Viper’s Bugloss in Las Lagunetas

Route of the walk
Las Lagunetas-El Portillo-Cementerio de Las Lagunetas-Lomo de Enmedio-Morro del Carnicero-Hoya del Mocán-Trigo Diego-Cauce del barranco de la Mina-San Francisco-Ciudad de Los Perros-Las Lagunetas

Getting there: Global bus No. 303, from Las Palmas de GC to San Mateo, changing to a No. 18 bus to Tejeda-Faro de Maspalomas departing at 11.00 am.
Starting point: Tejeda Road (GC-15), at the 29.2 km point – roundabout at the entrance to the town of Las Lagunetas.
Distance: 6,5 kms. aprox.
Time: 3:00 horas.
Level: Medium – difficult.
End point: Same place – church in Las Lagunetas.
GLOBAL reserves the right to change this information.

Codeso (Adenocarpus foliolosus)

With the arrival of spring, many of the wild plants of the Canary Islands break out in blossom. The discovery in recent years of Tenteniguada viper’s bugloss (Echium callithyrsum), with its beauty, splendour and rarity (found in a few places in Gran Canaria at 800-1500 m, with specific conditions of orientation and humidity) has made a springtime event out of the blossoming of this species on the island of Gran Canaria.
The Valsequillo town council Tourism Office has been promoting the discovery of this endemic bugloss through the Rincón de Tenteniguada walk.

Tajinaste Azul

In the route described here, hikers and climbers will learn about another location full of bugloss plants they can visit during the spring months: the ridge of Lomo de Enmedio and the rocky outcrop of Morro del Carnicero, in the borough of San Mateo, near the town of Las Lagunetas.

The route has some fairly easy sections, but is complicated in the area of Hoya del Mocán, where part of the track is unclear and very steep, making the walk more difficult.

Tajinaste Azul

Between Morro del Carnicero and Trigo Diego an unknown old road, lost among the plants and clinging to a vertical wall with a dizzying descent, passes through a damp gully full of flowers, almond trees, chestnut trees and willows in the final section.

This is a new description of a walk among the publications about Gran Canaria and is well worth discovering, although you’ll need a lot of patience to find the pathways. Hikers are warned of the danger and therefore anyone who suffers from vertigo should not go on this walk.

Mapa 1 Taginaste Azul en Las Lagunetas

SECTION 1º: Las Lagunetas-Cemetery-Lomo de Enmedio-Hoya de Los Cardos-Morro del Carnicero

Track and camomile plants
Track and camomile plants

The walk starts at the roundabout at the entrance to the town of Las Lagunetas, at an altitude of 1,195 m, on the GC-155 road heading towards the church of San Bartolomé de Las Lagunetas. Walk 700 m along the sealed main street of this hamlet in the peaks area, part of the borough of San Mateo. You’ll see two streets going up on the right. The first one goes straight to the cemetery and the second one goes to the medical centre. If you take the first one, you’ll come to Las Lagunetas cemetery at the end of the road. This first section is an ascent, as the altitude at the cemetery is 1,248 m.

At the front of the cemetery, an opening in the guard rail on your right leads to some concrete steps heading downwards. The dirt track starts in Lomo de Enmedio, heading in a straight line and becoming narrow as the vegetation thickens. You’ll come to replanted area (pines, wax myrtle, heath, Canary Islands cedars, etc). This picturesque section of the walk is very easy. The ridge is the dividing line – walk along the centre and look out over each side. To your right you’ll see the ravine and the Presa de Antona dam. To your left you’ll see La Mina ravine, Utiaca and La Yedra.

The path gradually descends. After passing some pine trees you’ll come to some steps and you’ll be near Hoya de Los Cardos, where you’ll find a track that leads to the dam. Keep going straight ahead, without going to the dam. Head downwards, around the rocky outcrop at the end of the Lomo de Enmedio ridge. You’ll come to an area with ferns and a fig tree. Keep going down, towards a rocky outcrop, where you need to turn left and head towards a second fig tree. Look out for this reference because after a few metres you’ll come to the Hoya del Mocán track on your left. When you’ve found this fork it’s worth taking a walk to the outcrop of Morro del Carnicero to see the view from the edge of the rocks. This lovely spot is where you’ll find most viper’s bugloss plants.

Mapa 2 Taginaste Azul en Las Lagunetas

SECTION 2º: Hoya del Mocán-Houses in Trigo Diego-Ravine bed of Barranco de La Mina

Old house in the hamlet of Trigo Diego
Old house in the hamlet of Trigo Diego

Return to the fork. Make sure you find it, or you could easily get lost. There’s no other way out and you’d be risking doing a descent without a track on an almost vertical slope. At this stage you’re at Morro del Carnicero and the aim is to go down via Hoya del Mocán towards the ravine bed of Barranco de La Mina.

The track goes down through some trees, zigzags past some aloe plants and then comes to some small abandoned crop terraces. Then it goes down some steps in the dirt and after a few curves it crosses a small gully towards a lone chestnut tree. The track narrows among the ferns and almond trees. If you get to this point you’re on the right path and you’ve done the most difficult part.

Walking under the almond trees
Walking under the almond trees

After the almond trees, the track is paved with stone in some parts and comes to a small stream that usually has water in it and is bordered by Canary Islands willows. The reeds make it difficult to pass but you need to avoid following the water pipes. You need to head left to reach a metal fence and a house standing on its own.

From here, continue on the path, walking on the flat along the slope as far as the old abandoned house, and then on to Trigo Diego, where you’ll see a house with a red metal roof and some photovoltaic panels to capture solar energy.

Walking up through the chestnut trees

The walk goes past the front of the house and then down to a sealed path on the bed of La Mina ravine. So far you’ve gone around 3.7 km in about 1 hour and 40 minutes. The ravine bed is at an altitude of 959 m.

Various options are available at this point. You can keep going down the ravine, on the sealed path, towards Vegueta, Santa Brígida or San Mateo. This option is described in walk number 15 of the book “Descubriendo Gran Canaria”, second edition. Another option is to go back up La Mina ravine via the concrete path on the left.

The third option is to take a different path to return to Las Lagunetas, as described below.

SECTION 3º: Houses in Trigo Diego to Las Lagunetas

Track through Lomo de Enmedio
Track through Lomo de Enmedio

Go back past the house with the solar panels and then go right at an intersection. On the way up you’ll pass a cave pond. This is the reference to make sure you’re on the right path. Head upwards with the bed of La Mina ravine on your right. After turning at a ridge you’ll come to a dirt path. Don’t go down to this path – keep going up. You’ll come to a gully full of chestnut and walnut trees. This area is very pretty and full of flowers. The path goes up, flanked by small stone walls enclosing plots that were once used for crops to keep famine at bay.

The path comes out at the first houses in the hamlet of San Francisco. Go past house number 57 and a sign for local pathway number 6. When you reach the asphalt there’s a phone booth and you’ll need to turn right. Go past a group of houses in Ciudad de los Perros and head along the street as far as some steps to the right that will take you up to the square and the church in Las Lagunetas.

Church in Las Lagunetas
Church in Las Lagunetas
Valley of La Mina ravine, La Yedra and Utiaca
Valley of La Mina ravine, La Yedra and Utiaca

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