Walking the La Palma 9.1 in Franceses, Garafia

When we try to decide where we will go on our next walk, we often fall into the trap of thinking it must be a walking route some distance away.   However yesterday, because of needing to stay fairly close to the finca in Franceses, we decided to set off right from the door - after all the donkey path next to the finca is the LP 9.1 route and two minutes away is the La Palma GR130 route, so we are hardly short of walking in the area. 
I do wonder though just how many times we can walk the various donkey paths in the area of Franceses and fall in love with it all over again.  To be honest, I think quite a few more times.  
And a perfect end to the walk was to see the new lambs at the farm just above the finca.
Our visitors however walked rather further afield from Franceses leaving the accommodation to walk to Roque Faro, then El Tablado, La Fajana and then back to Franceses.  That's the circular 9.1 route and quite a toughie as it involves a climb from 500 metres to 1000 metres, then back down to almost sea level and eventually back up to 500 metres again.  Well done guys!
Here's a You Tube video I shot when we got home from our little jaunt.
You Tube


La Zarza

I will doubtless have written about this gorgeous woodland walk before, in one format or another but it really is so special that it deserves repeating from time to time.  I am talking here about the 'La Zarza Experience,' a wonderland created aeons ago when nature was at its most creative, and which lies hidden away in the sleepy north of La Palma.
It's one of those great walks that can be as long or short a walk as you would like it to be.  If you are feeling like doing a longish trek, then you might like to go for the whole four hour circular walk from the Archaeological Museum of La Zarza.  If you are looking for a six hour trek, then you can extend the circular walk by continuing on down to Don Pedro.  Ouch!  It's quite a long way back up!!
However, if you are looking for something shorter, then just set off on the wooded trail and return the same way when you reach your pre-determined half-time point.
At the very start, having gone through the man-made tunnel which passes under the road, you will come across the caves.  Already you can begin to 'feel' the sights of smells of the woodland.  Just pause for a moment and listen to the birds, the gentle whispering of leaves and the rich smell of old wood underfoot.  
Just a little past the caves is a simple, stone enclosure for animals.  Every good home should have one!  And now you can begin to imagine how families used to live in this hideaway.
Heading off on the trail, the path is very easy and the dappled sunlight playing amongst the trees picks out cobwebs and draws the attention to intricate mosses and enormous ferns, as if it were a spotlight. 
And then the path gradually descends down leave-covered steps and there is a sneak preview of a little wooden bridge.  In fact, you will come across two wooden bridges as you enter deeper and deeper into the woods.
What a wonderful walk on a hot day.  Or any day come to that.  As one guests described it, 'It's like the Lord of the Rings.'  Frodo would love it.