Acusa Seca was the most incredible place I have ever been. The journey to get there was fifty six kilometres of cliff side narrow mountain road driving, winding along the rocky face through four different villages – Teror, Tejeda, Valleseco and Artenara. Every corner was blind, every turn was too sharp and the guard rails were two foot high white painted blocks that offered very little reassurance of any kind. Each town would emerge from the vegetation, stark white and red and blue and yellow buildings with terracotta tops and laundry hanging anywhere you look. They would dissapear into the next mountain only to be replaced by cacti and roadside poppies, palm trees and pine cones, red rockface jutting from just below the wild blue sky. Looking from the passenger side you could see valleys, cliffs and other mountain tops dotting the horizon, all while at a humbling distance from level ground.
After a two hour drive through the very winding way, we made it to our extremely luxurious, fully furnished cave house – complete with a shower, kitchen, windows and a massive, two level stone patio. Waking up and stepping outside, the only thing you can hear is the aggressive hum of the bugs, hanging over the mountainside like a low cloud of wings. The sun is hot, the mountain is dry and green and covered in succulents with pink and white flowers with green centres. No matter how clear a day it is, the mountains always have halos of haze that fuck your depth perception right up.
Acusa Seca is a series of caves and cave houses that historically was inhabited by the Indigenous population of Gran Canaria since before 500 AD. It’s nestled in a massive volcanic crater called caldera de Tejeda, which spans 28 km x 18 km throughout Tejeda and the neighbouring villages. The indigenous people of the island were forced out and mostly all killed when they were colonized by the Spanish and the Portuguese in 1478 (fuck colonialism), where they began harvesting cereal crops and using the caves as fortified grain silos. Since then, Acusa Seca has become a much more accessible because of the construction of a road in the early 1920’s and is now a protected heritage site with several caves still inhabited and many available for rent (which is crazy beautiful and a spectacular experience BUT extremely important to acknowledge the stolen land that they are on and the horrific history and genocide that led to them being accessible by the public).