Walking across the length of Lanzarote

During December 2009, I had fun doing a walk across the length of Lanzarote, from Orzola in the North East to Playa Blanca in the South West. I took seven days to do 122K (about 76M).

The seven walks are roughly shown on this map. On my first day, I went from Orzola (the North Easterly town) to Haria. The next walk is Haria to Teguise. Then Teguise to Arrecife. Arrecife to Puerto del Carmen, Puerto del Carmen to Uga (near Yaiza), Uga to Fermes. And on the final day I went from Fermes to Playa Blanca (the most South Westerly town).

Each day, I caught a bus from my hotel in Arrecife to the start, did the walk and then took a bus back to my hotel. Because of the bus timetables and because some days were too wet to walk, I had to do a few of the walks out of order.

Although there were only a few buses a day to the outlying villages, virtually all the buses I caught were on time. I had copies of the timetables that are available at www.arrecifebus.com. However, these timetables only give the time for the start of each journey. Since I've got back, I've discovered there are other web pages at www.arrecifebus.com that give the times of the buses from some of the major villages. That would have been very useful. I'm not sure whether these pages are new or whether foolishly I didn't spot them earlier!

I mainly used walking routes from the book Walk! Lanzarote. I also used the companion map: Lanzarote: Tour & Trail 1:40000 Scale Super-Durable Map. Both are described at www.walking.demon.co.uk/lanz.htm. I found these to be excellent.

Although the book doesn't offer a route all the way from Orzola to Playa Blanca, most of my route was derived from routes in the book or routes in the book done in reverse. I just had to provide my own route for three small sections.

The gps traces of where I went were recorded by a Garmin Forerunner 305 watch. I used SportTracks to read a day's walking from the Garmin and generate a gpx file. The photos were taken with a Canon 350D camera fitted with a a cheap 28mm to 300mm zoom lens (Vivitar Series 1). I uploaded the photos to flickr using iPhoto (on a Mac). I then used each of the gpx files with gpstagr in order automatically to geotag any appropriate photos in flickr. (I like gpstagr as it's so easy to use.) I've put the data of each of the gpx files into a database.

These web pages provide a kml file for where I went each day. If you access any of these kml files, you are using some software I wrote that generates kml from the appropriate gpx augmenting the kml with a placemark for each photo that was taken along the route. This software uses the flickr api to find the appropriate photos.

Two other credits. Firstly, the maps embedded on these web pages use Google Maps. Also, the ones for each of the days also used to use the information on the reviewmylife blog. However, because of the way in which Google maps now works this is no longer the case.

The book mentioned above has gps waypoints, i.e., it provides latitude and longitudes for various points along each route. As my Garmin watch has a screen to show the current latitude and longitude, I was able to check occasionally that I was in the right place. My watch also allows me to find the current elevation. I found comparing this with the map another useful indicator for checking where I was.

The following links give more information about what I did on each of the days.

Barry Cornelius
January 2010