EL HIERRO – first steps.

NO!   That was the response to my simple question in the Valverde tourist information office  – ‘tiene la previsión del tiempo para mañana?’  That had us off to a bad start, we were the only ones on the bus from the ferry up to the main town which at 600m was bleak, wet, cold and windy. More like the Falklands than the Canaries.

Approaching El Hierro.

Approaching El Hierro.

'Caneros' an ancient figure in sheepskins - more friendly than the Tourist Information office.

‘Caneros’ an ancient figure in sheepskins – more friendly than the Tourist Information office.

Until 1885 the Punta de Orchilla cape marked the Zero Meridian and was used in most 16th and 17th Century maps. Today the island is still known as the Meridian Isle.  John and I were back to follow the GR131 footpath across the high spine of EL HIERRO which starts at that point and incorporates the Camino de La Virgen. Every four years islanders carry a sacred statue from a shrine to the church in Valverde to commemorate the miraculous ending of a drought in 1614.

We based ourselves in the friendly little town of La Frontera and had arranged a taxi to take us to the start of the GR the next morning, however the mist stayed down and the cold rain continued. Apparently there had been a few days of unseasonal weather. I think I’ve had enough days in the hills when I’ve seen nothing all day so when the taxi arrived we opted for a low level walk from the coast at Pozo de la Salud back to La Frontera. The village of Sabinosa appeared deserted but we heard later that the Saturday carnival went on till morning despite most residents being over 75years. The land in this area, the Gulf of El Golfo, is mainly agricultural with bananas, vines and pineapples, though there is evidence of old walled enclosures where animals used to be kept. Call it a cop out if you want but despite the wind we enjoyed ourselves and the mountain tops remained in cloud.

Pozo de La Salud.

Pozo de La Salud.

Gulf El Golfo.

Gulf El Golfo.



2 thoughts on “EL HIERRO – first steps.

    1. bowlandclimber Post author

      The coast was all we could see that day – after that the weather was perfect.
      There is a great looking hotel on that bit of coast, right on the cliff edge. Looked quite posh with heated pool etc… next time.
      Our little pension cost less than 20 euros per night for two.


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