see such large animals do these amazing tricks.

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First 5 rows were splash zone. So if you didn't want to get wet you had to climb much much higher.

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We checked out some other stuff and it was time to leave. But if you ever find yourself on Tenerife - Loro Parque is the place you must visit.

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On our way back we decided to drive up to the mountains right at the end of the island.

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The view was staggering.

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A view to "La Montaneta" village, Tenerife, Spain.

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A picture from a small abended house.

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You can see how the island is stretching right until the horizon. And our city was right at the end of it. Below is a small harbor right down the cliff.

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We took some pictures and headed forward.

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Our goal was to drive up the mountain right to the middle of the island where you can see seashore on both sides of the island at once. And by the way - this is the car we were driving. Small, funny but not that bad to be honest.

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It was kind of scary and windy up there but the view was worth it..

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On one side there is a small village down the mountain and somewhere there below the horizon is Africa.

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On the other side of the island is a road that we drove to get here. Straight straight away below the horizon is America.

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Our small car right between two coastlines.

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Views are terrific but in reality it was so windy and cold. The height was about 1 km.

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Clouds were almost down the road. There was absolutely no people or other cars. And of course no lights. It was getting dark so we decided to head straight down and return to our city for supper. The road down was about 20 km long and we managed all the distance using only brakes and absolutely no gas.

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It takes about an hour and a half to get from one side of the island to the other. So in the evening we were finally back to our hotel.

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Day 3: On the road:
The next day we had our breakfast jumped into our car and continued our journey. This time we headed the other way, right straight to the "Los Gigantes" mountains.

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"Log Gigantes" cliffs, Tenerife, Spain.

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We took some pictures and headed forward...

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..since you can't drive down the cliffs you have to go around and above them. Right through the "Masca" village.

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Far away you can see bits of ocean. But we are high above it.

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Stopped to take some pictures but it was so windy that we got back to our car within minutes.

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Looks like tourists were the only ones who drive here. The only cars we met were rental companies car.

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Some more pictures.

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It would be a great place to enjoy if it wasn't so windy.

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The road was narrow and very curvy. At the end it was hard to concentrate since there are instant corners corners corners...

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Finally we arrived to a small village called "Masca".

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It is tiny I would say and is located right in the middle of the mountains about 1000m above sea level. It was so small I had really hard times finding a petrol station in it.

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So after stopping there for 5 minutes we headed forward to the north side of the island.

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The road still was pretty small, especially when we met some tourist buses.

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Finally we came down the mountains to a small Village called "Buenavista Del Norte". And then we had to decide. Weather head straight till the end of the island or continue our trip to the next city. In the end we decided to take a little detour and reach the very end of the island.

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Almost instantly we came across this sign, and of course decided to ignore it.

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At first it looked like a very bad decision. The road was awful and went right by the side of the cliff.

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And just when we thought it was getting better, it got worse..

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We spotted a tunnel we had to go through. Only it wasn't a tunnel but more like a hole in a cliff.

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Absolutely no lights or anything. Just a long cave. I would describe the feeling that we had as "uncomfortable".

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Finally we spotted the end of the tunnel and the cliff itself.

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So the road led as to the lighthouse by the sea. The view was amazing and we realized that it was totally worth it.

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"Los Gigantes" mountains from the other side, where no tourist bus goes. And now we know why.

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It turned out we were not the only people there. This place attracts many tourists.

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Since it is the very end of two coastlines of the island it was really windy. Wind was so strong you could barely stand on your feet.

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We took some photos..

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..and headed back.

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Found a gas station in the next town.

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Fuel prices in euro.

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On our way to the next town we stopped to visit some kind of a butterfly house. It's a very peaceful place with cool music and thousands of beautiful butterflies who are very used to people.

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Five minutes later we found a famous "Dragon" tree.

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According to Wikipedia it is 2500 - 3000 years old.

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Sometimes roads in town became so small that I was glad we've picked such a small car.

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And even then it wasn't easy..

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..sometimes streets became ridiculous. I wonder how could I get through on something bigger. A Range Rover for example..

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Some say it's so cool to drive through the clouds. Well it's not. Not even close. Nor is it romantic as wel.. feels like driving through a thick fog on a small road..

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These kind of signs are very popular here.

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But you can see how whole island is carefully built.

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Back to our city and enjoying the evening.

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Fountain games.

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Just a horse :)

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So peaceful..

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Day 4: Meeting the volcano:
The next day we went to see the main event - volcano "Teide" itself.

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Very unusual nature.

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Never ever have I seen something like this before.

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Volcanic ashes are everywhere. And we couldn't even see the volcano in our sight.

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El Teide park.

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One of the old volcanoes, a small one. Now there is just a small closed crater.

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Looks like nature here is really poor. Not a promising view. Our car is far away below.

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The climb wasn't easy.

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Looks like a post nuclear war zone.

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Volcano ahead of us.

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Road goes somewhere deeper..

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Then suddenly in a few minutes nature changes completely.

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And in seconds we appeared in what I only can describe as Nevada desert in USA.

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Having fun.

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All the way round volcano zone are located guard patrols. Once we got stopped and asked where we were from. After answering Latvia they immediately let us go. I wonder what country you have to name for them not to like it.

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Lots of places with signs to stop and take some cool photos with stunning views.

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Getting closer...and highier.

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Now we are getting much closer to the main volcano.

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Noticed a lot of tourist buses and cars. We were not the only ones who wanted to get there.

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Nature is terrific.

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Really interesting nature. Feels like you are in a desert and definitely not 2000m above the sea level.

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I was so tired of driving, that I didn't even bother to park normally. Shame on me. :)

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Going straight for the volcano.

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At the bottom of it we had to climb another 1000m in a cable car.

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Which costed 25 euro.

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While waiting for the cable car you can enjoy a meal in a great restaurant which is located right on the cliff. Views from the windows.

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Going up.

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The ride costs 50 euro for two persons and of course you can climb for free, but I honestly would rather pay instead of climbing these cliffs..

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And now we are officially 3 km above sea level and even above clouds..

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Sun is hot but the temperature is about +10C degrees.. Really fresh, not cold..

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Views are astonishing.

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El Teide volcano, Tenerife, Spain.

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On the top of the volcano are lots of small stone roads. For the girls on high heels would highly recommend to stay down in the cafe :)

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And as you can see even volcano isn't dead.

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Many signs with lots of descriptions.

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As you can see it was warm enough to wear only a T-short.

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It's hard to imagine how they managed to build here something.

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Unfortunately we didn't get a chance to climb till the very end of the crater. It was still about 163m up and the walk would take about 30-40 minutes. But to go there we needed to register online and get a permit. It is totally free but takes about two weeks. So we should had done it even before we arrived to the island. It's a shame though. Well, maybe next time.. Here we can see the road that is going to the top of the volcano.

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Even managed to find some snow.

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You can see some ashes and stoned lava that is left from the last eruption approximately 100 years ago.

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..and here..

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..and the same lava here, right next to the car park.

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Time to go back home.

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Forests are amazing..

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On our way collected some huge pine cons from the forest.

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As you can see they are much much larger that the ones we can find here in Latvia.

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Since we didn't have much time left in the evening I decided to take something for a ride. At first I was thinking about bicycle but since I was pretty tired from the volcano climbing adventures I decided to try out a segway. Always wanted to try one of these.

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Besides of the funny helmet it was really cool. Didn't think it can go so stable and fast. And so easy to control. There isn't a single button on it, just your movements.

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Day 5: Siam park:
The next day we returned our car and decided to go to the Siam park - the largest aqua park in Europe, which as it turned out is located right in Palma Las America. But since the weather was great we decided to go to the beach first.

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Took some pictures there as well.

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After beach we arrived to the Siam park. The price is the same as the "Loro Parque" about 30 euro.

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By the way there is a free bus that takes you there.

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There were some sea lions right in front of the entrance just resting and chilling under the sun.

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Really beautiful there. Every detail has been carefully thought through.

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Don't really know if it is really the largest in Europe as they announce but it is really huge.

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There are lots of chilly rides for everyone.

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From this point you can see the largest ride there is - The tower of power.

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It goes right through the aquarium full of sharks and other fishes. Of course you are going so fast you can't see a thing.

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One of the sharks in this very aquarium.

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A look from the bridge above the ride.

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Of course I couldn't miss it, so here is a view from the top.

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Very strict rules there. Head must be down all the time, otherwise you can hit it while entering the aquarium tunnel. Sound scary, but in reality it's even more scarier.

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Here I go down the almost vertical 28 meter drop in a "free-fall" and emerge via the mysterious aquarium.

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Passing by..

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And here I am at the end flying out of the tunnel.

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Some other cool rides.

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Going for the next one.

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Map of the aqua park.

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Valediction.

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In the evening we took some drink and went to the beach. All sun beds are totally free by this time.

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Great view on Palma Las Americas from the harbor.

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Reading a newspaper. Looks like we were gonna miss some cool events.. what a shame.. But proves that Tenerife is a cool party place as well.

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Day 6: Ocean ride:
The last day we decided to take an excursion and go to the open sea to see some whales and dolphins in a wild nature.

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This is our boat. 3 hour excursion costed about 30 euro.

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We could enjoy free drinks and chill while sailing on the deck or nets that were located above the sea.

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After about 20 minutes we saw our first wales.

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Another similar to our boat.

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In total we found about 15 whales. They weren't afraid of us. I guess they got used to people.

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Next were dolphins. We managed to meet only a couple of them. They were playing with our boat and weren't afraid of us at all.

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Unfortunately we couldn't swim with them but at least could enjoy their games.

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We were told that thanks to different ocean flows and the depth of the sea (about 2 km) Tenerife island is the ideal place for sea creatures. They have here all the stuff they need to be happy, lots of food, great climate and ocean streams. This is why they will never leave this place.

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After that we were taken near the cost line to have some free time for swimming.

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After returning to the shore we thought that it wasn't enough for us so we took a ski jet to have some more fun.

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Unfortunately there was no possibility to take camera with us, so no pictures of us riding on it.

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After that we called it a day and went chilling on the beach.

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The water was perfect.

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Same thing as in all Europe. Black people selling all kind of stuff. Glasses, watches, even had a chance to buy some weed, crack and other stuff..

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The same thing is on the beach. This time different fruits. Weird since there are so many shops around.

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A pigeon on our balcony. Looks so tanned. :)

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Last evening..

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Island "La Gomera" on the horizon.

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Sunsets were truly amazing.

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One of the clubs right by the seashore.

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DJ is located right on the top of the lighthouse.

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Beautiful Palma Las Americas.

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Day 7: Valediction:
The last morning on Tenerife.

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Enjoying the sea before going to the airport.

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Really beautiful island.

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Closing in to the airport. Which by the way is located right down the seashore.

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Tenerife island model.

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Runway.

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Our plane.

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Tenerife island from above.

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Really could call it a paradise island.

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