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Gran Canaria      DIARY  3

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                  From Diary 2.
30/11 2023.
The first target of the day is Jardín Botánico Canario, which opens early. The temperature reach 26C today, but as I enters from the high entrance, I walk in the shadows. I had actually expected way more. The better part is the north-facing mountainside, containing the usual wild plants - and invasive too.

In the valley, it is a bit more "botanical-garden-like" and I find some nice looking Dragonblood trees and a few names for the wild plants. I think, I get to do all trails, and head back to my car on top of the mountain, without seeing more than five people.

The municipal market of Las Palmas Marcando de Vegueta is still open, but I fail to find a free parking by now. A walk back through the familiar historical area, and into the market. Neither what I have hoped for. It is too neat and clean, and only contain a few shops. Here are colourful fruits, cheese and meat. I do the loops, and head back to my car.

Next planned site is a hole in the ground: A real big one, that is. Caldera de Bandama is a Volcanic crater, 200 meters deep, 1000 meters in diameter. I park next to a tiny cafe, with a huge view. That calls for a café con leche and a pang with cheese.

Then I do the loop around the crater. This is a way more lush area than the previous, but it is "the usual suspects", just way bigger, more green and many with flowers. Well, I find a few other plants, and I really enjoy the trail. It passes a golf course, then the outer side of the crater, facing south is loos gravel with a few huge grasses.

I see an adult male of the local large lizards, and it is like a varanus! A few bees and alike pollinates the many flowers, and a predator grasshopper awaits then in one flower. I make so many great photos, all looking the same in the evening.
I end up at the cafe once more, and have to try their layer cake: Quite good. I get to shift the table out in the sun, which they never are.

I drive up to the nearby peak, as the only access point is the spiral road, no trails. The peak offers a bit more view and a bus-full of noisy tourists.

From here, I continue up through the lush environment to San Mateo by GC-15. It is almost all settlements, all old and cosy, but don't get me to pull-over. Here are enormous Australian Eucalyptus and European yew. Some oranges and lemons are found in the gardens, but here seems to be no farming. But again, I find most of the familiar plants underneath the trees, along with green grass and herbs.

I make a stop in San Mateo for shopping and a stroll in the central part of town. Nice, but not old enough to be interesting or photogenic. I head  bit further up the mountains, but return to connect with the little GC-41, to get home. It is through the countryside with scattered small houses in a lush environment. The north side of the boulders are home to an unfamiliar Sempervivum; large but flat on the ground. Could it be Sempervivum aureum?

I pass a few villages, one being Las Vegas. I think about making a stop, and then I'm out on the other side. I do several stops in the wild, but fail to find anything interesting. 

It is only four, when I reach my hometown; Telde, and I check the large park: Parque de la Barranquera, which is a green lawn with a few odd art-things and a lot of white buildings. The nearby church is not impressive either, nor the pedestrian street. Well, I have seen it, but I will return for the historical part, one of these days.

As anticipated, it start raining in the evening, and that will continue tomorrow. It seems like the north-western peninsular will get the least, and that will be the target in the morning. HIGHLIGHTS.

1/12. I meet the sun right outside town, but I see the signs of the rain. I make it by the minor roads to Arucas, just to find the right scenic road towards Moya. And it surely is. It is fairly lush, and the road winds it way through a beautiful landscape.

Here start to be some farming, some done in shadow-houses, others are huge fields with bananas. Small villages are found up in the cliffs, but I only stop in the nature, which is so lush around here. The Sempervivums are 40 centimetres in diameter, and the "usual suspects" are struggling with Eucalyptus, Opuntias, Agavas and even some Begonias.

A few small lizards are found on the vertical rock walls, and besides from some natural caves, here are a few man-made square ones too. I really enjoy the drive to Moya, and do a stop while I'm here. The green gorge at the edge of town is impressive, so is the church.

My next target is the town of Santa Maria de Guía, and it is yet another great drive into the mountains. The almost vertical rock walls are covered in a thick but low blanket of vegetation, and I even find a real tall, but narrow waterfall.

Santa Maria de Guía is found a bit inland, and it is yet another cosy old town. I do the loops, and head on towards Gáldar and bye yet another great road. I am mainly here to see the ancient caves of Cueva Pintada. They were made by the first people on the island, who strangely enough were an Moroccan nomad tribe, with no nautical skills. Might been brought here as slaves by a more sophisticated culture like the Romans?

It is a posh museum with a few items, several cinemas and a huge roof, covering the excavations. A single cave is famous for its 12'th century wall paintings. I find a souvenir in the shop: a pintaderas, resembling these drawings and some alike clay-things, found during the excavations.

Then I do a few loops in the old city, grab a cafe con leche in the sun, and head on. Way into the mountains, I find Agaeta, a different looking old town. Where the others tend to be very colourful, it is white - and only white. It is found in some real barrens mountains, next to a ravine.

I park right next to the botanical garden, but it is just a murky, overgrown place by now. Callé Concepción should be the place to see and bee seen, but I fail to grasp it. I do see some nice houses in the area, but soon, I think I have seen it all.

I have found what seems like the coastal road, and give it a try. Well, it is a bit inland, and way up in the foothills. The hills are a bit more barren, mainly covered in grass. I make several stops, one at the Roque Guayedra; another excavation.

I end up at the seaside in El Rouqe, but the yellow beach on my GPS turns out to be head-sized black lava rocks. I do a stroll, but it is getting late, and I have planed a cross-country mountain drive home.

It is 30 kilometres by the absolutely fantastic GC-210, following a ravine deep into the barren and real steep mountains. A single large dam is the only man-made, except from the road, and I only see two other cars.

The road finally reach 1000 meters height, and a bit of settlement at the more lush plateau. A round stonewall indicates sheep, but I don't see any. A but further up, the scatted pines dominates, then I meet the clouds.

On the other side of the plateau, I find the familiar but great GC-130, and find my way home. There is a few wind-tears on the way down, but it is passed five, and the sun lasted till now. Great "rainy day".

In the evening, I have a way too long chat with a Spanish guy, working in Iceland for three month a year, enjoying life for nine months. HIGHLIGHTS.

It is time to open the next "door" in the calendar: Diary 4.

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