GSheehy: Track 3415 in area near Spain, Canary Islands ()
La Gomera - GR132
Length: 61.2km, Creator time taken: 13h53m, Ascent: 3208m, Descent: 3162m
Places:Start at Lon -17.1129, Lat 28.0882, end at Lon -17.3356, Lat 28.0939 22km W from Start Logged as completed by 1
In 1492, Columbus set out from San Sebastián with a bit of a plan. I did the same last Sunday, but that’s where the similarities end. The one big advantage I had was that there was no chance of a mutiny.
The island of La Gomera is about 25km in diameter and has, roughly, 8,000 inhabitants. It’s so laid back it’s almost horizontal but there’s great walking there for all levels. I was here in 2013 doing the GR 131 and I said I’d come back to do the GR 132, a ‘circular’ route around the island.
The ferry left Tenerife at 09:00 and I was walking on La Gomera at 09:56. I probably should have come over the night before and set off around 06:00 but it just didn’t suit me. Between here and Playa Santiago I met the most walkers, all going in the same direction. Made the mistake of going too hard in the heat and struggled up the 10km pull to Alajeró.
The tracks are pretty well defined and marked but I’d seriously recommend having a GPS here. Three or four times over the day I made little mistakes and had to backtrack a bit. The locals will give you all the help and direction you want, but in Spanish, so pointing and hand gestures are a great navigation tool.
It was 19:30 when I was heading up to La Dama from Playa de la Rajita so I sat for a minute to contemplate my finish. Look for a place to rest for the night or drive on to Valle Gran Rey, 20km away? Circumstance, and a refreshing quantity of Coca-Cola at a bar in La Dama, gave me the impetus to go on.
During the day, I couldn’t wait for the sun to go down. If it was colder and windier, shur I’d be at ‘home’. 29km in, there was a big clatter of thunder but the rain that fell was only sufficient to fill the nostrils with a sense of petrichor. The wind did pick up and stayed like that for the rest of the night.
Things started to happen after La Dama. I came across an exhibition of Silbo Gomero. In times past, the natives used to communicate across the ravines with an island specific whistle register. So I came across a guy whistling into a ravine and it just carried. A while later it was replied to, from where I do not know. Of course, the irony of this guy having a mobile phone in his hand wasn't lost on me.
In the black of night of another ravine the racket that was being made by birds was incredible. At a guess, they must have been some type of gull. On and on they went, probably replying to each other. I won't forget those sounds too soon.
The descent into Valle Gran Rey was slow because it was dark, it was steep, it zig zagged all over the place, the surface was very uneven and loose in places, and I was weary.
I made my way to the bus station in the hope that there might be some bit of shelter there from the wind that was blowing up through the valley. It was 23:56, no point in looking for accommodation at this hour of the night and I wouldn’t have slept anyway. The first bus out of Valle Gran Rey to San Sebatián was at 05:00. Arrived back in Tenerife at 08:30 Monday morning and stayed horizontal for the rest of the week.
Now, that’s about half of the GR 132 done so I will have to make plans to finish it off.
PS: I took about 80 photographs so it’s hard to give an indication of the terrain etc. in 4 or five.
Lessons learned: It’s hard to find a shop open on a Sunday so be prepared to overpay for water in a restaurant. It’s hard to eat solids in the heat so carrying a few protein/carb powder mixes wasn’t a bad idea. Carrying a rain jacket is fine but I could have done with a lightweight down jacket, after the walk while waiting for the bus. Recce the start of the walk the evening before and start early the next day.
Uploaded on: Sat, 25 Mar 2017 (10:56:27) Linkback: https://mountainviews.ie/track/3415/ To download GPS tracks you must be enrolled and logged in. See "Login or enrol", top right - quick and easy.
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