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Friday, June 24, 2011

Hike La Gomera Arure 18 June 2011

Caught the 1010hrs line 6 bus from Valle Gran Rey to Arure on Saturday 18 June and passed under the aquaduct at 1015hrs at the start of our circular hike (altitude 826 meters)Soon we reached the Ermita/ Mirador del Santo which was completed in 2008 and provides amazing views down to Taguluche.
Soon after the trail splits - our trail descends steeply to the village of Taguluche - the first part of hike 33 in Rother's Walking Guide.

Part of the descent is via rough stone steps

Traversing a narrow ledge
and then continuing the descent
Wonderful views all the way

Eventually reached the village of Taguluche (190 meters above sea level)
Arrived at restaurant Taguluche, the start of the next leg - route 34 around the western flank of Roque de Mona
The route first goes to the Ermita San Salvadore
where we used the facilities for our picnic lunch

The next part of the route proved to be very poorly marked
following vague goat tracks along the loose scree slopes of Roque Mona
Past some very impressive dikes ( volcanic intrusions into sometimes vertical cracks in the original rock. The softer surrounding rock erodes leaving these natural walls)

The track, dropped to the floor of a barranco, and then the cairns disappeared
We decided to follow the Barranco upwards, involving some scrambling
Occasionally we came across some stones in a group on top of larger rocks - a cairn or not a cairn?
At a certain point, a dry waterfall blocked our route so we were forced to do some serious scrambling to find a route upwards. This proved to be more exciting than desired when seemingly solid rock handholds came away as one pulled on them.
However, we eventually reached less steep slopes on top of the rock
and followed a convenient goat trail to the road above.

A short walk down the road brought us to the start of the third and final leg of the hike - the spectacular section of the GR132 - route nr 35 in Rother's Guide which would bring us back to Arure
Views of the village of Alojera
The route climbed eventually giving views of Taguluche and the Ermita San Salvador far below to the left of Roque de Mona
Time for a break

The well marked route led us up to the base of very impressive cliffs.

This section of the travers amazingly had palm trees growing alongside
The narrow traverse continues

The narrow traverse on a ledge below the cliffs hardly seems wide enough to use - and kept our adreneline levels up - especially as when the path was sloping and covered in loose stones

Some strange plants thrive on the rock faces
Climbing in steep zig-zags to a higher terrace

Finally arrived back at the Mirador and Aquaduct after a thoroughly memorable hike. We had just ordered refreshments at the restaurant by the bus stop in Arure when the line 6 bus arrived (30 minutes earlier than the driver had told us on the outward trip) to take us back to Valle Gran Rey.
Had a celebratory meal at restaurant in Vueltas - very pleased with ourselves.

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