The GR131 La Palma

Date walked: 07/01/2020

I recently hiked the GR131 route on La Palma in the Canarias. I flew in with Easyjet (return fare just less than £90) and caught the 500 bus into Santa Cruz, crossed the road and caught the 300 bus to Los Lanos. So very easy. I got off the bus and in front of me was a Lidle supermarket so did all of my food and water shopping. I then walked a couple of miles in sunshine and 24 degrees to Puerto de Tazacorte, the start of the hike.

I was wild camping with my Hunker Bivi so as soon as I found the start of the hike (a zigzag path up the side of a mountain) I walked about two zig-zags, found a flat spot overlooking the port and decided that's where I'll sleep tonight. I then returned to the port to eat and to drink some beer and wine. At about 9 pm, it was dark, a cloudless sky, and a large moon I I waled back to my chosen camping spot. I had my torch with me but I didn't need it, it was almost like walking in daylight! I set up my bivi and slept well.

At dawn the next morning I set off on the GR131 and it was UP, UP, UP all of the way to the top! I thought I could make it to the summit of the Roque de Los Muchachos that day but I failed. Due to the terrain, there are no cafes or shops after the Cafe Meleno about 2 km from the start so I had to carry all of my food for three days hiking and water as well. I had 4L on my back and it was heavy!!! At dusk, I was exhausted and just need to rest and sleep. I slept in a small wooded area, about 2 metres from the rim of the extinct volcano, again very comfortable and I slept well.

It took me until 1 pm to get to the top, a really hard slog but really worth it. By now it was still sunny but there was a bitterly cold wind blowing. The views were stupendous, and leg trembling, I stayed there for about an hour and loved every second of it.

I then started to take the ongoing route, on the map it looked basically down but the reality was, up and down, down a bit, then up and down again, it was like this for a number of kilometres. By now I knew I need to find a new camping spot so headed for the tree line way down into the distance and prepared my camping spot again. I didn't manage to complete the whole walk, the internet guidance was 3/4 days but I should have allowed myself 5/6 days, never mind I enjoyed what I did.

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