Monday, 31 May 2010

Walking on Tenerife – all that glistens is not gold.

We often get asked about walking routes in the west by people who are planning to holiday in and around Los Gigantes. So over the past couple of weeks we’ve been concentrating on that area and trying out some walks.

We knew that there was an old trading path running from somewhere around Guía de Isora up into the hills so last week we set off to find it. We were working off information supplied by the Ayuntamiento (Town Hall) which, as usual, was reprinted on a regular basis without anyone checking if it was still current.
Consequently, the start of the route had long since disappeared, replaced by new roads and walls.

After a precipitous false start and some hesitant exploration, we finally found the route and once we were on our way, were pleasantly surprised to find that it was in fact well signed and easy to navigate. At multiple path junctions, signposts gave good directions and distances, routes were way-marked with painted stripes and there were even information boards at various points, showcasing other routes.

Having enjoyed and chronicled a lovely, rural, circular route we emerged back into Guía alongside someone’s house, at the bottom of a dead end, accessed via a series of climbs, twists and turns through housing estates, with not a single signpost to mark it. Had we been looking to start the walk from that side, we would probably still be wandering around Guía now.

That same afternoon we drove further up into the hills to do a short(ish) route at the start of which a brand new, fancy sign had been erected by the Cabildo (Island Government).
Within metres of setting off from the sign, we were unsure of which way to go, our indecision hampered by two small dogs growling and snapping at our heels. Once we’d found an overgrown semblance of a path, it split off in different directions constantly with no marker signs for guidance. Although we were alongside a steep barranco (ravine) and so our direction was pretty obvious, finding the way through was proving to be impossible.

After aborted attempts to drop down dodgy trails on the side of the barranco, we finally found our path completely blocked by two parked vans alongside a house. Re-tracing steps; trying different trails and even asking a couple of locals all amounted to nothing. We finally gave up, tired and frustrated with feet embedded with sharp seed heads from wading through the tangled mass of undergrowth.
The Medio Ambiente (Environmental Department) had clearly decided to re-open the path and had begun by putting up the fancy sign. When, or if, they’ll get round to re-claiming the path from man and nature and giving it clear markings is anybody’s guess.

The moral of this tale is that, on Tenerife, you can’t tell a walk from its signpost.

Walking routes for the south west coming soon…

1 comment:

Luray va accommodations said...

Los Gigantes is a beautiful site and an ideal place for summer vacation trip. We have been there in last summer, the weather was absolutely gorgeous. We did walk around entire day and saw lots of natural scenic views.

Best Regards,