Sunday morning ... what do you do? Go for a little stroll of course.

I know I am completely biased but one of my favourite short walks is right on our doorstep. There is nothing finer than to set off to the village for a walk and as it happens, this is also part of the GR130.
We head off down the donkey track at the side of the finca and in just seven minutes, we arrive at this point in the photo where the path joins the ashfalt La Fajana road.

Heading up the road and just a couple of minutes later, the GR130 takes us off the road again, to go down a narrow concreted track. This is the walking sign at this point -

We follow this path along and after another five or so minutes it brings us to what we call the 'dingly dell' - and I am in paradise. It's a place that time forgot - a little hollow, or dell, with palm trees, dragon trees and tiny dwellings with wooden roofs. It looks like it has long been deserted and I often think I would like to go for a wander around in it but you can't help but notice the tidy rows of corn and potatoes growing in the miniature fields. If the houses have been left to their own devices, the land is certainly being tended to.
Heading back up the other side of the dell, we pass a natural spring in the rocks where water is collected in a stone pool. The dwellings might have been basic but they had running water, albeit of the outside variety.

Now we pop back up on the road and the area of Los Machines, this being the nearest thing we have to a village. (There isn't an actual village of Franceses - it is an area incorporating Las Tierras, Los Machines, Los Castros and the port village of La Fajana.) The little village school is here along with what you might laughingly call the pub (old men playing dominoes), the old peoples' home, the bus stop (although the bus will obligingly stop wherever you like) and the old school which is now used for various village type pursuits (loom weaving, internet and laying out of the recently deceased prior to internment in the cemetery of Franceses). But all oddities aside, it is the crazy width of the village street I love most. I mean - it's OK for two donkeys passing, but two cars - oh no, no, no.

Now here's the catch - if you are walking the GR130 in an anti-clockwise direction around La Palma, you are almost sure to miss out on the dingly dell. If you are walking in a clockwise direction, fine, you will see the nice big GR130 walking sign as in the second photo above. But there is nothing to tell you from the other direction and you will end up walking on the road. Whilst this will take you past the village shop which also doubles as a bar (open indeterminate times but usually on request) you will now have completely lost the GR130.
So, just to make sure, here's what you do - when heading east-west, ie from Barlovento direction, come through the narrow village street and after the last building and opposite the current school (which has a lovely mural painted by the children),immediately dive off the road. You will now find yourself in the dingliest dell you ever saw. Look out for the spring on your left not far down - and no picking of vegetables!

No comments:

Post a Comment