Frightening The Seagulls Up Above Los Cristianos

All dressed up an nowhere to walk, well not strictly true; I rarely dress up but had made some dainty cheese rolls and loaded up with water ready for a Saturday morning walk. Sadly only 2 people showed at the usual Apolo centre start point and they took the hint to do something else but with my toes twitching I headed down to Playa de Callao at the market end of Los Cristianos to renew acquaintance with Montaña Guaza.

Probably the toughest part of this walk is the steep tight twisting path that looks a lot easier from down below. Once I got on the staircase I was reminded of how hard and angular the surface is and how some of the looser stones tend to shift below the feet. A few water swigs later I had reached the top and was up onto the plateau with the flat dry grassy fields stretching out ahead of me. The sun was playing hide and seek behind grey clouds but Los Cristianos was waking up nicely down at sea level and a slight breeze was very welcome.

I walked out to the plateau edge just above the stairs and noticed a small wooden cross and a photo of an old couple tucked into a pile of large rocks. Maybe they were keen walkers or the family just wanted them to have a peaceful resting place with a clear view of their favourite places panning out in the distance. There are tyre tracks on the paths, a reminder that the transmitter masts at the peak receive regular visits from maintenance crew. Years ago there were tobacco and tomato plantations up on the level floor stretching from the cliff tops, old stone walls remain but the only crops are short red tabaiba plants making a colourful carpet.

There are several route options, usually I head up to the aerials and the peak but this time decided to head outwards to the cliffs to find the path that skirts along the edge. As I neared the cliff the silence was broken by the screech of seagulls and the lovely view was spoilt by the sight of a cluster of fish cages, what a curse they are around our shores. Taking the undulating path it dipped inland and down into the remains of a stone quarry, lots of quarrying went on at Montaña Guaza and some of the stone hewn out here was used to build the Rasca lighthouse that is visible from Los Cristianos.

When I’m out enjoying a testing walk I have to watch out for the smug zone, that point where I think I’m doing well taming nature and pushing back the frontiers. Thankfully this is usually countered by the appearance of an oncoming jogger or cyclist, this time it was a young lady walking her dog with a cool relaxed air about her as she exchanged pleasantries with the blond ball of sweat panting along the path – another bubble burst.

Up a steep quarry side and I was at a great vantage point looking down on Palm Mar, I stopped and scoffed my warm curly rolls here very aware of the hungry seagulls wheeling in overhead. There is a route down into Palm Mar but I headed back inland looking for the path home, the masts in the distance reminded me of the route up to the peak but the cliff top walk had distracted me enough for one day. The paths weren’t so clear now but I headed towards some old stone cottages knowing that would lead me back on track, and it did the trick.

Taking a well worn driving track alongside the old plantations I soon found myself back at the stairway down and began a cautious descent. Going down could be even more tricky that the up walk but soon the familiar coast drew level with me and I was back on firm ground with another 3 hours plus of exercise done, time for a cold drink.