And so we come to the last post of this series of walks on La Palma. We look forward to returning to this amazing island again and picking up from where we left off!
The conditions were perfect for us on this walk. Although there were clouds swirling around some of the nearby mountains and over the volcanoes in the southern half of the island, Pico Bejenado was surrounded by clear skies. This mountains is fairly unique on La Palma, whereas others tend to form part of a chain, Pico Bejenado stands proud on its own, at the southern end of the La Caldera de Taburiente national park.
There are only a couple of good starting points from the south, mainly due to the inaccessibility of the terrain to the north. We chose the El Barrial route, taking a long walk up a dirt track before arriving at the starting point at the start of the national park. From here the route was signposted really well, with directions at every junction helping us along the way, so we barely needed the map and occasionally dipped into the guide book to read about the attractions such as the lava tubes as we went past.
We gained height very quickly, and had some fantastic views back towards the mountains of the volcano route. The path was nice and varied, using a forest track through the pine forest before giving way to sparser scrubland and then towards to the end getting much steeper with sharp drops.
When we reached the point at which the path meets up with the other recommended walk, we found ourselves on the edge of a massive cliff as we could look deep into the heart of the Caldera de Taburiente.
Although we felt like we were near the top we still had several hundred metres of ascent ahead of us, but the panoramic views meant it was a pleasure all the way.
One on the pretty small summit we enjoyed our sandwiches and a bit of banter with a handful of other walkers before retracing our route back down.
This walk was fairly hard work, made a lot easier by the excellent waymarking and the great idea of going up the mountain gradually with long hairpin footpaths instead of just heading straight up.
As with the other walks, we rewarded ourselves with a bit of relaxation and swimming on the beautiful beach at Puerto Naos to finish the day.
Overall, La Palma was a brilliant holiday, we will be back!