Circular walk from Villa de Arico through El Rio

Common Asphodel (Asphodelus aestivus) were flowering along a lot of the route

Common Asphodel (Asphodelus aestivus) were flowering along a lot of the route

This is a walk using the Camino Real, (Royal Road) the main road commissioned by the Spanish crown following conquest, and now a signposted footpath, on the first half. On reaching El Rio the route takes us up a steep hill till we reach another signposted footpath leading back to Villa de Arico. On both footpaths the views are panoramic, and the scenery varied with some very scenic barrancos to cross.

Annual Asphodel (Asphodelus tenuifolius) is smaller than the Common. While it is also not so common, there were quite a lot on this route

Annual Asphodel (Asphodelus tenuifolius) is smaller than the Common. While it is also not so common, there were quite a lot on this route

The photos were taken on February 4th, 2017, and it is a good route to walk in the winter as the vegetation is greener, and often the views clearer. The route has little shade, so it’s not so good in the summer.

 

 

 

A good cobbled section of the Camino Real, with a rock-floored section between 2 walls in the distance

A good cobbled section of the Camino Real, with a rock-floored section between 2 walls in the distance

We started the walk from near the roundabout on the TF-28, where the road up from the south motorway TF-1, joins it. Continuing along the TF-28 through the town, past various bars, shops and a bank, we continued walking on the road until we saw a fingerpost sign for the footpath on the left-hand side. The initial descent onto the path is quite steep, but we then reached a lovely cobbled bit of path, setting off to cross the barranco streambed and up the other side to join a minor road for a short distance.

More of the Camino Real

More of the Camino Real

 

The minor road, and the yellow/white waymarks took us up to the TF-28 where we walked in front of a couple of houses, then, by a yellow/white marked post up onto a gravel path at the edge of the road for a few yards to a gate, inside of which the path descended sharply again to cross a barranco and up again. A short stretch along the back of some houses brought us to a minor road heading down to the left which we followed and took the right fork shortly afterwards. This led us straight onto a long stretch of Camino Real in the countryside away from houses and the main road. In places it was in very good repair, including good cobbled parts, other places it was rougher, and in the barrancos there were cobbled paths with chunks missing through erosion, but all easily passed with care.

The Camino Real rising out of a barranco, but with a chunk missing ahead.

The Camino Real rising out of a barranco, but with a chunk missing ahead.

As we approached a farm, which used to have a goat herd which grazed the land we had just walked across, we reached a tarmac minor road which we followed into the centre of El Rio. On reaching a crossroads we turned right, passing a small shop on our right, crossed the main road by the church and continued uphill past it on a tarmac road. After a sharp bend a path up to the right with metal railings took us onto a shortcut of cobbled road past the village’s ‘Lavaderos’ – public washing places – and joined the tarmac again higher up. We continued walking until we reached a footpath going right with a fingerpost pointing the way back to Villa de Arico.

Another part of the Camino Real

Another part of the Camino Real

The path was clear but not well signed, just a few cairns occasionally to help you, with a few deviations for crossing barrancos but trending generally straight across the landscape. The difficult part is when you reach a minor tarmac road crossing the path, you go right a few yards and then left at a signpost, still on tarmac through another barranco, then between some houses out onto another minor road and then straight on at a junction with a dead end sign, and continue on when it becomes a dirt track.

Aulaga or 'Chicken wire plant' (Launea arborescens). A great survivor in this arid area

Aulaga or ‘Chicken wire plant’ (Launea arborescens). A great survivor in this arid area

When you come to a place where there are some ugly recent earthworks, you will find the path to the right, squeezed against a tall fence. Take care down the slope into this last barranco as some of the loose rocks and earth have fallen on the path. At the streambed go right to reach the path up again which will take you to the top edge of Villa de Arico, where you walk straight down to the church and beyond to get back to the start.

Part of the footpath returning to Villa de Arico

Part of the footpath returning to Villa de Arico

The walk was 11.8km/ 7.75 miles approx, and takes approx 3.5-4hrs. There is approx 500m of accumulated climbing, but mostly in small ups and downs.

A beautiful clump of Palmer (Pericallis lanata) in one of the barrancos

A beautiful clump of Palmer (Pericallis lanata) in one of the barrancos

 

 

 

 

The tiny flowers of the Canary madder (Rubia frutescens)

The tiny flowers of the Canary madder (Rubia frutescens)

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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 February 6, 2017, in South Tenerife, Walks in Tenerife. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Great walk really liked it being circular. Saw lots of wild flowers.
    A bit confusing at end of path on way back when should be said turn left and continue on track until tarmac road. Otherwise fine.

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