Walking from Casa del Monte to Los Tilos - La Palma

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Today we leave early towards Los Sauces on the east coast of La Palma. Here we head into a one-way street towards Los Tilos. We arrive at a parking area with a smalll booth which serves as a taxi service/information centre. The real information centre is 200m further down the road, but there is no parking area.
At the small booth we ask about the possibility to take a taxi to Casa Del Monte. The taxi will arrive shortly and take us to an altitude of 1300 meter to Casa Del Monte. The cost of this taxi is € 15,00. (2008) per person. After a small hour in the taxibus, we arrive a refuge. The taxi drive mostly takes this long because it uses a unpaved, not too good, road.
At Casa Del Monte we eat a sandwich and head on down. The information sign gives information about the walk. The walking trail will pass through 13 tunnels and can be slippery in rainy weather. The water from the levada is drinkable according to the taxi driver, but we trust our camelbaks with our own water.

The first section of the trail follows the levada. This section reminds us of Madeira. There we also made several walks besides the levadas. The advantage of a levada walk is there are no real differences in altitude. We descend gently the first section. The first tunnel immediately is the longest tunnel. More than 400 meters we walk with flashlights through a pitch black tunnel. In places the tunnel is lower or narrower, which doesn't make walking through a tunnel any easier. At the end of the tunnel there's light and we walk surrounded by laurisilva. Along the way, between the tunnels, we have spectacular views and now and again the sun shines through the clouds. Maybe it will be a nice day after all. Before we started, we we're warned not to lean against the wooden rails. They may be quite firm, but there are a lot of sections missing. And the cliffs are extremely steep, not a place to take a fall.

We arrive at the 'gallery' tunnel. It's raining hard in this tunnel. Before the tunnel we store our cameras and put on our rain coats. We walk through the tunnel in the water. A small strip on the right is shallow enough so you don't get your socks wet. In the tunnel we try to take some pictures of all the water coming down. Somewhat soaked we come out the other side. And we see the waterfall Nacientes de Marcos. This waterfall feeds the levada. A deafening noise comes from the falling water and the trail is wet from the amount of water coming down. We climb up besides the Nacientes de Marcos where we find a place to have lunch. The stone wall of the levada offers a good oppurtunity to sit down for a while. The first section of the walk at Los Tilos is over. A fun walk through 13 tunnels!

For the second section we descend through the Barranco del Agua.
Through a fairytale like forest we descend towards the river bed. A section of the trail follows the river bed of the Barranco del Agua and goes across big boulders. Some skill in trail finding is a bonus. There is nog worn out trail, but instead you find your own way through the dry river bed.

Distance: about 12 km
Height difference: 900 meters descending

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