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Once upon a time in Gijón, Spain

Camino de las Vueltas

Story - told by Philip Dainton

Starting left of the Casa Forestal, at 832 meters altitude, follow trail TF8 towards Taganana. The path of Las Vueltas used to be the only way of access between Anaga, Taganana, Santa Cruz and La Laguna. Take the unpaved stepped path towards a cave on the right hand side and quickly ascend through the thick vegetation.

You will find yourself in the midst of an enchanted forest in no time, they say that the trail has as many turns as days have the year.

The laurel forests are at an altitude in this area between 600 – 1500 meters facing North, which makes the trade winds water them. It is very common for rain to fall in these areas, and it is advisable to be well-prepared, the average annual temperature lies between 15-19 degrees. Along your way you will find natural springs and traces of the original cobblestones.

After the last “mencey” (king) Tinerfe died, his youngest son Beneharo inherited the kingdom of Anaga. The Guanches, Tenerife’s aboriginals, had enough to live on as Anaga was extremely rich in water and pasture. By 1495, the conquest had resulted in colonization and Anaga was divided among the Spanish conquerors. Taganana, the first settlement of this area was founded in 1501. The driving force of the colonization and economic growth was sugar cane, and creating roads became a necessity very quickly.

The paths that the indigenous people had were insufficient and better roads had to be built, like Camino Real de las Vueltas, the Royal Road of the Bends. The vegetation starts to become more scarce as you leave the laurels and ferns behind you, giving way to incredible views of the coastline. With the clearing, the warmth of the sun comes out and the cobblestones become clearer under your feet. Stone walls and terraced fields growing potatoes lead the way down to barrio de Portugal in Taganana, the first European settlement in the area. 

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