LA PALMA 23rd JAN

The weather looked set fair first thing so I headed off up a couple of km of the steepest road I’ve ever encountered. Just to get me to the start. I couldn’t work out how they got the tar to stick without it running off down the hill.
So already sweating I was encouraged by the hiker statue.

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And so began a very long ascent up through a pine forest to reach the bare ash slopes of the “volcano route” and hopeful 25 steep kms later the Refugio del Pilar recreation zone where I hoped they wouldn’t turf me out.

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As I climbed higher little wisps of mist and cloud would float by every so often but in general I seemed to be getting above the cloud that was massing to the south.
The sky was blue the ash black the trees green.

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A good few hikers past me going the other way DOWNHILL.
I was working my way around and over a chain of volcanos that stretched North to South up the spine of the island.
The wind had picked up and I was looking over the clouds to the sea far far below.

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Then the mist descended the cloud came down and the rain came in sideways on the strong and now cold wind. The nice thing was that rainbows kept getting formed in front of me.

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The area obviously was used to a soaking with more vegetation and greenery. I started to descend but not enough to get out of the cloud and rain.

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About 5 o’clock I arrived at the campsite and the thick cloud made it fairly dark already.

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So after a good look around for the most sheltered spot and some dried fruit and nuts for dinner I retired to my bed.
With all my clothes on including my down jacket, in my silk liner, in my sleeping bag, in my bivvy bag I was just about warm enough to, fitfully, sleep.

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