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Seaside delights of Los Silos in the Canary Islands

Updated on September 10, 2015

Tenerife Sun was a Tenerife newspaper

For several years I was a columnist for the Western Sun which became known as the Tenerife Sun. In this popular free Canary Islands newspaper I wrote mainly about the wildlife of the island.

I would visit different locations and make some notes about what I found, as well as getting some photos of anything of interest. I would then go home and write up a story for the newspaper. The following article about Los Silos is one of my past columns.

Los Silos photos

Minature Melo bubbleshell
Minature Melo bubbleshell
Plaza in Los Silos
Plaza in Los Silos
Los Silos quiet street
Los Silos quiet street
Los Silos bandstand
Los Silos bandstand
Seafront in Los Silos
Seafront in Los Silos
Natural seawater pool
Natural seawater pool
Tolda (Euphorbia aphylla)
Tolda (Euphorbia aphylla)

Treasure at the seaside in Tenerife

Isn’t it funny how we often know so little about the places near to where we live and yet at the same time know all about some distant location? Los Silos is a town just a short bus ride away from where I live and yet I had never been there so I thought I had better go and investigate.

Of course, knowing that Los Silos has a strong agricultural past, I didn’t realise that most of my visit would be spent by the sea, which is what happened. Where I got of the bus was more in keeping with my vision of Los Silos as a town surrounded by farms because just up a narrow side road surrounded by banana plantations was a shop selling organic fruit and vegetables, much of which was grown on the land alongside it.

I stopped to have a look at the shelves laden with tomatoes, onions, peppers, citrus fruit and other healthy organically grown produce. But I hadn’t come to do any shopping and after admiring the massive Swiss Cheese Plant (Monstera deliciosa) outside, which would dwarf any of the best specimens grown in a British lounge, I bought an organic fruit and cereal bar and went on my way.

Above where the shop was towered the majestic mountains of Teno and there were signposts for Tierra del Trigo and for Monte del Agua, both places I wanted to visit in future, but I had come to see what was in Los Silos so I made a mental note of the pathways leading from there, and headed into town.

Los Silos is a very charming place with cobble-stoned streets, and a typical Canarian square with a bandstand and a café bar. There were plenty of shops in the town’s streets too, but, like I said, I hadn’t come there to do any shopping, and I set of to see what I could find on the coastal side.

A walk of a couple of kilometres took me to the outskirts of Los Silos by the sea and there I found a natural swimming pool, a gymnasium, restaurants and a beach. There was also a rather wild looking expanse of coastal land covered in typical scrub and vegetation that thrives in such habitats.

I love to see what wildlife I can find so I decided to have a look on the beach and on the ground that bordered it. One plant that I found growing on the ground at the top of the beach I was pleased to see for myself in its natural habitat, and that was the endemic succulent spurge known as Tolda (Euphorbia aphylla). This strange plant with green fleshy branching stems and no leaves is known to grow on the coasts of Teno and here it was just like my books had said.

Pleased to having found this plant species I decided to scramble down onto the rocky beach and see what I could discover in the rock pools I could see from above. In one of the first I looked in I spotted a small creature about half an inch long gliding across the marine vegetation and recognised it as a species of bubble shell I had until then only seen in books. I had found my first Miniature Melo or Wavy-lined bubble shell (Micromelo undulatus).

Bubble shells are a primitive type of sea slug and still have their shells as well as intricately patterned bodies - the Miniature Melo was dotted with white on a bluish violet background and had a shell in the middle that looked like it had blood-red veins. You can always count on finding some treasure at the seaside I always think, and this tiny bubble shell proved I was right!

NB: Originally published in the Tenerife Sun


Where is Los Silos?

© 2009 Steve Andrews

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    • RKHenry profile image

      RKHenry 8 years ago from Neighborhood museum in Somewhere, USA

      Damn I'm jealous!!! Perfect length, loved the photos and overall this is a really good hub. I enjoyed it greatly. Thanks Bard of Ely!!!

    • Bard of Ely profile image
      Author

      Steve Andrews 8 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Thank you, RK! I am very glad you enjoyed it. Actually I thought I had already published this one but realised I hadn't because it had been still online for a long time until the paper it was in scrapped all the old stuff of which this was the last of my stories before it changed hands.

    • eovery profile image

      eovery 8 years ago from MIddle of the Boondocks of Iowa

      Beautiful picture.

      Looks like a great place to live

      Keep on Hubbing!

    • profile image

      TheSandman 8 years ago

      Ok ! that's it, I'm packing my bags.

    • Bard of Ely profile image
      Author

      Steve Andrews 8 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Thank you for your comments, eovery and TheSandman!

    • profile image

      C. C. Riter 8 years ago

      Great pictures. I'm envious too. thanks Bard, very nice hub and it looks like a very charming place to be

    • Bard of Ely profile image
      Author

      Steve Andrews 8 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Thanks CC! Yes, it is one of many places here I find myself saying "I wish I lived here," but of course realising I can't live everywhere! lol

    • profile image

      C. C. Riter 8 years ago

      No we can't and that is what's great about the web, we can go anywhere in a second or two and explore and share. So we just settle where we can and live. I just happen to be here and it's home and that's where my heart is. good work looking forward to more

    • Paper Moon profile image

      Paper Moon 8 years ago from In the clouds

      Thank you for taking me there. I just wish you woud have given me time to swim. I am such a wanderer at heart. Spent my early days roaming about the US. Constraints of family and work, keep me planted. Thx for the trip.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Really enjoyed this informative hub with the great accompanying photos. That tolda plant is really unique and interesting.

    • Ivorwen profile image

      Ivorwen 8 years ago from Hither and Yonder

      It looks absolutely peaceful and delightful! I want to go there. Someday vacationing (and enjoying it) will not be a dream.

    • Bard of Ely profile image
      Author

      Steve Andrews 8 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Thank you for your comments, Paper Moon, Peggy and Ivorwen!

    • Will Apse profile image

      Will Apse 8 years ago

      I loved Tenerife when I visited a few years ago but the volcanic rocks destroyed two pairs of my favourite shoes. Can I forgive it?

      Well shoes are important. But yes.

      My favourite memories-

      Going for a walk very late one night, perhaps 1 am in the morning. I met a lady of about eighty years pushing an even older man in a wheelchair. He was wearing an oxygen masking and she was singing. There aren't many places in the world where that couple would feel safe enough to walk at that time of night.

      Another memory was of the public housing development near our hotel. The kids were sweet and played outside until nine o'clock every night while the adults sat on chairs in the street and talked. The estates of Cardiff and London just aren't as appealing.

      The other things I remember were the sports and swimming facilities. All free, all well used. The whole island had a good feel, as if people had decided that everyone was going to have a good life and no-one had decided to spoil that. Am I romantising here? It's easy to be seduced as a tourist and see only the good things.

    • Bard of Ely profile image
      Author

      Steve Andrews 8 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Will, thank you for sharing your memories! You have seen part of what makes the place so attractive to me. I really do believe that in general people are happier and friendlier here. I remember when I was first on Tenerife in 2002 that I felt quite safe wandering about La Laguna late at night on a weekend and I couldn't say the same about a city in the UK. The kids here are usually well behaved too and nothing like the ones on the estate I came from in Cardiff. Why is this? I am not sure. I really don't think it is to do with money because there are plenty of poor people here.

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