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...two travellers in search of the world's wildlife

19 January 2017

Rocks and prickly pear

8 January 2017

Los Roques

Los Roques


Our first hike on La Gomera. We picked one that started nearby (a mere 20 minutes twisty turning drive up mountain roads) and concentrated around an area called Los Roques.

It was a stunning walk, taking in ancient laurisilva forests with lichen and moss trailing from the branches, huge vistas from the high road winding through the Roques, valley descent through pine forests, the pretty hamlet of La Laja at the bottom, and then the knackering but fascinating climb up lava slopes scattered with cactus and all kinds of other succulents.

Ruined cottage en route

Ruined cottage en route

I can report that prickly pears have tasty flesh and the tiniest little hairlike needles that nevertheless easily pierce the skin and make your hands hurt like the devil until you can get rid of every single last one.

La Gomera is fascinating for its volcanic geology. Los Roques themselves, a half dozen rearing pillars of rock rising above the surrounding mountain slopes, are clearly some kind of igneous plugs or magma domes. And then the land all around is shot through with arrow-straight salic and basaltic dykes in all directions. Although of course the rocks they shoot through are themselves some other kind of igneous or volcanic deposits, as the island is only 12 million years old and sits right out in the Atlantic Ocean.

Succulents everywhere

Succulents everywhere

Even though the hike was a stiff four hours, after an hour’s break for goat casserole and grilled chicken leg at El Cedro restaurant we found time for another 1 hour 30 walk in the forest above Las Hayas in a slightly different patch of the island. Yet more lovely views, and yet more again on our drive home across the spine of the island to Las Rosas and thence Hermigua. La Gomera is flippin’ beautiful.
Sunset on La Gomera

Sunset on La Gomera


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