Saturday, December 15, 2012

Montaña de Ecanfraga

I was going to walk around Montaña de Ecanfraga, a big mountain close to Villaverde, ever since my excellent map arrived. Map shows two routes, one that goes around Montaña de Ecanfraga only, starting and finishing in a different bits of Villaverde, and a longer one, which makes a loop around Montaña de Caima too. My intention was to try the shorter one.

I was somewhat disappointed this time, because I couldn’t match the map to Googlemaps. Where the paper map shows a route, aerial photography shows nothing much. And there might be a good reason for that, because there was no clear visible path soon after I’ve turned off a dirt track into the malpais. Maybe the idea is that you can’t go very wrong there, with two mountains on either side of you for the orientation, and you can just pretty much go as you please, I don’t know. I intend to give it another try some day, but this time I decided to go up the mountain instead. Amazingly, there was a double tyre track going up. The distance between the tyres made me think quadbike, but I am not sure. The track went on an incline where no right-minded person will drive any vehicle at all in my opinion, either up or down. Walking is fine though, not too scree-ey, although on a steepish side of course. I found about a million different paths going up and down the mountain; I think most of them are made by goats, not by humans.

I include the route I took below.

Once again, the power of Facebook proved amazing. I walked around this structure and took some pictures trying to work out what it is. My first version was an altar of some sort, but there is nothing at all on the top of two flattish stones in the middle. My second version was that it is a work of some eccentric, who built a dry-stone throne for himself. That one was actually close to the truth. I asked on Facebook and very soon got an answer. The structure is called “zoco del pastor” and is in fact a shelter that shepherd uses to hide from strong winds that Fuerteventira is famous for. I am told that there are a few around the island, but this is one of the best-preserved ones.

Sharp mountain to the right is Montaña de Caima, around which the longer route goes. From above it doesn’t look too steep, so maybe I will try that instead next time.

This is Villaverde, very green right now and therefore true to its name, backed by dark Montaña de Arena.

Looking at the sky in those pictures, I am asking myself how did I live without a polarizing filter and can’t answer this question.

View Villaverde to Montaña de Ecanfraga in a larger map

Pictures of inland Fuerteventura on Shutterstock — here.

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