I have made it to the Faro ( lighthouse ) de Orchilla, the start of the GR131 on El Hierro.
It took me 2 plane flights, 2 buses, a walk,a lucky lift and another walk.
It was simpler, quicker and nearly as cheap for me to get a through flight via Tenerife than get a plane and then ferry.
The planes operated by Binter are twin prop and connect all the islands. They also fly to the Portuguese islands and a few cities in Africa. It’s half price for residents as it is on the ferries too.
All very civilised on board with attentive hostesses handing out free papers,water,snackbars,boiled sweets and scented wipes.
The landing strip was a bit tight between the cliffs and the sea but no bother.
I have just walked past a monument to the zero meridian.
Before Columbus set sail from here to America this was the end of the western world.
It seems a very quiet laid back kind of place and very green. I was struck to see trees again. I was also struck by how steep and mountainous the island is, since I have to go from sea level to the top tomorrow.
It has actually got pretty wild here at the moment and I have got my rain coat out for the first time.
I got a bus to the end of the line at Sabinosa and hiked down to the northern coast road hoping for a lift some of the way out here. As I said, it’s quiet here so there were no cars on the road. I hadn’t realised the height of the mountains between me and the starting point and was reluctantly shouldering my pack when a German couple stopped and took me way beyond where they had intended going. And thank god they did, it was a hard enough climb for the hire car.

The view towards the faro.


It’s totally rigged lava flow here. Different again to what I saw on fuerteventura and lanzarote with lots of tubes and bubbles.


But it’s getting even wilder and I need to batten the hatches, get some rest before I walk the Camino of the Virgin tomorrow.



  1. Keeping up with your blogs Steve. Feeling somewhat ( very) lazy reading them from the comfort of my sofa. V interesting reading and fantastic photos. Hope you’re getting enough sustenance en route. What sort of things are you eating? How’s about a Ballad of the GR131! Prob too soon! Happy walking on EL Hierro. x


    1. Hi sue, i guess i swing a bit from feast to famine. An enforced 5/2 diet! If im on the trail for a couple of days and nights i dont want to carry anymore than i have to so survive on tuna, dates, salty nuts, choritzo. If i end up in a town i fill up. I think im losing weight anyway. The more off my belly the more i can put on my back!


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