La Gomera Day 8
Vallehermoso – Valle Gran Rey
Hiking: 20.3 km Ascent: 932 m Descent: 1111 m Max Elevation: 1077 m
It was an early start without breakfast and only 1.7 km until we reached Vallehermoso.
Walking through the Barranco del Ingenio was a lot of fun and finally – after 9 days of searching – we found it: our very first “wild” avocado tree. Bella was in avocado heaven. We harvested two avocados and continued walking.
One of the highlights of the historic center of Vallehermoso was the church of San Juan Bautista, a beautiful example of traditional Architecture completed in the early twentieth century.
At the Spar (the towns supermarket) we refilled our supplies for the last time. It was still early in the morning and the city was still sleepy. After a few minutes of wandering around, we found the correct path to Rosa de Las Piedras. From where we had to walk uphill for 8 kilometers until reaching Las Hayas.
Dam of Encantadora
From Vallehermoso it was just 2 km until we reached the Dam of Encantadora – or Embalse de la Encantadora as it is called by the locals. Despite its function (supplying water to the village and valleys below) this reservoir has a natural look – and a sweet name: The Lake of the Enchanted Lady. There is a statue of a man stranded on a tiny island with just a pole for company. We eventually crossed the metal bridge and looked down the sheer wall of the dam, were the water was tickling into the valley.
From the Dam of La Encantadora we walked along a paved road to a little village spread in the highest areas of the basin of Vallehermoso. The small houses along the road where adorable.
We saw a lot of plantation where the residents grew potatoes, vegetables and yams. This last one mentioned is very valued for the local cooking. Next to a small basin we took a turn right and were immediately in the jungle. Hours passed by and our energy level dropped. We couldn’t see the top of the mountain and the steps uphill didn’t want to end.
Finally we reached the street which marked the end of the ascent. From there it was a stone’s throw to Las Hayas, where we made a break in the Amparo Bar Restaurante. After a long lunch we started the descent towards Valle Gran Rey. It was not a normal descent it was a 1000 meter drop down to sea level.
Descending to Valle Gran Rey
We followed the small path until we thought we reached the end of the mountain ridge. But suddenly the path went downhill. We couldn’t see where we were heading. It was breathtaking and frightening at the same time.
Bella and I were already tired from the long walk before, but there was a warm bed waiting for us, somewhere. The whole scenery was stunning. Unfortunately we couldn’t enjoy the way down in its full glory, because it was slippery and our surefootedness was long gone. After 2 hours we ultimately reached the end of the gravely way down. Now it was just a few kilometers to Valle Gran Rey. It took longer than expected. Nevertheless we felt great. We did it. Our first multi-day hiking and camping venture was coming to an end.
We could already smell the ocean and salt on our lips.