The Man Behind Walk the Rock: Jose Rubio
Travel Begins at 40 chats with Jose Luis Rubio, the managing director of Blackstone Treks & Tours, who organises Lanzarote’s annual Walk the Rock.
Can you tell us a bit about your background and why you started Blackstone Trek & Tours?
Well, I have been working within the travel industry since I can’t remember. First, through hospitality, then TTOOs (tour operators), as an official tourist guide, travelling with groups all over the planet, and now as the owner of Blackstone Treks & Tours. That’s more than 25 years altogether – in many different places. At Blackstone, we organise walking routes and private tours.
Why did you decide to establish Blackstone?
I believed that it was time to use all this experience and knowledge to create my own business, and to give my personal approach to the business.
What type of walks do you arrange?
We cater to any kind of walker. We offer a guided walk schedule with walks of easy to moderate intensity to fit every person interested in discovering the place in a different way, we also offer walking holidays and self-guided walking holidays for more experienced walkers.
Is it always small groups?
Yes, on the daily walks the maximum number of people is eight per guide.
What do you think makes walking in Lanzarote special?
The scenery is unique, the variety of landscapes for such a small place is amazing. Then the history, fauna & flora, traditions, etc. It all makes Lanzarote a unique place to discover on foot.
Where are your favourite places to walk in Lanzarote?
That’s hard to say, but the volcanoes area is like a magnet for me. The north in winter is amazing, La Geria in summer when the vineyards look so alive is very special, or the barren mountain massif in the south is also very unique; don’t forget La Graciosa island where time stopped a long time ago.
If you had some advice to anyone planning to walk in Lanzarote – apart from booking a trip with Blackstone – what would it be?
The most important thing is to be aware of the fragility of the island. Don’t waste your water and energy, and never abandon the paths are also important tips. Never gather volcanic materials. Remember our main patrimony is our nature, and it’s a very fragile one.
What was the reasoning behind launching Walk the Rock?
We always wanted to cross the island from North to South but the official Gran Route is not very nice. So after talking to Michelle from Finca de Arrieta (Lanzarote Retreats), we decided to design our own and exclusive Gran Route of Lanzarote – Walk the Rock.
Mark Bibby Jackson walked the rock in 2018, read about his experience in Walking in Lanzarote, Land of Volcanoes.
Why did you partner Lanzarote Retreats on this adventure?
We have been working together for several years and we both have the same idea about tourism. It’s a perfect match.
What plans do you have for the future?
We are currently working on our new website: Walking in Lanzarote. It will be part of Blackstone Treks & Tours but aimed just at walkers. We would also like to organise walking packages all over the Canary Islands.
More information on Blackstone Treks & Tours and Walk the Rock
Click here. The next Walk the Rock will be from 28 November to 6 December, 2019. If you wish to participate email: [email protected]. For more information about the walk, click here. All photos c. Blackstone Trek & Tours.