Garajonay -"valley laurisilva, a subtropical rainforest where the largest laurel trees can be found"

in TravelFeedlast month (edited)

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Magical, wonderful, a bit like from Jurassic Park. Lots of people raved about Garajonay National Park and I knew I would love to see it while on Gomera.


The park provides the best example of Canarian laurisilva, a humid subtropical forest that in the Tertiary covered almost all of Southern Europe. It is also found on the Azores and the Madeira Islands. Laurus azorica, known as Azores laurel, or by the Portuguese names louro, loureiro, louro-da-terra, and louro-de-cheiro, can be found in the park, as well as Laurus novocanariensis, known as Canary laurel. Although named as a single type of forest, the national park englobes several varieties of forests. Most humid and protected valleys oriented to the North have the richest and most complex forests. It is known as valley laurisilva, a true subtropical rainforest where the largest laurel trees can be found. At higher altitudes, with less protection from wind and sun, the forest loses some of its more delicate species. Here it is called slope laurisilva (laurisilva de ladera). At the south the forest is mainly a mix of beech and heather, species adapted to the less humid atmosphere.
Source: Wikipedia.


I hitchhiked to Garajonay Park. First, a Spaniard gave me a lift to Hermigua, and then tourists from Germany gave me a lift to the entrance to the park. The Spaniard did not speak English but we stopped for a while along the way and I was able to take some great pictures of the area. However, On the other hand, I enjoyed talking to the Germans. They even suggested that we walk in the woods together, but they took a very long and hard route and I didn't know if I would catch a lift later to go back to the apartment for the night, and they were going in a different direction, so I chose to walk alone in the forest.



When I entered the forest, I heard the beautiful singing of birds, the sounds of other animals and I felt a bit anxious because it was a bit dark in the forest. Pieces of laurel were hanging from the trees. These weren't the trees I knew, with a brown trunk and branches and leaves. Here the trees were covered with what resembled "green spiderwebs", and that was the laurel.


I saw a lot of mushrooms in the forest. These seemed especially phenomenal to me. They had intense colors. Like this one - white. They attracted the eye because they stood out from the green nature.


It was very humid in the forest. It felt as if it was raining a little or there was a mist of water in the air.


In many parts of the forest, there were such QR codes to be scanned to listen to the sounds of the forest. If you are interested in them, you can use them :)


It was wonderful to be in this forest, soaking up its amazing atmosphere full of mystery. As if I have moved many thousands of years back. In the past, such forests covered almost all of Europe. If you were in Gomera, I recommend a trip to Garajonay National Park. It is included in the World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

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