Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Fuerteventura August 2011

Finally had chance to upload some pictures from my holidays! While I'll not admit to being obsessed enough to plan our family holidays around the mountains, this year I did manage to steer the decision towards somewhere a bit more rugged than last year's trip.

View from the pool where we stayed. Mount Esquinzo (around 1000ft.) in the background was a short run away.

Fuerteventura is generally very windy, and when the direction is towards the Sahara (only about 60 miles away) the cooler air from the Atlantic creates clouds off the mountains which were sat over the higher peaks for virtually the whole of the first week.

The main ridge was in cloud for the whole time the wind was blowing in off the sea. It looked fierce too the way the clouds were tumbling down the valley.
Thankfully (in some respects) the wind finally changed direction and one evening the sun set on a clear sky so I set my alarm for dawn the next morning to head up to the highest point of the island.
The track up Pico de Zarza can be driven almost all the way as I found out when the maintenance men arrived for work at the weather station at the top.
View of the summit ridge. This was the only place outside the artificially watered towns & villages where I saw any green vegetation.
View west from the ridge. It was a drop of around 2500ft straight down to a deserted beach, you could hear the rumble of the surf.
Looking down the ridge to the south. You can see how steep the drop is in the bottom right hand corner.
The view from here was incredible and as usual my pictures don't do it justice. If I ever go back I would like to visit that beach, it can only be reached by dirt track being mostly cut off by this ridge so it must be such a peaceful place.

Being virtually a desert island there was no water to be had anywhere, I carried over a litre and half with me and all that had gone before I reached the summit. Although the change in wind direction had cleared the summits it had also brought the hot, dry air straight from the Sahara so despite it still being before 10am I was quite dehydrated by the time I got back for breakfast.

Summit marker on the hill next to the hotel.
Could have been Spanish humour, a crutch had been left tied up here.

View of the resort where we stayed (complete with photographer's shadow). We really felt just plonked down on the edge of a desert.

Same peak, looking southwards towards Jandia beach. You can just about make out the lighthouse.
I had a great time, not the best of places to run in the mountains but quite a different experience for someone more used to the soggy mud of rural England.

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