Saturday, October 26, 2013

Caminante Revisited

Sepia Saturday is celebrating its 200th edition this week and Alan has invited all contributors to repost a favourite post . I thought I'd use this one which explains why I chose my blogging name.

This post has been inspired by Sepia Saturday's photo for 13th April of a group of walkers, and my chosen blogging name Caminante, which means, simply, Walker (although it can also mean hobo!).  

Photos of my childhood are rather scarce, as we didn't own a camera, so my parents paid for a photographer, usually on a birthday. This shot looks like I'm about to go for a walk, so probably is the first recording of my hobby.

We spent our honeymoon on Tenerife, during which time we went to Pico Teide, the highest mountain in Spain.  Here I am right at the top. Thew air was pretty thin up there at 12,200 feet, as I realised when my cigarette only stayed alight whilst you drew on it, immediately then going out.  Someone was trying to tell me something, but it took another 3 years and the arrival of our daughter before I gave up!

In 1986/7 I spent 4 months in the Falkland Islands - sensibly some years after the war!  I had a weekend in January of R&R on the oddly named, but beautiful, Carcass Island, As I found, the weather there, in the height of their summer, was normally quite pleasant, although it could snow at any time. Here I am on one of the little hills dotting the island.

I've enjoyed walking all my adult life, and for the last twenty years or so, I've walked several times a month, originally around our home in Salisbury, so I've walked nearly all the footpaths in Wiltshire, Hampshire and Dorset, on my regular Sunday morning jaunts.  The farthest I got (limited by the length of car journey to the start), was West Bay in Dorset, which UK readers will know as Broadchurch from the current detective series. Here's how the murder scene looked in August 2003.

Now we live on Lanzarote, 70 miles off the coast of Western Sahara, it's springtime all year round, so shorts and T shirts are all I need - and a good pair of shoes because the volcanic stone is very harsh.  This photo from last November shows both aspects.

These days, I tend not to walk alone, except on well trodden paths, because, although you are unlikely to get exposure, even a twisted ankle in a spot with no mobile phone reception could be quite a challenge. I'm a member, along with about 90 others of an active walking group here.  Fortunately, we normally only get between 12 and 24 on each walk, otherwise it could get out of hand!  Here they are a week ago, having a breather during a walk around Los Helichos, a range of volcanoes in the north of the island, locally famous for their spring flowers.

This brings me back to the Sepia Saturday prompt, and the contrast between what is seen now and then as suitable attire for hiking.  I can't imagine how uncomfortable they would have been in rain, or blazing sunshine, or indeed on anything but good paved surfaces.  Perhaps it was the fact that walking was involved that was the mystery element!   

To see what others have chosen as their birthday contribution, visit Sepia Saturday's 200th edition.


  1. Great post!!! Good for you getting out and walking so much!

  2. Great Photos! Ah Yes,Broadchurch! A Mighty Landscape!

  3. How fortunate to have so many interesting and beautiful places to walk. Until Sepia Saturday came along, Lanzarote was never on my radar of places I want to visit. Now it is.

  4. Oh yes, I do remember this post, it was great then and even more perfect for our 200th. Your smiling face in the first photo is just adorable and unforgettable! Cutest coat ever too!

  5. Glad to hear you don't walk alone, and I am well-acquainted with "Broadchurch", which I thought was great.
    I'm also glad to hear that you were sensible and quit the cigarettes.

    Love that photo of you at the top. It puts me in mind of the classic figure of a jolly Santa.

  6. When my husband was working as a Watershed Forester, his job was to hike the Tuolumne River watershed in Yosemite National Park to make sure campers weren't camping too close or tethering their animals too close to the water. Somehow he convinced the company he was working for he needed to hike to the top of every mountain in the Park to do his job properly, so he was up there in the thin air a few times. Mount Dana, in particular, tops out at 13,061 feet. And he would often strike out off the hiking trails, figuring he could find shortcuts to wherever he was heaed. I finally gave him a GPS for Christmas one year! Either way, he always managed to find his way home, thank goodness.

  7. Great photos. Love the story line. Nice choice for Sepia Saturday 200!

  8. This was a great interpretation of that weekend's theme, so it's perfect for a reprint. My wife introduced me to countryside walks/hikes in Britain. But I am more an urban walker, as I never tire of finding new details in a city. Cement pavements are nearly as hard on shoes as volcanic rock.

  9. I remember this one. Good choice.

  10. Lanzarote looks great for walking especially in shorts and tee shirt. I have been up Pico Teide but couldn't tackle it now. It's only right that Lanzarote should appear in SS200 as it does in many other posts.

  11. Great posts. I like the first photo of you when young. You had a lot of joy. The photos of you through the years were great to see. It looks like you have a great out of doors to enjoy your walks.

  12. I hadn't seen this before, so to me, it's a new post! Love the shot of you as a child!

  13. Well, you've certainly walked a lot in your lifetime.
    Many other [safe] happy trekking!!

  14. Hi Caminante, I came across your blog while researching Lanzarote. We will be there on 27th of this month! We're both avid walkers at home (Peak District, Derbyshire) and love to explore when on holiday. Don't do a pure walking holiday, as such, because we like to swim, snorkel, explore etc too. Any tips you can give us would be great, and if you miss 'old Blighty', you can see lots of pictures on my blogs, the latest of which is at There are about six other blogs, links on the side of the front page, so should keep you going a while! We're staying in Playa Blanca. Not been to Lanzarote before, but have done a couple of the others and Majorca (which we LOVED). Is your 'story' on this blog somewhere? I'd love to know why you left, how long ago, and any regrets? Most people would be tied by family, but the life sounds nice there. No snow LOL (see my latest blog posting). Regards.

    1. Whatever your intentions on Lanzarote, I recommend "Walk! Lanzarote" ISBN 9781904946533 and the companion map "Lanzarote Tour and Trail" ISBN. 9781904946540. Amazon have them. Read up on Google about Cesar Manrique, a Lanzarotean architect and artist who was a friend of Andy Warhol and influenced the government here to maintain the traditional look of the island (much more than the other Canary Islands) and who made some very impressive architectural features. Hire a car from, they are the cheapest and best, with modern, excellent condition cars. Visit I live in Playa Blanca too, where we have been since we took early retirement 4.5 years ago. We live here because it is warm in winter (21 today, even though it is overcast), and has all the facilities and services we would expect back in UK. I have about 40 volcanoes I can climb within about 40 minutes drive, and a range of mountains, the Ajaches, just out of town. If you explore the rest of Lanzarote on Foot, you'll see some of my walks described.

    2. Hi again Caminante. Thanks very much for all the tips and quick reply :-) Well - looks like I'm doing ALL the right things! I've reserved a car with Autoreisen, the only 'fly' is that they are based in the airport, so I'll have to get transport there and back, as I'm hiring 'mid-holiday' (as opposed to having the car all the time). Is there a good bus service to the airport (I collect on a Monday, drop back on the Saturday), or will I need to take a taxi (and if so, do you have an idea of the cost each way?).
      I have got all the information on CM, a truly great man and philanthropist, by the sound of it. We're really looking forward to seeing his house, cactus garden, sculptures etc. Nice tip about stopping and walking back to see the wind chimes, we'll be sure to do that.
      One thing, the link you gave; gives a 404, so maybe changed or wrong?
      Thanks again,
      PS - did you manage to look at my blog?

  15. Hi Les, here is the bus service website, open at, I hope, the right page. Anyway the 161 bus goes from the harbour in PB to the airport every hour. I think it is €3.50 single.

    Yes I have seen your blog, you certainly get around!