La Palma has a network of marked hiking trails. The LP 19, in Breña Alta runs up from San Pedro, past a series of springs, into the lower end of San Isidro, and back down to the main road. Like most of these paths, the scenery is beautiful and keeps changing. And this path included bonuses.
Several of the springs feed laundry bowls. Since it’s easier to carry clothes than water, women brought the family laundry to the springs. I don’t know when the ones here fell into disuse, but I believe the one at Isora, in El Hierro, was still being used in the 1960s.
But my favourite bit is near La Sociedad, in San Isidro. The path climbs steeply up the side of the ravine, and passes several small, natural caves. And somebody has been very busy. They’re full of pot plants and religious statuettes, with a sprinkling of religious medals and rosaries.
Well I’m not religious, but it’s absolutely lovely. The biggest cave has tree trunks to sit on, and it would be a wonderful place to come when you’re feeling troubled.