The TF28 road originally linked the south of Tenerife with its capital, Santa Cruz. This was the main road before the new motorway - the TF1 was built. They built the TF1 in the 1970's. It linked Santa Cruz with the south of the island, and thus greatly reduced the travelling time. The result of this is that now the TF28 is almost deserted. It is only really used by people travelling between villages or some more inquisitive travellers. We found it was a lovely, leisurely road to drive along and a great way to explore this part of Tenerife.
We picked up the TF28 after we left Arona. We drove the whole length of the road, from La Camela to Guimar, stopping where the fancy took us to admire the views or explore a little village.
La Camela was the first place we passed. This area has lots of small agricultural communities where the descendants of the Guanche have worked the land for years to make a living. La Camela has a camel park on the outskirts. They also used camels in this area in the past for livestock.
After passing through, the scenery starts to open up and get interesting. We climbed a lot, passed through Valle San Lorenzo then just outside this little town, we stopped at the Mirador de Centinela. There is a restaurant here, but more importantly, the most wonderful views. You look right down over the valley and see an interesting sight - a large number of volcanic cones rising up from the valley floor. It is incredible - at sea level you don't see them at all, only when you climb higher, then you wonder how you could have missed them. They are evidence of when the earth bubbled up and left these landmarks. They also make you think about the furnace and volcanic activity going on under your feet.
The road twists, turns and winds from this point. To the south you can see Los Cristianos - apparently poorer families in this area still lived in caves just 50 years ago.
We stopped in San Miguel de Abona, then again in Granadilla where we explored and had some lunch.
As you drive along the TF28, at times you catch sight of the TF1 motorway which runs almost parallel and just below it, it really feels as if the frantic traffic and busy road are another world away. To one side there are pine forests and mountains, to the other white pumice terrain. We were fascinated by the sheer number of caves along the road that were carved into the white pumice rock. They are everywhere. They were used at one time to keep produce (and people) cool. Look out too for the water channels and mini aqueducts all around. These were built in the 1930's to bring much needed water to this area.
The landscape got more lush as we travelled further along the road. We saw sunflowers, bougainvillea and lots of vines as well as wonderful eucalptus trees.
Just past Medida there are the most spectacular views of the valley of Guimar. The landscape opens right up in front of you as you turn the bend, the mountains, ravines and valley floor below is breath-taking and completely unexpected. Look out for the hotel, now deserted and disused, which was built in this area in the middle of a spectacular view point. I don't know why it is no longer used, but you can stop here and appreciate the views totally.
After this point, the road drops back down to the coast again and the town of Guimar - very pretty and of great interest because of its pyramids.
We spent the whole day driving along the TF28. It does not seem to feature in any tourist information or tourist trips/agendas, but we loved exploring and driving along this forgotten road.