Sunday-October 23, 2016-Santa Cruz de La Palma, Canary Islands
We went camping for 3 enjoyable days in Caldera de Taburiente National Park. The campground was a 12 km hike from the town of Los Llanos. The trail cut through rugged canyons ascending a total of 1000 m.
Debbie and I have just enough gear onboard to consider multi-day hikes. Our workhorse pack is a well built medium sized Patagonia computer bag. Our second pack is a lightweight Columbia day pack. Between the two we managed to fit a tent, 2 therma-rest sleep pads, 2 light weight sleep sacks, a shared heavy polyester blanket, rain gear, cool weather clothes, one pair of sandals, toiletries, first aid kit, sun protection, headlamps, camera, 5 liters of water, power bars, and an 8 pack of Debbie’s couscous tuna burritos. We also had a hand bag the dimensions of a plastic grocery bag containing a small pillow and additional food provisions.
Packing for the trek was reminiscent of provisioning and stowing Dawn Treader for this trip. We started with the best intentions of simplicity and minimalism and ended still with too heavy a boat that would not fit everything. So we redefined simplicity and minimalism to better suit our available space. We cut items that, with new perspective, no longer seemed essential. Just as we decided not to bring our 2,000 watt gas generator aboard, we opted against packing our travel hammock in the camp sack. Obviously our lives aren’t spartan, and some might say they are far from minimal. Aboard we have luxuries that make life quite comfortable like fans, LED lights, satellite communicator, fancy vents and plenty else. And in our packs it was certainly beyond the bare necessities to carry a pillow and sleep mats, but they made the trip comfortable and allowed us to experience the dramatic surroundings better rested.
One casualty of the caldera was Debbie’s left boot. Halfway to the camp the tread began tearing from the sole. The adhesive between these layers was failing and soon half the tread had come apart as she made way through the rocky terrain. I had some dacron lashing and tried to jury rig a repair. It lasted a short while, but was loosely tied gaskets and became a trip hazard. Not wanting to cinch the knot tighter and cut off circulation to her toes, we gave up on the boot and got out her trusty Choco sport sandals. We felt pretty smart having brought those along.
Upon returning to Dawn Treader we promptly checked the weather for sailing to La Gomera. The latest report showed light winds, postponing our departure. Next week might not be great for moving either. There are no completely sheltered anchorages in La Gomera, and the forecasted heavy swell from the North early in the week and moderate winds from the South later, means we may have to wait longer until the settled Portuguese Trade winds return.
Since we haven’t sailed yet, we have used our time for rest, refining jobs lists, and an art project. Debbie has been working on a painting of a flower we saw in Angra do Heroismo. We bought some small canvases back in Praia da Vitoria. When Deb converts Dawn Treader into an art studio, I sit around and noodle. I measure stuff and design crazy modifications that will never be. I suppose it is a time for us both to be creative. Art days are quite pleasant and peaceful.
Next week… waiting on weather.