Category Archives: Walking book ‘Tenerife Nature Walks’

Walk 3 from the book ‘Tenerife Nature Walks’ revisited on a very clear day

View from Degollada de la Mesa

View from Degollada de la Mesa with clear views of the islands of La Gomera (left) and La Palma (right)

We revisited this walk on Wednesday, 20th January, but did do some minor variations. We walked in a clockwise direction, to ensure that we walked the ridge while it was clear of cloud, though on that particular day it was not a problem as it turned out. 

View to Masca

View to Masca 

 

The main variation we made was on the return from the Albergue de Bolico (point 11 in the book). After taking the path up from the Albergue till reaching the track, we walked only 450m on the track before turning left onto a footpath to cut through the laurel woods rather thancontinue on the yellow/white marked trail on the track. That path took us through the woods joining the book’s route at point 5. These changes resulted in a walk that was only 14.52 km long and took us under 5 hours.

Tenerife viper's bugloss (Echium virescens) on the ridge above Masca

Tenerife viper’s bugloss (Echium virescens) on the ridge above Masca

 

 

Tree heath (Erica arborea) which grows widely on the top of the ridge either side of the path.

Tree heath (Erica arborea) which grows widely on the top of the ridge either side of the path.

 

The day we chose turned out to be exceptionally  clear, and we had the best ever views from the    ridges we walked on. 

A Raven (Corvus corax) on top of a Century plant (Agave americana)

A Raven (Corvus corax) on top of a Century plant (Agave americana)

 

Fleytas walk (10 of 12)

A lovely shady cobbled section of the path above the Albergue de Bolico

Fleytas walk (8 of 12)

A view to Las Portals and Buenavista del Norte from the Masca ridge

Fleytas walk (9 of 12)

Canary holly berries (Ilex canariensis)

Recently cleared obstruction to path

Recently cleared logs which were previously obstructing the path through the woods

Fleytas walk (12 of 12)

Tree sow-thistle (Sonchus canariensis) on the track down to the Erjos lakes.

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.

Revisiting the circular walk from Las Vegas (Walk 22 in the book)

The old water mill (El molino) is the stone tower below the round reservoir

The old water mill (El molino) is the stone tower below the round reservoir

I recently heard that some of the signage on this walk, (no 22 in the book ‘Tenerife Nature Walks’) has recently been changed. Whereas before this circular walk was signed with green and white signposts and paint marks, it is now largely yellow and white. This is because the authorities are signing and improving another, longer circle, which goes higher up. It is another walk I know and love, going up through the barranco past the impressive rock-climbing cliff called “Risco de Muerto” and then to the east to come down past Montaña Tames (an excellent lunch spot), and down to join walk 22 on its return to Las Vegas. There has also been a lot of work done repairing and widening parts of the very popular circle described in walk 22.

The old green and white signs are still there at point 7, though a bit worse for wear!

The old green and white signs are still there at point 7, though a bit worse for wear!

 

 

 

To avoid confusion, if you are doing walk 22, follow the signs which say ‘El Molino’ (the mill ) until you get to the mill, which is a stone tower below a round reservoir (point 6 in the book). There is a renewed signboard explaining how the mill used to work, as there is now no water channel to the top of it to make it more obvious. From this point on, follow the signs back to Las Vegas.

In places the green part of the paint marks have been overpainted with yellow - others have not been changed

In places the green part of the paint marks have been overpainted with yellow – others have not been changed

The new signage at point 8 of the walk

The new signage at point 8 of the walk

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Scilla haemorrhoidalis, a canarian endemic bulbous plant seen in flower yesterday (Jan 3rd) beside the path

 

 

Corrections and amendments to the book ‘Tenerife Nature Walks’

Walk 9 – Boca de Tauce to Guia de Isora – (Posted 20th Nov, 2013) Despite severe damage in the 2012 forest fire the Barranco de Tagara, and its surrounding area, which this walk passes through is now recovering well, and the path through the barranco has been repaired.

Walk 10 – Circular from Chirche thru Barranco Peguerias – (posted 12th Feb, 2016) Unfortunately I have to report that the path through the Barranco Peguerias has become overgrown since the fire of 2012, and it is virtually impossible to find the path.

Walk 11 – Ifonche to Barranco del Infierno viewpoint – (posted 20th Nov, 2013) The main path used by this walk, up until point 11, is now way marked with yellow/white signposts and way marks to help navigation. Pictures below show the junctions of the paths to and from the viewpoint at point 11 and 15.

Point 11 of Walk 11, where you take the path straight on, marked by the yellow/white cross

Looking back at the path by which you arrive at point 15 of walk 11. Arriving there from the viewpoint you turn right here

The plants mentioned, particularly at point 9, were badly affected by the 2012 forest fire, but are starting to re-grow now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Walk 33 – Los Organos of La Orotava – (posted 26.10.2017) For a while the upper part of this walk was closed due to a landslip.  I am pleased to find out that it is no longer closed.  Super walk – Enjoy!

 

If you find any differences between the book description of a walk and the reality you encounter, please let the author know at the following email address: sallywhymark@hotmail.es

Special announcement -Publication of my book ‘Tenerife Nature Walks’

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A new walking guide for Tenerife describing 35 scenic walks to suit a wide range of abilities, which draws attention throughout to the remarkable natural environment that the walker will see en route.  There are walks in all parts of the island which will introduce walkers to the different types of environment to be found in the different areas of the island.  The descriptions of the routes are clear, in numbered paragraphs which relate to numbered points on the maps.  The walks all have an introduction and a summary of the walk statistics for ease of use. The book is 212 pages long, fully illustrated, with maps provided by the Spanish Instituto Geografico Nacional, and many colour photos of both landscape and wildlife, especially the many endemic plants.

If you would like some copies for re-sale in Tenerife, contact me at sallywhymark@hotmail.es or the publisher at booksales@flintwork.co.uk.

Update of book availability in Tenerife (posted 23rd April, 2013)

Tenerife Nature Walks is now available in Tenerife at  €17.00 from The Bookswop in Puerto Colon, Libreria Barbara in Los Cristianos and Libreria Stratford in Puerto de la Cruz.  Any other outlet which would like to stock some, please contact me at sallywhymark@hotmail.es

Further update (posted 21st June, 2013 and updated 23rd July)

GPS tracks for all 35 walks, complete with waypoints corresponding to the numbered paragraphs of the walks are now available for download from Wikiloc at the following address:

http://www.wikiloc.com/wikiloc/find.do?q=SLW

Please note that there is an error on the map for walk 31 where the waypoints on the map do not correspond to the position of the numbers of the paragraphs from number 8 onwards.  The GPS track, however, does have the correct numbering.

 Further update (posted 12th July, 2013)

‘Tenerife Nature Walks’ is now also available from http://www.nhbs.com in the UK (and probably they will mail elsewhere as well)

 

 

Update re Walk 10 – ‘Circular from Chirche’ (posted 19th March, 2015)

I have been told that the section of the path through the Barranco Peguerias, from point 31 to point 17 where it joins the yellow/white signposted route from Boca de Tauce to Guia de Isora, is now very overgrown.  The path is very hard to find, even if you know where it is.  You will definitely need a GPS with the track loaded, if you want to attempt it.  And long trousers may be advisable!  Updated (24.1.2019) The path is still overgrown, and last time I attempted it we had to boulder-hop down the barranco streambed because we could not find the path.

I am also told there is some confusion at point 31, which way to go.  Before this point you have been walking along a track on a narrow ridge.  At point 31 the track goes down to the right into the barranco, however the walk continues on the ridge, although it is getting less narrow, going uphill straight on for a while, and later turns to the right dipping gently into the barranco.

Update re Walk 9  Boca de Tauce – Guia de Isora PR-70 (Posted 24.1.2019)

I recently walked through the Barranco Tagara section of this walk (points 12A to 15), which unfortunately has a lot of damage as a result of the 2012 fire.  Many very large trees on the steep slopes above the path were killed by the fire but remained standing for a while.  Now, nearly 7 years later, rotting at the base is now causing them to fall when there are storms.  Many have already fallen and there are still some that could fall any time. This has resulted in many obstructions to the path (huge trunks to be climbed over or under), and also more erosion of the path itself because of the reduced canopy, as well as the risk of falling trees.  For these reasons the path has become quite dangerous, and when we walked there we saw that the authorities have re-routed the PR-70 footpath so that it avoids the section between points 12A and 15.  I have posted in Wikiloc.com a revised GPS track, showing the main way from Boca de Tauce to Guia de Isora, using the diversion we came across near point 7 in the book.  However, I have not walked the whole length of the path recently and am not sure whether the signposts redirect those going to Guia de Isora from point 4 or 5,but there certainly is a signpost at point 7.  I am also not sure whether the paths in the book from point 7, through 8,9,10,11, and 12 to 12A, are still maintained and signposted.  We did go on the shortcut path directly between 12A and 7 the other day and it was easily passable, though a little overgrown.  Take care, and follow the signposts and I think you will still enjoy the walk.