Walking Los Lobos GR131, Fuerteventura

If you love the whole thing about walking routes - not just the act of walking or trekking - then you'll probably realise that the GR131 is not just on La Palma but it also meanders off to El Hierro, Tenerife, Fuerteventura and even the small island of Los Lobos just off Fuerteventura. That's 651kkm of walking trail and surely enough for even the most enthusiastic walker. So rather fittingly, although I was disappointed to miss the Transvulcania Ultramarathon on the La Palma GR131 this weekend, at least we were walking the GR131 albeit on the island of Los Lobos.
On the ferry from Fuerteventura to Los Lobos
The island of Los Lobos is a tiny scrap of land with a coastline of 13.7km and a 15-minute ferry ride away from Fuerteventura. From the sea, it looks potentially boring with a long flat bit, a big lump on one end and lots of pimples scattered all over it. In fact, it's a nature reserve with beaches to swoon over, a lighthouse and a peak of 127m, the Montaña la Caldera - in my opinion, it's a 'must do' if you find yourself on holiday in Fuerteventura.
Our aim was to climb the Montaña and have a swim, so nothing too energetic. Right by the jetty, the GR131 sign enticed us towards the first beach of La Calera. 
GR131 sign
But no, the swim was to be the reward after climbing the Montaña which we could see in the distance. Surely it's higher than 127m - it certain looks it! But with a good flatish path, it was fun to stride out especially as most of the walks on La Palma involve some sort of incline or decline.
Striding out on the GR131 Los Lobos
Actually, the path was ascending but only gradually so we hardly noticed and just 30 minutes from the start, we were at the foothills of the Montaña where a sign asked us to maintain silence due to the nesting season of the birds - Shearwaters, Petrels Ospreys and Gulls. Nobody had told the birds to be quiet of course so there was plenty of screeching going on!
Be aware of birds nesting on Los Lobos between February and July
The 'up' part treated us very gently at the start and in fact the whole way. In less than an hour from the start of the walk we were at the top where there is a trig point and then a short walk along the ridge - it's a case of views and more views. 
From the top of the Montaña la Caldera
After a good old photo shoot, we were on our way back down again and at the bottom 20 minutes later. That part I know, the part I'm not sure of is when we decided to walk around the whole island. OK, so we decided we would head off in the general direction of the Faro, the lighthouse, which is at the far end of the island and because we were having well, FUN, we just kept going!
Lighthouse on Los Lobos
We did decide that we wouldn't fully investigate the lighthouse because we had to catch the last ferry at 16.00hrs and we still had our swim to go. So at the junction, we swung a right and headed down the west side of the island. This side was rather more sandy than the rockier east but still fascinating. I must admit though we could have done with an extra sign or two to help us choose the way!
But we did eventually get to the 'Lagunas,' a natural area of marshland which is not something you expect on such an arid island. It's a great habitat for the birds and a place where you might want to spend sometime bird-watching. Just not swimming. 
The surprise though is perhaps in the heather which had just finished being in blossom. Apparently if you go in March/April, it's a really beautiful sight.
Heather on Los Lobos and Las Lagunas in the distance
But when we did get to the beach which is in fact called El Puertito, I don't think we could quite believe it - it's straight out of the Bahamas! This is also where the restaurant is, a few houses and small boats tied up to moorings in the clear, azure waters.
El Puertito
But this is not the beach we were heading to although in fact it is just 7 minutes to El Muelle, the harbour, where we had docked earlier in the day. Instead we carried on walking in the direction of the harbour and onto Playa la Concha, just six minutes the other side of the port. 
When it comes to beaches, Fuerteventura and of course Lanzarote have any number of fabulous beaches. This is just one of them! 
Playa la Concha, Los Lobos
So where next on the GR131? Having arrived back on Fuerteventura on the ferry, we didn't really have far to look before bumping into the GR131 trail. I'm not 100% sure I'll be signing up for those walks though as they look very hot and exposed. And after all, we've still got to the finish the La Palma GR131 between El Pilar and Mirador Los Andenes. 
One day, one day. 
For more information on Fuerteventura, you might like to check out www.relocatecanaries.com

No comments:

Post a Comment