December 26 2009.
December 26 2009
I was originally planning to do some hiking at the Caldera, but Kessler asked if we could have another shot at the Ruta de los Volcanos. We again rode the bus to El Paso and took a taxi to El Pilar. This time the weather was beautifully sunny.
The Ruta de los Volcanos has a reputation of being quite difficult, but we didn’t find it to be hard. We completed the 19 km (12 miles) hike, but climbed four extra mountains along the way (Pico Nambroque, Montaña del Fraile, Volcán de la Deseada and Volcán Martín), making it a longer hike. It was slightly breezy and sunny and a great trip.
Unfortunately, when we reached Fuencaliente we found that the road back to Puerto Naos was washed out and closed and thus no buses were running. We would have to take the long route around the island to get back. Another couple who hiked the same route and were very impressed with Kessler asked us to share a cab with them. We would all take a cab to El Pilar and then they would drive us to Los Llanos. We did so and everything worked well, but we arrived back in Puerto Naos very late at night, so Kimberly was slightly worried about us.
December 25 2009
The weather in Puerto Naos was better than it was the day before, so Kessler and I decided to make an attempt of the famous Ruta de los Volcanos. We rode the bus to El Paso and then took a taxi to El Pilar where it was obvious that the weather was very bad. The taxi driver offered us a free ride back to town, but we declined and decided to attempt the route anyway.
The visitor center was closed and roped off so we just walked to the trail and started. The winds were blowing at hurricane force and there were many downed branches of the trees. It was pouring rain and foggy as well. We struggled to make 3 kms/2 miles before finally decided that continuing was futile, pointless and dangerous. The winds would actually knock Kessler off his feet.
We returned to El Pilar and walked the trail down towards El Paso. We passed someone who had parked a car before it started flooding and when the road washed out from under the car, the car tipped sideways. When we intersected the road someone gave us a ride to Los Llanos where we took a bus back to Puerto Naos.
We had two attempts on Pico Nambroque. The first went along the southern part of Ruta de los Volcanes but when we reached the summit it was shrouded in clouds. 4 days later we started from Rifugio del Pilar along a trail across the eastern Cumbre Vieja slopes, took a side step onto Roque Niquiomo and then steeply upwards to Nambroque. Up on the ridge the fog reached us once again.