It's been a few minutes, so how about another post about Tenerife's fantastic hiking? Today, we'll be looking at the trail which begins at the foot of the Barranco de Ruiz, and leads to the seaside village of San Juan de la Rambla. At about three hours in length, this hike has a bit of everything, and serves as a primer to Tenerife's incredibly varied terrain.
The Anaga mountain range is big. We knew that, but didn't realize quite how big, until we drove out to the very last village on the road, Chamorga. Even though our house is directly at the front door of Anaga, it took us well over an hour to complete the drive -- about the same time it takes to drive to the other end of Tenerife!
Our initial driving tour of the Teide region ended at the Parador Nacional de las Cañadas, situated in front of one of the island's most impressive natural sights: the Roques de Garcia. Before calling it a day, we found the energy to complete a quick, 90-minute hike around the rocks.
At the top of the Orotava valley lies a volcanic crater named La Caldera. Today, it's a popular recreative zone, with camping lots, grills and showers, and is the nucleus of an expansive network of hiking trails. We chose to embark on a moderate four-hour walk through the surrounding forests, to the village of Aguamansa and back.
A time-worn path brought us from the village of Afur, along the coastline to Taganana, and then back to Afur through the forests and hills of the Anaga natural reserve. With perfect weather, a well-marked trail, glorious coastal views, an evocative forest, the surprise kindness of strangers, and just the right amount of challenge, it was one of the best hikes we've ever done.
Our week on La Gomera had flown by, and the final hike was upon us. At least we wouldn't have to go far … our chosen route led directly past our cabin at the Casa del Chorro, up to the Mirador Abrante, and over the mountains to Agulo. Had we saved the best for last? Let's find out!
A town with a name like Vallehermoso ("Beautiful Valley") best be able to deliver the goods. We'd already spent the better part of a week on an isla hermosa, so expectations were high. And we weren't disappointed… at least by the town and its truly beautiful valley. But this wasn't our best hike, thanks to the overcast skies. While hiking on La Gomera, overcast skies are bad news, because if your trail takes you into the hills…
Our fourth day on La Gomera was supposed to be for recovery, when we would pause all physical activity and simply relax on a beach. But for whatever reason, when the day rolled around, we felt more like hiking in an ancient forest than chilling on the black sand. I'm starting to think that something might be wrong with us… But even though our hearts were willing, our bones were still sore, so we picked out an…
Our third hike in La Gomera would be a circular route starting in the village of Chipude, taking past the viewpoint of Igualero to the top of Garajonay (the highest point on La Gomera), and then back again through the charred remains of a forest devastated by wildfire.
Our initial hike on La Gomera had been more difficult than expected and we scaled back our ambitions big time for Day Two. If a three hour hike actually took us six, how long would we need for an eight hour hike?! Best not to even find out. Luckily, on this island criss-crossed with paths, there's always an alternative. And we found a way to explore the Valle Gran Rey which wouldn't involve (too many) hours of agony.
We arrived in Tenerife early Sunday afternoon, disembarked the ferry on La Gomera later that same day, and checked into our guest house in they tiny village Imada well after nightfall. After a quick meal at the town's single restaurant, the Arcilia, we went straight to bed. On Monday morning, we'd be confronting our first big hike of the week, and we wanted to be rested.