The first stage of route GR 131 starts on Lobos island, an islet located between the islands of Fuerteventura and Lanzarote. Boats are available to the islet from port of Corralejo to the artificial port El Muelle on the south coast of the islet.
As we arrived on the islet, we decided to visit the tourist information centre, which is on the very same pier, to seek further info on the current restrictions on climbing La Caldera mountain since it was shown as prohibited and inaccessible on the maps provided by the transport service to islet.
After few minutes wait, we decided to start the route since the information centre wouldn’t open despite having the employees arrived with us on the same boat.
From the pier we head off to La Concha/La Caleta beach, a preserved area from sea currents which once served as a natural port to the islet. It is a fine white sandy beach, quiet and calm like the rest of the islet. As we arrive, we realise that it’s been taken over by archaeologists at a Roman site labelled Lobos I.
We continue our way along the marked trail to the first crossroads; the one on the right will take us through the GR 131 route, and the one on the left led us to Las Salinas, a salt marsh from the nineteenth century, which worked by decantation. It made us wonder how they could have transported saltwater to these pools as they extend over quite a large surface.
Leaving Las Salinas behind, we walked back to the intersection to get onto the GR 131 route, on a path which goes passed the old chimneys that nowadays are mounds of volcanic rock scattered around the area. It’s amazing how the vegetation, although scarce, starts to take shape and expand throughout.
A few minutes later, we find a couple of new detours. One will take us to La Caldera Mountain, the highest peak on the islet (127 meters) located in a temporary restricted area. The restriction is due to birds nesting between the months of February until the end of July. Any disturbance may cause the birds to flee abandoning their nests and even their offsprings. It is therefore important to respect the area, keep quiet and avoid climbing the peak during this period.The climb to the top mount La Caldera is via a winding road, with steps paved with local materials.
The climb is not complicated at all and once reached the top we will enjoy magnificent views of the islands of Fuerteventura and Lanzarote, the town of Corralejo in the former, Playa Blanca in the latter and of course Lobos island itself. All the way from La Concha beach and Las Salinas to the Martiño lighthouse.
After a pleasant moment of silence, we start our descent back along the same path to the main trail and head to the Martiño lighthouse. The volcanic landscape, mounds of lava left and right and its vegetation will lead us to the southernmost point of the islet. The Martiño lighthouse nowadays runs automatically.
From the top of the lighthouse you can see the salt marsh, in the east, where we will be heading to on our way back to the pier. This is a seasonal salt marsh and today it was filled with water. We go pass it as we head towards our next stop, Las Lagunitas. Once again a restricted area and here we find a lime kiln set up in the mid-nineteenth century for the construction of the lighthouse.
At this point the path is split in two directions: back to the pier or to El Puertito. We decide for the latter one where we find fishermen huts, a sitting area of the Cabildo of Fuerteventura with an information centre and the only restaurant on the island.
In this information centre loaded with: geomorphologic information, wildlife and vegetation details and the history of settlements and sites, we found what we believe is the backbone of the mammal which gives the island its name, a sea lion (lobo marino), the monk seal (foca monje). Taking advantage that we still have a couple hours before the last departure back to Corralejo, we take dip in the cove Las Calitas in front of the fishermen’s huts. A little cove, 50cms deep of warm water.
It takes us no more than a 10-minute walk from this rest area to the pier, so head back to catch our boat to Fuerteventura. We take advantage of a less than 15-minute ride to stare at the island as it moves away with its 127-meters high peak vanishing in the horizon.
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