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Canary islands - A Short Trip Into The Sun
Markus Ziebell

Author: Markus Ziebell, Photos: Markus Ziebell
Translated by: Carmen Chaplin
Trip made by: Joachim Landrath, Markus Ziebell
This trip was made in February 2006
Trip time: one week

Dieser Reisebericht ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar. Bitte folgen Sie diesem Link

  A Short Trip Into The Sun:
A Sea Kayak Tour along the rugged eastern Coastlines of the Canary Islands
Lanzarote and Fuerteventura

A one-week trip from the northern tip of Lanzarote to the capital of Fuerteventura, along the beautiful, rugged eastern coastline.

Lanzarote and Fuerteventura, the two most eastern islands of the Canaries,are situated only about 120 kilometers off the African coast, off Southern Marocco. Due to the location and the pleasant temperatures all year round, it is a perfect if demanding sea kayak destination.

After having had to abort our paddling trip in the Danish South Sea theprevious winter because of storms and snowdrifts, we had chosen adestination in warmer climes this year. Internet searches revealed that the Canaries were perfect if demanding. It hadn't been easy to find an airline that was willing to carry our 5-and-a-half-meter kayaks. Then, we learned that suitable planes only land at Lanzarote and Fuerteventura. This information, combined with the fact that the wind blows from the north in February, settled it: we were going to paddle from the northern tip of Lanzarote to Fuertaventura's Puerto de Rosario. Well, that, at least, was the theory:

  In practice, we discover that the baggage-check-in at Düsseldorf airport isn't geared to dealing with such bulky baggage. So we end up dragging the boats up and down the terminals several times until a way is found to weigh them and check them in.
While still in Germany, we had booked a taxi with a roof rack. Although the plane is almost 40 minutes late, Jesus is still waiting by the entrance with his old Mercedes estate car. After a quick stop-off to pick up petrol for our stove and some drinking water, we arrive at the little harbour of Orzola as early as 15.00 p.m.
At the harbour, we spread our baggage out on the boat ramp, put it in order and stow everything in the hatches of the two boats. The Atlantic greets us with a 1.50-meter high breaker directly at the entrance of the harbour, but we manage to get through unharmed.
  It is incredible, at 10.00 a.m., we still stood in rainy Düsseldorf airport, and only 7 hours later, we are rounding Punta Fariones' off-shore rocks at the northern tip of Lanzarote with a light tailwind at our backs. We spend another hour paddling past Caleta del Sebo, and reach a sheltered beach at the south end of La Graciosa, below the peak of Montana Amarilla volcano. There, in the twilight, we put up our tent right by the sandy beach.
First thing in the morning, we climb Montana Amarilla. From the top, you get a good view all the way to the northern tip of La Graciosa, with its few beaches and bad landing conditions. The steep rocks of the islands of Montana Clara and Roque del Infierno are visible in the distance. Even though the weather report forecasts a strong wind from the south, we decide to first round La Graciosa today, and to then carry on along Lanzarote's eastern coast towards the south.

The swell is 2 to 3 meters high, and we have to keep a distance of a few hundred meters from the coast, if we don't want to get thown against the rocks by the surf.

  Without stopping, we head back to Lanzarote and ride past Orzola towards the south. This is where the Malpais de la Corona begins. During a volcanic eruption, the flow of the lava reached widths of several kilometers and pushed its way into the sea. As a result, the coast is rugged and craggy and full of sharp-edged rocks. For a long time, we search for a place to land. Finally, we find a little bay that is sheltered by an off-shore reef. Nevertheless, we are still swept several meters across the sharp-edged lava rocks by the waves. Luckily, our PE-boats are nearly indestructible.  
  The next day, we continue our tour. The conditions are still good, but the weather forecast announces that this is the last quiet day before the storm. There are plenty of impressive lava formations along this stretch, but few spots for landing.
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Last update: 10/05/09
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