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Gran Canaria    DIARY  6

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                  From Diary 5.
Due to the altered plans last week, the last days are a bit of improvising, getting the last dots on the map connected. I start with a southern gravel road, but as expected, it take a fully insured car - or rather: Land Rover. I walk a bit along the real arid gravel, which strangely enough once was farmed.

Next site is along the southern coast; the Friday Market in the coastal Mogán. This is yet another tourist-infested new town, but I give it a go anyway. I get an overpriced café con leche, and watch the herds of mastodons passing by. Not pretty, but I feel better...

Here is nothing local, but quite some products from Ecuador and Morocco. I find another, even greater looking camel belt, and get a good price.
On the backside of the real long, double line of tents, I find some great looking, small Madagascan trees: Moringa hildebrandtii. They are in flower, and the May-bugs are enjoying the free meal. They are actually extinct in the wild, and I appreciate getting some photos of large trees and flowers.

My next target should have been yet another small road, but a massive iron gate is blocking it. Instead, I head up to the middle of the island by a great by familiar road: GC-200.

I pass small villages in the huge, almost barren mountains. One is the little Molino de Viento, which actually have a mill. I passed through the other day, but the sun was the wrong way.

Then I pass through the mountain town of Mogán, but I still fail to talk myself into a stop. Then a slightly lush raving do the trick, and I find some flowering bulbs; Pancratium maritimum. And way op the mountain slope, they have a stronghold with perhaps 100,000 plants. I start climbing, and are rewarded with a spectacular view. It does not look like much on the photos, though.

Then I get to "the painted mountain", where the volcanic debris is green, yellow and orange. I find a couple of nugget for my tiny aquariums, although I expect the green to be lethal cupper to the scrimps. Only one way to find out...

I head down the little GC-205 towards first Tasarte, then the beach. I pass some great looking Dracaena draco, and kind of hope, they are wild plants, and make a stop. Tasarte fails to make me stop.

Here start to be some small nurseries and shadow houses, but it seems a bit vacant by now. Then I reach the beach; Playa del Tasarte, the last bit by gravel road. Here are a few campers and it seems like mainly locals.

A food-truck supplies me with lunch: fried potatoes with generous amount of ketchup, sweet mustard and relish - which is mayonnaise with a little green in. It taste great, and surly supply me with the needed calories - and then some.

I try to walk some off along the beach, but the head sized rocks are making it hard, and the road ends real soon in both ends. I head up to the centre of the island again, as this is a dead end. I did it for the tour anyway, but it was not the greatest ride - as I am spoiled by now.

Near the top, I turn into the great GC-605, and start climbing even more, till I pass the pines. The eastern side is bye the usual, but just as lovely GC-130.

It seems to me, I have done all the roads, fitted for the car - and in both ways. It is great to do them both ways, and in morning and evening sun. You hardly recognises anything, but the city names. Here are many caminos I haven't done - nor thought of doing. HIGHLIGHTS.

9. It will reach 28C today, but someone have to check-out my last sights - and someone is me. Right through the island bye the lovely roads I came home bye yesterday, and on the other side, I head further north.

I stop for some Sempervivum, covering  vertical rock-wall, It seems like they will never be in the sun. Despite I have driven these roads several times, I keep enjoying them. Some of the almonds tree have started flowering, and I find dried fruits on others.

I eventually reach Cactualdea, a huge cacti park. I have it pretty much to myself, and as I hoped, here are a few caudiciforms as well. It is spread out in a huge canyon, and here are surely a lot of cacti, although only a limited amount of species - 1000 they say. I had expected them to have a large cacti-park and a small collection, but only the park is here.

I make sure, I see them all, and have photos to show it. I pick a few seeds of the awesome Malagasy Moringa hildebrandtii tree, which have old fruits, fresh fruits and flowers at the same time. I pick a date, but it is tasteless.

The day is still young, but I have warn out this island by now. I head for a little beach, but it turns out, I have bin here before - and was disappointed. I try a road, but I have driven it before - and get to enjoy it again. I pass the nursery town of La Aldea, and find GC-210, which never fail to amuse me.

I make a long stroll down to a lake, to checkout the water-plants, which might be Utricularia, and the other one is Persicaria amphibia. I hear some frogs, but they are on the other side of the lake, in the shadow of the mountain.

A plant I have passed several times, thinking it was a thistle, have flowers here, and it is an invasive Mexican prickly poppy; Argemone mexicana. Besides from that, here are a few grasses and some of the usual suspects.

Another brake to enjoy me tea and the sun - along with the breeze and mainly the silence. Besides from the wind, here are only the sound of some distance birds. I spot a strange spider, sitting with its back-body straight up in the air. I'm pretty sure it is a female Banded Garden Spider; Argiope trifasciata.

I try an unfamiliar little road, I have saved for last. It leads from one little farm to the other, and end up in the real narrow alleys, in a bigger town. It is on the edge of the highland, and offers a great view to the coast with the big cities.

Planning tomorrow causes me problems, as I have seen all I wanted to see. Well, except the rock bridges of Playa de Güigüí, which I won't walk eight hours for. And Teror without a market, but they have one again tomorrow. Road GC-210 is a bit used by now, although it is the highlight for me. I end up planning eight way-points for a tour around the fertile north-west highland. HIGHLIGHTS.
                  Time for the final Diary 7.

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