Laguna Grande

Laguna Grande

La Gomera

Route: Laguna Grande, Garajonay National Park

Area: La Gomera

Date of walk: 4th February 2016

Walkers: Andrew and Gilly

Distance: 3.5 miles

Ascent: 500 feet

Weather: sunny and warm, much cooler in the forest

After a long and tiring walk in the heat yesterday we decided to visit the much cooler forests of the Garajonay National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The central summit area of Garajonay is blessed with a dense forest known as laurisilva. There are claimed to be 980 plant species here, including 27 species of ferns alone

The area has its own microclimate, being frequently shrouded in mist which supplies the forest with the moisture it needs to thrive

We parked at the information centre at Laguna Grande and picked up a leaflet giving details of waymarked trails through the forest. Today’s walk was based on 2 of those trails after advice from one of the guides at the centre

We started at a height of about 4,200 feet and as we followed the easy paths through the lush forest it was astonishing to contemplate that we were walking at a similar latitude to the nearby Western Sahara. Sadly some 20% of the forest was lost in a devasting fire a few years ago and there were signs of this in some places. This had been pointed out to us at the visitor centre, and the route recommended to us avoided the scorched area for the most part

For anyone visiting La Gomera, a visit to this wonderful National Park is a must

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