Walking the GR131/GR130 El Time to Los Llanos

Just for a bit of fun, we decided that we would walk a short stretch of the GR130 long-distance trekking route. After all, the last time we walked this particular section, we managed to loose the route, stopped way too long at the bottom of the ravine where we paddled in the water, got boiling hot on the ascent and got lost again at the end. So we rather hoped for better with a re-run!
Paddling in the Barranco de Angustias 2010
Last Friday was the designated day then, a day when we could interpolate a walk with getting the MOT for the car (called ITV in Spain), visit the Banana Museum in Tazacorte and try to find some new sun loungers for the Casita. That little list is where the fun element comes in.
Actually though, there was a semi-serious side to it. In November we have a small walking group from Sweden coming over to walk the GR130 as part of a luggage transported walking holiday (otherwise known as accommodation to accommodation) and whilst the normal itinerary for this walking holiday has the walkers finish at Tazacorte, this group will finish in Los Llanos at the Hotel Valle Aridane. Ah yes, the penny drops ... and that's why I was keen to walk this last section - to get it right his time! <BLOG_BREAK>
GR131 at Mirador El Time
We started at the Mirador El Time which is on the GR131 route, the same route that the Transvulcania athletes run. Of course there was to be no running for us. So up the GR131 we trudged and 20 minutes later arrived at the GR130 Camino Real. The sign there reads 'Los Llanos 5.6km.' Bring it on! (So say some.) But one thing that is indisputable is the view, it's awesome no matter how many times you see it. It's also a pretty good view from the Mirador El Time by the way so that even if you don't want to walk, you can still take in the view. 

View from GR130 over Los Llanos de Aridane

From the our starting point on the GR130, we headed down the northern flank of the Barranco de Las Angustias - the Ravine of Anxiety - whose waters flow out at Tazacorte. (If you want to find out more about the history of Tazacorte, you can check out our webpage here: http://www.holiday-lapalma.com/abouttazacorte.html)
 It's slow going as it's steep and you need to walk with care but just under one and a half hours later we were crossing the footbridge to the other side. This time, we had found the exact route and managed not to get way-laid by clean and cool mountain water babbling its way along the ravine bed. Helped by the fact that there wasn't any water running at this time of year.
After a brief stop in the shade for a drink some fruit it was onward and upward. This time we were lucky because the clouds moved in and we had some natural cover from the sun. Along the way, we stopped off several times to take photos and admire the view from the other side - this time of Tazacorte, the little beach village. 

Walking Los Llanos to Hotel Aridane La Palma

Although we were pleased to have found the correct route down the barranco (the up part is easy!), walking through Los Llanos requires some concentration. The strange thing about the GR130 route is that as soon as you get to a village, town or city, the signs stop - or at least seem to thin out so that it does become a treasure hunt for those white over red blazes. But with David acting as chief spotter while I took photos of bizarre things such as chemist opening hours, location of phone boxes and the like we honed straight in to the Hotel Valle Aridane and still on the trail.
Perhaps not the most obvious choice for a walk except as part of the GR130 experience but certainly some amazing views, a sense of achievement and, yes, fun!

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