LANZAROTE 15 JAN

24 km today to Orzola, to finish the GR131 in Lanzarote.
It was a beautiful day, both in terms of walking and weather.
Leaving a sleeping household in Teguise I crossed the plaza that containers the biggest market on the island every Sunday, past the football ground and school and headed for the hills. Literally, because today I crossed the highest ground on Lanzarote.
A dirt track took me passed more vegetable plots and then I started to ascend on a stony track.
Looking back I could see Teguise and the castle above it turning rosy in the rising sunlight.

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At the top of the crest I joined a broad dirt road that continued to climb towards the distant mountain top.
The little chapel de las Nieves, originally Moorish, stood out against the blue sky at 590mts.
Around the back of it began a dramatic cliff path, not routed as part of the 131, that avoids a few kms of tarmac and gives the finest trekking on the whole route.

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Penas Del Cache, the highest point on the island comes into view, crowned with the domes of a military installation.

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A truly beautiful route with spectacular volcanic cliffs towering over a view of the whole southend of the island.
A less attractive view was supplied by the farm I could smell way before I could see it.

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Not exactly free range.
On the steep descent towards Haria a stony path formed a double helix with a zig zag hairpin road

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I exchanged waves with a man out pruning his grapes.

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On the village edge I stopped for a rest in the garden of the Cesar Manrique house and museum. The artist and architect who died in 1992 spent the last years of his life transforming a traditional house in a style that is still so redolent in the design of buildings on the island. His ideas, taken on board by authorities, enabled the island to preserve its visual integrity and stopped the Costa becoming a high rise hell. The simple elegant cubist villages were there before Manrique but he saw their value and showed how to adapt them for modern times.
Even the toilets in the garden oozed with style.

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Pushing on through Haria and Montana Los Llanos I spotted a taxi driver pulling over and dashing into some prickly pears before going back and showing his customers what he had. Guessing they were the cochineal beetle I went over for a look. Sure enough, and when he smudged the poor little things it was dramatic how much vivid red came from them.

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A further longish climb had me sweating and wishing for the wind back because it did cool.
Mind you the lengths people go to to protect their plants from the wind is extreme.

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At the foot of Monte Corona I looked back at the hills id crossed earlier.

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Finally it was a long decent down dirt track and nice ash path through the jagged lava towards the Aloe Vera fields outside Orzola.

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Where disappointingly there was no signboard to announce the finish of the 73 kms of the Lanzarote leg of the Canaries Gr131. However there was a Christmas tree

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2 comments

  1. Two islands down… five to go! I guess you’ll have what amounts to a ‘day off’ while you juggle flights and ferries westwards. Looking forward to following you across the next island. Be prepared for more bootsful of ash, especially on El Hierro and La Palma.

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