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Saturday, 29 December 2012

Arico Nuevo to El Contador and back again!

Los Roques de Tamadaya

Recently, I finally got around to walking to El Contador, something that I had been planning to do for some time. El Contador is a recreation zone/campsite high in the pine forests above the south-east coast of Tenerife and it took me around four hours of continual climbing to reach from the lovely village of Arico Nuevo. The walk certainly tested my fitness and I began to wonder if the climbing was ever going to stop before I emerged from the forest by a picturesque finca situated above a barranco. After a break, it was a case of turning around and walking back down again and overall the walk took 8.25 hours to complete. The scenery throughout the walk was superb, particularly Los Roques de Tamadaya, a forested rocky ridge in the Barranco de Tamadaya. As I descended, I became aware of three lesser spotted woodpeckers in the pine trees above me and stood quietly watching them as they hopped from tree to tree and even managed to get a reasonable photo of one clinging to a tree trunk. The walk itself is easy to follow as it is clearly signposted, although there are a couple of alternatives. I followed the path from Arico Nuevo to the village of La Sabinita initially before heading across the Barranco de Las Hiedras to the summit of the Lomo de Tamadaya and then on up to El Contador. The whole walk is certainly not for anyone who is unsure of their fitness but a short circular alternative can be made by utilising the two branches of the PR86 path. The start of the path, which initially follows Calle el Molino, can be found on the TF28 across from the Calle de La Luz leading into Arico Nuevo. This soon splits into the PR86.2 & PR86.3 and both rejoin on the Lomo de Tamadaya. It is here that you should head to either Arico Nuevo or La Sabinita for the short circular of around 6 kilometres, depending on which way round you are walking. The full route however is around 23 kilometres and climbs and descends around 1300 metres, taking between 8 to 9 hours. An album of photographs taken on the walk can be found HERE 
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