Luck strikes again for The Bowland Climber
Over beers last night we had several options to talk through, today’s problem was to get back to yesterday’s final point in the woods and we didn’t really know where that was.
Unsurprisingly we woke with no clear plan. Breakfast at the bus station and a unanimous decision taken, not difficult with two, to try a taxi into La Victoria and then as high as he would go. Our willing driver with the help of my GPS took us 600m up narrow lanes before he blanched at the sight of a 1in3 concrete track. Dumped on the pavement our efforts to ask the way encountered the whole of the area’s intellectually challenged.
The next kilometre was some of the steepest roads I’ve ever walked. The whole hillside was given over to viticulture and men were walking up and down effortlessly between plots. We just staggered and perspired under our loads. A game of who could roll a chestnut furthest down the hill was invented to distract us. The ripe chestnuts were falling all around us and several parties were collecting them for the local markets. At the end of the tarmac we followed a track forever upwards, just when we thought we had gone too high, 1300m, we suddenly emerged at the shelter of Siete Fuentes which we instantly recognised from last night.
Time for a rest and snack. We noticed a functioning tap at the site and this would have been a godsend for a bivvy – please note if that is your intention. Now back on the GR131 and our red wriggly map line all was plane sailing. There was another path marked with ?angel heads wandering into the forest but we never discovered its origin. Council workers were out pruning the laurisilva for environmental reasons thus giving the locals free firewood. We enjoyed the warm sunny weather at this height and thought of England freezing away. Buzzards soared overhead whilst we ate lunch. The official 131 was left in favour of our coast to coast, port to port, quest and at a roadside end the Titsa bus arrived and took us to La Laguna.
What a fascinating old town it proved to be and our 18th century Hotel Aguere was right in the middle of the action. The town had become rich from trading between Europe and the Caribbean when it was safer to live inland than on the piratical coast. This is another of those Canarian towns where all the doors are oversized. Needless to say we made the most of our clement evening wandering the streets and sampling the bars and restaurants, this could be habit forming.
The end is in sight, as next week leaves Agua Garcia for La Laguna.