The plan: to run from La Santa on the north of the island, back to Costa Teguise, being entirely self sufficient and using a random GPS trail found on wiki loc.
It was exciting taking a taxi across the island, knowing we would be running all that way back, if slightly un-nerving, not knowing if the random route we had found online had actually been done following routes or freestyling!
It turns out it was both. At times we followed obvious trails, at times crossing desert wildernesses, across wadi-like river beds, just on a bearing. And on a phone-based bearing at that. Not what this expedition leader is used to.
We ran through lava fields, deserts, 4×4 tracks, rocky trails and farms. The landscape, albeit barren constantly changed.
How did we do it? I’d strongly recommend doing it like this:
- Do it in a pair. Have one to follow the screen route, and assign the other to look for trails, which were often no more than goat tracks and easily missed
- Pick a buddy who doesn’t criticise navigation ‘errors’. It’s not an exact science and you won’t be able to follow a route exactly. You want someone who is patient, and good at team work, especially when tired. I’d pick the same buddy again and again.
- Over estimate how much water you need. The dry air and strong winds dehydrate you quickly.
- Aim high! Because of the regular walk breaks to navigate, it is quite a forgiving run for the distance, if your feet are used to sharp conditions underfoot that is.
- Go this direction and have the prevailing wind in your favour. Makes for easier running and easier conversations.
It was a run with a real sense of adventure. Getting lost, exploring different terrain and running from one coast to another. Highly recommended! (Especially for MDS training)