Friday, February 05, 2016

A week in Valencia

Infinitely impressive, if somewhat underused, City of Arts and Sciences

For New Year holidays we went to Valencia. We've never been before, and the only thing I knew before taking the trip is that they grow a lot of oranges there.

This post is just to show a few pics from this beautiful town.

They do grow a lot of oranges. And not only oranges. But orange trees were everywhere - on the small strips separating the lines on the streets, in front of the cathedral, at the bottom of the former river, and of course in the shops. 3 kilos for 1 euro! I like these prices, I do. The choice of things that grow on land and live in the waters was amazing - and I am saying this after we lived on the Canaries for a few years. It might well be that the choice of other foodstuff is equally impressive, but I didn't pay that much attention.

We left it a bit too late (as usual) with booking the stay, so we ended up in a apartment that was about 25 minutes walking distance from the old town. It was perfectly adequate and of course it gave us an excellent excuse to make the kids do their essential bit of daily walking. We were lucky with the weather, too. It was warm, just a bit under 20. We were told by the landlord that only the tourists were happy about the unseasonable warmth. The farmers complained about not having enough rain, the nearby skiing resorts about not having enough snow. Well, there is no pleasing some people. On this occasion we were the easy ones to please.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Vamos a la playa, Oh — ohoh ohoh! Playa de Cofete, Oh — ohoh ohoh!

Cofete! Finally :)

This weekend, 23—24 January, we came to Fuerteventura yet again. We used an excellent Bintazo offer by Binter Canarias*. And we came with a very specific aim in mind — to get to Cofete, a difficult-to-access beach on the windward side of the island. I saw it a couple of times before, but never visited the beach. Kirill never even saw it from the ground level.

Getting there takes some research. The road is quite bad, as you will see later. Soon after you pass the port of Morro Jable, the surfaced road changes to a dirt track, very winding and bumpy. Normal cars can go on it, and will reach the beach eventually, but you are not supposed to drive rental cars on dirt tracks. No one will stop you, but if anything goes wrong, you will pay through the nose. You can walk, but that will be heavy going. I estimate the distance between the car park (where the dirt track starts) and the beach to be about 8 km. Plus you have to go by Cofete pass, which is at about 300 meters above the sea level, so each way will feature 300 meters of both up and down. And there is no shade. Biking is possible, but also strenuous and quite dangerous.

Now that you are sufficiently scared, let me give you a solution to this conundrum.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Cruz de Tejeda — Teror, the route of the Crosses

As I suspected, when you start walking down from Cruz de Tejeda, you can see Roque Nublo. You just need a clear day for that

A few weeks ago I did another nice walk with the Mojo Picon Aventura. We already did the Cruz de Tejeda - Teror route a couple of times on our own, but that time we were promised "The Route of the Crosses", something new to me.

What it means is that you start at one of the many crosses that are placed at various points on the island, mostly at mountaintops, and you pass at least three more on your way to Teror, the first cross being Cruz de Tejeda and the last one Cruz de Hoya Alta. Apart from Cruz de Tejeda with its macabre designs, the crosses seem to be markers for high grounds and are not particularly interesting in themselves.

Tuesday, December 01, 2015


Although I wasn't tough enough to stay on Fuerteventura for more than two years, it keeps calling me back.
I went there in the beginning of November, to photograph the Kite Festival, to visit some familiar places, and to meet old friends. Pure nostalgia, it was.
Don't really know what to write, apart from some short comments for the photos. Enjoy!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Barranco de la Mina, Gran Canaria

For Tamara's birthday, we went for a short walk from (more or less) Las Lagunetas to Cruz de Tejeda. We often heard that Barranco de la Mina is one of very few — maybe just three? — barrancos where there always is running water. The previous attempt to reach it had to be cancelled thanks to roadworks. The advantage of this route is that it's almost pure ascent. So my knees did not complain this time.

Elephant tree

Friday, October 09, 2015

Pico de la Bandera — San Pedro

View into the Valle de Agaete from the trail. There is a whole chain of reservoirs down there, some at alarmingly different levels from each other

This was our first but hopefully not last experience with Mojo Picón Aventura, a small company dedicated to outdoor activities on our beautiful island. Apart from their regular weekday activities such as canyoning (barranquismo), coasteering and kayaking, they also organise walks on weekends. So the last Saturday of September we joined one. It was advertised as a medium-difficulty 9-km route "Pico de la Bandera — Berrazales" which was supposed to take about 6 hours. The price was 10 euro per person; considering that we would spend the same or more on public transport if we wanted to do the same route on our own, it looked like a great value for money.

We had to come by 8:30 am to Auditorio Alfredo Kraus, which appears to be a popular meeting place for weekend outings. There were at least two other groups assembling there at the same time.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Camping in Llanos de la Pez

Afternoon light is a lot more interesting than the morning one

Our little tent was bought and used only once some six years ago, on occasion of the Wells-next-the-Sea Carnival. Since then, it was gathering dust; we thought it was about a time to take it for a spin.