I’m stood at the lighthouse on the northern end of the island of Lobos, just across the sea is Lanzarote where my journey on the GR131 through the Canary Islands began a couple of years ago. To reach here I’ve flown from Manchester, in the company of five lovely scouse sisters on a jolly; caught the bus to the surfing centre of Corralejo, booked into a great apartment; crossed the sea on a glass-bottomed boat and walked 5k up the eastern side of the tiny Lobos island. A familiar sight of a wooden GR131 way post has me started on this next stretch. The weather is perfect and the walking an easy 6k stroll back to the jetty – what a way to start a short holiday.
The lighthouse was opened in 1865, originally powered by olive oil giving a red light. From 1883 a lamp ran on paraffin, and then in 1923 acetylene. A system of solar panels and batteries now provide the power for a halogen lamp and when the lighthouse was automated in the 1960s the keeper and his family were the last to leave the island. The only temporary residents now are conservation staff and a few fishermen. At the southern end of the island are a few ‘huts’ all that is left of the village of El Puertilo above its tiny natural harbour. Here there is a small restaurant which, when I arrived, was being restocked from the ferry by wheelbarrow.
Lobos is of course volcanic, last activity 10,000 yrs ago, magma frozen in time. A nature reserve where one is allowed to follow a few delineated tracks. I had read of rare birds – petrels, shearwaters and osprey but all I saw were a few gulls. The flora was easier to observe, if not identify.
Following the GR131 back across the island I passed the base of a volcanic cone but time was short [there will be plenty more] and I opted instead for a swim off the Playa de la Caldera. There was time however to visit the salinas, evaporating pools for salt extraction which were not apparently ever used.
The sea was calm for the short trip back to Corralejo. My apartment block turns out to be tops – lovely warm swimming pool to relax in, studio room with sea view and kitchenette. A cheap supermarket round the corner sorted out my meals for the next few nights. The room rules included “no board in the room” I thought to start with food not allowed until I realised they meant obviously no surfboard. http://www.surfingcolors.com/