An eight year closure is just a blink of an eye to the four million year old Barranco del Infierno at the top of Adeje town. Always in the top five tourist attractions for Tenerife, “hells gorge” was closed over safety concerns so I was keen to reintroduce my legs to this old friend.
The initial view from just below the entrance confirmed the magnificence of this deep cut through the nature, culture and history of the large southern municipality. The kiosk and toilets at the sign in point looked freshly painted and a large free standing guide and a printed map from the multi lingual staff underlined the need to respect the flora and fauna in this protected area. The low wooden stakes alongside the tight path separated the edge from a big drop and the undergrowth looked like it had been trimmed so it didn’t encroach.
The dry river bed below was fairly wide at the start but began to narrow as I made progress. A peaceful hush hung over the barranco, interrupted briefly by the church bell in Plaza de España, the setting for the climax of Good Friday’s Passion play. A small mirador viewpoint marked the first turn at the end of a short rise and I was greeted by a gently dipping route ahead. There are several miradors, not just good photo spots but also handy for letting walkers pass as this is a return route rather than circular.
The old stone water channels, crossed by log bridges, had a little flow in them but the old viaduct back from the track was a relic of the past. Plunging deeper I reached a marshy clearing signed as La Cojedera, this was where years ago I spotted a Barbary Partridge, one of many species common on the walk. I had started out mid morning but the experts recommend the earliest start to catch the best bird life, there is also a large range of butterflies that call the route home.
The sound of gurgling water hit my ears before I moved into the shaded undergrowth. I remember hopping across the stream in the past but a series of metal slats bridging the flow were a welcome addition to keep my feet dry. The rock sides were getting taller now and leaning inwards, clasped in the hand of nature I could see small trees hanging off high ledges. The first clearing was flanked by a sheer drop wall with water drizzling down through plant growth but the big reward was a little further, the cascade, a 200 metre waterfall working it’s way through big gashes in the rock face. There is now a chain to stop people getting too close, signs of graffiti etched into the rock showed that illicit visitors during the closure have not shown due respect.
The return trip was a little quicker but the moving shadows during the day ensured there were new spotlights to enjoy between the trees and the folds of the rock. Local bars and restaurants have welcomed the return of this popular route but it has been tempered by a concern at the high charges of up to €12 for visitors, all other walks are free. If they consistently hit their daily limit of 300 visitors that charge maybe grudgingly justified, either way it is good to have the walk back open again.
Barranco Del Infierno, Calle Los Molinos, Adeje town; open 8 am to 7 pm daily, last walk starts 2.30 pm; Length – 6,5km return trip, takes around three hours; Cost – Non residents €12, residencia holders €5.50, Adeje residents one euro; pre booking online.
Category : about tenerife
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