Category

Spain

Category

If you have the choice where would you choose – Madrid or Nuremberg? In between our long, meandering Camino adventure and our current daily regimen of hiking and scarfing down fresh bread on the island of Tenerife there was an awkward little bubble of time during which we lacked any firm plans. Once we booked our flight to the Canary Islands out of Madrid, however, we knew we would finally get our look at that great old city. Strangely, despite Madrid being far and away the most common entry and exit point for Spain, not to mention a popular tourist destination in its own right, we had somehow managed to achieve the highly unlikely feat of spending at least one night in roughly 67 different Spanish cities/towns/villages/sketchy huts without yet spending even a single day in Madrid. Well, streak over. But did we really need a whole week there? Our…

Earlier this month I went to Barcelona with my wife, Laynni, and her parents, Lyle and Nadine. Barcelona is a beautiful city with really nice buildings and a swell beach. It was a very fun place with a lot of nice people. We really enjoyed it. Tuesday The first thing we noticed was how modern it was – the taxis actually use their meters (as opposed to a leer and a chuckle), everywhere you looked were women with their hair uncovered, and you could even drink the tap water (although nobody does, and they “suggest” you buy bottles). Beer was everywhere again, and cheap, and so was English Premier League football. The absolute best part, though, was that our shower had a shower curtain. I watched the Barcelona football game at a plain little casino full of guys with spiky hair. I needed a key to unlock two doors and…

After a terrific month on Tenerife, where we did a fair bit of hiking, for some reason we upped the activity quotient even further for our last 10 days in Europe, heading for more hiking on La Gomera, which is even more famous for its nature trails. In addition to a steeply sloped terrain leading from the remains of an old volcano in the middle of the island down to the rocky and expansive coastline, La Gomera is generally considered the best of all the Canarian islands when it comes to hiking. 10 nights, 9 days, 8 very different hikes. With more hikes to choose from than Tenerife, and far less online information, we chose to purchase a highly recommended guidebook: La Gomera: The Finest Coastal and Mountain Walks (Rother) and found it very useful. It was excellent for helping us choose which routes to hike from among the surprisingly…

Our entire Camino de Santiago video, condensed into a manageable 3 minutes of clips. Some of the magic, none of the pain! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=liaHCDQBzVE I had hoped to have this ready right after we finished hiking but the small netbook we had taken on this trip simply wasn’t up to the task. Better late than never, here is a short glimpse of the entire route – the Camino del Norte along the coast for 3 weeks, then inland to Oviedo and 10 days on the Camino Primitivo, from there back to the Norte for the final few days into Santiago and, after some brief rest and celebration, continuing on to hike a portion of the Camino Finisterre to Muxia. 6 weeks shrunk down to 3 minutes of short video clips. Enjoy!

We closed out our “90 days in Spain” adventure with a 10-day stint on the beautiful hiking island of La Gomera. Just a short ferry ride across from Tenerife, it benefits from a steep, forested terrain that makes it ideal hiking territory. An added benefit is being close enough to Tenerife that almost every hike provides bonus views of good old Mount Teide, some of which are just as good, or better, than those on Tenerife itself. With a fairly meagre bus network and trailheads spread widely all over the island, most visitors rent a car to get around. We joined the crowd on that front, looking forward to the added freedom of having our own wheels, plus it’s always a benefit to refresh my manual transmission skills – a standard, and the tiniest model possible, the obvious result when you always you choose your rental based solely on price.…

As promised, here is a detailed list of 10 hikes you can do around Tenerife. Some are incredible, some pleasantly scenic, a couple are just an easy way to get a bit of exercise without straying too far from the comforts and beaches and bars of Puerto de la Cruz. Most of the hiking on Tenerife is easily done as day hikes, although a couple will involve some quality time on the “guaguas”, the local term for the buses. We did not buy a hiking guidebook or map, but used the Wikiloc hiking app extensively. I’ve included the Wikiloc number so you can follow the trail if needed. For some reason if you search for this number on the app it works fine but it won’t find the trail if you are using the website (you need to track location or title). Don’t ask me… Alto de Guajara – Teide…

Pin It