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Category: Lanzarote 2018

Nick and Sarah need some winter sun…

This is a short blog on our week’s holiday to Lanzarote. We did a bit of biking, diving & sightseeing, nothing very Bear Grills but I wanted to try out blogging on my phone ! Hope you find it interesting :-)

Winter break to Lanzarote November 2018…

Winter break to Lanzarote November 2018…

So we decided to have a little winter sun – we deserved it !     After  a frustrating time looking at all the holiday sites we booked a package holiday with Jet2.  The hotel we chose was the Flora which is near the old harbour in Puerto del Carmen.  With hindsight we think it was a good move being in town as we could easily walk to shops, bike hire, diving shops & bars.  Anyway a little about Lanzarote….

The island of Lanzarote lies just 125 kilometres off Africa’s Saharan Coast and is the most easterly of the Canary Islands (Spain). The island is 60km long and 20 km wide, making it the fourth largest island in the Archipelago.

One of the first things that visitors notice is that nearly all of the buildings are white – this is largely thanks to the work of local artist, César Manrique, who worked tirelessly to protect the island’s traditional architectural style and avoid over-development.

Lanzarote has a Subtropical Desert climate with average daytime temperatures ranging from about 21°C in January to 29°C in August. The island receives, on average, just 18 days of rain per year, making it a very popular destination for sun-seekers.

Volcanic in original, large areas of the island are dominated by volcanic scenery; the spectacular Montañas del Fuego were created during the eruptions that took place between 1730 and 1736 when over 100 volcanoes erupted and devastating a large part of the South-west of the island. Even today, temperatures just below the surface reach over 400°C. Many of Lanzarote’s most popular tourist attractions are also volcanic in origin, including El Golfo (a flooded and partially eroded volcanic crater) and Jameos del Agua (part of one the World’s longest volcanic caves).

Unusually for a volcanic island, many of Lanzarote’s beaches are of golden sand (Playa Blanca, Papagayo, Famara) and even white sand (Caleton Blanco). As you night expect, much of the outdoor activities are based around the sea, with great surfing at Famara, windsurfing at Costa Teguise and several great scuba diving locations around the island.

We found Lanza an island of contrasts.  On the coast you have lots of tourist development – the sort I don’t like; Irish bars, restaurants selling an all day “full English” and sports bars.  Call me a travel snob but the point of going to a different country is to see and experience its culture !   It doesn’t take much effort to get away from the fat tattoo’d lager soaked tourists.  Out of the towns the landscape changes quickly to a “lunar landscape” of volcanic activity which is brilliant to explore.  Away from the coast the towns & villages are have a local feel with no “Full English” in sight.

The bottom line – we had a great time in Lanzarote and would go back as we feel there is more to discover.    Links to each days blog below…

Finished work:

Day 1:

Day 2:

Day 3:

Day 4:

Day 5:

Day 6:

Day 7:

Day 8: Travel home :’-(

 

 

 

 

 

Nick and Sarah need some winter sun… Day 8:

Nick and Sarah need some winter sun… Day 8:

Day 8 – a day of travelling… The day started my meeting the good ladies from Jet2 who offer a free service to collect and check in hold luggage. A great service which saved us lugging bags through to the airport. A free service & we didn’t have to sign anything allowing them to sell our data – a rare thing these days… Funnily the girls didn’t see the funny side of my joke about using our bags as drugs mules – probably heard it before.

The tranquility of the hotel was replaced with the madness that is a busy international airport.

Unfortunaly the wristband didn’t work here so we had to hand over real money before getting food or drink !

Luckily the flight left almost on time & Sarah and I were sat together this time. The flight time was announced as 4 hours 50 minutes, almost an hour longer than on the way out. Something to do with the prevailing winds I think.

The flight was full but passed with only a small amount of turbulence, which is something I really hate.

Back to earth with a bump – 5 degrees and raining at Glasgow – joy…

Oh well that’s the end of playing with WordPress until the next adventure.

I think I’ve now got new blog notifications working now so add your email address & you should get notified next time I write some shit 😉

Nick and Sarah need some winter sun… Day 7:

Nick and Sarah need some winter sun… Day 7:

Last day of the holiday today and after hearing the weather reports we really don’t want to come home…

So it was an early start to make the most of the day – a cycling day today.

It didn’t take long to get out of the tourist sprawl on the coast and get into the lunar landscape that is Lanzarote.

The idea was to head north and cross the island – coast to coast Lanza style…

The route we chose kept us to the quieter roads and took in some of the island many valcanos. Really great cycling.

Our far point was La Santa where we stopped for a coffee and cake.

Really nice coffee & Cake but we got ripped off for €19. Won’t be going back there…

The route we took is shown below

One thing to note for anyone fancying cycling in Lanza

  1. Unless you stick to the coast Lanza is not flat but the climbs are good because the gradients aren’t too steep.
  2. The road surface varies from brilliant “billiard table” smooth tarmac to very rough gravel/tarmac roads. Unless you stick to major roads it’s not obvious what you’ll get from a map !
  3. The vast majority of drivers on Lanza show cyclists great respect. It feels quite safe to cycle here.

The route passed through wine country but instead of neat rows of carefully pruned vines (a la France) we saw this…

Grape vines grown in bomb craters…

Apparently water is the big issue on Lanzarote and these “craters” help preserve moisture and protect the vines from wind.

Just before the final decent to Puerto del Carmen we stopped for lunch at a small bar in La Asomada called Bar Achimencey. We thoroughly recommend this place. It was a “locals” bar & the food was traditional Canarian cuisine. The food was brilliant and in contrast to the earlier spot the prices were reasonable 😁

A fine feast…

From there it was all down hill to drop the bikes off. We’d hired the bikes from www.lanzarotebikehire.com

Great service & really friendly, again we’d recommend these guys.

A short walk back to the hotel for a well earned G&T and to write this blog. Unless you’re into cycling and/or visiting Lanzagrotty soon it’s a bit of a shit read – sorry…

So much to see & do in Lanzarote that we need an extra week – thinking about a sickie… 🤒🤧🤥

Nick and Sarah need some winter sun… Day 6:

Nick and Sarah need some winter sun… Day 6:

Magic does exist… I’ve discovered the wristband of unlimited alcohol…

The wristband of unlimited alcohol…

Works best after a day of activities but makes you have silly WhatsApp conversations with your mates instead of finishing this blog…

We woke with the best of intentions – to cycle in the day & do a night dive in the evening – but the best laid plans…. We hired a car & went looking at volcanos instead of cycling.

The crater inside Montana Cuervo…

Brilliant day out. Absolutely stunning “lunar” landscape.

Info board around Montana Cuervo…

We did a walk round Montana Cuervo & drove round other sites. Such a contrast to the “tourist towns” on the coast.

Volcano crater…

From volcanos we had a bite to eat & went for a night dive off Playa Chico beach. Not as much life as we’d hoped for but good fun…

Nick and Sarah need some winter sun… Day 5:

Nick and Sarah need some winter sun… Day 5:

Today’s story is the passing of a good friend…

Don’t panic this isn’t going to be a maudlin post. Yes a friend has passed but it was his time & my heart is filled with great memories…

The friend who has passed is my Monitor II dive computer. Today my trusty friend flooded with sea water.

Monitor II – VIP my good friend…

We became friends back in the 90’s when I was young and stupid. This Swiss made friend kept me safe through a lot of daft exploits allowing me to reach adulthood. (Ok some will argue I still haven’t grown up yet)

So my good friend passed on the first of two dives. The first dive was in a sculpture park.

Museo Atlántico is an underwater museum featuring sculptural works by British artist Jason deCaires Taylor.

The project consists of 12 installations and more than 300 life-size human figures in 12 to 14 metres of water.

This work, called Portal, forms part of an underwater botanical garden.
The sculptures aim to portray “the dialogue between past and present and the divisions within society”, with some of the most notable works including The Rubicon, The Vortex and The Raft of Lampedusa, which references the influx of refugees on the Spanish island.


Sculpture depicting a migrant boat…

We had a great dive round this park and I took lots of photos & video – all with my £40 GoPro knock-off.


Who’s that photo-bombing my arty photo…

The selfie couple…

The picture above is a faceless couple taking a selfie with the migrant boat in the background. I took a selfie with the selfie couple – the irony…

The second dive was on a nearby underwater lava flow at about 18 meters depth. Loads of life again. This video shows a lava tongue undermined by the sea.

The videos not the best quality but I’m struggling to get WordPress to upload big files. I’m sure it’s user error compounded by copious amount of post dive gin & tonic…

One more dive to go tomorrow – a night dive !

Nick and Sarah need some winter sun… Day 4:

Nick and Sarah need some winter sun… Day 4:

Disaster Count: zero…

Day three’s a cycling day so the disaster count is back by popular demand…

Luckily the counter reads zero 😁

We’d arranged to pick bikes up from a nice German guy in town at 9:30. This meant another early start, but not as early as the saddos who’d already secured their favorite sun loungers by the pool.

The thought of spending the day basting in the sun, inches from others by a noisy child infested pool fills me with horror ! …and on the child front – it’s no where near half term shouldn’t they all be in school ? Think I’m gonna complain…

Anyway after breakfast we escaped the pool area and set off to pick up the bikes from the smaller branch of Renner bikes that was close to our hotel. The guy at Renner bikes, we’ll call him Manuel, spoke little English but quickly sorted us with two Merida road bikes. After a quick cycle to the main shop for paperwork etc. we were on our way…

Maybe a little on the high side but hot enough for a northern lad…

As you can see it was already scortchio….

The route we’d planned with help from the cycle guy was to head down the coast to Teguise and then come back via an inland route.

Well as the famous commentator once said – it was a game of two halves…

The first half, down the coast, was busy tourist sprawl with only the odd castle splitting it up.

Castle at Arrecife. Now a museum – only €3…

The half way point was a cafe stop by the sea. Beautiful view but eclipsed by the row (in spanish) that occurred when our food order arrived wrong. The shouting was aimed at a young waitress who seemed to get a few orders wrong. In our case im not sure if it was her fault or my pigeon Spanish !

From there it was open country – beautiful in its volcanic barrenness and with no natural trees to be seen.

Lava flows…
Lava flow, houses and a dorment volcano…

Note to self – stay away from the tourist areas… anyway our route was:

Cycle route…

Another diving day tomorrow so early to bed… Hope it’s not raining too hard back in Blighty….

Nick and Sarah need some winter sun… Day 3:

Nick and Sarah need some winter sun… Day 3:

Today was “D day” – that’s diving day not an invasion of northern France. We’d arranged a days diving with Atlantis Diving Services. It was an 8:30 start at their shop which meant pestering the hotel for an early breakfast.

At their shop we were fitted for gear, briefed on the days diving and taken to the harbour where their boat was moored.

The boat was a 7 meter RIB. Being old skool I’d dived from RIB’s before but Sarah was asking where the lift was ! The seas were flat calm for the 5 minute ride to the dive site so no chunder from me 😁

The first dive site was called Waikiki. We dropped into 6m of clear warm water.

I was expecting diving similar to the Mediterranean – warm clear but not much life. (overfishing in the med is another topic)

Well it’s a first – I was was wrong ! We saw loads of life, both big & small. Without boring you too much, over the two dives we saw Barracuda, Amber Jack fish, Sting Rays, Octopus and Angle sharks as well as numerous small brightly coloured fish. Two brilliant dives ! I’ve attempted to add some videos and a few photos

below but if you want to see more look at…

Nick Fitzgerald shared an album with you from the Flickr app! Take a look:
https://flic.kr/s/aHsmwtjx37

After that it was back to the hotel for a cheeky snooze before “rehydration”

Oh by the way did I mention it’s really warm & sunny here ? 😂

Nick & Sarah…
Angel Shark
Nick and Sarah need some winter sun… Day 2:

Nick and Sarah need some winter sun… Day 2:

Ok have to admit the day started with a little bit of a thick head. Note to self – don’t trust red wine that comes out of a lager dispensing pump !

So today was a slow start. The breakfast coffee perked us both up & we went for a swim in the pool. Pool time then ran into lunch time so it was about 2pm before we got going.

Today’s plan was a cliff top walk to Puerto Calero. This was a lovely walk on volcanic ash paths.

Puerto Calero is is pretty harbour with lots of big expensive boats and one submarine !

Looks great but closer inspection reveals a fair bit of rust so not sure I fancy it…

Plan for tomorrow is diving – an 8:30 start so early to bed tonight.

Nick and Sarah need some winter sun… Day 1:

Nick and Sarah need some winter sun… Day 1:

The day started with a 3am alarm. Far too early for both of us but gives a good 9:30am flight from Glasgow.

We had an uneventful journey to the airport apart from getting ripped off at Gretna services – 2 coffees a pack of aspirin & a sandwich £15. Won’t be going back there !

At the airport security was packed but quite efficient. After security it was off to Spoons for the standard pre-flight breakfast. Shhh don’t tell my mother, I don’t think she’s approve…

A quick look round Smith’s revealed some interesting reading… Think I’m gonna read this one.

The flight was 4 hours and went without incident. My phone GPS worked so I killed some the looking where we were and how fast we were going.

The transfer was quick & the hotel seems ok. We dumped the bags & went for a wander to stretch our legs. Puerto del Carmen is very touristy and we kept seeing places like this so I’ve a feeling dope is legal here…

Had a nice walk down to the harbour & saw cats and ducks living in harmony…

Anyway it’s been a long day so it’s off to the hotel for our “All inclusive” feast. I’ll let you know what it’s like tomorrow…

Nick and Sarah need some winter sun….

Nick and Sarah need some winter sun….

Yes we both needed a break and the last week in November was free. The only question was where…

Well to do a blog site justice it should have been canoeing down the Nile or trekking in the Andes. I’m sure that would be great but we’re both knackered, we only have a week and we’re skint !

…so Lanzarote it is then – one week of all inclusive winter sun 😁 Not exactly an adventure worthy of Bear Grills but it’s going to be a test of this blog site anyway…

So the holiday starts with a pint in the Cock & Bull and a takeaway from the good men of Fizza Spice…

For beer connoisseurs this is a pint of Coniston Bluebird, voted Champion Beer of Britain in 1988.  For southerners this pint of fine ale cost £2.70…