Walk in , ascent 705m, length 21.4km
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simon3: Track 4077 in area near Spain, Canary Islands ()
Cofete, Fuerteventura: Bus Beach Tapas Barranco
Length: 21.4km, Creator time taken: 8h 6m, Ascent: 705m,
Descent: 616m

Places: Start at Lon -14.3885, Lat 28.1103, end at Lon -14.2274, Lat 28.159 17km E from Start
Logged as completed by 1
4wd bus.
Varied interesting trip with the best Fuerteventura has to offer.
Cofete is a tiny village on the north, wild side of Fuerteventura at its southern end. Its beach stretches out of sight in both directions overshadowed by the cliffs of jagged peaks to over 800m. Its windy, being pummelled by the Alisios, the local name for the trade winds that come non stop from the NW.
But first we need to explain about getting there. There is a steep, extremely tortuous 17km dirt track excluding all but the hardiest. There is a 4wd bus, which looks and is sprung like a military vehicle only painted in the colours of the local bus company, Tiadhe.
Usually their drivers behave like the universal stolid public servant but this one led the bus into song before we set out. We could catch the words Vamos and Playa in the song whose refrain the Spanish speakers seemed to know. Something like an equivalent to We're all going on our Holidays.
Wide beach, endless horizon.

Endless sandy beach
The nearest town or road to the north, on the coast, is over 13km away. Unlike the many beaches of the south or east sides of Fuerteventura, this one as well as being windy has little sun because of the enormous overhanging scarp and the frequently occuring clouds that surround it. However on the day we were there this made for ideal walking weather.
One interesting aspect of the landscape is that it iis an example of "forced perspective " sometimes used in cinema sets. This is true in either direction from beach near to Cofete particularly looking north as in the view above. The beach and line of peaks look even longer than they are because the further hills are smaller, around 300 or less metres as opposed to the nearby summits which reach over 800.
Swimming is not recommended because of vicious rip tides in the crashing surf. Above the tideline there was quite a lot of plastic junk though not as bad as I have seen elsewhere.
El Islote
As part one our walking day we had chosen to take a look at this feature. Islote means island however this place is actually connected to the land by sand. All around it the waves crash interminably.
Hard rock outcrop (basalt?) heroically resisting the sea.

On the way to El Islote we went underneath the highest point on Fuerteventura, Pico de la Zarza, 807m which we had visited on an earlier day.
Cofete
We returned to Cofete near to a historic house built in the 1930's by a Colonel Winter, a German with an apparent taste for the exotic. On a previous trip to this villa the accompanying tour guide had gone into full Loch Ness Monster mode, alluding to secret U boat bases etc etc. (I particularly remember him pointing to an ordinary looking surface water drain and asking dramatically, to what underground lair did it go?)
As we went we met a birdwatcher from the Netherlands. He was on the lookout for sanderlings, small birds that feed at the waters edge in little groups strung out in a line. I have seen these on the east coast of Ireland. Let's hope that they are a species that can distinguish between plastic and food while feeding their young and don't join the current great extinction.
Those of a machismo self-reliant bent can skip the next bit. Instead of relying on our own provisions we knew there was a flourishing small café in Cofete so we had a very pleasant lunch while thinking about the second part of the walk, the ridge line we had to cross to get back.
This is known as the Degollada de Cofete. Degollada often means to slit the throat of and how it comes to be used for a col is a question that some Spanish speaker could answer perhaps?
Near col, Fraile, 686m in background
Degollada de Cofete
From below we simply could not see the line of this waymarked way, advertised as the PR FV 55 on maps. It is well signposted from Cofete and gradually we discovered the route as we ascended to its full height of 343m
.
Descending into a giant barranco
The route continued to interest as we descended into the barranco or large valley. We encountered a cave or perhaps a mine working. A goat farm. An apparently defunct water gathering system.
Surreal moment. Wasteland to ferry
More views of eroded volcanos with often vivid colours. As you venture downwards you also gradually return to civilisation with dirt roads and occasional villas. Our route used another waymarked way the GR131 into Morro Jable. This is mostly off road and for a while goes along the line of an old water chanel, meaning that it contours crazily around gullies at a constant very low slope downwards. Finally we arrived on the FV-2, the autovia or motorway that links the port to the rest of the islad.
And finally
This is an extremely varied walk with great opportunities for variations to make it longer, shorter, with scrambling, with food and great panoramic views.

Uploaded on: Sun, 10 Mar 2019 (07:29:50)
Trackback: https://mountainviews.ie/track/4077/  
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Note: ALL information such as Ascent, Length and Creator time taken etc should be regarded as approximate. The creator's comments are opinions and may not be accurate or still correct.
Your time to complete will depend on your speed plus break time and your mode of transport. For walkers: Naismith's rule, a rough and often inaccurate estimate, suggests a time of 5h 27m + time stopped for breaks
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