The morning was a profusion of sound and colour, birdsong, insect hums and chirps, blue skies, sunshine and a verdant spectrum of rising and falling slopes that stretched to the coast. We were buzzing about our search for the elusive Barranco Blanco and what it might look like. The road beside us wound down further and round a corner into who knew where? That question was soon answered with an early morning, leg powered reccy.
Calypso took Sweep for a wander while I sat and read some more of William Powers’ wonderful book, “Twelve by Twelve”; the story of his stay in a 12ft x12ft cabin in the North Carolina wilderness.
After an hour the adventurers returned with the idea that we should explore in the van. The road was twisty but drivable so we packed up and headed off, waving goodbye to our comfortable wild camp.
We soon came to a junction and turned left, following the path downwards until we found a heavily sloping space outside a horse training centre and began our search for the waterfall at Barranco Blanco.
We followed man made aqueducts and dry river beds but saw no sign of the waterfall. The path led us to a house where a young, well tanned man was working with a shovel. I asked him in Spanish if he knew where Barranco Blanco was and he responded by asking me if I spoke English. I said yes and he began explaining in pigeon English where I could find it. He turned bright red when he realised I was also English and after his embarrassment subsided and the conversations of where we’re all from, what we’re doing here, etc ended we headed back to the van for another drive around the area.
We weren’t driving for long when the road brought us to a wider section beside a stone bridge. We parked up near a local man who was eating oranges and listening to the radio in his little van. I asked him where the waterfall was. In response he pointed down the road and said “50 metres, turn right and climb for about a kilometre.”
We did the first part and passed a heavily faded and vandalised sign with info about the waterfall. It was all in Spanish and my interpretation was poor at best. We moved upwards against the flow of the river until we reached an impassable point and turned back.
At the road we turned right and followed the road in the excruciating heat; winding upwards and upwards, ever closer to the sun. The going was difficult and the road steep but the reward of a dip in the pools at the base of Barranco Blanco’s waterfall spurred us on. At the top of the hill, after several stops for water and breath I met a man and asked him where the waterfall was. He laughed and pointed back don the hill, explaining that we’d already been right by it. I cursed myself at first but then took a more pragmatic approach.
The walk back down would make me even hotter so the bathe at the end would even sweeter. My stride almost became a skip as I descended the hill, picking Sweep and Calypso up along they way (they decided enough was enough about halfway up) with the joyful news that we were close to finding the elusive Barranco Blanco.
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