Roque Nublo, the pillar of heaven and the most iconic landmark of Gran Canaria
The tallest standing rock, 80m, Roque Nublo defies gravity, seeming that it needs just a push to fall in one of the steep valleys around it. Probably one day it will. But till then, it will continue to guard over the island. Same as its brother Roque Bentayga, it is a volcanic plug made of basalt, a reminiscence of Caldera de Tejeda. It is the world biggest natural crags of volcanic origin and it stands at 1813m altitude. After its conception, the forces of nature were constantly shaping and chiselling it for millions of years. The volcanic activity that gave birth to Roque Nublo happened 4,5 million years ago. Durig this period it was carved out from the bulk of the Island by the skilled hands of forces of nature while it was looking at this brother in pain Pico del Teide on the neighbouring Tenerife Island.
Seen from distance it gave me the impression that once upon a time, a bored giant, thought about putting a rock on Tablon del Nublo waiting patiently to see how long it is going to stay in that precarious equilibrium.My opinion is that the giant must have been a child. After waiting for a while for the rock to fall, he got bored leaving the rock there and going to play on some other island.
Giant or no giant, when getting closer to that rock it is impressive to see how nature creates this perfect place which stands above the clouds when the mists are brought in by the north-west winds.
This veritable Axis Mundi is marking the centre of the universe of Gunaches `s world. It used to be a place where they worshipped their gods. A place from where they could see the sun disappearing into the ocean embraced by clouds with a whisper. A place above the world yet beyond the sky they were trying to reach.
Tablon del Nublo, is a flat platform where clouds come dancing around the rock. It looks like a giant stone altar on which Roque Nublo and La Rana are the remains of what it use to be the chimney of the old volcano. The view from Tablon is not always the same. Sometimes one might find himself surrounded by mists looking like blindingly walking in an eerie world. Sometimes the summit might be bathed by the sunlight offering a breathtaking view over the surroundings. it is the best time to just sit by the rock in the shade and listen to the wind and let your gaze slip on the rugged surfaces of the Barranco.
I was lucky because I had a sunny day that culminated with clouds floating the valleys little by little. It was such an amazing spectacle to see the clouds oozing from the nearby rims flowing down to fill the canyons soon covering half of the island. To visit Roque Nublo from Maspalomas we took GC60 through Fataga and San Bartolome to the saddle Cruz Grande.From the saddle, we stayed on GC60 till Ayacata. After we turned onto GC600 which will take us to the parking lot at Roque Nublo.
But for the best view of the sunset and Roque Nublo, we went to neighbouring Pico del Nieve. It was worthwhile because it gave us the best sunset we had in Gran Canaria.
Another sunset, another spectacle. I stretched my gaze to see at least some bits of that phenomenal island. But I could not see anything, Just a sea of white fluffy clouds which were gilded by the sunset light. It looked like I was in a world made out of gold. Even my hands were looking like it were made out of gold. I tried to pierce with my eyes the layer of clouds and to imagine how it might look like seen from beneath. Actually, I knew because the road to Pico del Nieve had a portion of a road which was covered by clouds. It was so dark and unwelcoming and the moment we got out from the clouds it was like we entered another world. Like Heaven came down for a while on the Pillar of Heaven Roque Nublo only to disappear the moment the darkness settled in…