8th Jan 2014

Walk towards the top of Barranco El Rio.

We left El Medano at 9.15am and drove though Granadilla and Vilaflor. About 1km. above Vilaflor, past the viewpoint of the large pine tree, we arrived at the start of the mountain track that goes towards the Lunar Landscape. It was now 10 am. We drove along the track for 8.5 km. to arrive at the start of our walk. It always was a rough track in but it had deteriorated with the recent rains so now it was only possible to drive at 15km/hr. We started our walk at about 11.15 at the point where a track goes off to the left to the campsite and the Lunar Landscape. See our You tube video     http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MmZ8S3CAmIk

 A notice with an English translation said no motor vehicles were allowed except by special permission or by the owners of Faros. Faros is the Spanish for lighthouses so we were amused at the bad translation of fincas, which are farms. Incidentally, we saw no fincas on our walk; neither did we see any lighthouses!

 

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holly taking photo of bark, shown below, and showing prohibition notice.

We walked down a slight slope to cross the Barranco Madre del Agua. Shortly afterwards we saw a track to the right signposted Madre del Agua going down hill. My Galaxy Tab showed us this was not the way we wanted.

We noticed that there seemed to be two types of pine trees. The more numerous by far was pointed at the top but the occasional larger one was rounded at the top and had many large branches. Much of the second kind looked very old and were dying off from the top. These large trees, Pinus Canariensis, had a smoother bark.

Bark of large pine, Pinus Canariensis, 

Bark of smaller pines

The track went on generally level following the contours. At each small barranco it followed a V shaped line with a bridge or large pipe to take water when it flows. However none was flowing.

View back to the Mountains

 

Distain view of Montana Roca

View down to the Barranco

Though the trees we could occasionally see the cliffs sides of the Barranco del Rio but they remained tantalisingly distant from our track.

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After this, the track got a lot steeper going down into Barranco del Rio

We had intended to walk for an hour and then stop, but there was always "the next bend" which might offer a closer view. We gave up  at about 1.30 and had our tortilla packed lunch. We sat on some stones just off the road but did not find them very comfortable so after half an hour we started back. To get to the Barranco del Rio we would have had to walked another half an hour down hill and longer up again, but we could see that the track was becoming steeper and steeper so we knew that the return trip would be too exhausting after our efforts so far

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 We had another half hour rest on a bridge parapet before walking back to the van.

We arrived at the van at about 4.15.

We stopped on our drive along the track to collect some fir-cones that Carol & John had requested to burn on their BBQ.

To see the video of the barranco from a helicopter go to            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19kfUAaRdK4

PS.  The next day it rained most of the day in El Medano but it fell as snow on the mountains so the track could well have been covered in snow.

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