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.

To request camping permission (permiso de acampada), one has to go to the web site of Cabildo de Gran Canaria and fill the online application form. You should allow at least three working days for your application to be processed. Then you go to Cabildo (C/Bravo Murillo nº 23) bringing your ID and collect your permiso.

Teide was covering itself with ridiculously fluffy clouds

And so, last Saturday, like the good parents we are, we left our kids in the comfort of the home and went for our first Canarian camping. As usual, we were travelling by the bus, changing in San Mateo. We had enough time in San Mateo to inspect the III Feria Regional de Patchwork and have beautifully cold beer before boarding the bus to Cruz de Tejeda. After a late lunch in our favourite cafeteria CA' Faustino we embarked on a familiar trail. We had to get to Llanos de la Pez before the sunset because (1) I didn't want to pitch the tent after dark (although Tamara said it's much more fun that way) and (2) Tamara wanted to shoot the sunset. When we finally arrived, we were a bit puzzled as to where exactly we were supposed to camp.

From where we watched, the sun was setting exactly behind Roque Nublo, so the sunset happened somewhat earlier then expected

The place looks like a big picnic site with a profusion of tables and benches made of stone, with a road going through it. After some hesitation (on my side) and (Tamara's) brave attempts to interrogate random people there, we pitched our tent on a reasonably horizontal surface next to the monumental table-and-benches ensemble. We had a bit of a problem driving our cheap tent pegs into the ground, because the ground on this site is mostly solid stone covered with a thin layer of pine needles. Fortunately, there was no dearth of loose boulders around, so we decided to leave our hastily pitched tent as it was, go sunset shooting and then do the fun/fine adjustment in the dark.

The little fringe of Canarian Pines looks sort of cute

After coming back and finding our still intact tent in the dusk, we tied its guy-ropes to the boulders forming some sort of stone circle. Then we went to check out the nearby Cortijo de Huertas.

We had our dinner (that is, sandwiches) at the aforementioned table next to our tent and ventured again towards El Garañón, to take some photos of starry sky and give a call home. (There is, or at least there was, no mobile reception at Llanos de la Pez.) Kids appeared to be doing fine.

It was the new moon so it was a perfect night to shoot stars. Also, to see some shooting stars. After wandering around, we came back to our tent and discovered that it was the best spot for this kind of photography. Tamara used the picnic table next to "ours" to place the camera.

Under the African starry sky

It was getting rather cold. Eventually we got inside the tent with an intention to get some well-deserved rest. Well. I told you about the ground there, right? Not buying a patchwork quilt in San Mateo clearly was a mistake. Besides, our camping spot turned out to be less horizontal that previously thought, as we found ourselves dragged by Earth's gravitational pull towards the exit. At 7:15 am, Tamara realised that resistance is futile and went to photograph the sunrise. I stayed behind trying to get some more sleep.

The very first light on Roque Nublo; Teide is peeking over the treetops

When she came back, we took the tent down, packed, had the breakfast (sandwiches: part II) and departed leaving our mini-stonehenge behind. The guard, or whoever we were supposed to show our permiso, had never materialised, and we remain in the dark (or in the dusk) whether we were camping in the right place.

Orchards of Las Cumbres have some autumnal colour in the foliage


Distance: 8.32 km. Mind you, I (Tamara) forgot to switch the tracker off when we got to Llanos de La Pez, so it kept recording my vague wandering in search of somebody in the know and then a short traipse back up to El Garañón and towards the edge of Caldera to photograph the sunset, so there is a bit of extra there.

↑ 419 m
↓ 262 m

Pictures of inland Gran Canaria on Shutterstock — here
Text by Kirill, photos by Tamara

1 comment:

nameless__one said...