Playa de Guigui, Gran Canaria`s Epic Trail

Hiking into the wild to reach the remote Playa de Guigui

Guigui is one of the secluded and hard-to-reach beaches of Gran Canaria and with this two attributes it became imperative to see it. At the beginning of my vacation, I thought that I will spend a certain amount of time on the beach but ironically, most of the time I was in the mountains, either hiking or driving from one place to another. I was not expecting the island to be so sensational, neither the beach in Maspalomas to be the wind`s playground. Since the Ocean was not playing nice I turned my eyes to the roughness and wilderness of the island and one day, Andra and I we decided to hike to Guigui, a remote beach on the hard-to-reach west coast of the island.

Tasartico, Gran Canaria, Spain, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Tasartico, Gran Canaria, Spain, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Tasartico, Gran Canaria, Spain, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Tasartico, Gran Canaria, Spain, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu

 

One of the routes to reach Playa de Guigui begins in Tasartico Village placed in Barranco Tasartico. The duration can be close to 2,5 hours and the first stage implies climbing almost for an hour. I can’t say I was very happy that in order to go down first I had to go up because I thought is more like Masca Trail in Tenerife when the entire hike meant only descending through a breathtaking canyon. Since the beach is remote we called a day before a boat taxi service so we can ensure that once we reach for the beach we do not have to hike back on the same route.

Tasartico, Gran Canaria, Spain, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Tasartico, Gran Canaria, Spain, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Tasartico, Gran Canaria, Spain, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Tasartico, Gran Canaria, Spain, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Tasartico, Gran Canaria, Spain, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Tasartico, Gran Canaria, Spain, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu

We were lucky because another group booked the same taxi boat so we managed to ensure ourselves the lift back to the civilisation.

The hike was a bit hard at the beginning since for me is more difficult to climb than descending but the moment I reached the summit the view made me forget all the tiredness. We were staying up there looking at the valley beneath us while eating a delicious turron de yema tostada, which I absolutely love. All the effort it was worth it. The view was astonishing.

Barranco Guigui, Gran Canaria, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Barranco Guigui, Gran Canaria, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Barranco Guigui, Gran Canaria, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Barranco Guigui, Gran Canaria, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu

 

Barranco Guigui, Gran Canaria, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Barranco Guigui, Gran Canaria, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Barranco Guigui, Gran Canaria, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Barranco Guigui, Gran Canaria, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu

I could have stayed there for hours, just to look at it. To listen to the wind sounds and enjoy the silence around me. I took a deep breath and we continued our descent. I was afraid that we might miss our boat and I was not sure I would like to hike back. I was not really so keen on doing it.

The descent was a total delight and we took our time taking pictures or just trying to imprint on our retina the beautiful landscape. In that moment I could not care less about the Guigui beach, I was mesmerised by the surroundings. it was too beautiful to just pass through without spending more time there.

Barranco Guigui, Gran Canaria, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Barranco Guigui, Gran Canaria, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Barranco Guigui, Gran Canaria, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Barranco Guigui, Gran Canaria, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Barranco Guigui, Gran Canaria, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Barranco Guigui, Gran Canaria, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Barranco Guigui, Gran Canaria, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Barranco Guigui, Gran Canaria, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Barranco Guigui, Gran Canaria, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Barranco Guigui, Gran Canaria, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Playa de Guigui, Gran Canaria, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Playa de Guigui, Gran Canaria, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Playa de Guigui, Gran Canaria, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Playa de Guigui, Gran Canaria, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu

When we finally reached the beach I had a sudden filling that we are some castaway on a deserted island. The black sand and the ocean which did not seem too calm were adding a deep sense of eeriness.  Not far, a guy in lotus position was reciting his mantras. I was tired and I lied on the sand listening to the sound of the waves. I was happy, none of my worries mattered then.

Playa Chico Guigui, Gran Canaria, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Playa Chico Guigui, Gran Canaria, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
West Coast Gran Canaria, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
West Coast Gran Canaria, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu

Playa de Guigui is continued by Chico Guigui. I walked along the beach and noticed some Portuguese man o` war jellyfish washed up on the beach and this was a sign that definitely  I will not try to enter the water.

Taurito, Gran Canaria, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Taurito, Gran Canaria, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu

The taxi boat arrived on time and this time I could see the coastline from the Ocean and it was impressive. Not as bulky as Los Gigantes in Tenerife but still steep and rough. The taxi boat took us to Puerto Rico de Gran Canaria and I realised that Maspalomas is not the only notable resort. From Maspalomas to Puerto de Mogan numerous resorts are waiting to be visited and are quite interesting.

Although Taurito or Puerto Rico are modern I preferred the cosiness and charm of Perto de Mogan. Walked around Marina passing the restaurants and coffee shops and felt intensely the holiday feelings that was lingering over it. The sunlight, the white walls and bright coloured flowers were so different from what we had during the day.

Puerto de Mogan, Gran Canaria, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Puero de Mogan, Gran Canaria, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Puerto de Mogan, Gran Canaria, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Puerto de Mogan, Gran Canaria, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Puerto de Mogan, Gran Canaria, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Puerto de Mogan, Gran Canaria, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Puerto de Mogan, Gran Canaria, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Puerto de Mogan, Gran Canaria, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Puerto de Mogan, Gran Canaria, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Puerto de Mogan, Gran Canaria, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu

The day was a bit exhausting but now, everything transformed in beautiful memories. I was surrounded by a calm atmosphere. the sun was setting and life seemed to slowly flow. There was such peacefulness in the air. Even the ocean seemed to settle down and looked like being asleep already. I embraced with ym glance the colors of the sunset and ofr a while I felt like melting in it. I was the susnet and the sunset was me…

 Sunset in Puerto de Mogan, Gran Canaria, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Sunset in Puerto de Mogan, Gran Canaria, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu

Gran Canaria Island, probably one of the most spectacular Canary Islands

Another day, anther epic road on this stunning island

My second day on Gran Canaria Island begins early in the morning while sipping my coffee on the terrace. Our small casita rural was placed in Barranco Saint Bartolome the Tirajana 7 km from Maspalomas. It was rented with Airbnb and by far the best choice. I liked it more than a 4 stars hotel. Cosy and surrounded by silence gave me the perfect environment to enjoy my morning coffee. The air was crisp and I was drinking my coffee while Carlos Mendes the cat was still trying to jump on my lap. Since I did not want to accept downloading fleas from him I tried to ignore his cute glance that was following my moves. Somewhere, in the distance, a parrot was annoyingly trying to show that he can sing. I bet none told him that he should stick to his day job. Every sip of coffee was sending waves of heat through my body. I was waking up little by little. There was no wifi, therefore, I was disconnected from the rest of the world. The cup of coffee and I were sharing a moment…It was divine!

It was the second day and after doing the exploring in the first day we were thinking to hit the beach. The pleasures of the ocean were one of the reasons I came here in the middle of Winter after all.

The search for the less windy beach that day took us to the North of Gran Canaria Island, to Puerto de las Nieves.

Gran Canaria Island, probably one of the most spectacular Canary Islands

Gran Canaria, a marvel of the Atlantic Ocean

First Day. Driving on GC210 one of the most scenic and dangerous roads of Gran Canaria

It was few months since my last escape and I was beginning to become impatient. Being January and really not fond of Winter my eyes turned towards the Canary Islands once more. This time, Gran Canaria.

Gran Canaria.…this name was haunting my adulthood since I was reading the book ``Gran Canaria“ by A. J. Cronin when I was a teenager. Life works in a mysterious way, because after so many years, here I was. Flight ticket with my buddy Ryanair. Checked! One casita rural in Barranco Saint Bartolome de Tirajana booked with Airbnb. Checked! One Opel Astra rented with CICAR. Checked! What else..? I have the feeling I forgot something…Oh yes. One credit card. Checked!

I had the money, I had the tools, so it was time for fiestaaaa!!! I mean, it was time to explore the Island. Gran Canaria, a marvel of the Atlantic Ocean

2016, The Highlights

A year of travels, in images.

1.Portugal

February.  The first trip of the year to a country which took me by surprise with its beauty.  My trip has begun in Porto exploring the Douro Vally. Followed by a long drive along the coast to Algarve, ending my trip in Lisbon where I spent so little time because I fell irremediably in love with Sintra.

2016, The Highlights

Epic trail. Masca Gorge, Tenerife Island

Rough, spectacular, wild…only a few attributes of this exhilarating  Pirates trail

I did some travelling since my visit to Tenerife and although I saw some beautiful places, Tenerife remains one of my favourite places. Sure, Portugal is also running for this place but Tenerife and Portugal are two different experiences…

There were many things which made me adore Tenerife but this time I will talk about the most spectacular trail I EVER DONE, Masca Gorge.

Masca Gorge is part of Teno Rural Park placed on the west of the island. It is one of the most sensational parts of the islands and if you happen to land at Tenerife Sur airport during the day you cant miss it. When approached  by car is not less spectacular, the road is winding through some scenic landscape. Indulge yourself with some adrenalin by crossing the park taking the road from Santiago del Teide to Buenavista del Nte. It will be worth it. If you add some fog , wind and twilight the fun is guaranteed. Proceed with cautious, though. The road is appealingly beautiful but none the less dangerous.

Epic trail. Masca Gorge, Tenerife Island

Going South. Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria

When a Sunday morning starts with a sudden urge to drink my coffee in… Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria

Rainy and awfully crappy Sunday morning. By the look of it, seemed like I would be confined indoors for the rest of the day and definitely this wasn’t an option for me. So, after a short brainstorming with my friend Crina we decided to run south. In this case south means, Bulgaria, Veliko Tarnovo. There was a logic behind our decision. We were hoping to leave somehow the rain behind and we knew that Veliko would be an interesting destination as well. Actually, that day we did not have a better option..therefore, against all odds, it turned out to be a good choice after all.

Going South. Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria

Romania. Autumn in the Rucar-Bran Passage

Passing through Apple County when Autumn is knocking on the door

It was Autumn! The calendar said so. The decreased temperatures outside said so. The invading yellows and reds all over the trees said so. Everything around me said so…Yep…It was time for me to admit it. The Summer was gone! No more sandals, no more Summer dresses. No more run away to the seaside. But hey…The Summer is dead! Long live Autumn!

With these in mind one Sunday morning I decided to leave Bucharest and have a taste of Autumn and I knew the perfect place for it. That place was almost 200 km away from Bucharest and since Romania is not really the land of the highways but mostly the land of the lack of highways, I knew is going to take forever to reach it. But, for 5 minutes in that place, I would have been able to endure hours of driving.

That mirific place I wanted to reach was Sirnea Village placed on the Rucar-Bran passage. This passage connecting the south region of Romania with Transylvania is the most picturesque area in Romania. No matter the season the landscape is absolutely magnificent.

Romania. Autumn in the Rucar-Bran Passage

Wanderer on Bulgarian pristine beaches

Escaping the overcrowded and noisy Romanian seaside to discover the still remaining pristine beaches on Bulgarian coastline

Saturday morning, still asleep, I was on my way to the Romanian seaside. It was supposed to be one day trip to Vadu, a pristine beach placed in the Natural Reserve of Danube Delta. Been there before and although wild, the way I like it, the presence of thousands of mosquitos, the rightful inhabitants of that marshy place prevented me from exploring it the way I wanted. I knew that it will be kind of boring, but it did not matter to me. All I wanted was the sounds and smell of the sea and the touch of sun and sand on my skin. This was the initial plan, but the fate decided otherwise…

Wanderer on Bulgarian pristine beaches

The Ravello Wedding. A Fairytale about a Fairytale

 Travelling 2283 Km from Bucharest to Ravello, Italy to one of the most beautiful wedding location I ever saw, to make a fairytale come true

The Ravello episode happened so fast that without even realising I was already in a van heading with full speed towards Romanian border to Hungary, It was 5AM and I was looking outside the window how mists were lingering above the ground glowing from the morning sunshine on Transylvanian plains.

The Ravello Wedding. A Fairytale about a Fairytale

Meteora. Greece on the road.

Meteora, the world above the earth, beneath the clouds, overlooking the plain of Thessaly

The last day of my road trip to Greece came so fast that I could not believe that the eight days allocated for it already passed. We left Lefkada pretty early, not before having my coffee on the terrace watching the sea thou. We had a long trip ahead of us, 405 km to Thessaloniki where we were supposed to spend the last night before leaving Greece. I kept looking at the amazingly blue colour of the sea and although I was sad for leaving I was happy for the time spent in its vicinity. I will be back! I know I will!

On the today agenda was a detour to Meteora. I thought that since I have been so many times in Greece maybe I should see Meteora although I wasn’t very enthusiastic about the idea. I would have preferred to spend another  day close to the sea if possible. In my mind, I had an idea of what I might see there, or at least I thought I knew what I might see there. Again I realise how wrong I was. What I found there was beyond my expectations.

Meteora. Greece on the road.