Today was our last hiking day on Fuerteventura, from the lighthouse at Punta de Jandia, back to Morro Jable.
But first, we had to catch a bus to get there.
After waiting at the bus stop for ten minutes past when the bus was supposed to be there, we flagged down a taxi driver that had just dropped off a passenger, and asked about getting to the lighthouse. Speaking German to CareFree (who is German, and was betrayed either by appearance or accent), the driver quoted us 60 €, since it was a long dirt road there, something we hadn’t understood. But, the bus going there was leaving from the main bus station at ten (and not nine, as we thought), and he could take us there.
We opted for the short cab ride to the main bus station. Upon arriving, what the taxi driver was telling us became much clearer when we saw the bus that would take us to the lighthouse. Rather than a regular inter-city bus, this was a shorter, ruggedized bus meant for dirt road operation. It had large (by bus standards) tires, and sat a bit higher off the ground. When it moved, it did so only reluctantly and with great effort. It wasn’t exactly an off-road bus, but it was more than halfway there.
What we thought was going to be a half-hour ride to the lighthouse wound up being an hour and a half, including a side-trip to Cofete, a small hamlet and beach on the northern coast half-way to the lighthouse. The road there was paved for the first and last mile or so, and dirt the rest of the way. A regular bus would not have fared well on the route, but especially on the spur to Cofete, the road was narrow and hugged a very curvy mountain; a regular-length bus would never have fit.
The other dozen or so people on the bus got off at Cofete; we were the only ones going to the lighthouse, and the bus dropped us off there at 11:30, far later in the day than we had been expecting. (We we’re especially glad now that we delayed leaving the island until tomorrow morning; it was obvious now that the bus and ferry schedules did not align with hiking this section at this time of year.
From the lighthouse, we followed the paved road back in the direction of Morro Jable, and stopped at Puertito de la Cruz, a hamlet at the end of the paved road. While there are a few buildings, a significant portion of the town appears to be constructed of RV trailers joined with small buildings to provide additional space.
There weren’t many people here, but there were at least three restaurants open when we got there at noon. We picked one for our daily ice-cream-and-soda break, a bit hungry after a bus ride that was longer than we had been hiking so far today.
Shortly after leaving town, the trail left the road, beginning a small roller-coaster of ups and downs as the trail bounced along the cliffs above and adjacent to the beach along the coast. Along the top, the trail was relatively flat; the climbs and descents were rocky, but never difficult. The only thing really making our hike hard today was the calima; there was still plenty of sand in the air, and we hiked much of the day with masks on, though as the day wore on, the air quality seemed to improve slightly. We had a continuous view of the ocean for several hours, though the white backdrop of the sand in the air dulled the experience.
Puertito de la Cruz used to be (and presumably still is) a popular stop for local fisherman. Along the way, we passed a few of them.
We continued bouncing up and down along the coast for a couple of hours, once using the opportunity to touch the Atlantic.
After a couple of hours near the coast, the trail turned inland and leveled out, at least a little. With the hills behind us (and mountains far ahead) we stopped for a snack without any shade.
As the lighthouse had long passed from view, our next clear indicator of progress towards Morro Jable was a small herd of goats we passed on the bus where the trail briefly followed the road. There were about a dozen adult or juvenile goats, and about that many kids. They mostly ignored us; they were probably quite used to people and vehicles going past.
A little while later, a lone sheep was a little more curious, and slowly followed us from a distance.
After crossing the road a couple more times, the trail climbed up a mountain above the road, following a narrow trail that supported a now-disused pipeline of some sort. This gave us some great views of town, and of the port we’ll be using tomorrow to reach our next island, Gran Canaria.
As we continued, the trail entered town, and began to take us down to the waterfront, and from there, we returned to our hotel room, now having hiked the length of our third Canary Island, and then went to the food store to get dinner supplies.
Along the way, we were looking for the bus returning from its evening run to the lighthouse, but we did not see it. We must have just missed seeing it, since while we were at the food store, we ran into a couple we passed on the trail (they were heading to the lighthouse).
The rest of the evening was uneventful, and relaxing.
Tomorrow: Onward to island number four, Gran Canaria, and meeting up with a friend.