Sunday, July 08, 2018

Gran Canaria, Temisas - Aguimes, with a visit to Barranco de Las Vacas

Horizontal panorama
Some time ago I wrote that we would repeat the visit to the Barranco de Las Vacas following a linear route Temisas - Aguimes. Since then we have visited the area twice. First we did the linear route (find the map below), with a visit to the cave complex Cuevas de la Audiencia very close to Temisas. I don't have any photos of the caves, partially because they are VERY dark (it's almost like being blind!), but mainly because they were chock-full of people. To be fair, we went on a bank holiday, so the hikers were out in force, more on that later.

Second time we went from Aguimes (and back) with a specific purpose in mind - that is, to make a photosession with Timur playing his guitar there.

Sunday, July 01, 2018

Noche de San Juan in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

Wow. I'd never seen a firework blast like this before
Every Year, Saint John's Eve is celebrated in the beautiful city of Las Palmas. It has something to do with the foundation of the city, although the idea that it was founded precisely on Saint John's day seems unlikely to me.

Anyway, the celebration is a part of "Fiestas Fundacionales", associated strongly with Saint John (i.e. San Juan) and is most certainly of pagan origin. It is basically a Midsummer midnight madness, except it is shifted by a couple days.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Botanic Gardens - Triana walk

 Globularia sarcophylla, globe daisy endemic to Gran Canaria. Apparently it grows only in Tirajana. I've never seen it in the wild, have to look for it, it is sort of cute.
Couple of days ago, Timur and I decided to check out a relatively new walking path. It links one of the old areas of Las Palmas - Triana* to Canarian Botanic Garden in Tafira Baja (Jardin Canario).

I have no explanation as to why I have never written about Jardin Canario before, since we've visited it many times. As the name suggests, the emphasis in planting is on the native flora, but it is not exclusive - Canaries used to be a testing ground for plants from different parts of the world, mostly from the Americas**. There are some rare, vulnerable and endangered species, some of them beautiful, some less so. So, let's start with some pictures from the garden.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Barranco de las Vacas, Gran Canaria

Once again, Facebook brought me something useful - this time a reference to a place called Barranco de Las Vacas (Cows' Ravine) between the hill town Aguimes and small hamlet Temisas. The place is characterized by beautiful striation on the walls of the ravine, not dissimilar to those of Barranco de los Enamorados on Fuerteventura.

Distance between them is about 9 km by hiking path and it is a relatively flat walk. The ravine is somewhat closer to Aguimes, so this time we decided to walk from there (see the route and additional notes below).

Friday, April 27, 2018

Las Fallas 2018

First published 27 March 2018 @ Listen, Learn, Read

According to my old Rough Guide to Spain (this book served me well but I left it to my flatmates three years ago), Las Fallas are one of the Spanish “Big Four”, together with Semana Santa, Feria de Abril and San Fermín. Strangely enough, the Carnival is not among them.

Now it so happened that I, quite intentionally, stopped in Valencia en route to Boston and back, being able to see some of the festival and even take some pictures of it. For the benefit of those who never heard of ​Las Fallas, I allow myself to explain what’s going on here.

La Falla Convent de Jerusalem-Matemàtic Marzal

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Flora of Gran Canaria — Canary Island Pine, Pinus canariensis

New shoots coming out of a thick scorched branch

Do you remember this line from Naked Gun 33⅓:

“We analyzed the wood fibers in the paper and found them to be from the rare Canary Island pine, which grows only in Oregon.”
Seriously! Does the Canary Island pine, Pinus canariensis, even grow in Oregon?! Yes it does. Just look at the map privided by the American Conifer Society website [1]. You can’t find this tree inland because it doesn’t tolerate frost.

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

Inagua in winter and spring

View inland from Degollada de las Brujas
Reserva natural integral de Inagua (strict nature reserve Inagua) is a protected pine forest in the southwest part of Gran Canaria. Technically, it consists of three different forests - Inagua (confusing, innit?), Ojeda and Pajonales, but they are merged together anyway. The whole reserve is shared between three municipalities (Tejeda, La Aldea and Mogan). Almost all of the trees that grow there are Canarian Pines (Pinus canariensis). Canarian pine is interesting - it has such a thick bark that trees can survive forest fires, that is why it is now planted elsewhere in the wildfire-prone places. 

It reminds me that I have seen new shoots coming directly out of burnt trunks where the last forest fire happened. Maybe the next blog entry will be dedicated to how the site recovers).

Coming down from Montana de Inagua. We look like The Company from the Lord of the Rings.