Their idea was to take advantage of the snow that had fallen recently and do some ice-climbing on the highest mountain on the island. Everything went well at first, but it got late and they decided to camp in On January 17 in 1983, José Manuel González Gómez, known among friends by the name of “El Metra” headed up the North face of the Teide volcano with a group of friends. some caves in the mountainside. This is when the accident took place where “Metra”, at the early age of 22 would lose his life.
He was a loved and appreciated mountaineer and his friends from the Mountain Club of Añaza, who missed him greatly, decided one year later to honour him by doing a two-day hike together in the mountainous region of Anaga, which had been one of Metras favourite places. Now, 37 years later, this hike is still celebrated every year, by his friends and many other mountain-lovers who come to experience this hard but fun adventure. It has grown into a popular event and is not only about hiking, but also about eating well in the little villages in the Anaga massive and even music, since some people bring instruments to cheer up the co-participants. It takes place every year during the first weekend after “Reyes” or Epiphany, although it is important to bear in mind that it is not an organized event where you'll walk with a guide, but everyone walks on their own and at their own pace.
It starts in the morning at the roundabout in Punta Hidalgo where you can arrive with the long distance bus from Santa Cruz for example. The hike starts with a pretty steep 3 kilometres up to “Chinamada” and from there follows the road to “Las Carboneras” where you will find the first bar. It's still early in the day, but you will find that the party is already on with people singing and playing the guitar and having the occasional beer or glass of wine with their tapas.
After another 3 kilometres you'll arrive at the next stop; “Taborno”, where there's also a bar and it goes on like this for the whole day. You'll walk from one little village to another, through the magnificent laurisilva forest and with spectacular views over the Anaga mountains. What's great about this set-up is that you don't need to carry a lot of food, since you can have great, copious and economic food in the bars along the way. Typical dishes are chick-pea stew, fried pork, escaldón de gofio and goat meat. After passing villages that all bear names from the original guanche population on the island such as “Afur”, “Taganana” and “Benijo” you will arrive at the destination of the first day which is “Las Palmas de Anaga”. Here, depending on when you arrive, the party is at its peak with people playing instruments and lots of local “Dorada”-beer and red wine going down. “El Metra” is, besides a spectacular hike, also a very social event. Old friends meet up and new friends are made and experiences and stories from the mountains are exchanged.
Las Palmas de Anaga is a pretty little village, well worth to visit before heading for the entertainment at the bar. When you feel like it you retire to get some rest for the next day. Some people rent a house in the village and others put up a tent where it suits them, as I said, there's no organization, but everyone has to bring whatever they need for the night. Being January, prepare for a chilly night, in spite of the days normally being warm. Also bear in mind that you need to bring some breakfast for the second day.
Next day the route continues towards the “Faro de Anaga”, a beautiful part of the trail and it's well worth to get an early start. After the ascent to “Tafada” you will arrive in the beautiful village of “Chamorga” where you can find some refreshments at the bar. After Chamorga you'll need to look for the path towards “Las Casillas” and your final destination “Igueste de San Andrés”. Normally it's not hard to find your way, since there are lots of people participating, but if you lose track of the others, it can be a good idea to bring a gps with the track, since it is not always marked.
The last descent is hard, because legs are tired after the almost 40 kilometres of hiking, so be careful heading down the slope. Arriving in Igueste de San Andrés is a great feeling, hopefully you'll feel tired, but happy after this special weekend. The total length is 38 kilometres and the total ascent is 2644 metres, so you need to be in good physical condition and be used to hiking on uneven terrain. Of course you need to wear good shoes and bring suitable clothes for both warm and cold weather. One litre of water is enough since you can fill up or buy more at the many bars along the way. If you want to participate in El Metra, you just need to show up in the roundabout at the end of Punta Hidalgo the first Saturday after Epiphany and start walking!!