This is one of the most picturesque farms in the island. You hardly believe that there could be anything in that small ravine. But when we went down the track, we heard the goats bleating. The farm is located in a set of caves with spectacular and dizzying views towards the sea.
The caves have been modified into milking parlour, the cheese factory and provide shelter and shade to the goats.
Its owner, Don José Carlos Pérez Lorenzo, is a long-time goatherd. A reserved and good-hearted person. He says he has been shepherding goats since he was seven years old and comes from a family tradition. His father was a goatherd, also one of his grandparents and his great-grandfather. It is quite possible that this tradition will come from the times of the Spanish conquest or even earlier times.
Until ten years ago, he milked the goats by hand, then he had between 70 and 80 animals, until he bought the miler. But then his life was not harder at all. He says that when he started, the abundance of pastures was much greater – there were plants like cornetas (called esterca barrera in Garafía), vinagreras and cornicales and they gave enough food to shepherd about 150 goats. Today, as a result of the drought caused by climate change, it does not give to graze even twenty goats. These years you have to buy everything that goats eat, if it doesn’t rain, there can be no food.
In this peculiar farm he arrived in the 1980s and here he continues till this days. It is a lonely place, which inspires calm and a kind of nostalgia for times when this way of life was the most common. At a quiet rhythm and in the company of his old Garafiano shepherd dog, he coddles his one hundred goats. For love to the profession and this ancestral way of life, , as he says “today, I work for them… profits give for their food and little else…”
It is an immense grazing area, crossed by large ravines. The coastal boundary is a huge cliff of more than a hundred meters, which prevents animals from reaching the beaches. The passes they could escape through are covered. When an animal is missing, it is time for the difficult task of entering to these steep places. To do so, he uses his traditional spear and knowledge of the narrow passes to the ravine, they can still be followed , because the goats have been responsible for marking them.
In this grazing area, in the past there were two fountains: Fuente Secreta and Fuente las Goteras, in the ravine of the Viñedos (Vineyards), on the hillside facing south. Today none emanates water.