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Walking on La Gomera and El Hierro (Cicerone Guides) Paperback – 24 Dec 2010
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About the Author
Paddy Dillon is a prolific walker and writer, with over 40 books to his name, many published by Cicerone. He has contributed to many outdoor publications and appeared on radio and television. Living on the fringes of the English Lake District, Paddy has led guided walking holidays and walked throughout the UK and Europe, as well as in Nepal, Tibet, and the Rocky Mountains. He has also walked extensively throughout the Canaries.
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Top Customer Reviews
Unfortunately the Cicerone guide does not specify grades for routes but it gives a satisfactory description of the terrain to be encountered together with distance, ascent/descent and average time, plus start finish points, transport services and refreshment opportunities. Maps are diagrammatic but adequate for planning, and I supplemented guidebook information with a 1:35,000 scale map. It would be nice to be able to report how walkers may rely on the guidebook claim that all selected routes are fully signposted and waymarked but my limited experience suggests otherwise. However paths are generally good and I can confirm that piecemeal directions and landmarks are accurately detailed. There are 27 routes described on La Gomera and a further 18 on El Hierro. Of the 27 on La Gomera there are 18 that more or less overlap with walks suggested in other guidebooks and they embrace the full flavour of the island using a variety of centres, plus 9 long distance `gran recorrido' routes. There are 7 stages of GR132 around the island, and 2 stages of GR131 across the island.
First, these guides are up to Cicerones usual high quality. The route descriptions are excellent and you are unlikely to get lost even without a map. The info on accomodation and buses is very useful. Ferry info is necessarily vague as the timetables change regularly.
The guides are obviously aimed at day walkers using a fixed base for their walks and as such there is some important info missing for long distance hikers on the GR131, notably water supply points. I often found water at ermitas and picnic places (particularly in the western islands) although the text didn't always mention this. Consequently I often carried much more water than I needed. In the eastern islands water was mostly scrounged from cafes and bars and it was normal for me to carry up to 5 litres.
As wild camping is illegal the guides don't give any suggestions for night halts under canvas. On the forested islands it's easy to find somewhere discreet for the night, on Fuerteventura and Lanzarote much less so.
Trekking the GR131 in a "oner" is possible but it's pretty tough mainly because of the lack of water and legal campsites.
Probably the best guides available in English.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
You get better walks in guides on the Islands itself. Not worth buying.Published on 7 Aug. 2014 by Peter parmentier