Blog Archives

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

Dramatic walk past Los Organos de Orotava and the Camino de Joco

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Walking down the Camino de Candelaria from La Crucita

WARNING: (posted 3.12.2015)  The path along the top of the Organos walk (Walk 33 in the book) is closed between points 7 and 12 as there has been a small landslide near to point 10, which is dangerous. The remainder of the path is passable, although it has always needed caution in places. So you can enter from either side to see the fantastic scenery and botanical diversity.

We did this walk in the north of Tenerife last Wednesday because the weather was nearly perfect for it, with nearly clear skies and no cloud between the crest and the coast, as there so often is.  We had wanted to do it ever since doing stage 2 of the GR131 in December 2011, when we were unable to see one of the most scenic bits of the path due to low cloud and rain.  This time we walked in the opposite direction, and took in the top of the Los Organos path as well as the Camino de Joco (part of the GR131) for a really exciting walk.

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A pair of dykes (geological sheet intrusions of magma) crossing the path and traverse the hillside

We started the walk from the ridge road from El Portillo to La Esperanza ( TF-24) at La Crucita, which is near km 30.  There is a small viewpoint parking place there, where the Camino de Candelaria, a traditional pilgrimage path from the Orotava valley, crosses the crest of the ridge to plunge down the other side to Arafo and Candelaria.  We went down the pilgrim path on the north side towards the Orotava valley, enjoying fine views to Teide across the valley as we went down in zig-zags.

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Another dyke beside the path during the descent

On the way down we passed two dykes crossing the path, and later on one beside the path, both vertical sheets of magma intruded into the local rock during violent volcanic activity in the past.  Now, though, they punctuate the hillside, helping stop erosion.

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Canarian shrubby plantain (Plantago arborescens)

After about an hour of walking down (about 4.7km/2.9ml) we reached a junction of paths with signposts of yellow and white livery.  We had joined the Los Organos circular walk.  We went right and started an up and down section of path across the cliffs.  This is a very interesting area botanically, but unfortunately it is a bit early for much to be in flower yet – in a couple of months it will be at its best.   However, we did see some Canarian shrubby plantain (Plantago arborescens) in flower fairly soon after the path junction.

Soon afterwards we started seeing Shrubby Burnet (Bencomia caudata) plants by the path, and they continued to feature for much of the way across this section.  They are distinctive plants with large pinnate leaves, even though they did not have their tassel-like flowers or seeds yet.

Shrubby burnet (Bencomia caudata) beside the path

Shrubby burnet (Bencomia caudata) beside the path

We then passed one of the most dramatic points of the walk where the path goes around a  vertical pillar of rock, behind a very stout fence.  There are great views from this point. Also in this area, which is less shaded by pine trees, there are lots of interesting plants, but none were in flower yet.  Soon after the viewpoint, though, was a good example of a Canary guelder rose (Viburnum rigidum), not in flower, but with mature fruits and some flower buds at the same time.

Approaching the viewpoint around the vertical pillar

Approaching the viewpoint around the vertical pillar

Soon afterwards the path curved in an out to cross a couple of ravines which were almost vertical, but full of interesting plants due to the increased moisture around them.  One of them had Canary strawberry trees (Arbutus canariensis) up one side.

Canary guelder rose (Viburnum rigidum)

Canary guelder rose (Viburnum rigidum)

Then a zig-zag path took us up the far side of a large barranco, on to a level path which then went around a corner to a path junction.  We reached this point after 2hrs 45mins. Here the path met the GR 131 with its red markings, and the yellow and white path we had been following went downhill with the GR 131, but we went right, uphill, with the GR 131. A red notice announces this as a dangerous section, but hardly more that the previous section of path.

One of the almost vertical ravines the path passes. This one with Canary strawberry trees on the right of it.

One of the almost vertical ravines the path passes. This one with Canary strawberry trees on the right of it.

The path climbed quite a lot under trees, finally reaching a point next to a pinnacle of rock on the left and a vertical cliff on the right where the path started dramatically plunging downwards in steep zig-zags, and, after a few metres of relatively level ground zig-zagged upwards on steep stone steps opposite.  After negotiating this switchback the view opens out to reveal the path curving around another large ravine, with stout fencing protecting the  walkers at dangerous points.  On the other side of this ravine was a viewpoint with a signboard pointing out the places in the Orotava valley that you can see from this point.

A view of the zig-zag stone staircase up the far side of the 'switchback'

A view of the zig-zag stone staircase up the far side of the ‘switchback’

After the viewpoint, and passing a short stretch where there was a warning of possible landslips we arrived at the end of the ‘dangerous’ stretch, and a track.  Crossing the track and staying with the GR131 we began a descent into the woods until the path levelled out parallel with but slightly above a track.  Eventually the path did descend onto the track, but only for a few metres around a corner, before climbing up away from the track again.  When we joined the track a third time, we turned right, leaving the GR 131, to climb with the track for about 1.5km/1ml to reach the main road again near km24.  We had previously parked a car there, at the entrance to the track which had a sign naming it as Pista (i.e. track) Risco Atravesado.

The path approaching the final viewpoint

The path approaching the final viewpoint

The walk was a linear walk, requiring a car to be parked at each end (or other transport arrangements for pickup).  The distance on the road between the two points is only around 6 km, so the arrangement of the vehicles does not take too long.  The walk itself was 13.3 km/8.3 miles, and involved 644m of climbing and a greater descent.  It took us 4.25 hours, but we did walk quite fast.

A GPS downloadable track for this walk can be found at:

http://www.wikiloc.com/wikiloc/view.do?id=4025188

Walking Los Organos of Orotava

The view to Mt Teide from the path

I first walked Los Organos in April this year, and was thrilled with the mix of plants I could see close-up, as well as the amazing path and good views.  So I was glad of the opportunity to revisit the walk last Friday.  It was a good warm day, when I hoped we might avoid the cloud that could obscure the views.  Unfortunately, this was not the case, there was a layer of cloud below us preventing us seeing the views to the coast, but we did enjoy the sunshine above it, and the views to the mountains.

Looking back where we had walked just before the descent

Of course, in April there were lots of flowers to see, including those of the Golden houseleek, (Greenovia aurea), Smith’s houseleek (Aeonium smithii), Tenerife Vipers Bugloss (Echium virescens), Tenerife bird’s foot trefoil (Lotus campylocladus), Shrubby burnet (Bencomia caudata), Canary Islands purple orchid (Orchis canariensis), Canarian shrubby plantain (Plantago arborescens), Sticky broom (Adenocarpus foliosus),  mountain carrot (Todoroa montana) and lots more.  At this time of year, though, there were relatively few flowers, but it was lovely to see the few that were out, including a few odd flowers of Cruzadilla – reflexed St John’s wort (Hypericum reflexum), Canary wall lettuce (Tolpis lagopoda) and a campion which I am having trouble identifying.

Close-up of the flowers of the campion family (Silene sp)

There were, however, quite a few fruits to see, including the orange round fruits of the madroño (Arbutus canariensis), the blackberry-like (in appearance) fruits of the faya (Myrica faya), some berries on a couple of moralito bushes (Rhamnus integrifolia), and, on the bottom track, some sweet chestnuts (Castanea sativa).

The berries of the moralito (Rhamnus integrifolius)

 

In April, we walked the circuit from La Caldera in a clockwise direction.  This time we walked it anti-clockwise.  We had intended to shorten the walk a bit by going up the Camino de Candelaria, the old pilgrimage path from the Orotava valley to Candelaria on the south coast, but we turned up a path too soon which came out at the Choza Chimoche and walked along from there.  It is amazing how different a walk can look by walking it in the opposite direction, though the light and time of year also mean you notice different things.  It was a great walk, involving just over 600m of cumulative climbing, and took us nearly 5 hours.