Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Guest Entry: Jenny and Brian in Lanzarote (3rd-10th Nov)

When Nick and Ellen reported that they were heading for Isla Graciosa off the northern end of Lanzarote we decided it was time to book a trip out. At that stage somewhere near the middle of the east coast seemed the best spot. There was a hint that they would be going down to Arrecife so we booked for a week in Costa Teguise.

Before we left the UK Kika had gone down to Marina Rubicon at Playa Blanca, right at the Southern tip of the island! Thanks to a regular bus service and Nick's hire car we were able to visit them on three separate occasions. The first, by bus, laden with two rucksacs containing all the numerous items brought out for boat and crew. The photo hardly gives credit to the luggage we carried that day!
The hats were part of the luggage

Nick and Ellen were very good at ensuring we didn't suffer from boredom while aboard. A special treat was the premier viewing of the unique video "Adventures in Kika - Spain to Canaries" presented to Jenny for her birthday. Not everyone is given a dedicated video and great amusement was had by all.
Enjoying the video
Enjoying the video

Other tasks awaited us. Jenny checked over the medical kit and helped inspect and repair a spare foresail. Brian learnt how to dismantle a winch among other jobs including supplying Nick with a range of items as he worked up the mast. We were able to sample the cuisine on board and even without a steamed puddding it was delicious.

We met Ian and Liz, who were both on a flying visit from the UK, and whose stay on Kika overlapped by a few hours. Ellen, Ian and Nick drove up to Costa Teguise and we all had dinner at Restaurante Acatife, a memorable restaurant in a beautiful old house in Teguise, the town inland from the resort, and the former capital of Lanzarote.

On other days we had a trip to the Sunday market at Teguise and joined vast crowds milling round the stalls and watching a display of folk dancing, the participants in national costume. Sunday market dancers
Folk dancers in Teguise

We also went on the grand tour of both the north and south of the island seeing many sights, the green lagoon, camel riders, volcanos and caves and vast fields of lava solidified into many weird and wonderful shapes. We had the opportunity to hold warm lava in our hands, observe a bush burning from heat coming up from below, and watch a bucket of water turned rapidly into a steam fountain. We were intrigued by the black cultivated fields and the little walls to protect the grape vines. We also experienced the amazing achitecture of the influential artist and planner Cesar Manrique and visited the volcanic grotto of Jameos del Agua, where we saw the tiny albino crabs in their subterranean lake and saw how the volcanic activity in the area is being monitored. Apparently the Canary islands are overdue for some more eruptions.
Lanzarote landscape
Parque Nacional de Timanfaya

It was our first visit to Lanzarote so could not visualize the volcanic nature of the landscape. Had we been expecting a green and pleasant land there would have been some disappointment but the amazing views of lava fields with the occasional 'oasis' provided a memorable experience. The sun shone, most of the time, and temperatures reached 32 deg C. Manchester was cold and wet on both departure and arrival back.

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