Canary Islands, La Palma
Pico Bejenado (1852m), Dec 30 2014
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.
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.
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...
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)
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 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!
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...
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...
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.
The trip was 11,3km in length. Vertical gain approx. 880m and total hiking time was 3h:45m.
The pictures were taken with a Canon EOS 60D + Canon EF-S 18-200mm 3.5-5.6 IS
(Full size images)
(Images scaled down.
Google Earth Views
To La Palma, Dec 28 2014
Hotel Las Olas in Los Cancajos and Santa Cruz de la Palma, Dec 29 2014
Pico Bejenado - to the Visitor Centre, Dec 30 2014
To Pico Bejenado - Dec 30 2014
Descent to Cumbrecita - Dec 30 2014
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|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|