Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Lanzarote Christmas (a special time with friends)

Leaving the foul Christmas weather in the UK behind, we soon “adapted” to the change in temperature in Lanzarote! and to the company of our friends and hosts –Les and Chris.


Christmas soon arrived and we had a very nice meal together on Christmas Eve down by the waterfront in Playa Blanca. Good food and, of course, good company made for a great evening.


We celebrated our first “hot” Christmas Day ……….


over a bottle of Champagne on the terrace with Chris and Les.


Hearing of the horrendous weather being experienced back in the UK, it felt a bit strange to sit down to Christmas lunch in such sublime conditions.


Our second excursion on the island took us through the most incredible wine producing countryside we’ve ever seen.


Depressions are made in the volcanic soil (known locally as ‘rofe’ – which is a pyroclast product), for the grape vines to be planted in, with little dry-stone walls of volcanic rocks around one side to reflect the heat of the sun.


There are other methods of planting but the round holes seem to be favourite. You can see them going up the side of the volcano in the background.


Further on towards our destination for the day we had a coffee stop and a look at some of the amazing views the island has to offer.


Coffee, cake and delicious cheese and tomato rolls (plus the view!) – what more could one ask for? Great company of course!


The day’s objective was to see the caves at Cueva del Verdes. These ‘caves’ are lava tunnels formed thousands of years ago by the volcanic activity which the island is so famous for.


Don’t be scared of the dark Doug!


The descent was rapid and deep and headroom for some of us (James!) was a challange ……


……. but the experience when we arrived in the lava tubes was amazing.


Some of the lava flows can still be seen.


This is Chris, emerging into the light once more. Chris’ camera equipment was a a bit of a challage for him through some of the tighter spots but the results, of course, were fantastic!


Close to the first cave complex was a second, at Jameos del Agua, which showed the lava tubes in a simpler state. This section has a pool which is home to a very rare white crab (well – lots of them really not just one!)……………….


……… and another section which has been turned into a spectacular concert venue!


The devlopment of the second cave complex is the work and vision of Cesar Manrique – an island born artist and passionate advocate of all things beautiful. Much of the Lanzarote’s culture and presentation as a tourist destination and somewhere to live and work is down to life’s work of Manrique.


Many of the island’s roundabouts are home to Cesar Manrique’s amazing sculptures and mobiles.


These beautiful constructions are often powered by the wind.


At the end of the most incredible day we made our way home with the sun being shrouded by a Saharan dust storm. Very weird, it was a bit like experienceing a solar eclipse! The temperature and light levels dropped and an erie feel accompanied us to our door.

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