Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Ajuy to Arco del Jurado

Last week my friend was staying with us. He is a lot less nervous driver than I and together we managed to visit some places on Fuerteventura where I’ve never been before (and probably won’t go again, considering how steep and narrow some roads are).

This road that leads to this walk, I am happy to say, is not one of those. I did drive to Ajuy myself before, and it’s not too bad at all. But I was not even aware that there is this stone arch just a short walk away from the village.

Fortunately, recently I bought a large-scale map of Fuerteventura by Kompass. It has a lot more information on walks that I was ever able to find before. So when we made a vague plan to go “somewhere there, maybe Ajuy”, I had a look at the surrounding area and found “Naturdenkmal Arco del Jurado” (yes, the map is mostly in German). Quick search on Google produced some images that looked good, so off we went.

The walk is very easy, no ups and downs of any significance. If you find yourself climbing up or down, stop and look for alternative route, there surely will be one.

You start the walk along the path to the caves of Ajuy. Approximately halfway to the caves, you go up a bit, maybe two more meters, to the top of the cliffs. There was some ambitious fencing project done some good while ago, and the thin wire fence surrounds a large area of malpais, but it contains many holes and looks abandoned; I believe you can walk on the outside of the fence if you prefer, but we followed a visible path which runs just within. The picture above is of the far edge of Caleta Negra, Back Cove, the nearer edge of which contains two caves of Ajuy.

I must say that the pictures that I found on the web don’t give a good idea of the scale, and mine probably won’t either. The arch is quite tall, I think about eight meters, although please don’t quote me on that. The way it stand at the end of its own little promontory, makes me think that the arch is made of a stronger stuff than everything that used to surround it; everything else eroded and fallen off, but the arch remained, protecting the pebble beach behind it from being eaten by the ocean completely.

When we came to the arch, the waves were large and now and then one would reach the lower edge of the hole; small temporary waterfall would form and run into a pool on the inner side.

Between the open ocean and the arch there are a few large rocks, presumably of the same strong stuff, that protect the arch itself from constant attack of the sea. The waves were impressive, as they often are on the west coast of Fuerteventura.

We took the same route back, but if you prefer circular walks, you can go further inland. The barranco immediately to the north of Ajuy is so large and deep that it will prevent you from getting lost for sure — if you find yourself looking into it, turn towards the ocean and follow its course, you will find yourself back at the village.

Here is the route we followed:

View Ajuy to Arco del Jurado in a larger map
Map that I use at Amazon — here (pity nobody pays me for that)

Pictures of west coast of Fuerteventura on Shutterstock — here.

No comments: