The day started off early. I woke up at 4. Ate breakfast. Taxi to bus station. Waited for bus. Took bus to aeropuerto. Naturally, the Spanish bus played "I Will Always Love You" by Whitney Houston.
I then waited for plane. Plane took off at 7.
Arrived in Lanzarote.
Taxi to hotel meeting point. I then had to wait there for 1 hour 20 minutes for the tour bus. During this wait in some side room off the main lobby, a collection of Barry White music played this entire time. The morning was off to a good start.
So now, the tour is starting. Here’s a Lanzarote beach!
So, a little bit of a background on Lanzarote. Lanzarote is a volcanic island (like all the other Canary Islands) but this one is nicknamed “Land of the 1000 volcanoes.” Why, you ask? Because practically every hill is a volcano. There’s a lot of them on this island. You’ll see the effects on the Lanzarote landscape.
Here take notice of the landscape with some green grass. We won’t be seeing much more grass after this. Green Grass and High Tides are not forever. But there is green grass on this northeastern part of the island because the trade winds bring some moisture onto the land here.
So, we stopped in a random town for a break. It had a cool lookout spot after climbing some steps.
I don’t remember this town’s name, but off in the distance to the right of the picture below is another Lanzarote town named, “Uga.” Yes, UGA. A UGA student near Uga (pronounced oo-gah). A mini-highlight of the day.
Aight, now this is the time where I start to turn into Bill Nye and get my science education on. The following two pictures so you a contrast in the landscape. These two pictures are very close to each too. The first one shows the basaltic lava flows that exist on a large part of the island. Most stem from the most recent eruption on the island in 1730 (it was a big eruption). You’ll see more of these in later pictures.
The second picture doesn’t really have any of the basaltic lava flow. The sandy areas that do not have the basaltic flows are a result of the ash/sand etc that rained down from the eruption.
Now, we are on a spot of the island called, “El Golfo.” (Note: video after all the pictures) This spot was legit. Because 1) see the nine pictures below…
But mainly…BOOM! Look at this green lagoon! IT’S SO MAJESTIC. The lagoon so readily accepts its color, to paraphrase Kermit the Frog’s assertions in his thesis, “It Ain’t Easy Being Green,” It’ll do, and it’s beautiful, and the lagoon knows it wants to be green.
So, you may be wondering, Andrew, how is that lagoon so green? Well, hold on a sec, and let me get my science hoodie back on. Ok. As you can see above, there is a beachy thing in front of the lagoon. These are volcanic rocks. They are porous. So, the rocks filter out some of the sea water, but sea water can still pass through. The water that is trapped in the lagoon sits there and algae grows. Algae makes the greenness! Aw, gee, I bet you could have guessed that though.
Still, the scenery was really cool here.
Look at those ruffles having ridges. They are like flavor curves on your eyes.
VIDEO: The surroundings. Note: You’ll see a person walking along the beach down there. This was not allowed. It was prohibited to walk down there, although it was quite easy to have done so, because it would hurt the environment. I was ready to summon earth, fire, wind, water, and heart for Captain Planet to teach those people a lesson.
Ok so now we are moving along the west coast some more and you can see the Salinas de Janubio. Salt flats.
Another break time. Camel riding. This was an added extra you had to pay for. It was a short 20 minute trip that some people of the group took. I had been on a camel before and decided not to do it again. Instead, I just walked around and explored some of the area.
Story time: The devil below is the symbol of Timanfaya National Park, which is where we are at the moment. The symbol was designed by local artist Cesar Manrique. He was born in Arrecife, the capital of Lanzarote. He became world-renowned but he eventually came back to Lanzarote because he needed to be at home. He made many artistic and creative contributions to the island and was very influential on the island. His name will come up again at the end of this blog.
So now, we are at another “cool” spot. Or maybe I should say Hot Spot. Brace yourselves, the heat and music puns are coming…
We arrived at this restaurant called “El Diablo.” The restaurant uses the heat of the earth to cook the food. More on this later…
Outside of this “hot spot” (double entendre!), there were three demonstrations set up for tourists like me. First, the demonstration guy would dig up some rocks from this one spot into his shovel and then place some of these rocks in our hands, so we could feel how hot these rocks are. Note: the rocks were not hot to stand on. He dug from a pre-designated spot BUT he did not dig deep at all. In fact, he barely stuck his shovel in the ground.
VIDEO — Here’s the video so you can see for yourself
Watch how the people react to the rocks in their hand. The rocks were HOT HOT HOT.
NOW, here’s a video of me handling the rocks. I am one bad dude. You don’t want to mess with me. I can handle hot rocks in my hand. Maybe the rocks cooled as the guy went around the circle…NAH I’m pretty damn tough. As I say, “It was hot, but I could handle it.” Words to live by.
The guy stuck straw into the hole in the ground and it started burning within seconds. As the Ohio Players would say, "FIIIIIIIYYYUUUUUHHH!!!" As Usher would say, "Let It Burn." I guess you could say it was a "Disco Inferno." Burn baby burn.
The video of the demo is below the pictures.
VIDEO OF ABOVE
here’s a view from the site
Now, demonstration three. A "Eruption" of steam. As you’ll see in my video below, the guy poured water into the pipe and two seconds later this happened.
MY VIDEO OF THE STEAM ERUPTION
and now, the natural oven. Cooking some chicken over the natural heat. It was indeed pretty hot. Hot enough I couldn’t lean over to take a picture of how deep it was.
And now we are going to travel along the volcanic route. Just sit back, relax, and enjoy the volcanic ride. Lots of lava flows. There are no "Even Flows."
This was hole that formed as a result of a gas explosion. So much pressure built up that it caused a hole randomly in this rock.
I’m putting on my science hoodie for you again. Below through the window of the bus, you can see a lava tunnel. Lava forms these tunnels by some scientific process. You’re welcome for that insightful tidbit of knowledge. I’m in law school for a reason.
This is what a lava tunnel looks like with a collapsed roof. We drove through what used to be a lava tunnel.
Crater again. So many volcanoes.
See, all this below was once lava. That’s pretty cool to think about. And it’s sat there for almost 300 years now. There was another spot on the island where the lava flows were 1000 years old. What was cool about that spot was the basaltic rocks were nearly completely covered in lichens giving the field a pale green hue. It paints a picture of what the current lava fields will look like themselves in 1000 years.
Now we’re getting back into a village where we stopped for lunch.
I don’t remember the story exactly, but the cross is here in this picture because a priest placed it down and yelled something like, “Hey Lava! Stop! Get! We don’t want you here!” Well, it worked and the lava didn’t come in the direction of the cross. The spot is now marked for the miracle that occurred.
We then went to a vineyard. Although the landscape of Lanzarote is very dry, the farmers use an interesting method to harvest. They cover the plants with volcanic rocks. This substrate/soil because it is porous will trap moisture in the air at night and keep it below the surface. It prevents the moisture from rising back up too.
At the vineyard, I decided to keep it classy.
This was a mini mini very old fortress atop a hill. It was used to keep an eye out for pirates way way back in the day.
Gettin back to the north side now. You can see that grass.
This here is called the “Valley of a Thousand Palms.” The story is that for every boy born, a palm was planted. For every girl born, two palms were planted.
Alright, now we are in the Kim and Kanye’s new baby’s full name corner of Lanzarote, aka the North West corner of the island. It was hazy day but you can usually see the three islands that are a part of Lanzarote from this spot. Today, we could only see one. VIDEO OF THE AREA.
Final stop — the Jameos de Agua. The guide used the word sinkholes to describe the natural formation of the place. This place used to be nothing special until our good friend Cesar Manrique decided to blend art and nature and form a really cool natural tourist spot.
It had a very cavelike feel. Apparently though there is a tunnel beneath the land that connects the seawater from the ocean to this spot. It allows the mini albino white lobsters to crawl from the ocean to this spot.
You can see the animals here below.
And that was the day! Overall this day was "Hot Stuff."