Monday, June 27, 2011

Yé to Famara along the cliff path

Five of us did the Walk! Lanzarote Route 33 (with a diversion to the beach) from Yé to Famara along the path halfway up the 2000 foot cliffs on Sunday 24 Oct 2010.

It's about 10 miles long, and took us overall, about six hours, because of frequent stops for photos, and some tricky section. Firstly, I would not recommend the route, in its present state, to anyone who is not a reasonably confident rock climber, because the path had fallen away in two places. At the first, all that is left is the top of a very steep scree slope down to the sea.  You have to cross that, clinging to the rock wall like a gecko, with the scree collapsing under your feet if you stop moving. At the second where the path crossed a gulley, it has completely gone, and someone has hammered a cleat into the rock wall to enable a rope to be used.  In the event, we got across by climbing down into the gulley – which itself was a precipitous slope down to the sea, and back up a 20 ft crumbling rock wall on the other side. 

Aside from that, it was an amazing walk. We met in Famara and drove to Yé from where the path zig-zags down from about 1200 feet to the plain below, with the island of Graciosa across the straits.

It's quite safe, but rough going, and not good on knees and hips. From there we turned right to Playa de Rojo, looking across to Graciosa, before turning back, past the foot of the zig-zags, and starting the long gentle climb up the cliff path. At its highest point, it gets to about 1000 feet, before descending down to the coastal plain behind the Famara beach.

The path has been blasted out of the cliff face for about 5 miles – why, I don't know.  In places it's only a couple of feet wide, in others about twenty feet wide. In many places you have to clamber over piles of fallen stones.

And in others, it is barely there


The views are spectacular, and the cliffs awesome.  We saw several podenco dogs roaming around, and smelled, long before we saw, the ram that obviously ruled the mountain sides! There were several dead gulls on the path - we assumed they either crashed into the cliff face above, or died higher up, and the path broke their fall.  There were also a couple of goats in kit form on the path.  We supposed that, with all the goats leaping around, once in a while, one misses!  This photos shows a pinnacle that the path goes behind:

and this one looking back from Famara shows the same pinnacle half way up the skyline and (faintly), the path going along the cliff face at that level.

Eventually, we reached the Famara beach, and enjoyed taking our boots off and walking in the surf, keeping an eye out for the cables of the kite surfers.  Then after a beer (of course) we climbed into the Landrover we'd left there and took the old track back to Teguise (almost as scary as the cliffs!) then through Haria back to Yé  where  our cars were parked.

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