10 December 2016

La Gomera and Tenerife walks November - December 2016

Written on a wet day in early January 2017
Another double Canary islands trip with ten nights on La Gomera split between San Sebastain and Valle Gran Rey,followed by four nights in Santa Cruz near the eastern tip of Tenerife.

Link to photo album https://goo.gl/photos/8RekP3RCVgUDukhY7

A scary landing at Tenerife South airport with the plane having to make two attempts to land due to the strong headwind ,but at least the ferry crossing to La Gomera was fairly calm compared to the one in 2014!
Although this was my third visit I still had plenty of new walks to do.

San Sebastian harbour
Degollada de Peraza ,Roque de Berruga , Casas de Cantrera ,Jardin Tecina, Playa de Santiago
The morning bus up to the top of the island and then an impressive old path ,at times hugging the sides of the barrancos, down to the south coast resort.As is often the case here ,a wet and misty start high up with the weather then clearing by midday and turning into a warm sunny afternoon.









Rogue de Agando , Barranco Benchijigua,Pastrana,Playa de Santiago
Another walk from the top of the island down an impressive barranco to Playa de Santiago .A good one to do on a Sunday to fit with the earlier return bus to San Sebastian.
Late lunchtime stop for beers at the friendly bar in Pastrana a bonus.













Vallehermoso, Ermita Santa Clara,Chiguere,Playa de Vallehermoso ,Vallehermoso
Bus round to Vallehermoso on the north coast and then a circular walk including a high ridge overlooking the sea.


 







The old farm at Chiguere





Vallehermoso ,GR132 to Chorros de Epina ,Ruta 5 La Quilla,Macayo,Vallehermoso
Bus round to Vallerhermoso again and then the old trail up to the Choros de Epina bar.From here the guidebooks initially take you down the main road but there's a old revived route now signed which connects with a fine ridgeline and stepped paths down through the interesting villages in the valley bed and back towards the town.














Chorros de Epina,Epina,Tazo, Alojera,Arure
After a rest day taking the bus to my second base in Valle Gran Rey I caught the 8 am bus up to the  Apartacaminos road junction beyond Arure.From there I'd intended to walk down the road to the start of my walk from the bar at Chorros ,but from the number of other people who'd also alighted I realised that the Line 4 bus connected and would drop me off at the bar!
After a coffee and second breakfast snack I followed well signed but little frequented paths on a half circle round through Tazo to Alojera ,lunch and beers ,and then followed a spectacular section of the GR132 up to Arure and caught the late afternoon bus back down to VGR.

Looking across to La Palma


 
Canarian long houses at Cubana










Top of Barranco de Arure


Refurbished harbour at Vueltas
Valle Gran Rey - my apartment is up in the old La Calera township
La Playa

La Calera


Arure, La Merica ,La Calera
Heavy rain forecast through the night into late morning so I didn't rush to get up to catch the 8 am bus today! An easy morning with a bit more food and beer shopping.Then the 13.00 bus up to Arure to start the walk in mist south along the ridge to La Merica and then down the steep zigzags down to La  Calera. An interesting plateau with old walled field strips and lots of large goats ,plus some geocaches and weather turning sunny again.Nice to only walk down the steep path this time as on a rest day in 2012 I'd walked up and down it to find another cache off the main path.

Misty start at Arure














Chapel at La Calera
 La Creses,Las Hayas rain forest
A wet day not promising to improve until dark so I caught the 13.00 bus up to Las Hayas for a short walk round in the higher rain forest before catching the late afternoon bus back down.
Although the guidebooks rave about this walk I thought it was less interesting than others I've done in the rain forest eg above El Cedro. However the large rain drops were impressive when I was sheltering on the way back to the start at Las Hayas and the sun was out in VGR.




Las Hayas


La Calera
 


Chipude,Gerian,Degollada del Cerrillal,Las Pilas col,DdC,El Guro,VGR
The weather on my last full La Gomera day was due to brighten up after a cloudy start so I caught the 8 am bus up to Chipude.Wet and misty up there so I had a coffee and second breakfast snack in the local bar before heading out on my walk. The way took me down over familiar ground to the degollada and I diverted off to do a geocache on the next col east which I'd missed in 2012 due to the strong gusting winds.Also detoured along the ridge to the west for a cache on a path that's clearly been recently restored together with new posts in the ground waiting for signage.Then a steep but well made path (GR 132) down to Ermita de los Rayes on the valley floor.Temperature rising to very warm by this time so the beers at the local bar were very welcome as was the free Sunday afternoon tapas.






Gerian chapel




 Travel day between San Sebastian and Santa Cruz de la Tenerife






TENERIFE

Anaga mountains ,Pico del Ingles,Cuatro Caminos,Catalanes,canals and Valleseco
Tram  up to La Laguna and public holiday bus to Pico del Ingles.A popular starting point for walks which fan out.Misty start to bag a mountain cache and then follow the canal on the west side of the valley south of the main spine.After going through a series of short tunnels the geocaching route descends what looks like an unconvincing path so I decided to continue along the canal through a much longer tunnel (no light at the other end for quite a while but I had my head torch) into the next valley to pick up the main path down to Valleseco.Then a local bus back into the city centre.















One of the short tunnels


The next day was cloudy and wet in the mountains so I used up most of my Bonobus card travelling to Porto de la Cruz to visit the botanic gardens and then go farther west to Buenavista with a mid evening return.













Casa Carlos,Taborno,Las Carboneras,Chinamada,Mirador Aguaide,Punta del Hidalgo
The second public holiday this week.Tram to La Laguna then local bus to Casa Carlos.To early in the day to catch the very reasonably priced grills.Well signed wooded paths to Las Carboneras for a snack and beers at the local bar ,then a look at the Chinamada cave houses before going down to Punta on an exciting path which clings to the hillside.
A great finale to my series of walks on this La Gomera and Tenerife trip.


 



















Derelict house on the cliff edge near Bajamar
On the day of my flight home I had the morning to spare before going to the airport so I visited the city produce market.All very colourful,with a fried fish and potato lunch from one of the kiosks.