Walking the Cuba de la Galga, Puntallana, La Palma

With so many walking routes on La Palma - over 1,000km of marked trails by the way - I guess we're always going to be spoiled for choice. So why choose a walk that we have already done twice before? The answer is simple : with the use of Endomono, we were after some facts and figures for our new La Palma Highlights Tour. Oh and yes, to break free!!!
So, mission Cubo de la Galga ...
Over the years, the Cuba de la Galga walk has become increasingly popular. With an information hut and large car park at the start of the walk, it's easy to judge its popularity just by the number of cars! But happily it's one of those walks that's never crowded or gives you sense of being part of a walking tour with a whole load of other people.
And the nice thing is that it can be tackled in a variety of ways, either as a circular, partly circular or linear walk. The last time we walked it, we chose the partly circular option and with the use of a car for the first kilometre but this time we were more interested in walking a completely circular route right from the start.  
The photo above shows how lovely it is and with the information sheet with numbered points of interest which is obtainable from the warden, (weekdays only up until 14.00hrs, linear route only) it was nice to take our time, take photos and just enjoy it!
The height of the flora covered ravine walls are impressive -
you can just see David stood bottom left of photo
At beginning of the walk, you soon get the sense of being in some sort of pre-historic forest. Located in the high-sided ravine of La Galga, this is apparently one of the best examples of laurels in the whole of the Canaries. With huge ferns and the ancient laurisilva, it's also home to many birds in particular the wood pigeon which you can hear calling softly in the background. 
Mahogany tree
Along the way  there is a magnificent 25m high mahogany tree. I think most of us have only heard of mahogany in the context of furniture, a very valuable, rich-red wood.  This used to be called the Canary Islands Ebony.

One of my favourite parts is quite near the start where you walk under the aqueduct. Yes, this is really where water was chaneled across, going from one side of the barranco (ravine) to the other. 
In fact, if you clamber up this little slope, you will actually be able to see the channel, although it is not in current use so doesn't have water flowing through it. 
As the gorge has been channeled out by water and natural erosion over time, it is still very much in the making. For example, this huge stone will surely fall one day although it looks pretty well wedged in for the moment. (I'm sure I'm not the only one who thinks it's a great idea to stand underneath it and get a photo taken).
Later on the walk, you get to go through this archway (small aqueuct) and into the magic garden of La Galga. 

So now we've arrived at La Fajana. You might notice on your travels around La Palma that there are quite a few places called La Fajana which is because it's a descriptive name, meaning 'flat place.' A flat place on La Palma, the most mountainous island in the world for its size, it particularly noteworthy!

And here's the point on the walk where you will have to make a decision - to go left or right.
Both ways will eventually take you up to the Somada Alta with its fantastic view of Los Sauces and Puntallana, but the routes are quite different. 
From this very pleasant walk uphill through the forest, the road is reached and, if you wish, the Somada Alta via a steepish climb upwards through the forest. 
We headed on up to the Somada Alta for old times sake, stopped for our lunch and to take some photos of course. 
Returning to the car was via a shorter route and certainly different as it gave us a chance to look at some of the rural houses, las casas rurales, of La Palma. And a great sea view along the way!
Would we walk it again? Certainly would. And more than that, it has gained a place in a La Palma Highlights Walking Tour.

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