I think the best way to hike a trail is to have as few preconceived notions as possible of what the trail will be like. Being too certain of what the trail will bring makes it easy to be disappointed, when the trail (or circumstances) causes something different to happen. But that philosophy has to be tempered with understanding the general reality of the trail you’re hiking, and that’s where we didn’t fully appreciate the challenges of hiking in the Canary Islands until after we got there.
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The GR 131, in the Canary Islands, was my first long-distance hike outside of the United States. This trail was one of the most unique hikes I’ve done. Spanning a volcanic archipelago, we visited eight islands, all of them different in their own way, with their own unique character, not just in landscape and scenery, but also in civilization. And without ever having been there before, it’s hard to truly anticipate that experience.
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Today was supposed to be our last day on the Canary Islands, with a simple plan: sleep in, and then go to the airport and fly to Tenerife, Lanzarote, and finally to Frankfurt, Germany. We did make it off El Hierro as planned, but the Canary Islands decided they weren’t done with us.
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After just under a month of hiking and traveling, on our eighth island, we finished hiking the GR131.
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