WALKING LANZAROTE. GR131 – the southern bit.

Playa Blanca – Yaiza – Uga.

Today was the trial for the Lanzarote bus service, critical for my week’s walking, verdict good and later bad. After a surprisingly good breakfast I ambled along the sea front to the newish,?futuristic guagua [bus] interchange.

The no 60 guagua came on schedule and had me in Playa Blanca in no time. This is the Southern resort and had little appeal. A few cafes and the ferry from Fuerteventura which could be seen in the murky distance as well as the nearer Isla de Lobos.

I did however find just above the beach a noticeboard with a map and stages for the GR131, it would seem I’m doing it in reverse, stage 5 to start. The tourist information office 5 metres from the above board didn’t know of the existence of the GR 131 but thought I was brave for setting off. One wonders that having spent thousands on the route the authorities would tell the TI.  An outline map would be so easy to produce and would encourage people to try it. Spain has never been good at publicizing their excellent walking potential.

I was soon on my way inland on ash tracks – a feature of this volcanic island. Passing unfinished holiday developments and their associated rubbish was rather depressing. To be honest apart from the ash desert I was in there was little else of interest, few flowers, even fewer birds and the odd lizard scuttling about.

The small village of Las Breňas came as a relief with its cactus gardens and a cafe.

The route continued across the ash below the Femes volcano,611m, which looked to have some good ridge walking. As I approached Yaiza the path came alongside the lava flows from the 1730’s eruption in the south of the island. Further on after the pleasant village the path wound its way through the lava fields. This area is used regularly by tourist camel trains, thankfully I avoided that pantomime. In the background were the craters of the Timanfaya national park where access is restricted.This is barren volcanic scenery which I’ve only experienced in Iceland before.

I arrived in the village of Uga 10mins before the return bus was due. There was a Dutch couple already waiting at the stop.

Church at Uga.

Church at Uga.

Nothing happened for 45mins which gave me time to watch a group of ladybirds on the tree next to the stop. Just when thoughts of a taxi crept into my mind along came the bus and and Arrecife was soon reached. A very refreshing swim, i.e. freezing, in the rooftop pool .

A busy day, it had been hot and sunny and the walking interesting without being dramatic, wonder how tomorrow will compare.

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