Trekking across the Canary Islands – Part 2 – Gran Canaria & Tenerife

In Gran Canaria, I had taken my time to rest, which was much needed after carrying my heavy backpack for the last 135 kilometres across Fuerteventura. It was well earnt, and I invited one of my friends to join me, who was interested in doing the walk. We chilled at an amazing hostel by Las Canteras beach called Hi Tide, which had a very relaxed atmosphere with amazing staff. We spent a week and got to know the area. We joined some of the hostel staff and other guests on a road trip to Roque Nublo as well as a cave on the ocean. It was unique and like nothing I had seen before.

Then it was time for myself and Will to set off on our walk across the island, which would begin in Puerto de las Nieves and finish in Maspalomas, for a length of 81 kilometres.

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Will joining me at the beginning of the trek on Gran Canaria.

The first part of the trail was steep, uphill climbing onto beautiful mountains. It was nice to be in the wilderness again. We started our walk in the afternoon, shortly after having something to eat. We stocked up on supplies where we could, and had lots of banter on the way, which made it easier to cope with the walking. By night we had found a place to pitch, not too far below the plateau, where we would reach the next morning and continue a 15 kilometre trek to Artenara, where we would crash at El Warung Cave Hostel for the next three days. Another amazing place, very quiet, and far more local.

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Breathtaking view of Tenerife from our hike across Tamadaba National Park.
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The view of Artenara from El Warung Cave Hostel.

We continued the rest of our walk, which was mostly on paved road. We wanted to play it safe, rather than risk not passing by a town to restock on food and water. This was one of the difficulties that needed careful planning. It was still enjoyable, the sun was strong, we even had drivers passing by offering water, which was very nice, and overall it was much nicer to have company along the way. We found one place to camp, it felt safer to camp with an extra person, although in the morning we were seen. We left promptly and some farmer who didn’t seem impressed made out to us that they were hunting. We continued on our way with no trouble, and Will continued making countless jokes.

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Roque Nublo from the road.
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Road to San Bartolome de Tirajana.

We spent one more night near Fataga, on some rocks. Slightly less comfortable, but Will found himself a piece of foam which belonged to a mattress in the trash and had a comfortable sleep. Nice one!

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Approaching Fataga.

We then reached Maspalomas, legs in pain, and the last leg of the journey felt like an eternity. The clouds even gave off some rain. But we finally made it and it was a special moment!

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Maspalomas in the distance, reaching the end of our Gran Canaria walk.

We turned up at Volver Beach Hostel shortly after. We finished our hike 2 days earlier than we had anticipated, and spent these 2 nights at Volver before going back to Hi Tide for another week.

Will found himself a job at Volver, while I continued on with my treks on Tenerife, where Will was originally planning to join me. I would have liked to say yes to the job opportunity but this was something I had to do. It was solitary time again, and when I got to Tenerife, I tried something a little different, obtaining camping permits for each camping site, which needed to be done 8 days in advance.

Tenerife was very challenging. Probably the hardest up to now, because I would be trekking through a lot of wilderness before reaching the next point of civilisation. I started at the airport, close to La Esperanza, which is where the trail officially begins. I spent my first night at the campsite close by, so not that much walking was done. The next day however, I had to walk over 30 kilometres, with one restaurant on the way. On the third day, I had to walk roughly the same distance, plus a little bit more, and I ended up coming across a sign that said Military Area. The trail seemed to be a proper hiking trail, so it was surprising to see a military sign, and I wasn’t allowed to continue nor would I risk it. Pretty irresponsible of the Spanish government, I thought. So I did what I had to do, I walked around the military area, through the wilderness for about 4 kilometres before I would get to the other hiking trail where I could continue to where I needed to go.

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Walking across wilderness in Tenerife, with a beautiful view of Teide.
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Hiking above the clouds.

I was also running low on water. I was absolutely knackered and thirsty. I slept this night at a campsite, which unfortunately had no water. As you could imagine, I was pretty pissed off, but I learnt to be extremely resourceful with the water I had left. I had to get to Vilaflor. I had 18 kilometres to go in the morning, with half a litre of water. I encountered yet another problem on the trail, and that was the trail was taken out at a ravine. I couldn’t see a way across. I was fuming. But I backtracked a little bit, and found that there was an arrow of rocks on the ground, pointing to a narrower downhill trail that goes down into the ravine then back up on the other side. Then another 11 kilometres to go.

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Clouds between the campsite and Vilaflor.

I made it to Vilaflor, a total of 40 kilometres since the previous town. I was very thirsty and body aching. Also feeling a bit sick. I decided it would be best if I didn’t camp tonight. I found a reasonably priced B&B, which was run by a British couple. Great place to refresh the rest of the day.

The next day, I wasn’t going to stick to the official trail to Arona, which was twice as long as sticking to paved road. I finished my hike there, and then got on the bus back to Santa Cruz. I was happy to be back at El Jostel, a place that made me feel at home.

Tenerife was the most challenging so far, because there were such big gaps of wilderness in between towns. Although the trek was shorter than Fuerteventura, at 86km, I did struggle more with this island, but it was absolutely stunning and beautiful nonetheless. Hiking above the clouds was nothing short of breathtaking.

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