Alone Like a Rolling Stone

The North of Gran Canaria

 


We stand at the bus stop Juan XXIII and wait for the line 103. While we wait for the bus we look at the hustle and bustle in front of the port of Las Palmas. Cargo ships lie in the roadstead, pilot boats draw their circles and two cruise ships arrive shortly after each other, turn in the harbor basin to dock at the quay. The bus arrives on time and we drive along the north coast towards Puerto de Las Nieves. Our destination is Agaete, where we want to try out our newly purchased hiking boots. Driving through Guia and G√°ldar, two towns well worth seeing, we reach Agaete and get off at the Iglesias Agaete stop.

Agaete, Gran Canaria

The place does have history. Besides the church, there is a museum and an excavation site, which is once again denied to us by Covid. Those who are used to hiking in the German low mountain ranges or the Alps have to adjust to Gran Canaria. If one finds in the Alps at almost every stone a signpost, one has on Gran Canaria already once the problem to find the correct entrance. After two unsuccessful attempts, each of which led us to a dead end, the third time we catch the access that leads us up the mountain and finally ends in the hiking trail S-90. Moderate at first, the trail becomes steeper and steeper through a cirque and Gaby's grumbling gets louder and louder. "Always we have to walk up the mountain". The fact that we start at close to normal zero and it goes down only with diving equipment, she does not let. The landscape is barren and rugged. Succulents at shrub height grow close together. The triangular columns of the cactus-like spurge plants rise several meters into the air and with their green color form a contrast to the otherwise parched landscape.

Hikking around Agaete, Gran Canaria

Reaching the ridge along which the S-90 trail runs, we are rewarded with a magnificent view. We are in front of an impressive coastal landscape on which the steady northeast trade wind gnaws. In the background, Roque Faneque, which plunges 1000 meters almost vertically into the sea, and is considered one of the highest cliffs in the world. 

Roque Faneque, Gran Canaria

An old threshing floor gives an idea of how hard it was to make  living here. In order not to get sore with our new hiking boots, we turn here to Puerto de Las Nieves. In the haze the neighboring island Tenerife with the Teide appears. Puerto de Las Nieves is a small fishing village that has become an impressive tourist center. Alone with our hiking boots, we felt a bit out of place among all the beach goers, so we hiked back to Agaete. On the Plaza de La Constituci√≥n we find the bar El Perola, which is very frequented by locals, which makes it interesting for us. Here we wait for the bus that brings us back to Las Palmas.

View to the north to Teneriffe and the Teide

We increase the level and try to reach the place Artenara by changing buses. To anticipate, we actually manage to get there and back. In Teror we have to change the bus and because we have more than an hour before departure, we make a tour of the nice town and visit the Madonna, in the church Basilica de Nuestra Senora del Pino, which is depicted on one side of the face crying and on the other happy.

Teror, Gran Canaria

Artenara is the highest village on Gran Canaria and is located at 1270m over sealevel. The houses are built into the rock as cave houses. On our round trip through the village we reach a viewpoint which gives us a view to the neighboring island and the Teide. 

Landscape around Artenara with Teide in the background

In the further course we meet a group of donkeys, which became quite trusting after we addressed them. And yes, we speak the language of the donkeys. However, when we ask them for the way, they give us a wrong direction and we end up on a steep sloping rock face. So never trust a donkey.

Donkey in Artenara, Gran Canaria

The first caves become visible and through neighbor's garden we reach again the path to the Virgen de la Cuevita, a chapel carved into the rock. It would not be us if we did not stop somewhere. In the Plaza San Matias is the bar La Casa del Correo, which loosely translated means, "To the post office". Here we once again find wonderful tapas and a decent beer. 

Cave houses of Artenara, Gran Canaria

Since the bus connections, to and from Artenara, are limited one should not miss the bus. We reach him in time and let us drive back to Las Palmas via Teror. Also next week we have a lot of plans. If you feel like it just check out www.glenswelt.com and subscribe to the blog. As always, fair winds and keep a stiff upper lip.



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