To discover new places one can not stay only with what you can see from the road, it is better to get off the car and discover the way walking. The experience is totally different!
The day began at ten o’clock in the morning when I was picked up by Carlos, our guide, at the taxi stand of Biosfera Shopping Center in Puerto del Carmen. In the car there awere two more people who were picked up before me in Playa Blanca. A small group! Perfect for walking! As there were no more stops to pick up anyone else, we went to the northern part of the island.
On the way to Guatiza, and after the presentations, Carlos explains a bit about today’s journey. The first stop is Guatiza, in second place we will go up to the Chafariz fountain, then the Camino de los Gracioseros in the Risco de Famara where we will crown the Corona Volcano and finally the visit to a part of the volcanic tube of which Los Jameos del Agua and La Cueva de los Verdes are part.
All of us who formed the hiking group were from different countries, but that was not a problem for our guide, he speaks six languages and had no problem jumping from Spanish into English, passing through German and ending up in French if necessary. So all the explanations we received from Carlos were in our language.
As we approached Guatiza it started to rain but not very strong. It is not something that I care about, I prefer to walk in cooler days or with rain than on a very hot day. For me the weather was perfect. We went down with the raincoats on approaching a cactus plantation near the Cacti Garden. There Carlos explained us the importance of the cultivation and collection of cochineal in the past, from which the carmine color is extracted, its use in cosmetics and food and the curiosities of this small insect that parasitizes the canes of the tuneras.
After this brief and interesting stop, it was Chafariz’s turn. The climb to Chafariz is full of curves but the landscape is beautiful and more so with the small drizzle that accompanied us.
Another stop and climb through the terraces of Chafariz until you reach the reservoir – be careful not to slip from the rain! Only a little further up is the fountain, which is closed to the public as a precaution but from the entrance you can hear the water seeping into the reservoir.
The third stop on the way is El Mirador de Ye and Camino de los Gracioseros, a path that climbs in a zigzag from the beach below the Risco to the top of it for the closest part to the town of Ye, where the wall is not so vertical.
Carlos explained that this road was used by the people of La Graciosa, most of them women, to go up and sell the fish in the town of Haría and go down again to the beach. There their husbands waited for them to take them back to La Graciosa with the goods they had bought in Haría in exchange for the fish.
The views from the viewpoint both of the island of La Graciosa and the beach and the salt flats below the Risco were beautiful. At that time it stopped raining so we could enjoy the scenery and even sight a falcon tagarote, falcon family pilgrim, and a couple of crows.
The next stop would take us to the biggest ascent and the longest walk of the day, the Corona Volcano. We went back to the car towards the town of Ye. From where we left the car we went along a path plagued by vines on each side. The truth is that the road to the Volcano of the Crown is not heavy at all and there is no need of climbing to the highest part.
Although it was no longer raining, the top of the volcano wore a crown of fog that made the ascent quite cool. We stop to take a break and eat something on a ledge at the mouth of the volcano. From there, looking to the north, stretched a beautiful picture still with the fog: at our feet the town of Ye, the Chinijo Archipelago and the sea and to our right, the coast of Arrieta and Mala.
Carlos told us how the volcano had been formed and that it had given rise to the formation of the volcanic tube that houses the Cueva de los Verdes and the Jameos del Agua. From this privileged situation he pointed out our last stop, some big holes in the middle of the badlands near the Cueva de los Verdes.
The last stop took us to a jameo that has not been touched by the hand of man. It is a large hole in the volcanic soil that reveals the entrance of the volcanic tube that was created with the eruption of the volcano. A hidden place that leaves us speechless.
Back to our starting points this morning, we continue talking about the experience. We loved it. The route is pleasant and very interesting. Carlos knows how to connect with all the participants and is very nice. I left having the need of doing the tour again but seeing another parts of the island!