Saturday, September 29, 2012


It had not rained more than a couple of drops in Lanzarote since December 2011, so everywhere was bone dry, then in the last week of September 2012  up to 44 millimeters of rain fell in some parts of the island.  My home, Playa Blanca, stayed stubbornly arid, with only a pitiful 4 millimeters of rain in the week.  On 27 September, I decided to go to a ravine I knew of, El Barranco de Tenegüime, to look for water and for the first time in three years of walking on Lanzarote, I got my boots muddy!  Not the way I used to walking in winter in Dorset ten years ago, when you felt you had a bucket of mud in each boot, but quite enough.

Studland Dorset, February 2002

Coincidentally, this week's prompt from Sepia Saturday  was about boots, so I thought I'd show how mine got so muddy on a desert island!

Lanzarote is dry, as in pictures of Mars from Curiosity dry. There is no standing water, and there are no streams or rivers, except when it rains, so to experience running water means going out to look for it as soon as there has been a shower.  Normally in Spring, we get about 150 or 200 millimeters of rain, and the whole island turns green.  The following pictures show a ravine which clearly has, in the past, had torrents cascading and carving through the volcanic rock, but so far this this year, it would have been absolutely arid, whereas it should have been a riot of grass, reeds and shrubs. We climbed about 460 metres, and walked about 10 Km in just over two hours, before descending a ridge down through a wind farm to our starting point.

At first the land was flat, and a lake had formed in a field.

 But then the ravine walls closed in, and the river bed became muddy.

As the ravine snaked its way uphill, we came across a succession of waterfalls, which were too high to scale, so we clambered around the rocks in the side of the gorge.

 Muddy boots and scrambling up rocky slopes are, we found, an uneasy combination.

Above the waterfalls, were marshes, surrounded by the terracing built by farmers over the centuries, to take advantage of the relatively damp conditions in the ravine.

Finally the ravine opened out into a valley, and we could see the wind farm above Los Valleys on the horizon.

By this time, I was a little jaded, and relished the chance for a breather!

 After that, it was all downhill, through the spooky wind farm with the really rather noisy blades whooshing over our heads.

Here, going down the final  rocky, muddy slope is Trish, my walking chum, who took all the photos, except this one

And finally we made it back to the car, with our boots transformed.

Tenegüime, Lanzarote, September 2012
The valley was absolutely beautiful, and I will go back in  March, when it should be a blaze of colour with the Spring flowers and foliage.

Why not put your electronic boots on and visit other contributors to Sepia Saturday.