The plan:Start early - you don't want to be struggling up a hill at noon, you want to be strolling towards the bar. At a steady pace this walk will take 2.5 to 3 hours each way.
Disregard any map that shows a shorter route up the valley with the made-up roads & watercourse above Morro Jable football pitch - that road becomes a track that goes past a thousand barking dogs and peters out halfway up a mountain an hour later .
yourself to the main road on the south side of
Morro Jable, just
uphill from the port. Where the road turns north to head around the
there is an unsurfaced road heading south, signposted to Punta Jandia
& Cofete. Take that. Be
careful on the corners of this road - many
bends are completely blind, the driving is fast & stopping
distances on loose gravel are long.|
The road hairpins around watercourses & past the white-walled cemetery on your right, then straightens out and - about 30 minutes after leaving the surfaced main road - passes this old water tank on the left.
Just after the water tank the unsurfaced road turns left to head south along the coast, leaving a track running straight ahead up the valley. Take the track, up past a smallholding on the right & just keep going.
This is the road junction, looking up the valley to the pass.
The path is very clearly defined, usually with a low stone wall to one side or the other. You'll pass a couple of water-catchment walls across the valley & towards the valley head the remains of some houses.
Just as the path starts to climb steeply you will come across an attempt to drive a tunnel through the rock - quite ambitious (for about 20 metres): if anyone knows any more about this I'd like to hear it.
About an hour & a half after leaving the unsurfaced road you should be at the top & have a sudden & breathtaking view down to Jandia's western beach, Cofete village & Villa Winter.
|From here the path (still very clear)
along the western
side of the mountains. Be careful with your footing here - the loose
surface makes a short slip & a long fall easy. The path takes
to a sort of foothill/observation point, from which you can see the
trail leading into Cofete. |
Follow the path as it goes over the viewpoint & zig-zags down the north slope of the foothill before heading straight for Cofete. Have a good peer at Villa Winter on the right.
By the time you get to Cofete City Limits you should be able to see the magic words "Tropical" & "Cofete Bar/Restaurant" on the biggest building in town, also statues of a man & a dog (photo left) on what appears to be a reconstructed lime kiln (info on either please!). The road delivers you to both. The rest of Cofete seems to be small houses & shacks with TV aerials.
Depending on time, temperature & inclination you may wish to head for the bar now, or hit the beach first before it's too hot.
It's hard to miss the beach from here - we just followed the obvious & signposted track down to the (orange-walled?!) cemetery. You might want to take a route less frequented by tourists & ten-minute raiders on jeep safari.
Have another squint at Villa Winter from here (photo right) - the walled area it sits in appears to be the same shape as the island. Conspiracy theorists can amuse themselves looking for Herr Winter's secret submarine pens.
|The bar opens sometime after
twelve, has a shaded
terrace & does a
good trade in cold water, fanta n'ranga & beer, plus a fair
of good simple food. (Goat, mussels, squid, canarian potatoes... the
grilled fish got my vote as the best of the week). Prices are about
what you'd pay on the front in Morro Jable. Most of the other
customers came in 4x4's or in hire cars with nadgered suspension,
so you can look smug.|
The return trip is simply (as the book says) the reverse.
Take care with the timing of your departure: too soon & you risk blowing a gasket going up the steep side in the sun, too late & you'll be walking the unsurfaced road to Morro Jable in the dark.
Finally.We thought this was a good day trip but it needs to be taken seriously or not at all. Nothing written here makes it my fault if you wind up as goat-nibbled bones bleaching in the sun - that's your responsibility!
Neal Cartwright 2004