Hike from Acojeja, Guia de Isora
Even though I know the area around Acojeja well, this walk included 3 paths I had never walked before. One of these. from Acojeja to Las Fuentes via the Barranco de Guaria, I had known about but had been unable to find the way through as it was so overgrown. The other two I had glimpsed from different viewpoints but had not worked out where they began or ended. However, all these paths and the others in this walk, have been cleared during the last few years, including in recent weeks, so they are now easier to find.
We set out from the centre of Acojeja where the road is wide at the junction of Calle Chile and Calle Teide. There is a signboard by the road with information about items of cultural heritage in the village, including the wine press which is to be found a few yards away down the stone cobbled path. The wine-press is worth a look, with the tank hewn out of an impressive old pine trunk. Then we took the path descending from beside the wine press. It goes down steeply at first and then levels off and descends mainly gently down the side of the Barranco de Guaria till it reaches the streambed.
I had not been in the streambed of the barranco since the storms we had in November 2012, and was amazed at the erosion that had occured. I had noticed that the barranco had had running water for most of the week we had rains. However, the water had eroded about a metre of gravel from the base of the barranco, and moved some huge boulders, so the walk up the barranco for about a kilometre was not easy walking. Quite frequently it involved a bit of rock scrambling, but nothing too difficult.
As we walked up the barranco I spent some time looking up the cliffs at all the interesting plants growing on them, including lots of cliff celery (Tinguarra cervariaefolia) and Maple-leaf lavatera (Lavatera acerifolia) in flower, growing mostly on the right-hand side, facing north. On the left of the streambed is one very fine Drago tree (Dracaena draco), and above it a good view of the red cliffs much used by rock climbers.
The barranco begins to narrow as you approach where the path leaves the streambed, and there are now, painted on 2 boulders, white arrows pointing up at the place to start the climb. This is some tens of metres below the Galeria de Fuente de Guia which can be seen ahead as you climb the barranco. We made the detour to go and visit the Galeria which involves a steep climb to get up to the building where there still is an impressive machine housed. It is a mystery how they managed to get it there! Then we returned to the path out of the barranco. It is narrow, but easy to follow as it winds upwards. Eventually we arrived at the foot of a red cliff. This is where our previous attempt to find the path had failed. Springs come out below the cliff, resulting in excellent growing conditions for wild shrubs and trees, which were growing above head height, so we could not even see where the path went. Now we were able to see that the path goes right along the base of the cliff and then climbs up a stone-built ramp to reach the top of the cliff, turns a sharp left, and runs along level for a while before turning sharp right uphill again. The path finally goes between enclosing walls to arrive on a track in the village of Las Fuentes.
We turned left on the track to head towards the street of old houses lining either side of the path on the hillside. We passed the public fountain on our right, which is very welcome for any walkers getting short of water. After passing most of the houses to the left of the path, but not all those on the right, we reached a path turning left which I had never before noticed despite walking past it on numerous occasions. This was the second path that was new to me. It led across a dip, around old fields, and up onto a rocky ridge with fine views down the barranco, and then gradually, very gently, went into the barranco. We were now on the north slope of the same barranco we had walked up earlier, but here it is called the Barranco de Niagara. We were walking at times with rocks to the right, with flowers such as Palomera (Pericallis lanata) and Tree houseleek (Aeonium arboreum) hanging off them. We were brushing through bushes of Escobón (Chamaecytisus proliferus) with their white pea-family flowers just appearing.
After a while walking along the south side of this delightful barranco, we crossed the streambed to arrive at a threshing floor near a bend in the barranco. We turned left here and started to zig-zag up the other side of the barranco. However, we did not continue to the top, as I have done before, we turned left, not at the first turning (which we could have done), but at a second which arrived in front of an old cave dwelling and cave animal corrals. Here we enjoyed a break for lunch, before descending to join the path proceeding from the first turning on the slope and continuing around the barranco’s northern side. The path was roughly level as the barranco descended away from us, until we had a sharp right turn and a short steep climb to get out of the barranco to end up on a ridge above the hamlet and farmland of El Choro.
We came out on a track near to a large reservoir which we passed and shortly afterwards joined an old traditional path to the left which shortcuts a loop in the track. We rejoined the track again and then took another shortcut on the old path which brought us to a small finca on the right with chain-link fencing around it. Here we could have continued straight on down to Acojeja, but decided to extend the walk a little further by going to El Jaral, turning right on the path right next to the fence. This path passes the fenced finca and then turns to the right towards an old house perched on a promontory, called the Casa de Don Tomás. The path passes beneath the house, cresting the ridge and starting to descend, where there is a junction and we took the left one to go to El Jaral. Again this path has been cleared now for a couple of years, though it is still narrow. When I first came looking for it a few years ago, I missed it! It is a delightful path, descending down the south side of the Barranco del Pozo, crossing the streambed and gently rising the other side to reach El Jaral. It has the feel of being remote and miles from anywhere, even though the village is not far away.
The path arrives in the village of El Jaral, passing a very attractive Casa Rural on the right and continuing past the old school which is now a community centre to arrive at a small square area with parking for 4 cars. We turned left, went about 20 metres and turned left again, between houses, to re-cross the Barranco del Pozo to get back to Acojeja. This path is now signposted, I noticed, and is a broader, better defined path than most of the others we had used. The barranco here was very pretty with almond trees in full flower (we did the walk on Feb 6th), and full of greenery.
The cobbled path climbs the slope of the south side of the barranco and turns the corner to join the narrow tarmac road which runs from Acojeja to El Choro. We turned right to go down the road to get back to our start point.
The route was approximately 9.5 km (unfortunately my GPS had difficulty locating itself in the narrow part of the barranco), and took us 4 hrs 50 mins. There was cumulative climbing of about 655m, but it was not one long climb followed by one long descent – rather a series of ups and downs, in and out of the barrancos.
A GPS track of this walk can be found at:
Posted on February 18, 2013, in Walks in Tenerife, West Tenerife and tagged Acojeja, Aeonium arboreum, Barranco de Guaria, Barranco de Niagara, Barranco de Pozo, Chamaecytisus proliferus, El Choro, El Jaral, Escobon, Guia de Isora, hiking, Las Fuentes, nature, senderismo, Tenerife, Tree houseleek, walking. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.