Coming down from my hilltop eyrie in the soft dawn light, listening ,fittingly to Sigur Ross as I crossed the lava fields, I looked across the stone walled fields to the mountains beyond and thought I could be home in Western Ireland.

Moving down the trail I passed more signs of recent settlers. Some nice new traditional style and modern looking buildings with Adobe walls and clay and straw roofs, unpainted and blending in to the colours of the surrounding landscape. Well tended plots and more windmills and solar panels. I guess the’re off the grid out there. An English horsebox, smart stables and fine looking horses next to a sign advertising Finca Julie riding centre. Right next door another sign for an Eco Farm and the standard collection of buildings, vans and growing spaces. I wondered what drew them to this particular spot. If you feel the urge to leave it all behind there is a parcel available.

Here’s the number to call.
When I got to the road on the approach to Lajares I discovered a mini suburb of shacks and sheds, caravans and vans and a couple of converted shipping containers on what looked to the unfamiliar eye to be waste ground. A call to the wild without much cash ?
Or maybe devoted surfers, there’s certainly plenty of the vibe around. Surf schools, boards, wet suits and branded clothing- it’s all here. And the posters, signs and bumper stickers exhorting you to give it all up to the ocean.
Next door to the Clean Ocean Project
Which looked like it did positive work promoting clean seas, and selling surf gear was the estate agent…FreeLifeFuerteventura – Property and Life.

A good looking bar cafe restaurant gallery on the way out of town was definitely tuned to the lifestyle and it did look attractive but I’m here to walk so I turned my back on it all and gave myself an additional big climb by detouring up a volcano to see the crater.
The sun which had been sulking behind clouds all morning briefly came out to light the scene.

At the top the view was too wide to be able to do justice with my phone.

I was joined at the top by a group of English retiree hikers, one of whom was 86. It gives you hope.
So it was nearly all dirt road walking today and mostly cloudy. In fact even a little bit of hesitant drizzle.
The lava landscape was quite interesting and there was another caldera right next to the road ( could have saved some legwork).


The final approach into Corralejo was a bit dispiriting. I had a view of Lobos ,the little island I hike around tomorrow, behind an empty expanse of failed development dreams.

So that’s Fuerteventura from end to end. I apologise to anyone reading this looking for a route guide. There are two forms of rambling, and I do both.



There must be some glum faces on the sun worshipers of the Costa today and slim pickings for the lounger rental crew. The cloud was fairly thick and threatening, in fact it was shedding its load somewhere because there was a rainbow ahead of me as I mounted the crest of the mountain above Betancuria to reach Corral de Guize at 588mts. There’s a statue up there of Guise and Ayose,the last Guanche chieftains.

Pretty rugged looking guys. I’d say the Norman conquistadores had their work cut out.
From there I could see the flat plains I’d be crossing to the north with Montana Bermeja rising solitary from them, where I was planning to spend the night in the last trail shelter I knew of.
A long but gradual descent brought me down and out of the Betancuria Natural Park and onto Tarmac all the way into Valle de Santa Ines where I stopped for breakfast.
I was joined by a large (what’s the collective word for cyclists ?) Lycra of German spokespeople. It’s a very popular sport/ hobby in Spain and I have often been amazed to see them pumping their way to mountain tops. They probably feel the same way when they see me doing it without the benefit of wheels.
Leaving the cafe I passed by more barking, chained dogs. It seems each house in Spain is obliged to have at least three, even if they are the kind of breed that would normally live in a D and G tote bag in Beverly Hills.

This kind of cable drum kennel is popular canine real estate here with a plank removed from the inner circle offering secluded bedroom accommodation and also allowing for an outside covered porch surrounding the property.
Whilst on the subject, not long after I spent awhile walking past a much needed development of 60’s Americana Flinstone houses on big plots, most of which are, unbelievably, still available.

Quick going on the flat, but as I moved along I became aware of something slightly amiss with my right heel. You become highly attuned to any nuance when reliant on shoe comfort for getting you there.

This poor sole hadn’t made it.
When looking back over the distances travelled by foot I always get an amazing sense of power that motorised transport never supplies.
Onwards across the stony flatlands open and isolated again. For some bizzare reason the shallow barrancos have been used as bottle dumps and the occasional floodwaters had carried them twinkling far into the distance. It may be something to do with the last farm I passed whose main crop seemed to rubbish, which covered a few acres. Not the sort of view us Eco walkers want. He also has 3 horses (what do they eat) that have supplied the dung that attracts the flies that are the only downside to my accommodation.

Facing west away from the wind, with a sea view, what’s not to like? In fact the sun’s come out, they’ll be smiling on the Costa and there’s still time for the lounger crew to earn a few euro.


There was a song going through my head today as I hiked across the volcanic wasteland. Walking on the moon.
The walk reminded me of another trail I did in the Cabo de Gata in South Eastern Spain , in the desert region of Almeria, with my track buddy Ivor Bundle.
Same twisted rocky mountains, same big empty spaces with no development , same crashing waves onto the sands next to the trail and the same beautiful little flowers struggling in a parched world.
Good thing….. I got a two wheel drive taxi to take me out on the rutted dirt track the 25kms to the lighthouse at Punta de Jandia,
Bad thing….. Half an hour after I started to walk I see a chunky bus on the track. Oh well, some useful info for the guide writers there.

The tiny ex fishing village of El Puertito was a fairly desolate place complete with a bizzare collection of vans and caravans.

More of which I discovered further on down the trail

I wondered if I would see the washed up remains of boats used by African illegal immigrants in the coves as we had on the Cabo de Gata.
Hiking along I remembered why I wanted to do this after the stressful preparation and apprehensive departure. The open spaces, the winding trail, the wind in the hair, actually way too much wind. No wonder there are kite and windsurfers here. But all in all a good first day through amazing grace, I mean space.

They say the greatest journeys begin with a single step. Well this one started with 31,303 steps.



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First day of the trip coming to an end and time to try get iPhone blog up into the ether.
Good thing…my hiking poles and tent pegs got through security.
Bad thing…took me an age and much stress to get Spanish sim and data up and running.
The flight over the island and the bus ride down it revealed a hell of a lot of empty space.
Mucho sand and rock. Some amazing volcanic calderas(?)
A hint of green after whatever winter rains they get but mostly all shades of beige.
I landed at the end of the bus route at the large resort ofMorro Jable an expensive 4 wheel drive taxi ride from the start which I’m off to bright and early tomorrow.
Good thing/bad thing … Whilst walking the beach this evening I was witness to a procession of white robed figures who proceeded to disrobe on their way and walk naked into the sea. Fairly surreal, or possibly normal in these parts.