Last time, we ended the story on the highest point of the island. I shall continue, so we can get down to the sea side where is nice and warm.
The island is perfect for trekking enthusiasts. There are long and short trails to match all tastes. Practically the routes crisscross the island. From the astronomic observatory we followed Ruta De Los Volcanes, a path crossing an impressive range of volcanoes, located in the center of the island.
The trail is impressive, with views on both sides of the island. In the upper part, the trail zigzags between the craters, in some regions the landscape looks out of this world.
The area is very dry, so we had to carry more water with us. The lack of water made us hurry so we could descend in one day. The track is pretty long, about 18 Km and around 2000 m vertical descent. I wouldn’t walk from the other way.
After we pass the crater zone, the trail enters the pine forest.
The trees are great, but they give a lot of headaches to the locals. Being such a dry and warm place, there is a high risk of fire. The ground is covered in pine needles that could catch fire from any spark.
After few hours between the craters, we start to see the beach where we should get, this gives us some strength, thinking of a nice swim in the sea.
We finish a long day just as we hoped, and we get on the beach just before the sunset, so we have time for a quick swim.
On the island we can still see people living in caves. No, they are not savages. The island has a lot of small volcanic caves. The locals used them for hundreds of years as shelters. The hippies loved the idea, so they started populating them for some time also. But some caves turned to luxury homes, being upgraded and extended by those who want to retreat away from the agitation of modern life.
We were lucky and had the chance to spend a night in such a cave. Xisca, retreated in a very quiet place, she has a few small caves and a garden in a valley.
You can’t tell she has a sedentary nor quiet life. Agriculture takes most of her time.
In her garden we saw plants we didn’t even know they exist.
Some fruits the size of plums, but related to papaya.
A mix between cucumbers and peppers.
La Palma surprises us by the variety of the landscapes. In contrast with the trails covered in volcanic dust, we can hike through lush forests similar to jungles. Eager to see this side, we choose a rather short trek, that can be easily done in one day.
Cubo De La Galga is totally different from the arid area. We havent’t seen many tourists along the way. The place is very quiet, and we even found a fresh water spring. Why go back to civilization?!
So we take out our hammocks, we lay down and listen to the concert of thousands of birds singing in the trees.
Speaking of trees, El Drago is an icon for the Canary Islands. It is protected now, and grows in a few hundred years.
It is impossible not to notice them, some even turned into tourist attractions themselves. They look so different, but perfectly adapted to the island’s weather.
A really special place is Cascada De Los Colores.
We found it after a 3 hours trek through a deep and rocky volcanic valley. The water stream did not have too much flow when we arrived, but the colors are spectacular. The combination of yellow-orange from the minerals with the green of the moss on the walls is great.
A place that is nice and easy to get to is the Fuencaliente headlight.
It is located in the Southern part of the island. And the interesting thing is not the headlight itself, but the salt “farms” , as locals call them. It is a traditional salt extraction technique from the sea water, using some ingenious pools. They have a stair like system, the bigger pools being above the smaller ones. Water moves to smaller and smaller pools. The pinkish color is due to some algae that thrive in a very salty environment.
We walked around 80-90 Km in 12 days, carrying our heavy backpacks.
Tired after the long trek, my shoes decided to retire. I tried in vain to sew them twice, so the only thing I could do, was to let them retire beside many others who come here for the mild weather.
You might also like: The Canary Islands – Introduction and a Night with the Giants.