It was a journey into the green and lush (by comparison) interior today. I left the pretty and well kept village of Pajara down a wide barranco past acres of shade netted veg plots. Another contrast to home where we need poly tunnels to increase the heat.
Back out past the shelter id had to abandon last night and on up into the hills. These were the best built and managed trails so far. The local council must be very track proud and have a few euros to spend on them because they were pristine. Not a rock out of place. Wooden bridges across the barrancos, stone and cement gullies to take away flood waters and a neatly built stone wall running along side. As we climbed higher there were even sections where they had cut steps out of the rock.
There were abandoned terraces high into the mountains, though not as high as yesterday where they reached 500mt.
The bug seemed to have gone and it felt like I was starting to get “track fit”. The pack felt manageable and I was walking to my musics beat. ( thanks for the sounds Bill and Sarah.) When hiking these mountains nothing gets me up like Donna Summer (ahem , showing my age there) and Fat Freddys Drop has got me down safe.
So good walking up and over coming down into a valley of palms and windmill water pumps.
On the flat for awhile with easy going past old mule driven well pumps (actually haven’t seen any donkeys or mules, maybe they were people powered)
Into Vega de Rio Palmas where the Virgin Mary appeared in 1497 and to where pilgrims come to her shrine from all over the island on the 3rd Saturday of September.
I don’t know if it’s the presence of all the water or the Virgin Mary but the area seemed quite prosperous. The town has a fine church and square with covered bandstand, nice cactus gardens and fine clay oven,like a lot of the houses around.
After the easy stretch came another long and steep climb eventually leading through what passes for a forest in these parts.
Down to an area recreativa where I was tempted to stay the night after the exertions of the climb but it was too early and the no camping signs put me off. So on upwards till cresting a ridge I was hit full on by the howling northeasterly. Fine views across the northern half of the island but a slog to the peak and down the other side and a relief to turn westwards again towards Betancurria now looking close below.
Tranquil again I was able to admire the crops of prickly pear and aloe, a big crop here with a multitude of aloe Vera produce for sale especially in souvenir shops of which there were plenty in Betancurria, the ancient capital created by the Normans. Lots of historic old buildings , one humble one I’m in tonight. I met a lovely man , Tomas , who has converted his sheds into original style accommodation.