Hiking, working and having fun

July 24 August 08, 2020; 3064 nm and 506 days after departure from La Rochelle

Exhausted from our car-island-exploration we let the rest of the week finish smoothly. A few relaxing beach visits with very refreshing swims, some strolls through the village, of course including coffee breaks and meeting friends from Las Palmas (Dan and Emily) who arrived as well in San Sebastian gave us back the energy for more activities.

our home beach

The new week started with finishing some sewing projects from my part and El Capitano was still trying to figure out his current leakage problem. But of course that didn’t stop us from having nice chats with our boat neighbours. A Spanish family, well ok only the parents, wanted to see our boat and of course we proudly presented Altimate. They live in Gran Canaria and were on holidays with their boat “Tikki”, sailing around the islands. In return we could visit their boat as well. That is always very interesting as one might get some good ideas to copy.

Tikki

We also had a lot of chats with the French couple on our platform. I know you would guess it was about food, but not this time😉. It’s almost unbelievable but it’s true – so far no single word about food! Instead we kept and keep talking about hiking. They spent already 6 month or more in San Sebastián and know almost all the trails. So we used their knowledge especially about the steepness about the trails. Wednesday the 29th of July we took the bus number 1 for a hike and to escape the unbelievable it-never-seems-to-stop-blowing-like-hell wind in the marina. I never mentioned it yet but it is really intense! The wind comes through the valley and it seems to accelerate. First you here the “chrerrrroooo” and then it really hits the ropes and the boats are shaking and we look like we had way too much to drink the night before, when we walk the platform. It constantly blows something about 30 knots, in gusts of course much more. You need to fix everything outside of the boat, so far we only lost one of my flip-flops and a mat…

at the”guagua” station waiting for the bus with new masks

Anyhow, we took the bus up to “Pajarito” , which is in the south of the national park and close to the peak of the island and chose the trail number 16. It was a nice, quiet and easy walk of about 7,5 km with, again spectacular views over the island and especially Tenerife with its famous and always sneaking out of the clouds peak”Teide”. As much of the route was affected by a huge forest fire in 2012 it was interesting to observe how the vegetation of this area was slowly recovering. Back at the bus stop we were happy to wait for the bus for roughly half an hour. Only five times a day a bus is running and the timetable tells you only when the bus is leaving the main station. That means you have to figure out for yourself what time the bus is coming and better make sure you’re too early than a minute too late😉. Fortunately at the tourist office we took a pic of the approximate times of the stops. That helped a lot, so we knew the bus would still come.

the trunks of the trees were burned, new shoots are growing directly alongside the trunk and not only in their treetops

In the evening we spoilt ourselves with going out for dinner. Somehow we seemed to look hungry and lost while strolling through the village so that a local recommended a house where we could eat. I’m deliberately not saying restaurant as it was a kind of club house with a nice courtyard and a bar. And if the guy hadn’t told us we wouldn’t have entered as it looked rather private. So we were lucky and spent a nice evening with good local food, the dish was called “carne fiesta” and funny musical entertainment. A group of maybe 15 people were playing some instruments and singing at a table next to us. It was local Spanish music with sometimes very tragical lyrics- we guessed😉. We were probably at a singing club house as the man at another table suddenly got up and started to sing and only a few minutes later even the young cook came to present his version of a song. And then I felt like singing too, I got up and blared my song. 😂 Hahahah, never ever would I dare.

Some locals (cook and unknown guest) singing

My first package arrived with loads of fabric and my new hot knife. To try it I finished the last two hatch covers. It was so much easier to cut the canvas with a hot knife so this investment was definitely worth it. Norbert figured out that there was a tiny little possibility to solve the leakage problem in cleaning the insulators of our back stay from dirt and salt. The insulator in easy reach was fast done but the one at the top of the stay was a huge problem- for us. A new reason to try our mast climbing capabilities 😱. We both tried it again and both of us only managed to go up to the first spreaders. Shame, embarrassing and annoying. Why can’t we just do it??? Like all the other humans? Well, hell whining doesn’t help. So we called Dan, the English guy and luckily he had time and came over to easily walk up the mast with no fear whatsoever. Jealous we were! And of course in the end it didn’t solve the issue. That meant more searching for solutions for El Capitano.

Dan happily walking up our mast

By chance we joined the 29th international Canaries jazz festival in San Sebastián. It took place in the cultural area in the back of the park “Torre del Condo”. We were very excited to listen to some jazz music but it turned out to be veeeery modern jazz. Unfortunately that was a kind of jazz we do not like at all. After 4 or 5 songs we sneaked out and had beer in a Cuba bar instead. Actually we wanted to meet Emily and Dan but somehow this evening we kept missing them. When we were at the concert they were still enjoying their dinner, when we left the festival they just came to listen and by the time they followed us to the cuba bar the bar was closing🤷‍♀️. So we postponed to another evening.

The only live act at La Gomera of the Jazz festival @ Canaries

Sunday was the day to do the first cutting of the lazy bag project as it was a day with almost no wind. Though I asked the marina wether we could use the old office room but even this room was to short for my project, so we needed to be sure that the fabric was not been blowing away from the wind when it was necessary to draw outside. We spent -it felt like the whole day- for the cutting and drawing. We were sweating like hell as it was super hot because no wind and because we were horrified to do wrong measurements 😉. Making a straight line with only a yardstick and measuring tape was quite difficult and painful for our knees. But in the end we made it, yeah! Hopefully we did it ok. Lazy and exhausted from our hard working day we asked Emily and Dan to join us for a pizza as we still wanted to invite them to say thanks for Dan’s walk up the mast.

Norbert using the hot knife to cut out the pattern in the old marina office

Tuesday we got ready for another hike. This time we wanted to walk from our last starting point “Pajarito” the route number 18. First up to the highest peak of the island and then down to the village of Hermigua. It was only about 12km but it was intense. It went 200m up the peak and after that continuously down 1200 meters. A beautiful walk through the forest and from El Cedro through the very green valley of Hermigua. We were already a little tired by the time we arrived in El Cedro but the signs said it was only 3 km more to Hermigua. Piece of cake we thought. Only that from now on the steep part began, it was sooo damn exhausting. In the end, my knees were shaking and sometimes my mind, too. It was a hell of a challenge for me! We were very proud when we finally reached Hermigua. We missed the bus but we didn’t care as we could wait the 2,5 hours for the next bus in the nice cafe of the ethnological garden. Omg we were knackered!

the valley of Hermigua, the trail fortunately sometimes with rails

Back at the boat we only decided to take Altimate for a short trip to Valle Gran Rey the next couple of days and then we felt asleep 😉. With a lot of mental force we made our maltreated legs get up the next morning. We bought some groceries and then set sail to the anchorage. Here we are now, enjoying our dolce far niente. A little swim here, kayak ride there that’s all we need at the moment. However tomorrow we’ll head back to the marina as we have lots of work waiting for us.

our anchorage at sunset time

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