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

Fuerteventuuuuraaaa



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.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

La Gomera, Degollada de Peraza — San Sebastián

We spent almost all summer in Gran Canaria. Which was nice, but, for a bit of change, we went to La Gomera for five days. We took the early flight on Sunday morning, and were relaxing for the rest of the day.

La Iglesia de la Asunción, San Sebastián de La Gomera

On Monday, we did essentially the same walk as Tamara and kids did in April. For Tuesday, we had more ambitious plan: to walk from Degollada de Peraza all way down to San Sebastián.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Cruz de Tejeda — Artenara, summer version

Up and away

I am sure I said it a few times already, but let me say it once again — Caldera de Tejeda on Gran Canaria is the most spectacular place I've ever been. Whatever the weather (and it is usually much better there than in Las Palmas anyway) it never fails to deliver. Some sort of magic at work for sure.

I already did this trail, back in March, but I did it in the opposite direction, starting from Artenara. This time I embarked on the walk from Cruz de Tejeda.

Monday, August 03, 2015

Cruz de Tejeda — Teror, summer version

Barranco de las Nieves, or maybe de las Laguentas, or maybe de la Mina. Go figure

My legs!!! Three days later, they're still hurting. That's the first and the last thing that comes to my mind when I think about this hike. But surely there has to be something else to remember, right?

Back in February, Tamara did this walk (and got lost) on her own. This time, I was helping. We still got lost, but in a slightly (?) different place. I know, I know, let me start from the beginning.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Circular walk from Caldera de Los Marteles to Mirador Pico de las Nieves and back

The main purpose of the walk was to see this

We went for an evening walk to Pico de las Nieves organised by Couchsurfing Gran Canaria. The plan was to start at Caldera de los Marteles, go up to Pico de las Nieves to enjoy the sunset and have some food/drink, and then go back to Caldera de los Marteles by different path. This is the first Couchsurfing event of this kind we've ever attended and it turned out to be great.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Gran Canaria, Barranco de Azuaje




A couple of weeks ago we went for a weekend break in Firgas, a small village inland from the north shore of Gran Canaria.

We were staying in a flat very close the center of the village (which is not hard considering the size of it).

It is a nice place, but be warned - precisely because it is close to the village center, Friday and Saturday nights are likely to be noisy, as people trample along the street outside your front windows to get to the bars and restaurants and then back again, talking as they tend to do (well they are Spanish, so they gotta). If it is just one or two of you, or even a family with one small kid you won't have a problem though - the bedroom is towards the back of the flat. I had to use the sofa bed in the front room of the house, that's why I could hear the street.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Tajinaste azul de Gran Canaria o de Tenteniguada, blue candles of Gran Canaria

This post is mostly a reminder to myself to repeat (and improve on) the experience next year. Read on if you are interested in flowers though.

Some while back, when the spring was only just starting, I noticed that some of the companies that advertize for guided tours were offering "Ruta de Tajinaste azul" (Route of Blue *Something*, where "something" was a word I'd never seen before.)

A little while later, I went for a walk around Teror and noticed some tall blue flowers on the slopes - not many, and a little bit too far off the path to go and investigate. I got interested and then connected those two things together - people going to look at something blue, and these tall blue flowers, very visible amongst the vegetation that tends to yellow.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

La Gomera, Degollada de Peraza - Los Roques



We went to La Gomera for four days during this Easter Break (Semana Santa). (Now we've visited all the big Canary Islands except El Hierro).

Admittedly, four day are not enough to explore even La Gomera properly, but we had a  good go at it. Our kids are still not that keen on walking, so I had to plan only some very short and not too up-and-downy routes. Even so, a couple of times I had to leave them somewhere in the shade to wait for me and went ahead on my own.


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Cruz de Tejeda - La Culata - Roque Nublo - La Culata walk

Little uneven-shaped Nublo asteroid, just for the heck of it :)

Roque Nublo is the most iconic sight of Gran Canaria (and don't tell me about the dunes, they are not a patch on the dunes on Fuerteventura). Since my favourite spot on the island is Cruz de Tejeda, I saw and photographed the Roque many a time, but I'd never been right next to the monolith until yesterday.

Monday, March 09, 2015

Artenara - Cruz de Tejeda walk


Artenara is one of the not-so-easily accessible villages on Gran Canaria. It is overlooking the Caldera de Tejeda, and is on a slightly higher level than Tejeda. There are even fewer buses, the one I caught was from Teror and I believe it is the only route - bus number 220.

We'd been through Artenara once before but it was literally that - going through with just a small pause at one of the miradores (I swear the village has more viewpoints per capita than anyplace else I've been before). My plan was to get there, to walk about the village, maybe have a lunch and head back.


Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Las Palmas carnival 2015



I was looking forward to my first carnival at Las Palmas and was not disappointed. While perhaps not as spectacular as the carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, the Las Palmas Carnival nicely combined both the show and street party, with audience participation levels very high. It is also very accessible - if you want to, you can see all the events for free, get a good view of all the participants - including the carnival queen and dames, or even ride on one of the floats in the main parade - there are places for hire, I didn't realize it before.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Cruz de Tejeda — Teror walk

So far Cruz de Tejeda is my favourite place to go on Gran Canaria. Somehow, even when the weather is terrible elsewhere, it changes by some miracle once I am on the pass, and there are views to die for in all directions. Only once did I catch the pass itself in clouds, but they were shifting and parting all the time, allowing the views down into the caldera, all the way to Teide on Tenerife and to the Gran Roques  - Nublo and Bentayga.

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Tejeda, Las Fiestas del Almendro en Flor - Almond Blossom Celebration


This Sunday me and the kids went to the Celebration of almond bloom in Tejeda.  In the morning I was very much in two minds about going – the day started really gloomy in Las Palmas, with short but intense showers of rain. We procrastinated for a goodish while, but then figured that we could go to San Mateo, and re-think again there.

When we arrived to San Mateo the drizzle was constant and it was “freezing” by Canarian standards – one of the chemist shops was showing +11 on their clock, plus the roads to San Mateo were very busy because of the Sunday market so it took a long time to get there. Everything was looking grey and flat, with only outlines visible.  I was all for going right back, but the kids, to my surprise, wanted to carry on – and I am very glad we did.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Cruz de Tejeda to Tejeda village


I want to describe a short, nice (and unexpected) walk  that I took a few days ago.

It might be useful for somebody who, like me, usually relies on maps to find their way around.
This walk, although it has an official number  (S-85), is not specified on my KOMPASS map. It could be because there are so many walks in the area, but still it's a shame this one is missing. It is one of those walks that combines simplicity, shortness, spectacular views and even the public transport at both start and finish. Believe me, it is rare.

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Caldera de Bandama in winter

Gran Canaria received its share of long rains in the end of autumn - not as much as Tenerife, but sufficient for the local flora to wake up. It is not the time of most flowers yet, but the mountains look green and you can see the occasional splash of color here and there. Some of the early bulbs managed to finish flowering and wilt "when I wasn't looking", as I discovered in a local botanic garden. So now I am trying to go and check out what happens with the plants as often as I can.