Difficulty: Easy. Caution in the descent. Type of route: Round trip. Distance: 7,60 kms. Altitude difference: +527m/-527m. Time (pace): 53min (7:00 min/km). The Best: The views over the sea and the south of the island. Nearby trails: Playa Quemada – Playa Blanca.
The route: A small “caco” for runners with limited time availability.
It’s really unusual to make a “caco” (“caminar-correr”, path walking-running because of its steep slope) so short… And it’s weird because this condition can break the good feelings: in a continuous run, even short, our body is allowed to sweat and segregate the longed endorphins. On the other hand, in a “caco” of middle and long distance, we can also reach the desired effect that produce the alternance of fatigue and relaxing periods. But in a short tour like this, it is possible that when we broke into a sweat, it will be time to stop running and start a walking ascend, so our body may cool down, while our legs, especially our twin muscles, will have to do all the hard work.
In spite of that, its demanding slopes, the great views and some sections that go halfway up the hillside, make this route an interesting opportunity for people with limited time availability or who want to get started in the cross-country step by step.
Starting at Femés village, the route can’t be missed: we have to ascend until we reach a goat farm and then we turn right. We follow the path that goes from a hillside to the other, and then, we take the right trail at the fork to steeply go down until we get to another farm. Behind the farm, there is a wider road that we should take left and, at not many yards away, we will see a somewhat blurry path that will lead us towards the mountain of Hacha Grande (561 m), whose summit is the returning point.
The place: ¿Mountains with the name of a traitor?
In the days before the conquest these mountains were different from now. Thanks to the altitude that they reach in some points, the hillsides didn’t had the uniform ochre aspect they have nowadays, but existed some vegetation, mainly wild olive-trees, that contribute to break these homogenous landscape. This vegetation finally extinguish due to centuries of intense sheepherding and periods of famine. Even though, the presence of natives in these mountains was continuous probably due to the existence of other resources. The first Europeans that arrived to the island founded abundant engravings of that times that even today can be observed in these rocks.
It was maybe a young aboriginal shepherd tending his goats in one of these summits, the first person to see the boats of Juan de Bethencourt and Gadifer de la Salle. These French mercenaries and adventurers disembarked one day in 1402 near the beaches of Papagayo, to begin the conquest of the island for the king of Castile, Enrique III.
There are those who say that the name “Ajaches” comes from the name of the noble aboriginal Hache, who contributed to the rapid defeat of the natives betraying his king Guadarfía. Guadarfía escaped from captivity right on the coast that we see from the top of Hacha Grande Mountain and ran towards the center of the island, where he found Hache and killed him. The most romantics may want to imagine while running in these lonely hills, how the aboriginal king felt while fleeing across this site to try to save his life and his people from extinction.
* Click on Wikiloc to download the track and take it with you.