Holly & Alan's Walk 3 Though Barranco de Tamadaya

Wednesday 30th January 2013 fortified with with a bowl of gofio and milk, we drove from El Medano to Sabinita. From the road above Sabinita we took the track on the right just before a tiled house. The vehicle track was chained and marked with an yellow and white cross.

The cross is not an instruction not to walk the path but rather that it is not one of the sign-posted walking routes. This entire walk is on a vehicle track made to serve the galleries. The track gently sloped downward into Bco Tamadaya, and provided very good views towards the coast. After while we came to the point where we were joined on the left by the official footpath from Sabinita to El Contador. This is a long path of 9 km for serious hikers only. We did not follow this when it went left up the side of the barranco, instead we continued along the vehicle track until we came to a Gallery dug into the barranco side to collect and to pipe water away for a water supply.

This was very interesting because, beside several caves, there was a tunnel dug with the help of rails laid to remove the spoil. On the rails there was a dumper truck, which holly managed to push a short distance. More interesting still there was an old tractor with train wheels gradually being overgrown by the shrubbery. The track continued and there were many flowers on the shaded west side including a double yellow oxalis. We had our lunch under a large canarian pine which gave us welcome shade. It was about 1.30pm.

We eventually came to the second Gallery. Here there were more rails and a very large spoil heap over which the rails ran. Again there was a building with a notice saying that entering the gallery was prohibited and dangerous.


In fact we could detect a peculiar smell. There were some disused ventilator fans dumped outside. We did not stay too long but were pleased to reach this point as we had seen it from the top on our previous walk. I read later that the  poisonous gas carbon monoxide was a hazard in galleries. In fact a gallery at Los Silos near Icod de las Vinos claimed the lives of 6 trekkers in 2007 and more had to be rescued. They were overcome by carbon monoxide. There are natural caves formed by molten lava near Icod, the longest in Europe, conducted tours are now available.

It was now very hot and we welcomed the shade occasionally given by tall cliffs on our long return walk. We got back to the car at 4.15 and agreed that in future we would keep our walks shorter.

Some more of our photos

Track down into the barranco with the deserted house Casa Quemada seen on the near right

Close-up of Casa Quemada taken with holly's zoom lens, showing separate kitchen. . This is the house we visited on our next walk

Aquaduct in use over line of stream, and the track we walked


Disused aquaduct

Looking up towards the first Gallery

Main number one gallery building. The large pipe is probably a ventilation pipe

Tractor used to remove spoil from the gallery workings. Now left to rust away


Rails and dumper truck at entrance to gallery

Holly pushing dumper truck and cave doors

Dumper truck and caves

Warning sign

Barranco cliff beside the track



View to the head of Tamadaya



Outcrop we christened 'The Plug'

Closer view of the head of Tamadaya with aquaduct channel

Pine tree in the sun



First view of gallery number two buildings

Gallery number two, rails and spoil heap.


View to head of barranco and spoil heap

Closest view we had of head of barranco which ends abruptly in cliffs

Downhill walk back, Oh! for some shade.

Looking down the barranco. Not far to the road now.

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