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Gran Canaria    DIARY  5

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Diary 1  2  3  4
 5  6  7

                  From Diary 4.
The only place the sun will be, is once again in the north-west coast, which I have seen. I prepare myself for a day without, and just plan a route of way-points in the west, mainly to find dragon-trees. I first drive the highway to the south, and a quick look at Playa De Triana, but it is just another lava rock beach.

The inland is dominated by huge and barren hills, which once in the past, have been farmed. There are canals running downhill and terraces have been made in the rock-cleared hillside. It is truly an arid place by now, but I find two new plants. Through little beach town El Pajar and the bigger "Little Norway"; Arguineguín without stopping.

Then up the little GC-505 road towards the inland. The flat part of the ravines are all banana plantations, while the sides are barren gravel. Then it start to be a bit more fertile - if you can call the usual suspects and the huge Euphorbia canariensis that. 

I do some walks deep into canyons so many times today, hoping for a wild dragon-tree. I find only the usual plants and in a slightly more moist ravine, two species of Mimosas - I guess.

The further up I go, the more green it becomes. I find two inflorescence on a single Kleinia neriifolia, of which I guess I have seen millions by now.
The road turns real narrow, and the sealing have seen better days. The views, on the other hand, are so great, although some sun would have added.

Near the top, just before the pines, I see some bulbs, but without flowers. Here are again some Berthelot's Pipit; Anthus berthelotii and some black hooded finches/fly catchers - or some thing else. The ravens; Corvus corax canariensis are real shy, but I hear them often.

I turn into GC-200, but that does not really change the great scenery. Some dry grass, a few scatted palms in the button of the ravines, a rare silk-plant; Cuscuta planiflora and some narrow leaved bulbs.

I find a few lava rocks in very different colours. Then a whole mountainside is with lines in S-shapes, from red over yellow to green. Then I turn into GC-204, and here start to be a lot but small nurseries. Outside the shadow-tents are lemon and oranges trees.

Then I meet the awesome but narrow GC-210, which once again thrills me. It is by fare the best drive on Gran Canaria. I stop many times, and follow the footpaths, deep into the canyons.

Here are a few rather large dams and some rather empty lakes. GC-606 lours me in, and it is almost as great as GC-210. The hairpins have hairpins around here.
did not manages to find a single wild dragon-tree, nor the sun, but it have been a nice day despite that. HIGHLIGHTS.

6. I head down south to San Fernando marcando, but it is way too touristed for me. Crowded, nothing authentic at all. I leave right away, and head up little GC-504 to the little village of Ayagaures. A short walk of up through the canyon; Barracanco de la Data, bring me to the mountain lake of Emlbalse de Ayagaures.

A bit further up the road, another dammed lake is found; Embalse de Gambuesa. I do quite some tracking, and find some old houses, both in the village, but also along the trail, leading into the gorge. Despite the village is isolated and small, it seems alive, and new stone walls are build nicely.

My next target was the little road, leading deep into Barranco de Fataga, in the button of the gorge. However, after realising I do not have full coverage on the car, I rather walk the real rough trail. I pass some natural caves, and finally find flowers on the bulb, and it is Pancratium maritimum. Besides from that, it is the usual suspects, both native and invasive.

A bit further in, I find a long line of arches from an old viaduct. It is still in use, although fitted with a 30 centimetre plastic tube. In one place, it is leaking a bit, and it is another flora I find here.

Plan B is to take the larger road on the ridge; GC-60. It is another great mountain drive, and I stop several times. One time is when I reach Mundo Aborigen, a re-build village from the original inhabitants of the island. I get the coffee for free, if I pay €10 to see the village.

The coffee is great, the village not that much. Well, the huts are well made, and the settings are great. The mannequins and especially the music is truly a misunderstanding. The old pigs, goats and sheep interesting, and the tiny museum a good size. I treat myself with yet another cuppa, and especially the sun and great view to the huge gorge.

A further up the road, I find a fantastic Mirador Degollada de las Yeguas, overseeing the enormous gorge.

I pull over in the little Arteara, not for the camel rides, but to check-out the tombs. Necropolis de Arteara is found way out in an area, covered in one meter large boulders.

The museum is closed, but I find a trail, leading out in the area. The tombs are made of the handlebar rocks, but blend in perfectly with the area. I walk back in the button of the valley, which is an oasis. Here are huge palms and several enclosures for the camels.

I follow GC-60 all the way up to San Bartolomé, and head back home by little GC-550. I might not have made many photos, but I have enjoyed the drive and long walks along with the sun. Especially knowing Denmark have had frost, down to -17C, and snow for over a week by now.

It seems like I have driven pretty much all the roads which can be driven in the countryside, in a normal car. And some of them several times. The roads on the island are a bit like a star with a ring around. And only a very few connections in-between.  HIGHLIGHTS.

7. I head up through the mountains to the old town of Arucas. There is a huge parking lot right next to the real impressive church, and I do quite some walking.
I see the church, which is made from dark greyish lava blocks around 1900. It is apparently dedicated to the female good. The windows, which look almost black from the outside, are real colourful from the inside.

I enjoy a café con leche and a pastry in the square, before I explore the huge city-park. Apparently, today is the day to put up all the Christmas lights, and several streets are closed off. I don't care, as I planed to walk to the little private botanical garden, outside town anyway.

I pass some smaller houses, all looking so charming, then some banana fields and an impressive little mansion. Jardin del la Maquesa might not be at its peak, but here are several real nice areas, and a truly impressive 300 year old Dracaena draco.

I do several loops, and find several familiar caudiciforms along with numerous peacocks. The little castle is almost overgrown, and don't seem to be in use. Here are some huge cacti, several nicely flowering plants and no guests. Well, I did get to sneak in two hours before they opened.

On the way back to Arucas, I see a couple of cattle egrets, way out on a field. I do a few more loops around the charming old town, before I find the car. Here are actually a few tourists, but I guess I'm the younger one. While I'm up here, I might as well see the northern peninsular.

Well, the area is made up by a huge industrial harbour, a large and far from interesting city and a lot of arid nature. Unfortunately, the military don't want to share the latter. I follow the northern coastal road on the main island, but have a real hard time accessing the waterline.

When I finally do, it is by a pedestrian bridge and then across several huge terraces, which use to hold nurseries. I find a single new plant; a "stick-euphorbia", which might be invasive after all. Then I meet the steep, black cliffs, and I can't talk myself into doing the last bit, down to the tiny sandy shore.

On the way up, I hear some canarie birds, and get a blurry photo against the sky. Well, I have seen and hear them, and they are real fast and frighten birds, it seems.
I set the GPS for a little mountain road, leading inland.

It is real narrow and steep in some places. Actually, I have to abort one stretch, as the car can't get a grip. It is a real fertile and lush area, and here are many small farms along the little roads.

I pass a few tiny villages and the large and beautiful Tejeda. I did consider retuning here on a non-market day, but I rather get some more photos of the endemic Dracaena tamaranae - which I know by now, I only find in the botanical garden.

They are thrilled that I'm interested, and tells me that only around 30 plants are known in total. And they have killed several. No wonder; one is placed way to wet, and infested with louse. It have lost all branches but one.

The other one have lost its two neighbours, and is struggling as well. It is placed in a clayish soil, in the button of a slope with green grass. They originate from the driest part of the island, and should be planted on a two meter high pile of real rough lava gravel. The third is small and in a nursery. Well, I get my close-up photos of the ribbed leaves.

I'm home a bit early, and get to help the land-lady, putting up the LED-Christmas decorations. HIGHLIGHTS
                  And then into Diary 6.

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