Tour guide David Penney invites us to walk off the festive goodies and start the year with a good resolution – to get to know more of Lanzarote’s spectacular outdoors.
Our walk starts in the car park next to the supermarket in the main street of Yaiza, from where we head off southwards deeper into the town towards the church.
We visit the famous Belen nativity scene which has been set up behind the church, but unfortunately this year it’s only a fraction of the size of the usual display in previous years.
Now walk up the Avenida de Rubicon behind the Belen until you reach a roundabout, immediately in front of you are a big set of volcanic stone steps which lead up past the large flower garden area.
Climb the steps, turn right on the track and head into the massive horse shoe shaped crater as the path follows along the base of the mountain.
You have two options here depending on how challenging you want to make the walk (or how many mince pies you have eaten):
Option 1. Take the zig-zag path up to the lower ridge where you can then look down to the cemetery on your left, and the road up to the village of La Degollada on your right.
Please note: the route further up to the top ridge is very steep and quite difficult, so it is not recommended unless you are an experienced walker.
This spot is the precise location where the parish priest of Yaiza, Don Andrus Lorenzo Curbelo climbed up to on September 1st, 130 to witness the first volcanic eruptions of the Montanas del Fuego. His famous account of when “the earth suddenly opened near Yaiza” has been heard by every tourist on the coach trips in Timanfaya.
However, this mountain, Montana de la Cinta, is part of the Los Ajaches range which is much older than the Timanfaya National Park area.
Now return back down into the base of the crater via a track to your right, (the one which comes back down from the left is near to some private land and the owner isn’t happy when you stray off the track).
When you reach the base of the crater you can see a track which takes you past an old aljibe, which is the easier option 2 instead of climbing up to the first ridge.
Option 2. Continue round the other side of the crater passing the flower garden and join the section of the GR131 route which is marked with the burgundy signs. Carry around this flat level track to the right of mountain, following along the flower garden area. When you reach the small sign showing 58km, stop here and join the lower track down to your right called Camino el Pinero. This will take you back into the town of Yaiza.
You will pass an absolutely amazing tree with massive thorns which are razor sharp, called Ceiba speciosa from South America. It is ornamental, and inside the buds are like cotton, which they sometimes use for fibre. We were lucky enough to see the tree bearing fruit and flowers, and this is the only example of this tree I know of on the island.
Continue past the Galeria Yaiza and return back to the area you have parked your car. Next to the supermarket is a great little cafebar, simply called Cafeteria Yaiza, which is owned by my friend Tina who always looks after us when we return back from walking in the area.