Fuerteventura, Dec 31 2016

Montaña de Cardón, Minigolf and New Year’s Eve

Peaks visited:

Peak Height PF Municipality Location
Montana Cardon 694m 353m Fuerteventura GPX
Montana Redonda 443m 69m Fuerteventura
Montaña de Cardón

On our 5th day on Fuerteventua, and on the last day of 2016, I was all set for Montaña de Cardón – a peak I had been looking at every single day since Anne and I arrived at the Las Playitas Fitness and Sports Resort.

I had not seen any easy route to the top, and to me, that was intriguing. I resisted the temptation to search for information. I wanted to find my own way up.

Anne wanted to spend this day on the resort, and follow the training programs offered there. I left just after breakfast and decided to drive around the mountain before I made up my mind on the ascent route.

Cardon seen from the east

The east side (above picture) didn’t look inviting. I knew that there was a certain chance for getting up from this side, but I wanted to see the mountain from the other side.

An ascent from the north (top picture) seemed out of the question. Then I would have to negotiate El Castillo along the way, and even if that top looked tempting, El Castillo was not my target for the day.

El Castillo – the north peak


The west side was in the shade, and I didn’t see any good route up.

I then drove up to the highest point on the road on the south side of the mountain. I was seconds away from hiking from there, but I changed my mind in the very last minute and drove down to the valley between Cardon and Montana Areguia.

Cardon seen from the trailhead

What worried me about an ascent from the south/southwest was a cliff on the ridge that could be somewhere between 5 and 10 meters high, and that I probably could not climb. My right arm is not really useable due to an inflammation, and I injured my left arm after a fall on Filo de Fenduca a few days earlier. So any form of scramble was out of the question. I would just have to rely on luck.

The cliff, zoomed in

I decided to try my luck and followed a path up the valley for 0,5km and then went off trail, aiming directly for the cliff on the ridge. The terrain was a bit cumbersome, but I focused on nothing else than the ridge.

As I approached the cliff, I could see that I couldn’t get up without scrambling. I could possibly traverse below the ridge and hope that a solution presented itself. But first I would get on the ridge, just in case there was a passage on the back side.

Hmm… quite a puzzle…

And lo and behold – there was indeed a passage on the back side. I was filled with joy and relief. The summit was still about 1km away, but when the cliff didn’t turn out to be a problem, I couldn’t imagine that the ridge would be.

The solution to the problem presents itself…

It was a beautiful ridge. Narrow in places, but nowhere close to difficult or challenging. It was simply a gorgeous walk.

The ridge towards Cardon

I reached the top of Cardon 55 minutes after leaving the trailhead (approx. 180m). The distance to the top was approx. 3,5km.

A small celebration on top of Cardon

What a great end to a great year of hiking! I wished that Anne would have been up here with me, but I also knew that this terrain would not be good for her bad knee.

Cardon summit view

Nothing else I could do in the mountains for the rest of the day would top this, so I decided to return to the hotel and invite Anne for a round of mini golf.

I took the same route back down and returned to the car 1h:50m after leaving it.


Mirador Sisacumbre & Montana Redonda

On the way back to Las Playitas, I stopped by the viewpoint Mirador Sisacumbre, only to confirm my suspicions; Montana Sisacumbre is located on military land, and there is no access.

Cardon seen from Mirador Sisacumbre

Along the road, I parked the car and hiked Montana Redonda to get some final pictures of Cardon and Montana de Melindraga – a peak that I will visit if I ever make it back to Fuerteventura.

Cardon (left) and Melindraga, seen from Montana de Redonda

Pictures from the Cardon hike


Back at Las Playitas, Anne was happy that I had traded bagging more tops to play minigolf with her. I had never played the game before, but I imagined it would be fun. I used to shoot pool (eight ball) – a lot! And I imagined that it would feel familiar.

And it did! I enjoyed it so much that I got Anne to join me for a second round. I even did a hole-in-one (below picture)! But then we changed the rules so the ball would have to go through the … “metal obstacle”.

I did hole-in-one here, but …

Pictures from the minigolf

At the beach

Later in the afternoon, we went down to the beach for a swim. There were some good waves hitting the beach, and I decided to put my GoPro (Hero 4) on my head and crash into one of them. The water temperature was surprisingly pleasant. I would guess 20 deg. C!

I found my wave and crashed into it. Afterwards, I immediately felt that something was not right. My head felt lighter. The GoPro is now somewhere out in the Atlantic Ocean…

At first, I was really pissed off about it. Then I realized that this would be a good opportunity to get a Hero 5…

New Years Eve

The hotel has 3 restaurants – one serving buffets (and À la carte too), an Italian and one Spanish. We booked a table at the Italian restaurant for 7:30pm.

Anne and me, outside the hotel

After a nice dinner, we killed time at the hotel room, before walking down to the beach a little while before midnight. The main restaurant was full of people having paid around 70 Euros for the New Year’s dinner. And for some entertainment afterwards, I presume.

We stopped by a bonfire before walking down to the beach. We were all alone down there, and waited for the fireworks. We could hear people by the restaurant count down. 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1-0 and lots of celebration. But no fireworks.

I looked at my phone. It read 23:59. And at 00:00 sharp, the fireworks started.


Pictures from New Year’s Eve

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