Canary Islands, La Palma

Pico Bejenado (1852m), Dec 30 2014



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Pico Bejenado

Pico Bejenado
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Background ...

This was the fourth time Anne and me traveled to the Canary Islands just after Christmas. La Gomera (2009) was our first trip, then followed Gran Canaria (2010) and Lanzarote (2013).

In order to get to La Palma - the northwesternmost island of the 7 Canary islands - we flew from Bergen to Tenerife TFS. Then we took a bus to the northern airport TFN where a smaller aircraft took us to La Palma.

We had booked an apartment at hotel Las Olas in Los Cancajos, and we arrived at the hotel late on Dec 28. First impressions were good and they didn't change during the week. Our tour operator had told us that the hotel would organize a rental car but this didn't work out. There wasn't a single car available for the entire island. But looking back, this was clearly the best thing that could happen to us. This unexpected "freedom" gave us the chance to do hikes we couldn't have done if we had a rental car.

 

Los Cancajos view from Hotel Las Olas

Los Cancajos view from Hotel Las Olas
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Dec 29 - sightseeing in Santa Cruz

On our first day on La Palma, we took the bus to Santa Cruz (the capitol) and were regular tourists. We also used the day to understand the (excellent) bus transport system, read maps and plan the hikes we wanted to do. 

 

Sightseeing in Santa Cruz

Sightseeing in Santa Cruz
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Dec 29 - exploring the Los Cancajos shore

Later in the day, we explored the Los Cancajos shoreline (just below the hotel) and followed a very fun path and visited some cool rocks...

 

Exploring the Los Cancajos shoreline

Exploring the Los Cancajos shoreline
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Dec 30 - Pico Bejenado (1852m)

On the next day, we took the bus from Los Cancajos to Santa Cruz and then the 300 bus route (Los Llanos) up to the National Park Visitor Centre. From here, it was 4,5km up to the trailhead we had settled for and we decided to take a taxi. We called the local taxi number and Anne - through her excellent Spanish - ordered a car. 15 minutes later, we were on our way to the Pico Bejenado trailhead (not Cumbrecita)

 

Anne and Pico Bejenado

Anne and Pico Bejenado
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The taxi dropped us off where the paved road ended (approx. 1050m elevation). The dirt road continued yet another 1,5km - up to Pista de Valencia (approx. 1150m). There were some cars parked there. Only the National Park service can drive beyond this point.

After 0,6km, we passed Pista de Ferrer (approx. 1220m). Here we made a mental note about the option for a round trip hike.

1,7km later, the dirt road turned into a mountain path. I found the quality of this path was quite impressive, and this turned out to be true for all the walks we did on the island.

After a 1,6km leg, we reached El Rodeo (approx. 1600m) where 3 paths meet; west to Pico Bejenado, east to Cumbrecita and southeast to Pista de Valencia. We had a short rest here before continuing towards Bejenado. I was surprised by the number of hikers - the majority coming from Cumbrecita.

 

The routes to Bejenado

The routes to Bejenado
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The final leg to Pico Bejenado was also 1,6km. A signpost at the summit read 1854m, while our maps had 1844m and 1852m. The summit was overcrowded with German hikers and a raven that stepped into our personal space. But the joy from having reached our first La Palma peak was big!

 

On Pico Bejenado

On Pico Bejenado
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As the above picture reveals, Anne is wearing her dune jacket - a clothing item one normally doesn't bring to the Canary islands. But the Canary winds can be quite cold in the winter season...

Across the Caldera de Taburiente crater, we could see Roque de los Muchachos (2426m) - the highest peak on the island and our main goal for this trip. The peak was visited the next day...

In the horizon we could see Garajonay on La Gomera, Malpaso on El Hierro and Pico del Teide on Tenerife.

 

Pico del Teide on Tenerife

Pico del Teide on Tenerife
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Descent

Upon descent, we decided to head for Cumbrecita. Rain was in the air and perhaps we could get a lift down to the Visitor Centre. The distance from the summit to Cumbrecita was 4,3km and the trail was just as good as the one we followed on our way up the mountain.

When we got Cumbrecita into view, we also saw an impressive peak (Punta de los Roques) towering above the pass and I hoped that we would get a chance to visit this peak too. This wish came true 4 days later...

 

Cumbrecita and Punta de los Roques

Cumbrecita and Punta de los Roques
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At Cumbrecita, it started to rain and we decided to just call for a taxi. 10 minutes later, we were on our way down the valley. Sitting in the back seat was just too comfortable and we agreed to let the driver take us all the way to our hotel in Los Cancajos.

 

At Cumbrecita

At Cumbrecita
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Trip Facts

The trip was 11,3km in length. Vertical gain approx. 880m and total hiking time was 3h:45m.

Pictures

The pictures were taken with a Canon EOS 60D + Canon EF-S 18-200mm 3.5-5.6 IS

 

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Google Earth Views

1. Our routes on La Palma 2. Our nortern routes on La Palma 3. Our southern routes on La Palma

To La Palma, Dec 28 2014

4. On Tenerife northern airport 5. View from our balcony in Los Cancajos

Hotel Las Olas in Los Cancajos and Santa Cruz de la Palma, Dec 29 2014

6. Hotel breakfast 7. Enjoying the balcony 8. Balcony view 9. Sunrise 10. Sunrise 11. On the way to Santa Cruz 12. The Los Cancajos beach 13. On the bus to Santa Cruz 14. Santa Cruz sightseeing 15. Santa Cruz sightseeing 16. Santa Cruz sightseeing 17. Santa Cruz sightseeing 18. Santa Cruz sightseeing 19. Santa Cruz sightseeing 20. La Palma bus schedule 21. Our room at Hotel Las Olas 22. A nice walk close to the hotel 23. The airport 24. A nice walk close to the hotel 25. A nice walk close to the hotel 26. A nice walk close to the hotel 27. A nice walk close to the hotel 28. A nice walk close to the hotel 29. A nice walk close to the hotel

Pico Bejenado - to the Visitor Centre, Dec 30 2014

30. Waiting for the bus 31. On the way to our first peak 33. Google Earth view 34. Google Earth view 35. At the visitor centre 36. Our target - Pico Bejenado - in the background 37. Info 38. Waiting for the taxi 39. At the visitor centre 40. More info 41. Still waiting for the taxi 42. More info 32. Taxi up to the trailhead

To Pico Bejenado - Dec 30 2014

43. On our way along the forest road 44. On our way along the forest road 45. End of the forest road 46. Info about the routes 47. Anne likes National Parks... 48. A choice need to be made here 49. Big cones... 50. A small cave 51. A small cave 52. Someone had a revelation... 53. The fog comes creeping 54. Man-made crossing 55. Nice trail... 56. At El Rodeo junction 57. Orc? 58. The summit is near 59. Good to be above the clouds... 60. The final yards... 61. On Pico Bejenado 62. Crater view 63. A raven in our personal space 64. Los Llanos 65. Lunch on Pico Bejenado 66. Anne and me on Pico Bejenado

Descent to Cumbrecita - Dec 30 2014

67. El Hierro 68. Pico del Teide 69. Garajonay 70. On our way to Cumbrecita 71. Passing El Rodeo 72. Watching the fog come and go... 73. Dear, dear tree... 74. Part of Ruta de la Volcanes 75. Another decision to be made... 76. Towards Cumbrecita 77. Yi-haaaaaaaa! 78. Pico Bejenado 79. Punta de los Roques 80. Cumbrecita below 81. Punta de los Roques 82. Info 83. Waiting for taxi

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Other Trip Reports from La Palma

 

Dec 30 2014 Pico Bejenado
Dec 31 2014 Roque de los Muchachos, Roque Palmero
Jan 1 2015 La Ruta de los Volcanes
Jan 2 2015 Monta˝a de la Bre˝a
Jan 3 2015 Pico de la Nieve, Punta de Los Roques

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