Up to Mirador Del Rio

The trip notes for today’s little jaunt say,

Today’s easy 14 kilometre walk is expected to take approximately five hours with a total ascent of 550 metres and descent of 350 metres.

IMG_20220313_35640“Easy” is not quite how it worked out in my estimation. The normal path up from Maguez village was reportedly closed – maintenance or some such mumbo-jumbo – and our leader, Ramon had been told of an alternative route up. The relatively steep path was composed entirely of the now familiar black Lanzarote gravel, which meant two steps forward and one slipping step back. With the calves a little sore from yesterday’s effort and now screaming with today’s, demoralizing is a word that sprang to mind.

Lanzarote EuphorbiaLanzarote LavenderBetween bouts of calf-screaming, which needed to be punctuated by frequent rest stops, it was possible to notice that we weren’t just slipping and sliding up a black gravel slope but that we were actually slipping and sliding past a few plants decorating the gravel bank. My botanist tells me that some species of Euphorbia and Lavender were attempting to brighten the route.

_22R5566It was with great relief that we eventually gained the summit and were greeted by good views from the Famara cliffs of the island of La Graciosa less than a kilometre off Lanzarote’s northern tip. ‘T was difficult to imagine anywhere looking more barren than Lanzarote but La Graciosa made a fair fist of it. It really didn’t look habitable but it apparently is with one small town, Caleta del Sebo (must be a town, it has a supermercado) and seemingly a smaller village.

With the worst of the climbing behind us, our route now took us along the coastal path towards our destination at the Mirador Del Rio. At one point we came across a fork in the path and dived off left but not without leaving a body at the fork to point back markers in the correct direction. Well, maybe my remonstration of yesterday had been listened to. This was more like it.

The last 3 kms were a bit of a trudge along a gently inclined tarmac road to the mirador itself; not painful but we just needed to be wary of traffic.

To quote the trip notes again,

Mirador del Rio is a 475 metre high viewpoint located at the edge of the Famara cliffs, built into the larva rock. The building, designed by local artist César Manrique, wonderfully blends into the landscape, the floor to ceiling glass windows and outdoor walkway enhance the panoramic views overlooking the Rio strait, between Lanzarote and the island of La Graciosa.

It’s him again, César Manrique, Mr. Lanzarote. You can’t move on Lanzarote without hearing about César Manrique.

_22R5574The Rio strait is less than a kilometre wide and now we could see more detail of the town and its harbour, with a caldera towering behind it. There are, of course, ferry services to and from the island (some of our number would have a day trip there later) but I’m still trying to figure out why anyone would actually want to live there.Isolation is one thing but this much of a lack of nature is something else. À chacun son goût.

The initial climb up the slipping black gravel path had been quite a pain but at least I now had some sense of achievement. It’s perhaps not too surprising how losing a couple of years to a pandemic and consequently being a couple of years older and a couple of years unfitter makes an uncomfortable difference.

Posted in 2022 Lanzarote

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.