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Hike in La Gomera island: Agulo

Our week on La Gomera had flown by, and we were about to embark on our final hike. At the very least, we wouldn’t have to travel far… Our planned path took us past our Casa del Chorro cabin, up to the Mirador Abrante, and across the mountains to Agulo. Was it possible that we’d saved the best for last? Let’s have a look!

Unfortunately, the weather today was similar to what we had seen while climbing around Vallehermoso: a thick layer of cloud that obscured everything. This hike generally begins in Agulo, but we began in our cabin, which was already shrouded in mist… thus the first few hours were unremarkable. There wasn’t much to view except a Mars-like landscape of deep red soil just past the Mirador Abrante, so we moved quickly up the route.

Of course, views would have enhanced the experience, and we could have waited another day if we had had more time on La Gomera. Even a hike in the clouds is preferable to no hike at all. There is no other hobby that puts me in such a pleasant mood… I’m never happier than when I’m halfway through a strenuous hike. Hiking can become meditative once you get into a pattern, allowing your mind to forget about the stresses of everyday life and simply plodding along, inhaling fresh air. It’s even revitalizing.

Our final trip began in less than ideal conditions, but as we descended to Agulo, the weather improved. Our track carried us straight through the streets of Agulo, past the gorgeous Iglesia de San Marcos, and into what appeared to be a straight, vertical wall shutting Agulo off from the island’s interior. I double-checked the map; yes, our trail appeared to run directly up that wall, with no detours.

We didn’t notice the trail until we were standing directly beneath the massive shadow. This begins with a flight of stairs chiseled into the rock that are so steep and straight that they could pass for a ladder. It was intimidating at first, but as we started climbing, we found it wasn’t too bad. Trails on La Gomera are as practical as possible; these are trails that people have been using for non-recreational purposes for generations, long before cars and roads arrived.

The stairs weren’t simple, but they weren’t difficult, and we made regular breaks to gaze out over Agulo and the Atlantic. This was my favorite part of the path.

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