Still here at Finca Fantastico and loving it. Today has hiking and beaches on the agenda. First off to the Caldera de Taburiente. We started at the visitor centre where we learned that you need to arrive very early to get a parking spot where the hikes are – by the time we arrived they were closed. So we visited the centre and decided to return at 4 pm when the parking lots reopen as the day hikers leave.
So some facts from the visitor centre! The caldera is huge – 8 miles across. You only realize you are in a caldera when you see the aerial photos, otherwise they just seem like steep mountains and valleys. Taburiente is the largest, north-most volcano on the island and dates from the 1600’s. There is a line of smaller ones going south that ends with the youngest from 1971 – this is the newest of the Canary Islands. There were great displays explaining the different rock formations including the ‘concrete’ looking chunks we found earlier. We have seen examples of all types in the field!
La Palma is a great source of fresh water for all of the Canary Islands due to the many aquifers all over the island, especially to the north. Surprisingly there don’t seem to be any hot springs or thermal pools :-(.
Next stop the beach! We headed to the black beach at Puerto de Tazacorte. We had hoped for a swim, but alas the beach was closed due to high swells and waves. We couldn’t swim, but the waves were mesmerizing to watch! Again there was a nude beach section with brave souls daring the closed beach- at least this time it was pretty equal representation of the sexes.
We had a very entertaining lunch on the beach front with musical accompaniment. The poor fellows serenading us had to be en guard as the waves whipped over the breakwater wall and they scrambled to save their instruments on one occasion.
After lunch, Mike & Suz hiked up the steep hillside at the end of the beach while Dan and I chose to walk further down the beach towards the marina and where we found ‘the real beach’. We all scrambled back to make it back to the caldera for our 4 pm hike.
Given the lateness of the day, we had to select a fairly short route to ensure we were back before dark. We had an interesting winding trail which hugged the caldera hillside through wonderful pine forests. It is hard to believe this is in the same family of islands as Fuertaventura – such extremely different landscape!
Then for dinner we headed to Rincon del Enano Cocino y Brazos. Great food, but again outdoor eating which was chilly. We had tuna croquettes, grilled octopus, seafood platter and seafood soup, D&S had octopus, pork & egges and a seafood platter – AND NO ALCOHOL FOR ANYONE!!! Probably just as well…. on the route home we missed one turn on googles directions. It happens – not a problem, google just remaps. Except that route B in these mountains ain’t good! 3 1/2 kms later we were home – but only after making 29 hair raising hair pin turns on roads which were 1 1/2 lanes wide (for both directions that is), in the pitch dark. Dan was our hero!!