LA PALMA 22nd JAN

The day started well with me finding a tapaterria ( sewing machine maestro) in the back streets of Santa Cruz de la Palma to mend my broken rucksack shoulder strap.
He fixed me up in minutes for the princely sum of 1€( I tipped).

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I got some important information from the tourist office who assured me there was water available at three places on my route for the next few days so hopefully I won’t have to carry too much.
Then to a bus to carry me to the southern end of the island( the Canary Island buses are very cheap and seem to serve pretty isolated communities).
I had decided to treat myself in readiness for the hardships to come by getting a room and this one was a room with a view. Of the sea and the surrounding volcanic landscape.

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I arranged to leave whatever I can do without for the next few days there to lighten the load as I have to carry food for 3 or 4 days.
The bus ride revealed another beautiful island, different again from the others. Looking prosperous, productive and fertile with tidy towns and houses painted a variety of pastel and muted shades.
Acres of banana plantations and gardens bursting with fruit and veg of all kinds.
The highest ground was hidden in the clouds but I was hopeful that id be climbing above that layer into clear skies.
To make my life easier tomorrow I tackled the first 6 or 7km of the route by hiking down to the faro below Fuencaliente, passing through an amazing volcanic landscape.

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One of these volcanos, Teneguia, went up in 1971. It’s twisted and contorted lava was tinged with many colours and was “hot” until recently.

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The old lighthouse has been converted into an Eco interpretive centre for the marine reserve that surrounds it and is full of shocking statistics about the despoliation of the seas by man and uplifting visuals of the natural splendours within it. And wise sayings about an individual’s power to do something. I liked this one.

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The lighthouse was between an old fishing village and the salt pans built along the same lines as the ones I’d visited on Lobos island , Fuerteventura.

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The shop in the salinas sold a variety of flavoured salts and also great supplies for my trek into the mountains. Dried bananas and mangos, almonds , fig cake and Bollos de Centeno, some kind of serious eye cake. All local bush tucker.
Finally on my way back I stopped at the local bodega ( wine cellar) and bought a bottle of Negramoll, grown right outside my door organically in the 2 my deep lapilli or volcanic ash.

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So it’s uphill all the way for the next 2 days followed by a day around the top followed by a day coming down.
I don’t know about communication ability up there so I might not be able to post anything. We will see.
Hasta pronto

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8 comments

  1. Remember to allow time for ‘lapilli breaks’, coz it’s going to get into your boots! It’s amazing how quiet things get once you’re finished crunching along it.

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  2. Hi Steve, can I ask you where are the three places with water on the GR 131 La Palma? On 2.1.2017 I am starting track GR 131 All Canary islands. Thanks for your perfect tip for hiking.

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    1. Alena, I’m afraid I haven’t got the info on water sources anymore.Maybe you could get it from the tourist office as i did. I know that it’s available at the top at Roque de los Muchachos and I think also at Refugio del Pilar recreation area which was as far as I got on this route. It’s the only bit of the GR131 over the Canaries I couldn’t do and i’ll have to return and hope for better weather.
      It’s a great route and i’m sure you’ll enjoy it. Have you seen my blog post’s on the other islands?
      Let me know how you get on.Good luck.

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      1. Hi Steve, thanks a lot, if will be water at Roque de los Muchachos that will be great. Yeas I red your blog on the other islands. Your blog is the best information about GR 131 Canary islands that I finde on the internet. Thanks a lot about that!!! This is a really nice reading. I realy look forward to the trip.

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