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It took two and a half years – but it was worth it.

At last – we got there – La Palma enchanted us.

It took us two years – but we finally succeeded, and boy was it worth the wait as La Palma has just delivered us another fantastic holiday.

If anyone had told us that it would take so long to go back to one of our favourite islands – we would not have believed them.

In September 2019, 12 lovely walkers had signed up to travel to La Palma in the Canary Islands Of course, then came Covid- the La Palma holiday in March 2020 was just four days away when the first lockdown was imposed – so attempt number one – stopped in its tracks.

No problem we said – let’s organise a September date – yes, everyone transferred – no loss of money.

But September – the governments dictate is travel is banned.

Ok – lets a have a go for March 2021. The same 12 agreed – with a lighter heart we hoped we could go- but another lockdown – another Covid issue not only in UK but in La Palma.

Everyone understood- OK, let’s go for November 2021 – surely Covid will not prevent us – and we are all double and triple jabbed. Yes – all systems go.

So, no restrictions due to Covid- we are getting excited – then a natural disaster – La Palma suffered its biggest volcanic eruption for a century and the whole world watched via tv and social media. Thwarted again – and with a heavy heart, knowing the suffering and loss to the locals in La Palma including our guiding company- whose owner Jonas still cannot access his home – a volcanic lava flow has cut off his area- luckily his home is still intact. But he does not know when he will get back.

Will we, won’t we – will the volcano recede – will it be OK to fly in, will there be volcanic ash everywhere. Will tourism have started again are all questions we asked and our patiently waiting group The holiday rebooked for March 2022 remained in doubt- then the volcano stopped on December 13th, 2021, and we got the green light that we could go.

What did we find – a country desperate to get back to giving their customers a super time- keen to assure us that we would have a great time and an island showing nothing but sheer resilience to rebuild broken communities and infrastructure

Jill Pinkerton – with her first leader’s holiday for two years- was ecstatic that we were able to start our European holiday ventures again- and with her partner Pete – who lived on La Palma and was our official walking guide appointed by Isla Bonita Tours our La Palma partner- they’re organised our walks, avoiding the area of the volcanic region to walk but included in the program an opportunity for our group to witness first-hand the volcano and the destruction which was emotionally impactful.

Our 12 lovely clients arrived – unfortunately one without her case – which had not left Manchester but reappeared within two days and with our hotel Los Olas giving them a super welcome. We were making up for lost time.

Our five walks explored the whole of the island, with its varied terrain. Lovely sunshine all the way, just one hour of rain, lots of end of walks beers, and a real bond between people who had waited for such a long time to enjoy this lovely island.

Was it worth it – absolutely – Here’s what those who went  think?

We found La Palma a very interesting island for a walking holiday. the hotel was in a good location and the staff were very good and the room was nice and large.

 The food was very good too. I would recommend this holiday.

 The walks were all very different and we saw a great deal of the island. Jill and Pete were excellent.  a great team.

 It was a very enjoyable weeks walking and good company and I cannot say much more but thanks. Fantastic. We hope to see you both again in a walking holiday in mainland Spain.

Jill and Paul

The hotel was very good.   I liked the fact that the room had a kitchenette where I could make a sandwich for the walks.

Loved the walking. Pete and Jill were excellent leaders.   I was especially impressed with Pete’s encyclopaedic knowledge of the local flora and fauna.   The scenery was spectacular and the walks were challenging but achievable. 

Thanks for helping me to finally get to La Palma after 13 years and 5 reschedules!   It was absolutely worth it!

James BGuided walking in La Palma

And hopefully we will be able to go again to La Palma in November – with nothing stopping us.

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info@secrethillswalking.co.uk
01694 723600