Shortened version of Walk 15 in the book

 

 

Near the beginning of the walk, the path leaving the Casas del Contador

Near the beginning of the walk, the path leaving the Casas del Contador

Walk 15 in the book Tenerife Nature Walks starts in the village of Las Sabinita, climbs up to the recreation area at El Contador and descends to Villa de Arico.  This walk, which we did last Saturday, 12th December, starts and ends at El Contador, and takes in some of the best scenery in that longer walk.

Approaching the start of the old path we climbed up after the descent on the track.

Approaching the start of the old path we climbed up after the descent on the track. The path leaves from the base of the large pine on the left.

 

We parked at the El Contador recreation area.  This is reached from the roundabout on the edge of Villa de Arico, from where it is signposted up a 7 km single track road.  The road is tarmac all the way to El Contador, although in places it is in need of repair, so it needs to be taken slowly.  There are a few passing places, but we have hardly ever met another vehicle on it, so it’s not so bad as it sounds.

From the parking area we went right, towards the east, following the tarmac to a left-hand bend where there are two signposts, one for the track leading uphill, and the other, straight on, for the path we were to take.  The path passes a group of houses, probably originally a large farm, and plunges downhill from a signpost by the houses.  It crosses a valley and continues a few hundred metres before joining a track.  Turn right on the track.

In order to take in another path in the area, we continued on the track, mainly downhill, for about 1.9km.  Not far from where we joined it we passed a path steeply coming down from the left to join the track.  This was where we would later return.  As we went on down the track we passed on the left is a well-tended farm with vines in terraces up the slope above the track. Continue down until you reach a rather neglected track joining acutely from the left near some neglected vines in some nearby fields. We turned left here and head up the neglected track till it reaches the edge of the pines, as shown in the photo. The track there heads sharp right towards a reservoir, but we take an old but neglected path which heads up beside the large pine on the left in the picture. Initially the path is not very clear, but look up the slope and you will see the stone reinforcements at the side of the path as it zig-zags up the hill on a ridge with great views to the left.

The neglected old path ascending the ridge

The neglected old path ascending the ridge

Nearing the top of the ridge, cross over a large water pipe to reach the other side of the ridge, but do not go too close to the edge, which is a cliff. Also there are some large cracks back from the edge of the cliff, so do not walk on the rock between the cracks and the edge of the cliff. However, get as close as you dare, where it looks safe, to enjoy the delightful view down into the Barranco Tamadaya, a jewel of biodiversity, which is well worth a visit from below.

The view into the Barranco Tamadaya from the cliff.

The view into the Barranco Tamadaya from the cliff.

 

 

A little further on the old path reaches a well-defined yellow/white signposted route which we initially set out on, but left where we continued down the track. Here we turned right to join the yellow/white route and immediately descended to cross a minor barranco, Barranco de las Hiedras, which is one of the feeds for the Barranco Tamadaya below. The barranco is well-polished rock leading around a bend to a drop into the lower Barranco. The path goes up out of the barranco, crosses a ridge and descends into another feeder barranco, Barranco Albarderos, with a dramatic cliff above the path.

The cliff above the path in Barranco Albarderos

The cliff above the path in Barranco Albarderos

The path ascends out of the barranco and goes fairly level for a while with great views, and then climbs a pumice slope to a rocky pinnacle which is the highest point of this walk. There is a steep slope zig-zagging down into a sheltered area where we stopped for our lunch before continuing on the path.

The view across to the cliff as we descended after lunch

The view across to the cliff as we descended after lunch

We decided to continue downhill to take another look at an unusual stone building with a corbelled roof, which is at point 7 of the walk in the book. I have puzzled as to its original purpose, but, approaching from above, it was easier to see the walls supporting terraces on the slightly flatter area in front of the building. I now think it most probably was a very small farmhouse, built entirely of stones because they were the available material, and there was a shortage there of clay to make roof tiles.

The back of the stone building with corralled roof. It has an inscription 'Nov 1872' on its side

The back of the stone building with corralled roof. It has an inscription ‘Nov 1872’ on its side

 

After looking around the building we retraced our steps, climbing nearly 170m back to the highest point, so clearly if you do not want too much climbing, it is best to cut out the bit between the highest point to the stone building, and back. You will still have seen some beautiful views and exciting barrancos.

Returning up the ramp to the highest point on the rocky pinnacle

Returning up the ramp to the highest point on the rocky pinnacle

 

 

When we reached the junction, traversed by the big brown waterpipe, where we had re-joined the yellow and white waymarked route, we went towards the right on the waymarked route to follow it all the way back to the El Contador parking area. This walk was 10.56 km / 6.6 miles and took us 3hr 45m. It involved 586m of climbing and descent. A GPS track of it can be found at the following link, where it can be seen on maps, and downloaded:

http://www.wikiloc.com/wikiloc/view.do?id=11708427

Returning to El Contador, with Casas del Contador in sight.

Returning to El Contador, with Casas del Contador in sight.

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About Sally Whymark

When I retired and moved out to Tenerife a few years ago, one of the things I really wanted to do was go walking in the mountains. The scenery is very dramatic, and varied. The views are amazing. The native birds and butterflies and other fauna are remarkable. But the flowers - they're just stunning. Little did I know how this would fire up my interest in plants. While living in England, I had always had an interest in flowers and plants, indeed I ran a plant nursery with my husband for many years, but had not spent a great deal of time pursuing botany. But when walking in Tenerife, I noticed all the unfamiliar shapes of the local flowers, and longed to find out more about them. There are literally hundreds of species endemic to just Tenerife (or even just one part of it), the Canary Islands, or Macronesia (the Atlantic Islands, including Madeira, Canaries and Azores). They are so exciting, and so many of them are really showy as well. So I have started this blog to share with you my excitement at all the great sights I see when walking in Tenerife. I hope you'll enjoy it - and want to come here and experience it for yourself.

Posted on December 18, 2015, in South Tenerife, Walking book 'Tenerife Nature Walks', Walks in Tenerife and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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