I must be getting weary. I’ve been making mistakes. My mind is not in the moment and it’s not so much a case of .. Be here now… As ..Be where when?
First I leave my wallet on the bus. That should have got me to sharpen up but the very next night I walk away from the charging battery pack for my phone at the ferry port, realising just as we cast off.
And then, groggy from lack of sleep, when I hear the ship docking I hurriedly pack up and disembark, wondering why nobody else seems keen to be on their way.
There’s a lot of people on the dock waiting to board… Something’s not right… I look at my phone… It’s only 6.30 and we don’t arrive till 8.
I hadn’t realised we stopped at La Gomera on the way to Tenerife. I could very easily in my current sloppy state of mind have wandered off into town and watched the ship sail away !
When I did arrive at my destination I had already realised that I didn’t have enough time to walk the 8 hours from the bus at Arona to Vilaflor before dark so developed a cunning plan.
Take the bus past Arona to Vilaflor where I had my room at Almazen hostel.. Leave my increasingly heavy (must be the wearyness) pack there and hike DOWNHILL 20km on a 1400mt descent rather than the other way round with a full load on.
Then I reaLized I wouldn’t be able – starting at midday, to get down in time for the last bus back.
An even more cunning plan developed. Bus to Almazen. Chill out all day. Hike down in morning. Last bus back. Another €10 night.
I further advances this cunning strategy into a master plan. I would do as described above and then, the next day,with a stroke of genius , instead of hiking from Vilaflor to the Parador at the top of the trail involving another 1000mt climb… I would take the bus up and walk DOWN to Almazen for another €10 night. Then take the bus back up to the Parador the following morning to continue for another 3 days of level and downish hiking. Not only did this superior tactical thinking avoid me carrying a heavy pack against the wishes of gravity, it also avoided me camping out , illegally, in the Natioal Park at well over 2000mt.
The fact that I was excited about these effort avoiding strategies must mean I’ve hit a bit of a wall but what the hell, they’ve given me enthusiasm to hit the trail where a little bit of reluctance was creeping in.
I don’t have to go in one direction from beginning to end- I’m a free man- I’ll go up or down as i choose.
And as I ease up on one kind of rambling I let loose with the other.
When I got to Almazen I knew my plan was the right one.
A 400yr old rambling building, abandoned for 25yrs, with a terrace and extensive fruit and veg gardens and plenty of spring water rights. Views across the towns rooftops and surrounding mountains, nice people setting up a place for music and craftwork and healing and a cheap hostel to bring in the euros. They’ve been working hard to get it together since they moved in last November.
I strolled around the town taking pictures
Bought the makings of a big fresh salad and eased into my surroundings.
Today I would relax and not hurry down the trail gathering kms. Today I would…Be here now.
Guess you’ll be waiting for the bus right now. Good luck with another day’s walk downhill, though it does start with a pretty steep and rocky climb beside Guajara before you get the downhill benefit. I’ll be interested to see if you can resist being drawn off-route to the Roques de Garcia before you even start!
I am indeed Paddy waiting for the bus! Another lovely day downhere. I was going to ask about a couple of shelters you mention over the next 3 stages. Are they just low walls or do they have roofs. Thought i might be able to use them to break up the distances a bit. Cheers
I guess you’re referring to the shelters at Pero Gil and Siete Fuentes. Well, you’ll probably get noticed if you stay at Pero Gil, because La Caldera is quite busy with people coming and going. Siete Fuentes is the sort of place you’re likely to have all to yourself. The whole area could be dripping wet, because it’s in the ‘cloud forest’… and you already know what that’s like!
Leaving wallets on buses, batteries in charging docs, now I know where I get it from!
Did the GR 131 on Tenerife in 2016, liked it very much so I returned to Gran Canaria in 2018. https://www.caersbart.be/gr-131-tenerife/
Good stuff. So you still have a few Canaries to go? La Palma is special – but they’re all great hikes.
Thanks for reading, I’m in the Sierra de Aracena in Spain at the moment. Beautiful walking.