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GSheehy: Track 3325 in area near Spain, Canary Islands ()
La Gomera - GR131
Length: 35.6km, Creator time taken: 31h18m, Ascent: 1374m, Descent: 1515m
Places:Start at Lon -17.2663, Lat 28.1795, end at Lon -17.1137, Lat 28.0911 18km SE from Start Logged as completed by 1
I won’t get any five star rating for the description of this walk but it is probably one of the most memorable walks I’ve ever done for a few, some might say, reckless reasons. It’s more of a story than a description.
La Gomera is about 50 minutes by ferry from Tenerife. A return ticket costs about €60 and you’ll need to carry your passport. The previous year (2012) I had done the Tenerife section of the GR131 so the 40km of it on La Gomera was calling me over.
I travelled over to La Gomera on a Wednesday and the plan was to get to the start of the walk at Vallehermosa, settle into a pension , take a walk down to the ‘beach’, relax and get up the next morning at 07:00 and head back to San Sebastian along the GR131. I wouldn’t be a great passenger and the sheer drops, protected by meagre barriers, to the right of the bus along the roads made me nervous. It wasn’t helped by looking at the driver and thinking that he was nodding off.
I wasn’t paying much attention to the weather forecast, until I was on the ferry, and saw that there was a lot of rain forecast for the following day. I wasn’t prepared for that so once I got off the ferry I took the bus to Vallehermosa and decided to mozy on along the track. It was about noon at that stage. I figured I’d see how much of it I could do, check-in some place along the way and maybe finish it off the following day. I had discovered ViewRanger at that stage so I had the map on my phone but I didn’t record the track. The one above is courtesy of Wikiloc.
You don’t meet many other walkers on these trails but those that you do always seem to be coming down against you - start high, finish low kinda walkers. The tracks were well marked and easy to walk on, stray from them and you’re on very rough ground. You’re starting at about 300m and you’re basically climbing all the way to the highest peak on the Island, Garajony at 1,487m, but you know there are a few ‘dips’ along the way.
It was 16:53 by the time I was on Garajonay and I decided, at that stage, that I’d keep going to the finish. I had a good bit of battery left on the phone, I had a head torch, the villages with accommodation I’d passed by already, had a fleece and if I stuck to the track (paying attention at junctions) I’d be grand.
It was dark at around 19:00 and at that stage I had another 10km to go. It was mainly downhill but I can’t say I wasn’t a bit nervous. The phone went with about 5km to go but I could see the lights of San Sebastian against the clear sky. Every dog in the area was barking.
Finally made it to San Sebastian at around 20:30 and went looking for accommodation. Found a nice cheap hotel, with a restaurant not so far away, and checked in there. Got up early the next morning to the rain and heavy mist covering the town, made my way to the ferry to change my ticket to the first boat out, and back to Tenerife.
Uploaded on: Wed, 12 Oct 2016 (13:30:44) Trackback: http://mountainviews.ie/track/3325/ To download GPS tracks you must be enrolled and logged in. See "Login or enrol", top right - quick and easy.
Note: ALL information such as Ascent, Length and Creator time taken etc should be regarded as approximate. The creator's comments are opinions and may not be accurate or still correct.
Your time to complete will depend on your speed plus break time and your mode of transport. For walkers: Naismith's rule, a rough and often inaccurate estimate, suggests a time of 9h 25m + time stopped for breaks
Note: It is up to you to ensure that your route is appropriate for you and your party to follow bearing in mind all factors such as safety, weather conditions, experience and access permission.