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Monday, December 17, 2012

Hike Gran Canaria 15 Dec 2012 Guayadeque to Las Vegas

Left Dutch Link at 0745hrs on Saturday 15 December on a beautiful fresh morning with the sun just rising behind the masts in Las Palmas marina
We wanted to do Hike nr 11 in the Sunflower walking guide which starts at in the Guayadeque Barranco and goes, via the Caldera de los Marteles, to Las Vegas / Valsequillo. As there was no bus early enough to enable us to do this 13 km hike, we had arranged for Rene from S/V Vaya to take us in his car to the start of the hike at the Bar Vegas at the end of the tarmac road up the Guayadeque Barranco
We arrived  at the Bar Vegas at 0830 hrs which would give us ample time for the hike
 The first part of the hike would take us to the Caldera de los Marteles at the top of the Guayadeque Barranco
The sun was still low in the marvelous blue sky giving deep shadows as we set off up the rough 4-wheel drive track
 super morning to be in the hills

 came across several remote homesteads up the barranco - most seemed to be part house/ part cave
 a recent landslide made the track impassible for wheeled vehicles, even for a 4-wheel drive

 another house/cave

 This cave house was quite unusual - instead of being cut into the side of a hill, it was cut into this isolated rock
 At 1100hrs reached the highest point of the hike - the Caldera de los Marteles - which is at an elevation of around 1500 meters (hike started at 900 meters above sea level at Bar Vegas)

 the side of the Caldera which has the easiest access by car
 The next half of the hike was a descent to either Las Vegas or, 30 minutes further, Valsequillo. The Hike nr 11 follows the Tajinista route which we had walked in March 2012 - see link below:-
 Although this is an excellent route, we preferred to do something new so we decided to follow the marked GC02 route which goes via Las Vegas to Valsequillo
 The sign marking the start of the route on the rim of the Caldera de los Marteles
 Looking down to the coast large banks of cloud were visible

 shortly after leaving the Caldera, the GC02 splits off from the GC12 route
 We were very happy to find that the GC02 route was very well marked with this international system - especially as we had no written route guide
(later found that this route is described in the below link

 the route proved to be very pleasant and not too steep. As it followed the floor of the barranco most of the way, the views however, were not very spectacular for the most part.
 yet more cave houses

clouds building on the coast
 a bucket lift system for getting material in and out of the small ravine
 the route crossed and recrossed a small stream

 everywhere was really too green for a region where cactii seem to thrive
 Spnish Moss festooning the trees - an indication that the area is often in the cloud. The ground was carpetted with clover

the cloud staring to cover us
 a boulder perched precariously on top of a rock outcrop
 zooming in
 back across the stream
 the coast in the sun still far below
 more prickly pear cactii
 visibilty dropping as the cloud rises up the barranco
 here the trail leaves the barranco and skirts around the base of some cliffs

 our objective coming into view

 zooming into the towns of Las Vegas and Valsequillo - they look close together but they are separated by a deep steep sided Barranco which means there is no quick route between them.
 passed many Almond Trees but only a few were in bloom - a bit too early yet
 the last part of the route was down a steep road - Jeannette uses her backwards walking technique to save the knees
 Here we made an error and followed the sign to Valsequillo - we could not find the short cut so retraced our steps and went to Las Vegas instead
 Arrived at the bus stop in Las Vegas just in time to see a bus leave - this was on the schedule at the bus stop (15.52hrs) but was missing from the timetable which we had picked up from the bus station a few days ago - very annoying

 So we treated ourselves to a drink and postre at this very pleasant restaurant while we waited for the 1722hrs nr 13 bus to Telde
 At Telde we caught the 1800hrs nr 12 bus to Las Palmas - having had a very pleasant hike

1 comment:

Bob & Janice said...

As usual you do an excellent job of telling others of these beautiful hikes - looks like some we will want to try!