Not many people know that the special rover designed to search for extra terrestrial life on Mars has been tested on the volcanic island of Tenerife, which bears resemblance to the Martian landscape. I am not surprised that the amazing rocky landscape, pitted with craterlike dips is ideal for testing this technology, as the topography and textures available there are truly challenging. The proof of the challenges can be still seen on my knees and ankles in a shape of slowly healing scars and not-healing scratches on the legs of my tripod. Following massive volcanic explosions, parts of the island’s landscape are often described by visitors as lunar and this is especially true in Mount Teide National Park, where I have spend quite a lot of my time feasting my eyes on dramatic moon-like scenery of bizarre natural rock formations. The landscape there had such a strong impact on me that I have repeated myself quite a few times, that I wouldn’t be surprised if one day I would see a Martian walking towards me. Martians aside, possibly the most charming feature of the National Park is the phenomena of the fast moving low clouds bringing unexpectedly thick-fog-like conditions and even rain. Unlike the unhappy tourists complaining about the sudden disappearance of the sun, I just loved to watch the clouds suddenly attacking the hills and rocks, covering them in a mysterious semi translucent mist and forming delightful shapely cloaks. I was also fascinated with the magnificent flower, endemic to this island, the Tower of a Jewel or Tenerife Bugloss reaching up to 3 metres high. To avoid the tourist flocking to take a selfie with the plant, I have waited one day almost until the very evening, when most of the coaches and cars left the park. Killing the time, I have taken a slightly longer walk on a semi-desert at the foot of the Teide mountain. Passed the massive rock, suddenly I have glimpsed a delightful dune and walking down its gentle slope, a fully grown, totally green Martian! Have I been drinking today, I asked myself, but the answer was no. I have never hallucinated in my life, so that too couldn’t be the answer for the unexpected sighting. Like a good thriller, I will leave this story unfinished and let you come to your conclusions regarding my Close Encounters of the Third Kind and if you are truly interested, I may reveal the secret, if you ask me 🙂 !