GR131 GRAN CANARIA – Barranco de los Vicentillos.

Ayagaures – Maspalomas.

Virtually within an hour of landing at Gran Canaria airport I was in the pool of our cheap bungalow complex at Maspalomas, with an air temperature of 25degrees. It is January, we had  just spent 5 euros on a decent bottle of wine, nuts and olives, and are relaxing before a trip to one of the good fish restaurants for supper.  When John asked me back in England just over a week ago if I fancied a return trip here I readily agreed – we had unfinished business.      https://bowlandclimber.wordpress.com/2015/11/15/gr131-gran-canaria-change-of-plans/

The GR131 through this Island is not waymarked as such, the Cicerone walking guide gives a version of what may transpire. Their last section [N-S] follows a road all the way from Ayaguares to Maspalomas,18k, surely there must be a better alternative. This is where Barranco de los Vicentillos comes in, it looked an obvious route but paths on the map were marked intermittently – there was only one way to find out. The taxi dropped us off in the virtually deserted village of Ayaguares at 9.15, the bar didn’t open till maybe 10 so we just set off walking. A winding lane took us steeply up and over the intervening ridge where we could look down into the Barranco, it did look inhospitable. However paths led down to the dry river bed and we then could follow the rough stony ‘trail’ through reedy vegetation. After heavy rain this would be impossible but today we enjoyed blue skies and increasing temperatures.

John became preoccupied with plans to convert the stout reeds into trecking poles thus avoiding the hefty aircraft charges for hold luggage containing our own ‘weapons’. His schemes probably still need refining so Ryanair needn’t  worry about loss of revenues just yet. The Barranco was quite deep in parts with ‘Swiss Cheese’ volcanic rock on either side. A wide selection of plants and shrubs were encountered, the prickly pears were particularly vicious.  We only met one person down there, an awesomely fit hill runner preparing for an Island race later in the year. Eventually we emerged under the motorway into the outskirts of Maspalomas and a welcome coffee at a kiosk outside the health clinic. We had previously followed the tracks onwards down to Faro lighthouse at the coast so we took a short cut  back to our bungalow.

For anybody following the GR131 I would highly recommend this route for the last stage to the coast.

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