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Hike&Learn: Hiking + Shepherd’s Jump

Last sunday 27th we enjoyed a wonderful morning hike with Climbo’s team while they taught us about old locals traditions like Gomera’s whistle and shepherd’s jump.

Gomeran whistle can be considerate a language which was used to communicate between them across the ravines and the difficult shapes of the islands. The whistle can be heard 5km away from the whistler making possible the communication or conversation between people from far away or other villages The whistle was declared historical ethnographic heritage of the Canary islands. Nowadays, many people work hard to introduce it to the new generations and keep it alive.

During the hike, our guides showed us their whistle skills, you really need to pay attention if you want to learn or understand what are they saying! At first you don’t understand anything but after some basics about how pronounce words whistelling, suddenly you notice that you understand and actually, you can try it to. Who knows, maybe you come back home whistling: Buenos días!

We started the hike close to a reservoir where a funny “ducks army” welcomed us. After some explanations about the route and it conditions, we walked ascending 150 meters until we arrived to the top of the knoll where we could stop a moment to took off our jackets and drink some water. The route keeps going on the top of the knoll making possible enjoy the views of the shape of the area. The main stop was to explain us all the necessary about shepherd’s jump.

Shepherd’s jump (salto del pastor) was probably born due to the difficult orography of the islands so the local people were forced to overcome jumps, little cliffs,ravines and many other difficulties with long wooden poles known as “garrote” fitted with a sharp metal point called “regatón”. That’s how they were able to move freely around and do easily activities like taking care of their cattle making shepherd’s life easier as a good example about “salto del pastor” utilities.

We keep our way in which we were able to see a little beautiful eagle flying doing circles around, probably looking for breakfast!

During all the hike some of the guides followed us whistling and jumping rocky areas with funny jumps (but not easy ones) in addition to whistles to show us how it sounds when you have a whitled conversation.

We discover a really old “Drago” or dragon tree next to a place where the locals used to do some harvest activities. It receives that name because it resin turns red after being air exposed and known by the old inhabitants due to it qualities.

After a few minutes we didn’t saw the jumpers anymore, where were they? Suddenly, when we were so close to the end of the route we saw them at the top of a rocky mountain. Were they thinking about descend doing “salto”? Was it possible? It was, they did it and so fast! When they finally arrived to us, it was our turn to learn and try at little rocks and jumps they had prepared for us, funny and interesting. It’s so technic and requires too much practise to be a normal or good jumper and avoid accidents or hurting yourself, but don’t give up!

While some of them were jumping they other ones went a bit away to receive a whistle lesson learning how to put your tongue, fingers, do the sound and how recognize the words when they talk.

Just beautiful and so authentic, that’s how the activity finished and we came back home feeling that we had learned more than we expected.

See you at the adventure!

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