31st December, Garajonay (EA8/GO-001), 1st January, Enchereda (EA8/GO-002)
Just got back to the beach after a much longer trek than planned. Put simply, there is no bushwhacking whatsoever on la Gomera; if there is no path marked on the map, then there is only impenetrable sub-tropical rainforest: full stop.
The excursion started well enough. The ferry left bang on time and made good speed over to la Gomera whilst affording a nice view of Tenerife:
It was a very smooth crossing and I only felt mildly seasick. I got to the main bus terminal in la Gomera with half an hour to spare, then boarded the number 1 to Pajaritos: paying only €2 for a 35 minute bus journey! It was cold at the top of the mountain, and I did not regret bringing my zip-off windproofs. I found a nice spot to set up in the lee:
When the clouds began to dissipate, the view was spectacular:
As with Saturday’s activations on Tenerife, 40m was a non starter. Thankfully, 20m yielded the necessary contacts (with many stateside chasers) and I was able to pack up and head over to Enchereda. At first, everything went well. The path wends its way through lush sub-tropical forest:
Whilst affording extraordinary views of the rugged and vertiginous landscape:
However, I was brought swiftly back down to earth when I reached Mirador del Bailadero: there was, as said above, absolutely no bushwhacking over the summit, and no minor unmarked trail either. I had to detour along the road. The one piece of luck I had was being picked up by some German tourists. They took me to the junction on the main road and saved me many arduous kilometres pounding the tarmac. I got back on a marked trail and headed back up to the ridge, but again, there was no way over the mountain directly towards my target. Once again, I had to descend to the road and make a lengthy detour: ****!!
After about 3km, and a lot of lost altitude, a path headed back up to another ridge and heading roughly in the right direction. By the time I got up to the ridge the sun was setting on Teide:
The double activation I had hoped for lay in ruins, and my legs were killing me. I could have probably slept on a cactus I was that tired.
I got up before first light and packed up my gear as fast as I could; I had to walk about 3.6km to the summit, activate it, and then walk about 13km back to San Sebastian to get my ferry home at 18:00. There is a well marked trail to the summit of Enchereda which provides good views to the west:
The summit is fairly spacious and there was plenty of room for my 5m mast:
There seems to be some deep QSB at the moment and I had to call for quite a while before getting picked up by the skimmers. I got there in the end thanks to the usual band of chasers, thanks guys. With a long hike ahead, I packed up quickly and headed down to San Sebastian. Once off the tops, the walk became a sunbaked slog down a rocky path to town. However, the view remained just as breathtaking:
It’s hard to put into words how amazing la Gomera is, you have to see it for yourself. But anyone thinking of a winter holiday in Tenerife should really consider taking a few days out to visit this island. I’m very glad I missed a day’s paragliding to come here.
HNY es 73 de EA8/OE6FEG/P