Home San Blas San Eugenio Los Gigantes

Paul and Rachel Ganney (along with Billy the dog) are undertaking a sponsored walk linking the three churches of St Francis.  The walk is approximately 60km long following the coast path.

The plan is to leave San Blas during the service on Sunday 3rd February, call in for coffee at San Eugenio on Wednesday 6th and arrive for the end of the service at Los Gigantes on Sunday 10th.

Please sponsor them using the form available in the churches or online at www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/st-francis

Progress so far:

Day1 (20.65km)

It has been an eventful start to our walk. On the positive side we managed to walk about 20km (12.5 miles) through some of the most varied scenery that Tenerife has to offer. We started in amongst the residents and tourists of San Blas (including, of course, a lovely send off from John and our family at San Blas church) but very quickly left that behind for our first taste of Tenerife's volcanic majesty. There is something about the combination of black rock, green plants and blue sea and sky that is both dramatic and yet somehow restful.

About halfway through the walk we arrived in Costa Silencio (the silent coast - named before the building of the airport) where barren grandeur gave way to urban sprawl, but only for a few kilometres before Las Galletas pushed us back out into the wilderness once more. After a bit of a slog, the difficulty of which has more to do with the distance already walked than the route itself, we were delighted to arrive in Palm Mar for some well deserved refreshments with the wonderful Keith and Sue who were providing our transport back to the car for today.

All three of us had a less than perfect day. Billy had a major disagreement with the other two about how reasonable it is to chase a cat when the fact that the cat exists near a dog is clearly cause to believe that the cat is asking to be chased. Rachel is nursing a few blisters, but Paul wins the drama queen of the day award for a rather spectacular tumble. Fortunately the ongoing results of said tumble are nothing more serious than some cuts and scrapes, along with significant bruising (to his ego). It could have been so much worse.

All in all we will start tomorrow in good spirits, that will last at least as long as it takes to get a good look at the hill we have to climb first thing . . .

Thanks to everyone who has supported us so far.

Day 2 (9.97km)

Fortunately today was a bit less exciting than yesterday, at least in terms of injuries. It was a hot and still day and we started off with the trek up the hill from Palm Mar, which in some places is so steep that we were literally rock climbing. Billy didn't notice, but he is part mountain goat, or might as well be for all we know of his pedigree.

The path across the top was challenging in a different way simply because there are just so many of them, most of which start off in the right direction and then switch around to go somewhere else entirely. Having successfully completed the labyrinth we were pleased to find a relatively gentle slope down into Los Cristianos.

The walk through Tenerife's capital of tourism was never going to be anything other than a different kind of difficult due to the large numbers of people, but we were pleased to arrive at San Eugenio church in good time and even more pleased to meet up with Pete and Jenny for refreshments by the beach.

Day 3

A rest day…

Connecting the Churches . . .

Day 1: San Blas to Palm-Mar

Day 2: Palm-Mar to San Eugenio

Day 4 (13.42km)

When we got up yesterday we were very pleased that we'd earned a rest day. This wasn't just because of our aching muscles, although we had plenty of those, but also because the island was in the grip of a calima. This is when the wind blows over from Africa bringing a lot of sand with it, making the island very hot and dusty - not good walking weather.

There was still a bit hanging around this morning, as you can see from our first photo, but it had mostly burnt off when we we ready to start walking.

Our start today was delayed for the excellent reason of the wonderfully warm welcome we received from the San Eugenio faithful. Not only did they greet us with around of applause but they'd also prepared a banner and a display based on some of the pictures and words from our website.

Billy was a little overwhelmed by lots of people wanting to say hello to him, but the other two members of the team very much enjoyed seeing everyone, not to mention the delicious croissants at Smart Bakery over the road. Billy was soon won over by the generous donation of half of Sue's bacon sandwich so in the end all three of us left San Eugenio feeling very well treated by our brothers and sisters there.

The first part of today's walk was quite similar to the last part of Monday's, taking us through the tourist haven of Costa Adeje. We knew that once we left La Caleta we'd have a bit of a climb up onto the cliff top, but we arrived there to find that not only was it about a quarter of the height of the climb out of Palm Mar, it was also paved, so made for much easier walking.

From there it was over the cliffs into "Hippy Valley" and the local nudist beach, before we got to El Puertito. Rachel knows this beach well from back in her diving days and Paul has walked through it several times, so we felt that we were on familiar territory.

From El Puertito it is only a short hop to Playa Paraiso, and then on to Callao Salvaje where we were delighted to discover that the footpath has been much improved since we last passed that way.

We ended our day sharing a well deserved drink with the wonderful Sue and Lionel who were providing today's transport, along with Billy's bacon sandwich breakfast.

Tomorrow's walk holds our least favourite section, some 8km of main road with few pavements, but it will be good to get it out of the way so that we can enjoy the final stretch into Los Gigantes on Saturday and Sunday.

Day 5 (9.92km)

Well, we knew today was going to be a difficult day and it didn't disappoint. The first 3km after leaving Callao Salvaje were quite lovely but over some very rough ground with difficult ascents and descents. Those of you who didn't fancy the steps in yesterday's post should take a look at today's route - give me the steps any day! Added to this, sometimes the path dwindled to a mere wisp, so we weren't always completely sure that we were going the right way. All in all we were very glad to get to our rest stop at the bar which marks the transition between this first section and the road.

The next 7km of the route were alongside the TF47. It's a road we know reasonably well from our holidays in the area, but fortunately it feels less busy when you're walking than it does when driving. Nonetheless there were a few scary sections, and several drivers who clearly feel that cars are the only mode of transport that should be allowed, but we got to San Juan safely and were very pleased to collapse into a bar there and wait for the lovely Lorraine who was providing today's lift.

Tomorrow is a rest day, and even Billy is quite glad about that, but we'll be back on Saturday for the last long stretch along the coast, ready to arrive at Los Gigantes during Sunday's evening service.

Day 6

A rest day…

Day 7 (8.02km)

After Thursday's road marathon, today's walk was nothing short of a delight. We started off at the far end of Playa San Juan and just followed our noses along the coast, through Alcalá and to Puerto de Santiago.

There was a nice mix between seaside promenade, rough cliff top paths and the newly laid path that starts just after Alcalá and runs all the way to Puerto.

It was hot, but the walking was easy, which meant that today was our shortest day both in terms of time and of distance. 8km in 2 hours.

Our finishing point was carefully chosen to leave us with a little to do tomorrow, but we're close enough that we can plan our arrival at Los Gigantes for the end of the service with some confidence. It was lovely to be joined for post walk refreshments by Florence and Michael who whisked Paul off to collect the car from San Juan.

Tomorrow will be our longest drive (Los Gigantes is about as far from our house as it's possible to get while still on the island) but our shortest walk and we're looking forward to journey's end with our brothers and sisters there.

Day 8 (2km)

Today was our final stretch, if you can call it that at only 2km! It was lovely to walk into Los Gigantes as the sun was beginning to set and the famous cliffs looked absolutely stunning. We made our way through the town and into the church just in time to share communion with our brothers and sisters there. The brilliant Sue and Lionel had updated the display they'd prepared for San Eugenio on Wednesday so that everyone could see what we'd been up to, and they also had the wonderful news that our sponsorship to date has just tipped over the 1,000 euro mark - thank you so much to everyone for your generosity. 6 days, 64 kilometres, 5 sangrias, 3 mojitos, 2 GnTs and a bottle of wine later and we're done. Tomorrow we'll relax and celebrate Paul's birthday, and maybe leave off the walking for a day or two, although Billy might have other ideas!

Day 4: San Eugenio to Callao Salvaje

Day 5: Callao Salvaje to Playa San Juan

Day 3:

Day 6:

Day 7: Playa San Juan to Puerto de Santiago

Day 8: Puerto de Santiago to Los Gigantes