Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Lanzarote Part 1

Having spent three months in Vermont for the wedding and returning to Madrid in September, it felt odd to plan a trip home in early December for the holidays. Didn’t we just get back to Madrid? Plus, getting the paperwork to get the little dog back into the states , the stress on him having to travel again, and the massive expense of flying made us decide to stay in Madrid this holiday season. Sort of.

Wendy is a certified diver and I have wanted to become one so we could dive together. So, we're going on Holiday shortly after Christmas.

We found a nice veterinary service that also has kennels and will pick Thor up so we don’t have to crate him up and put him in a taxi. Having gained five pounds in his short time with us, we tell him he’s going to fat camp. There won’t be any leftovers for you.

In the days leading up to our trip I take the PADI online course so I won’t have any classwork when I get to Lanzarote, I’ll just have to do the diving with an instructor. We have a stressless flight and take a cab to our apartment that we are renting. On the way there we see a volcanic landscape that is awe inspiring. As we unload, there is a herd of kids outside sitting on the walls to the entrance and giggling and chasing each other. Our door is ten feet away from them. Great.

This should be nice and quiet.

As happens to us a lot for some reason, we have been given an “upgrade” to the wrong room; A room with an extra bedroom and a smaller living room. Wendy calls up the managing company and a guy shows us the room we had originally booked. Much better view, further away from the noisy kids, bigger living room/kitchen.

A dog is barking wildly.

Wendy and I settle in, unpack, then decide to explore our area a bit. On the way out we can hear the wildly barking dog that has been abandoned in the apartment next to the first one we were assigned. One side kids – other side – crazy dog. So glad we didn’t stay in that room.

Lanzarote is very interesting. Only 125 kilometers off the coast of Africa but 1000 kilometers from Spain but it is a Spanish territory. It is one of a group of islands known as the Canaries. From 1730 to 1736 (for 2,053 days), the island was hit by a series of volcanic eruptions, creating 32 new volcanoes in a stretch of 18 km. This was a time when the island was well populated and the people lived in fear almost every day for six years. Eleven villages were covered in lava and a quarter of the island ended up being covered in lava. Today, it makes for a fascinating landscape. When you’re not looking at lava or driving through small towns, you’re looking at the crashing surf of the Atlantic.

Today it is a favorite vacation spot for Spaniards, the English and the Germans. We make our way down to the coast in three minutes and find a nice bar right on the water and get a beer and people watch. Bar Playa will become a favorite of ours. At high tide the waves crash against the rocks and even over the sides of the concrete dock/wharf that the restaurant is built on sometimes soaking your feet or a bag you have left on the ground. This is also the place where most scuba divers enter the water with steps built into the concrete with metal railings leading down into the ocean. It’s also the place where the fisherman come, boats pick up divers or take them para-sailing or shuttle them out to the jet skis you can rent. All of this takes place in space about ten meters long. The bar is five meters away from all this activity with an outdoor terrace. .

As the days go on, it strikes me as odd, especially as a diver, to have all these activities going on in one place. I keep thinking when I surface I’m going to be hit by a propeller, snagged by a fishhook or a kid is going to be doing a cannonball into the water and land on me.

Let the newest adventure begin.

Embracing the waves that I love so much.

After embracing the waves. :-)

The view from Bar Playa on a windy day.

Bar Playa terrace. Click the pictures for a larger view then click your back button.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome photo of you! Also, such a beautiful place on the planet. I am so glad this was part of your adventures. =)