Archive for the ‘femes’ Tag

Lanzarote – Hiking a High Point   12 comments

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Time to get back to more serious walking. After a morning of lazy strolls and chilling by the pool me, TJS and TBF headed out for a walk in the afternoon. The weather was still stunningly clear and we wanted to bag one of the higher summits.

We started from another of the small quiet villages of the island, Uga. Heading out of the village and along a wide track into the hills

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We crunched our way along the ash track, reminded me of walking on snow in very strange way

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This is the valley of La Geria. It’s close to the area that erupted and was devastated not by lava but by ash. The area was quite well farmed and verdant before the eruption but after it happened most people left and never returned. More recently the area has been turned into a vast collection of vineyards. Each of these small hollows surrounded by a wall contains a single vine. Rather than protect from the wind the construction allows the dew to collect and trickle down into the hollow in miniscule amounts but its enough to sustain the vines. As you’ll see from the rest of the photos they dominate the landscape in such number as to be a marvel of effort to create that many. The unique pattern they create is one of the abiding memories of the island

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Back to our walk and we were heading for the peak in the centre right of the photo, Montana de Guardilama. Its one of the “Three Peaks” over 600m I mentioned and had supposedly stunning views

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We caught a glimpse of one of the Timanfaya tour buses traversing the slopes a few miles away

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The panorama shot gives a feel for the width and desolation of the uncultivated parts of the valley

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This lone palm tree caught my eye

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Our target peak getting closer

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As we reached the col the views along the east coast towards the resort of Puetro de Carmen and the capital Arrecife opened up

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All we had to do was climb to the top. Hard work on the loose rubble slopes and took far longer than I thought

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Fortunately the views from the top were stunning

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TJS struggling to keep up with the old man

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Couple of panoramas taking in 3/4 of the island

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We had an extended stay on the top. The air was stunningly sharp and clear. An absolutely perfect day for walking

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Looking south towards Playa Blanca

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The National Park where Hell was unleashed a few hundred years back

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TBF providing some foreground

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We’d started late and we had another summit to climb and a few miles to go so we had to push on. We slithered down the slippery slopes and I waited for the others to catch up. While I was there an old German man walked up and abruptly asked what the climb was like. I gave him the low down about how long the climb might take etc but that the views were well worth it. He then set off just as abruptly without another word or a thank you. Some people!

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We headed back up towards our second summit of Montana Tinasoria. Much lower and less steep it was an easy climb. We passed these ruined buildings, an area heavily used for paragliders as a launch site

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As the sun was starting to go down the shadows and the golden light on the islands dusty brown summits was just mesmerizing

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One of the things I loved about the island were the smooth sinuous curves of its volcanic cones. The low angle of the sun highlights them and the vine hollows perfectly

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It is the age of the selfie

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Reluctantly we headed down. I didn’t much fancy loose volcanic ash slopes in the dark

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We passed through the crater of the much smaller Montana Mojon. These Prickly Pears providing a welcome splash of green to the landscape

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There was a shallow crater rim so we wandered along it for some bonus views. By now the light was just sensational

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As we reached Uga again the sun was catching the white houses perfectly, picking them out against the black lava and darkening blue sky

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One final treat as we drove home and saw the sun setting as we crossed the col at Femes

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I wasn’t sure what to expect from the walking on Lanzarote but its magnificent, fascinating and surreally beautiful. This half a day walk was amazing and one of the highlights of the trip. Boxing Day sales in a retail park or a walk like this?

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Lanzarote – A walk from Femes   10 comments

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Time to explore the mountains. Again, Lanzarote’s diminutive size was handy. Just a 10 minute drive to the pretty village of Femes in the mountains behind the resort and a start at over thousand feet. There were lots of walkers paths and it looked good for our first look at the islands mountains and old volcanos. We left the Funsters to go shopping and headed for the mountains

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We headed up from the village and a short steep climb to a goat farm and cheese making facility

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The path traversed across eastern flanks of Pico Aceituna. It looks a bit exposed but it was easy and safe

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A view down the Barranco de la Higuera to the sea

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And back towards the goat farm and the peaks above the Femes valley

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It was a short walk out and back to the summit of Pico Aceituna so we thought we’d bag our first summit. Grand views across the Rubicon Plain to Playa Blanca and Fuerteventura in the distance

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The Femes valley and the rest of the island

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Atalaya de Femes, second highest point on the island and one of what I liked to call the “Three Peaks” of Lanzarote. There are four summits over 600m although you can’t access the highest point as its covered in military paraphernalia. They like to do this in Spain. The highest peak in Mallorca is similarly inaccessible. We only managed one of the three peaks so good reasons to go back

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Panorama looking NE along the spine of the island

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And the expanse of the Rubicon Plain, Montana Roja in the centre of the shot

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The path then cut across the flanks of Pico Redondo, this time on the western flank, seen in the photo below. Again it looks exposed but again it was perfectly safe and easy

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The route we were following was doing a complete circuit of Pico Redondo but I wanted to climb it. It looked ok, if a bit rough going. TJS wanted no part in such a risky plan (he likes to stay on paths) so we agreed to meet around the far side. It was an easy climb in the end and the summit had a nice, narrow, rocky summit with extensive views. The mountains on Lanzarote are not especially high but their prozimity to the coast gives them a real sense of height and the views are excellent and of course unusual

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This is Hacha Grande, the highest point on this side of the ridge. One to save for another day

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The descent was on pathless terrain and pretty tedious. The photo tries to give some scale to the uniformity of the slope. All loose volcanic dirt and rubble

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I just took my time and despite losing my footing numerous times managed to avoid falling on my backside. We arrived at the broad col below within a few seconds of each other, barely breaking stride as we headed up to the top of the small peak below, Lomo del Pozo for some lunch

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The stunning views of our route and the rest of the island more than made up for possibly the worst pre-packed sandwiches it’s ever been my misfortune to eat. Luckily we had Paprika crisps, cookies and chocolate donuts to soften the blow

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Time to head back and a very pleasant stroll along the Barranco de la Higuera

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And a steep climb through the volcanic rocks to the Goat Farm where we started

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One of the many volcanic dikes on the island. Nature’s dry stone wall

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A view back down the Barranco de la Higuera to Lomo del Pozo

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Last views of Femes before we reached the car and headed back down to Playa Blanca

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A short route and short drive gives time to pack in some more activity. Nothing better than finishing off a day in the mountains with a stroll along the coast.

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And an hour on the beach to catch some rays and take a cooling swim at Playa Dorada

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Obligatory lazing on the beach/feet shot

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Nice time to be on the beach while the sun starts to go down

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Excellent way to finish the day

Lanzarote – Montana Roja   15 comments

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Playa Blanca sits at the bottom of the island at end of vast expanse of volcanic desert called the Rubicon Plain, that’s pretty flat and featureless. What it also has is its own volcano or least a relic of one, Montana Roja, that overlooks the resort. A tempting target for a walk so first afternoon we headed out to take a look.

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We stopped off at the tip of the island near the lighthouse for a coastal stroll first. Not one of the best walks, it’s all a bit untidy with loads of half-finished villas and roads

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It gave a different view of Montana Roja. It looks deceptively big from here even though its only 194m above sea level

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Add to the fact you can drive a good way up the slopes and it makes a very easy and very splendid short hike. On the way up the views across the old volcanic peaks above the village of Femes opens out, the outskirts of Playa Blanca in the foreground

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A panorama looking north towards the rest of the island

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TJF wasn’t greatly enthused by the walk and chose to sit on the rim of the crater with her phone pressed to her face. The rest of us chose to walk around the crater to the high point.

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The sun was close to setting so the light was stunning, turning the rocks and peaks a deep golden reddish-brown

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The walk around the crater is superb, albeit quite short. Nothing better than elevated views above the coast.

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A nice contrast between the stark landscape and the gleaming white buildings of the resort

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Had TJF not been sitting waiting for us (and we had food shopping to do) we’d have stayed to watch the sunset

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As it was, we enjoyed the short stroll and the changing colours. Lanzarote does reds and browns (and black) pretty well

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A last lingering shot of Fuerteventura across the water

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I meant to walk up here a few times as its such a wonderful viewpoint but we never seemed to get the chance. We did head up on last evening to watch the sunset but there was more cloud about and the views not so great. We did get a few interesting cloud effects though

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A small sunny patch on the village of El Golfo

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And the Timanfaya National Park (more on both places in later posts)

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A sunset hole in the clouds

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Fading light on the Femes Hills (my name – they don’t seem to have a name of their own)

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There seemed to be thin strip of oddly coloured yellow cloud hanging above Fuerteventura. You can just about make it out in the photos below.

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No idea what it was. My guess is sand in the atmosphere from the sand dunes on the north of the island

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Our first Lanzarote volcano. More to come

Posted January 10, 2018 by surfnslide in Lanzarote, Spain, Walking

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