Sunday, 24 March 2013

More Walking on La Palma: Jedey Walk

I've never seen quite so much variety in the weather as on La Palma. And that's coming from a frequent visitor to the Lake District where we have had walks starting off in glorious sunshine ending up in a snowstorm a couple of miles later and several hundred metres higher.

Our strategy for picking where to walk was pretty straightforward, get up off the coastal strip onto higher ground, look at where the clouds were and then head off in the other direction.

We chose a walk starting from the village of Jedey as this meant only a short drive for us from Puerto Naos, meaning we could park up, enjoy the walk and be back in time for a swim and lie on the beach by mid afternoon.

The main footpath we set off along was the PR LP 15 that would have taken us back onto the GR131 and the volcano route, but to shorten the walk, after a short while we headed off the path and onto a forest track that was headed upwards.
Although the slopes were steep the path - as we found is the case with many of the paths on La Palma - they comprise of long straight sections and hairpin bends, meaning they take you gradually up into the mountains.

Once again this was a walk with varied scenery, as we headed up from the village we passed through volcanic slopes and the occasional vineyard before entering the pine forest. As it was cloudy more or less everywhere around us the views around us were pretty hazy.

After a couple of hours heading upwards we unfortunately found the path we planned to use on our descent appeared to be closed for maintenance - and in this volcanic terrain going off the established paths isn't an option.

So we took the same path back down and before we knew it we were back in Jedey and at the car ready for a couple of hours of seaside Atlantic bliss.

Sunday, 10 March 2013

La Palma: Roque de los Muchachos

Here is some more Winter sunshine for you, a visit to one of the "must see" attractions on La Palma. Roque de Los Muchachos is the highest point in the island, a collection of rocks towering high up in the clouds at nearly two and a half kilometres above sea level.

The summit area is also a hotbed of astronomic activities, as we drove past countless observatories as we neared the top. La Palma is renowned for its clear skies and apparently is the second best location for astronomy in the northern hemisphere. Yes you read correctly - we drove up as opposed to walking - but the drive was more than an adventure as we headed up through countless hairpin bends with near vertical drops.

The views form the summit were simply stunning, you could look right over the cloud to El Tiero over on Tenerife.

Looking southwards we had a fine view over the Caldera de Taburiente, deep into the lush forest far below us.

Over to the west past the jagged crags we could see the expanses of banana plantations and beyond we could see the coast and the villages of Tazacorte and Puerto Naos.

We had a short walk to the central viewing point and the view from here into the Caldera de Taburiente was simply stunning! The GR131 (long distance footpath) passes this spot but we had a busy holiday schedule of things to see and places to visit, so we've saved that one for another time.

I have a couple more La Palma posts for you, before a triumphant return to the Lakes and a great little circular in the North Western Fells, so watch this space!