SL VG 51 - A bit of a ramble

Yesterday we decided that we would avoid getting monitor-shaped eyes and go for a short walk - this was not going to be one of our more serious treks.  And with that in mind, David winkled out a path we had never walked before, despite it starting just a 20 minute drive away at Llano Negro (Black Plains).
We left the car at the Red Cross building car park and crossed the road, easily picking up the white over green blazes.
Straight away we were on the up - heading upwards on the track that is.  In fact, we could expect to be walking up all the way as our destination was Hoya Grande (Big Hole or rather more nicely translated, Large Hollow).  With a slight calf strain that is taking ages to go away, I made sure not to dash up the track which is probably what caused it in the first place!  But actually, the going couldn't be fast even if we had wanted it to be as there was some deep gouges in the track following some recent heavy rain.
After the first rise and at a small junction of other tracks, we stopped to take a photo of Llano Negro nestling at the base of the mound named Llanas which has a height of 947 metres. 
Now we had joined a small concrete path and that made the walking easier if less interesting, although there were a couple of farms alongside it which were in full swing.  Apart from the obvious presence of goats - ever popular on La Palma - there was also quite a lot of growing of crops going on.  Red peppers hung very Christmas  like on little bushes, potatoes of course and it looked like a bumper crop of pumpkins.  If the owners don't eat all of them, then the pig will be pleased to help out.
After this, we crossed the road and carried straight on with the next section of path and we would in fact be doing this several more times before the walk was up.  Interesting though because we have driven along this road at least a hundred times (I think!) and most of the paths we hadn't even noticed.  It obviously wasn't a very well walked route and one section had quite long, wet grass but also filled with Flor de Mayo which will be an amazing display of purple flowers in April (it can't wait for Mayo).  I shall blog it, don't worry!
Not that you would realise this was a path from the photo - it looks more like a field but, honest, we weren't trespassing.
As we crossed the road - which in essence dithers about all over the place as if in a daydream - we came to our next section and I couldn't believe how each one could be so different.  This was tree-lined, dry and covered with liberal helpings of pine needles. And in places it was practically dark and I was rather hoping for a hobbit-sighting.  But no, just a few chestnuts on the ground.  The hobbit theory dismissed, we moved onto a healthy debate about the difference between conkers and chestnuts.
After just over an hour of walking we arrived at Hoya Grande which should really be called Sleepy Hollow because it certainly it.  Here we made a little detour to see the nativity scene which the Palmerans really go to town on, making a huge display.  The one here that we have been to see before even had running water in a tiny stream, lights on in houses and so on.  It really was brilliant but instead this year we found a new plaza had been built and no nativity scene.  Shame but we congratulated them on the plaza and made do with the cross.
Well, that was our walk completed one way and we decided that we would walk back along the road the short distance to El Bailedro bar and restaurant.  We had decided on a nice balanced meal that we would share between us of chips and salad.  Chips are a bit of a treat in our book so we were really getting into our stride.  We did of course discuss the possibility of it being closed even though Monday is its closing day and this was a Sunday.  It is wise to realise that nothing is ever guaranteed on La Palma!  And yes, it was closed, with a note stuck to the door stating that holidays was the reason - although they were actually working at the back.
So we continued on the road a little more and it was a good opportunity to wonder at the lichen hanging from a tree.  Well, after all, we were at about 1000 metres.
We didn't stay on the road all the way down though and picked some of our favourite sections of track to repeat in reverse direction.  It was certainly a gorgeous day to be out and wonderful to see La Palma up to its usual trick of make crazy shapes with its clouds.
A good walk then and I would be happy to walk it again any time.  I can't say it is exactly in our 'A' list though with vastly impressive things to see, and of course no chips to be had, but worth a bit of a ramble.

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