Waking Up Lockdown Legs

‘T was time for our first hike. Happily the relentless strong winds that had been battering us since our arrival had finally abated, which was a good job since we’d be going up a mountain. Our first route was to be a 10km limb-loosener from Femés, at the base of the southern mountains, with 350m of ascent followed by 650m of descent to Playa Quemada on the south-eastern coast.

IMG_20220313_37431We began with a 20-minute minibus ride up to our start point in Femés sporting a belvedere with a decent view of Playa Blanca and the southern points of Lanzarote. On the coast in the top right corner you can just make out [it is a crappy phone shot] a lone white building which is an illegally built hotel that is reportedly to be destroyed. It’s good to see Spanish traditions being maintained on Lanzarote, too. 😀

IMG_20220313_36826IMG_20220313_36591We were off and began by attacking most of our ascent up a rough track into the Ajaches hills. Gaining the first crest, the volcanic origin of this landscape was starkly apparent, there being no colour to break the desolate brown-black scenery. Scenery? Well, yes, I suppose so. This barranque goes down to roughly where we were heading but our route took us around the other side of the lumpy bit on the right.

IMG_20220313_35938This was nothing more than a desolate lunar landscape with no variation all the way to the coast. Vegetation was there none, apart that is for a single plant about 30cms across and just a few centimetres high in which Francine spotted a small lizard hunting the flies that also visited it. A rare example of Lanzarote wildlife.

The path was decent but like walking on rocky ball bearings so care was always needed not to trip or slip. I was glad I was wearing good boots with a moderately firm sole against the rough stony ground and poles were a must, for us, though not everyone chose to use them. I have to say I’ve been on more appealing walks but at least my legs were holding up, though my calves ached on some of the climbs. Ain’t lockdown wonderful?

Secret GardenLunch break was taken at the coast where we quite unexpectedly stumbled across a “Secret Garden” of cacti. Good grief, more vegetation! I’m not a big fan of stopping for lunch ‘cos my legs are prone to thinking that their job is done; I have trouble kick-starting them again.

After lunch we finished of by completing the walk along the coastal path to Playa Quemada, going up and down a few more barranques just to finish off the legs completely. Our revered leader shot off ahead with a small band of the young and fit leaving some of more measured individuals to follow the path themselves. This was not good. Not one of the advanced party gave a backward glance to check that half the merry band was still on track. There was a fork in the path and we luckily chose the correct route. Losing touch with half your number is not how to lead a walk, and you certainly don’t pass a fork without at least stationing someone there to point the way.

When Mr. Leader did finally stop and give a backward glance I remonstrated. That’s me in everybody’s bad books then. We’ll see if it has any effect. Francine and I chose to eat alone in the evening. That’s probably two black marks. 🙂

Posted in 2022 Lanzarote

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