Sunday, March 31, 2013

Pico de Zarza

While Europe is getting an unhealthy share of snow and cold, it’s getting hot and summery here on Fuerteventura. So I figured it’s time to do this walk before it becomes impossible, or at least very, very uncomfortable.

Pico de Zarza is the highest point of Fuerteventura, just over 800 meters high (just now I found a figure of 807, but it seems to me that I saw some other heights somewhere). When the sky is clear you can see all of Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria and Teide on Tenerife from there. The sky wasn’t that clear when we went, so we didn’t see the other islands. Still, the views are spectacular and the walk well worth doing.

Above is the view along the wild Cofete beach (btw, the only remaining point of the island that I really want to visit and haven’t visited yet).

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

From La Pared to Sotavento de Jandia

The urge to climb and then jump off the sharp rock is irresistible to some

Last Saturday we went for a long walk with my former Spanish class. The walk started around La Pared village on the west coast of Fuerteventura, ran along the shore for the goodish while, and then started to traverse the island. It ended up at main road FV-1, at the level of southern end of Playa de Sotavento de Jandia.

I liked the walk a lot, the coastal path is absolutely spectacular, but there are a few somewhat difficult points about it that I’d like to record.

First, logistically it’s not easy to organize on your own. It’s not circular, and if you want to go by car, you will have to go through a palaver of arranging at least one at the end of the walk, then ferrying people between the end and the start. We had it easy, as the center provided the bus that brought us to the start and picked us up at the end. I am not sure if the walk is doable by just public transport, but inclined to think that it isn’t.

Second point — most of the route runs along the sandstone ledge not much above the high water level, and under a tall wall of sandstone. There is no or very little mobile reception; so not a great idea to try the walk on your own even if you managed to somehow arrange the transport. Apart from our large group, we met very few people along the path.

Third point, linked to the previous — sandstone ledge runs out occasionally, or becomes quite steep. Nothing too bad, but — watch out and have somebody else watching out for you.

Apart from that, nothing much I can add. Enjoy the views :)

Monday, March 04, 2013

Gardens, gardens everywhere

Anybody who knows anything at all about me knows that I like flowers. And in Puerto de La Cruz there are at least two big gardens. So I went to both this time :)

One is "Jardín Sitio Litre", which is confusingly marked as "Orchid garden" in the little tourist map, private property attached to a largish house where the current owners live. The current name is the result of somewhat japanese-sounding transformation of the original "el Sitio Little", "Little's Place", after Archibald Little, the first owner of the estate. It's not big, well established, nicely laid out, with some space dedicated, yes, to orchids, a koi carp pond, fountain, small cafe etc.

Another one is the "real" botanical garden, know as Jardín de Aclimatación de la Orotava, Jardín Botánico or El Botánico. It's larger, but still nowhere as large as Cambridge botanical garden for instance, let alone Kew. Acclimatization bit in the name is there because it was used to acclimatize plants brought from different parts of the world.

Well. I liked the second one more. It's bigger, collection is more impressive, the entrance is just 2 euro for Canarian resident (dat's me) against 4.75 for the Orchid Garden. Plus, to be honest, I was lured to the Orchid garden by the name, hoping to see a lot of beautiful, well, orchids. I don't know if it is the season or what, but you will see more orchids in Scotsdales garden center. Maybe the garden holds more variety - I don't remember seeing Lady slipper orchids in Scotsdales, for instance. Maybe. Still, I was somewhat disappointed

Now, I wrote this sorry excuse for a text just to be able to post some flower pictures. So here they are :)