GRAN CANARIA 3rd FEB

The day started soft and ended hard. There was a fine drizzle whilst waiting for the ferry and by the time we got to Gran Canaria there was thick cloud on the mountain tops.

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On the hike out of Puerto de las Nieves I overtook a couple of well ladened backpackers and when we all met whilst getting supplies soon after we had a chat. They had been camping and hiking around the island for 10 days and were about to do the same 1400 mt climb as me. The difference was one had a pack weighing 22kg and the other 18kg!!
They said they were very slow and stopped often. They carried 4 or 5 litres of water each and had numerous items they admitted were a luxury. Like books and a mat just for sitting on. But how they struggled up those mountains was beyond me and helped my relationship with the monkey on my back. “He ain’t heavy, he’s my trail brother”
It’s a pity it was so dull because the trail was spectacular. One of the Germans took this of me as we rose up above the indented coastline.

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Then I left them behind as i climbed on a lovely old road/trail/track/path up past an old era and remains of a limekiln and onto the flank of a 800mt mountain.

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Luckily the gusty wind was blowing me against the slope because the path was like a thin line drawn across the mountain with a very big drop to the left and nothing to stop you till you hit the bottom.
After awhile I heard shouts and roars and saw a fella peering over a cliff edge and hurling rocks and abuse to something way down below. Sure enough a shepherd who had an errant flock. I came upon them in a bit grazing by a WATERFALL!

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I hadn’t seen one of them in awhile but was to see plenty more and cross plenty of streams as I was climbing into the cloud again. Up more Tolkeinesque stone steps.

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The track zig zagged up and up towards sheer looking cliffs but eventually found a way through to the high wet forest above dotted with eucalyptus trees and strange round hollow boulders ( a volcanic bomb perhaps).

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And so I returned to the cold and wet I’ve been attempting to escape. All the now familiar signs were there the wet brown pine needles, the moss and the hanging threads of lichen now joined by the ghostly pale trunks of eucalyptus.

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The visibility disappeared along with everything else into thickening cloud and heavier rain and it was with relief that I eventually reached the zona recreativa de Tamadada.
But it was too exposed without the shelters I had been hoping for so I carried on a km or so to the basic forest campsite where there were toilets but nothing else.
Apart from a deserted and crumbling youth camping complex where I found an open room in which to hide from the elements and hope for better conditions tomorrow.

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