The GR131 La Palma - A day in the alps

We've been out walking the GR131 today starting from just below Roque de Muchachos along the trail to the Mirador de los Andenes and then back again.
 Brilliant stuff with quite a bit of snow still up there. 

The views along the way were completely amazing as it was so clear.  We could see right down into the Caldera, over to the Cumbrecita and Pico Bejanado, right down the volcano route and the whole of Tenerife and snowy Mount Teide in the distance along with the islands of El Hierro and La Gomera. I can honestly say we have never seen such wonderful views and we just ran out of words to describe it.  
Give me a couple of days and I'll write about it properly!


New Roque Faro to Franceses route - the walk!

Yesterday was a beautiful day for a walk with bright sunshine and a slight breeze.  We were keen to explore the newly re-routed PR 9.1 from Roque Faro down to Franceses at the earliest opportunity, this being part of a circular walk, at times following the GR130, with the finca laying right at the side of the route.
Of course we didn't want to start from home - that would be too easy!  So we jumped on the 10.00 o'clock bus and got off 12 swirling minutes later at Roque Faro.  The bus drops you off on the main road by the way, rather than going into Roque Faro but you will easily spot the new sign and be on your way almost immediately.
Now, this was a new path for us - one we had been completely unaware of - as it sidles its way out of Roque Faro on a non-descript path at the side of a building.  However, having got to the back of the building, we were immediately on a lovely wooded path, gently descending into the woodland with the aid of well-made steps with a fine covering of pine needles.
Not long after, we came to the Fuente (fresh water spring)  Rio Torito.  It was very much alive and well and we spent a few moments watching the water, like a magic trick, simply oozing from the rock.  You can see a photo of a natural spring in our previous post.  Ah well, onward and upward as we made our way along a pretty path to the 'Cruce, ' the cross with the enormous pine tree.  This was a huge improvement as the last time we walked this route, it followed the main road all the way from Roque Faro to the Cruce.
After the Cruce, we followed the mountain road for only two minutes before taking up the path again and descending into the greenery.  On passing a farm, a pig decided to adopt us and followed us for a good way.  I wasn't too sure of his intentions at first and warned him, 'Don't bite me, you pig!' but really, he just wanted to be like a dog, trotting along with us (sorry for the pun) and in the end it took some effort from us to dissuade him not to follow us all the way.  Yes, apple sauce was mentioned ...
A little further along, after having walked 2.4km plus, we saw that we were above the main La Palma road.  Oh yes, this is our main road across the north - plenty of curves - although there are plans to straighten it in places. But soon we lost sight of it again.
And then a taste of civilisation with a house, cultivated flowers rather than the wild ones which had lined our route and the almost inevitable huge wooden cross in the middle of nowhere.  Oh yes, and a very friendly dog and a small flock of jet black chickens. Soon after, we crossed the road and were straight back on the trail on the other side.  And now we were plunged into a tunnel of woodland.  How good is that!
We followed the path along in its tunnel-like state for some time and it then became more like a bob-sleigh run with steep sides but open at the top.  But not at all slippery and there was definitely light at the end of the tunnel.  And that light was coming not just from the sun but also from the clear view of the mighty Atlantic and our beautiful north coast.  It is a sight which never fails to excite.
Now we were descending quite quickly to Franceses and it would be uninterrupted sea views all the way from now on.  Passing by our neighbouring farm with sheep and lambs gambolling about in the field, we were invited in by our lovely neighbours for a glass of wine and a spot of lunch.  We are lucky enough to be treated as family by these kind people who find it impossible not to extend hospitality at every turn - but we took a raincheck for Sunday.
This is a walk we can certainly recommend - 2 hours, 5.3 km, degree of difficulty - low and perfect for a very hot day.  A suggestion would be to have lunch at Los Reyes restaurant at Roque Faro (buses leave Franceses at 10.00, 12.00, 14.00 hrs, etc) and then enjoy the walk down the path back to Franceses.