Datum: 17. November 2019
Position: Santa Cruz, Teneriffa
Dear Emma, what`s up? It`s boring here without you! Although you are not here, the last two days were quite exciting, as we (28 students) climbed the up Spain`s highest mountain, the Teide. Ten to eleven hours of walking! Just walking! In total we needed two days with many breaks- the ascent was very exhausting, with narrow paths, rocks everywhere, steep passages and the burning sun- Not easy to hike for people who didn`t exercise for the last four weeks! Some students even got sick at high altitudes, with headache etc. But even though they shortly thought about staying at the Refugio and not going any further, the others, the view on top of the mountain, and their expectation of standing on top of the volcano motivated them to keep on moving.
During the trip we grew together as a team (or crew as Roaldies would say), both, students and teacher looked after one and another, motivated each other. Even in the worst times, when sulfuric vapours caused stomach-ache, coughs and discontented tempers, steep ways and rocks made the trip more and more exhausting. When the summit didn`t seem to come any closer, we kept on motivating, singing or telling stories. In a group the time passed by quicker and the ascent got easier- five hours of walking on day one up to the Refugio (the place where we slept) seemed to be just three.
In general, the life in such a big group of kids who are spending 24 hours a day together is very different to your life at home. Well, sometimes it is very annoying to have pubertal boys or girls around you but most of the time it is just super cool, exciting and inspiring to have your friends around you. You know that you always have a true and reliable person or friend around you, that is cheering you up. Well, motivated but tired we reached the Refugio. Relieved that we`ve made it as a group, all together, nobody was left behind, we took some pictures or were just laughing about what we have done.
The view in 3.260 m height (we hiked 800- 900 metres in height!!!) was so amazing! I still can`t believe how huge the whole caldera was, with many different hiking paths, different types of stones and sand and of course the big Teide. It was the most beautiful view I`ve ever seen, the sunlight in the evening was so much more intense than in Frankfurt or anywhere else of the world, yellow, orange, red; even pink and slightly a little bit of green (We were in a rainbow-world!) in one sky! Unbelievable! Before the dinner we climbed a little higher- and wow. – and wow. You`re wondering what could be more impressing than the beautifully lighted caldera? The answer: The beautiful caldera with the shadow of the Teide during the sunset. In this moment the only thing I felt was happiness and humbleness that something like this could exist. The nature is so amazing! To have another beautiful view during the sunrise (but on top of the Teide) we had to get up at 4:45 o`clock… Early, but the motivation of reaching the summit before the sunrise was high! We nearly ran up the whole 500 metres in height from 1500 meters (well, I wouldn`t recommend you to do this in 3260-3718 m, with thin air and rocks etc.) – we`ve done what nobody else believed! Every single student reached that summit before the sun raised!
Even before the sunrise the view was unbelievable. Tinted in red and orange the environment was the most amazing thing I`ve ever seen. And no, I`m not overrating the situation! The caldera, within millions of rocks, touched with light, clouds, white and fluffy as cotton-candy- white sheep in a big beautiful surrounding- everything looked more stunning than the others. Apart from the coldness (-5°C) I can truly say that this was one of the most amazing moments in my life! It´s a pity that my camera didn`t work- but to see such a natural phenomenon in real life is way much better than seeing it on a normal picture. Of course, we had to walk the whole 8 km footpath down again. But don`t worry- this was one of the funniest parts of the trip. In a small group (Tim, Maya and the two Lauras) we rally ran down the mountain, jumping from one rock to another, relaxing in the sun and feeling free like a bird. We flew down the volcano, had a proper break and reached the parking lot from where we took the bus back to our home.
I really can say, even if I didn`t know what to think about the ascent of a 3.718 m high mountain before we started our excursion, that all the exhaustion, the tiredness and depressing moments are worth it. The beautiful view, the people and hiking are so much fun- Nature is a miracle! I can`t say it often enough- there is nothing more beautiful than the view down into the valley during a sunset / sunrise! Next time we`ll do this together! I really miss you!
Yours, Anna <3