From Pines to Paddling

If you like to walk and are interested in walking on La Palma, then how about joining one of the walking groups on the island?
 For example, this Sunday, 17th July, there is a walk from Dos Pinos to Tazacorte.  It's a fairly easy walk, well easy for La Palma, so should be suitable for most levels of walker.  It will take around 5 hours and the meet up time is 8 a.m. at the Dos Pinos supermarket carpark located just off the main road between Los Llanos and El Paso. 
If you haven't registered with them previously then you will need to tag on at the back.  Ideally, you need to be part of the walking group and that way the organisor will ring you each week giving you advance notice of the walk.  They are a great group, lots of fun and it's a good way to meet new (Palmeran) friends. 
So, for this week's walk, don't forget that it ends at the beach so better bring your bathers! And you might even decide to take advantage of one of the fantastic fish restaurants at Tazacorte while you're there.  Enjoy!


Another hidden trail

Our mission was to seek and enjoy.  To go where no man had been before ... well, not recently anyway.
And that's what walking on La Palma is all about - not just the host of marked trails such as the famous GR130 and GR131 - but also the hidden, 'secret' routes.  And we were just itching to get off the beaten track and explore.  After all, one of the frustrating things is seeing interesting sights such as caves or wooden-roofed dwellings but only being able to look from a distance.  Just how did you get to them? 
Today our question was answered.
We took the GR130 route as usual from Franceses but headed off down an unmarked side track that we had noticed several times before.  The path passed by a couple of old dwellings and then a prettier house surrounded by geraniums and palm trees.  Abandoned or not ... it's sometimes difficult to tell!
We continued down the path which eventually finished in a field.  Shame, but the view was nice, overlooking the sea.  Undeterred though, we decided to walk along the side of the field where the earth was hard-packed and clearly not being dug over for vegetables.  At the end of the field was a rough construction, a sort of lean-to, and at the other side of this in the shade, sat an elderly gentleman.
We apologised profusely, in case we had trespassed in any way.  He just took a long puff on his pipe and declared that we were very welcome to enjoy the scenery - 'Why not!' 
After chatting a while and then exchanging friendly farewells, we made our way back up the path and continued along the GR130 again.  Now another side path appeared and once more we diverted down it.  This is what we were looking for.
Tucked away at the end of the path, we came across what was practically an encampment of little dwellings all made of stone and with wooden roofs.  These are so emblematic of the area of Garafia in the north of La Palma and the precursor to houses such as our own Casita.  Would anybody be at home to make us a cup of tea though?
Oh well, at least there was fresh mountain water from a natural spring not too far away, although practically tucked out of sight under a bush.  But now we know where and how to look for the tell-tale signs of springs, they are quite easy to find!
However, the path seemed to have petered out here.  Our natural inclincation was to try and head on further down as that was the direction in which we were going.  But then of course there was a path which ran along back of the house.  And surprise, surprise, it joined up with the first path we had been on.