Lanzarote Blog
Words by Stephanie
Web Design by John
Photos by Stephanie & John
If I've got it right, this is where we are staying.
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Click to view the YouTube HD quality video slide show of our accommodation and surroundings
Lanzarote Day 1

Travel day to a very different world. Here it is all about volcanoes and lava fields, so that anything that grows is a miracle! I love the fact that it is so hassle free these days to be in another world. However much you read in advance, nothing prepares you for the contrast.

First impressions as we drove from the airport was a barren lunar landscape interspersed with volcanoes and then white villages, reminiscent of those in Andalusia. The volcanic cones had different colourings and shapes, and there appeared to be no trees.

We drove north west and inland to the village of La Vegueta, where we turned off onto dirt roads to find Villa Amatista where we are staying. The owners run it as a yoga retreat, so it has a central room surrounded by small self-contained accomodation. Ours is called Bodega, and is a little separate from the others with an outside terrace, and upstairs bedroom on a platform. It is very light, and well equipped.

We unpacked and settled in before cooking dinner which we had brought with us, supplemented by wine and beer brought on the way up., The temperature felt quite warm to us, but there was a strong wind, and the clouds brought quite a lot of rain. This is very welcome on such an arid background. The ladies who run this place recycle all the water through filtration systems, and have managed to create a small oasis.

The silence was so very welcome, just occasional sounds of the chickens down below!
Lanzarote day 2

No time difference, so we had a lie in and coffee around 7:30. Despite the windy weather, it was sunny and warm enough for me to wear shorts, albeit with a few more layers on top.

We had planned two exploratory hikes in a region about half an hour to the West of here. The roads are very quiet, and the driving is pleasant, the landscape even more lunar than my first impressions. How anyone cultivates any land is a mystery as the majority of the land is impenetrable lava fields. The white villages are such a stark contrast to this.

The first walk was a four km hike around Montana Cuervo. This is literally circumnavigating a volcano, but the big surprise was that there is a huge gash in the side of the volcanic cone so that you can go deep inside. This is geological heaven, with so many different volcanic for sand rocks. Almost immediately we started walking we saw a bird - later identified as Bertholot's pipit, which we have seen before on the Canary Islands. To me the amazing part was seeing plants growing in these harsh conditions. We found a form of Rumex, a form of broom and various low growing survivors. Our first walk was fascinating. We met only two people, and they turned out to be British on their twelfth visit to Lanzarote. They recommended the interpretation centre nearby, so we went there next. It was an excellent introduction to the geology of the island. The last major eruption was in 1730 - 1736, which could be reassuring!

Our after lunch hike was a five km circular around another volcano - Montana Los Rodeos. This really allowed us to be close up to the lava fields, and took us in and amongst the rocks where we could see at first hand some of the lava flows and formations. One area reminded me of an elephants hide. Walking in the lava fields would be totally inhospitable, but the trail would be navigable by jeep most of the way. We climbed a little to get round the volcano, and the views were awesome of the changing light on distant volcanoes, as well as on the lava fields.

Next stop was to find a Supermercado for supplies for dinner and picnics. We went to Tiagua, the next white village along, and found everything we needed. Reminiscent of other such places, they are very small, but have everything from a fresh fish and meat counter to fresh bread and vegetables. We arrived back late afternoon to catch up on diaries and to create the first blog!
Lanzarote day 3

Another day another planet - well that is what it felt like as we headed north through Teguise to Haria. We crossed an inhospitable region again, but this time it was arid semi desert, where nothing was cultivated. We climbed higher, and descended the most amazing series of hairpin bends down to the much more fertile region of Haria, where there were palm trees and greenery even as we approached the white village. Having parked up we had a quick meander around and sat in the central square drinking a short, strong coffee before heading on our nine and half km walk.

The title of this was Barranco del Malpaso - which apparently means bad route, despite this it turned out to be most pleasant. A barranco is a ravine, and there were many endemic species along the trails, which followed a potential stream, hence all the growth. I recognized some plants from previous island visits, and others from speculation. There were certainly euphorbia's, aeoniums, agaves, echiums, senecio as well as various possible erodiums. Seeing all of these made the climb much more interesting. We passed through fields on the way out of town and learned how they manage to grow produce in what appears such a harsh environment with little or no rain.

'Arenado is a cultivation technique which consists of covering the vegetation ground with a layer of lapilli to improve its productivity. Between the layer of volcanic ash (lapilli) and the ground, there is also a layer of manure and another one of dust ( clay), with the objective to increase the fertility of the ground and avoid the manure mixing with the volcanic ash. if the latter occurred it would block vacuoles of gravel (lapilli) and it would take away the advantage of the volcanic ash.'

We saw grapevines, potatoes, squash, spring onions and other greens being grown in this way, all surrounded by dry lava walls to protect from the wind. Our climb was well rewarded with fantastic views to the west of the coast and long beach of Famara, and then of the cliffs to the far north west, and further on to the islands offshore. There was a huge area with picnic tables and swings at Mirador del Risco de Famara. I imagine at the weekends it will be crowded with local families, but we were alone, and had a picnic spot to ourselves.

The descent offered us views to the east on an old donkey trail, which crisscrossed the hairpin bend road we had descended by car. We saw many lizards sunbathing on the lava walls around the fields, and had good sightings of the pipit again as well as a few birds of prey.

Leaving Haria we climbed back up the hairpin bends, but in Teguize turned right and headed down to the coast at Famara. The road afforded fantastic views of the coast and cliffs as it descended into the semi arid desert. Quiet roads allowed us a pleasant different drive back through Soo on the edge of this desert. All the villages look the same - white houses with often green painted shutters, and delightful small gardens. Some have wooden balconies, but all really try to have some greenery around them. We hardly ever see anyone in these villages - they must either be indoors or away working.
Click to view the YouTube HD quality video slide show of our Montana Los Rodeos hike.
Click to view the YouTube HD quality video slide show of our first hike - Montana Cuervo.
Click to view the YouTube HD quality video slide show of our Haria hike.
Lanzarote day 4

Another day, another climate! Woke to clouds and rain, this meant a more leisurely start, and catching up on iPads and updates, as well as reading about where to go and what to do on rainy days.

Setting off after coffee we headed south west to an area where there are salt pans and a lagoon. This in itself was interesting to see the process, and nearby we had figured out a hike along the cliffs. The weather had by now cleared up and we had a very differed walk along the black lava cliffs with great Atlantic views, the waves were crashing in onto these rocks in a spectacular way. We headed towards the desalination plant - all the local water is desalinated, I was surprised how small it was, and we wondered how many there were around the island.

We found a place in and amongst the rocks out of the winds for our picnic with a view of the crashing waves. We walked back the same way we had come with views of the volcanoes of Timanfaya, the national park in the background. Driving round the salt pans we headed along the coastal road to El Golfo - a fairly major tourist lunch spot at the end of a road. We did not feel inclined to stop, so drove in and out, and headed inland for the quieter white villages. First we stopped in Yaiza, and then the smaller and even quieter Uga. Here we had a coffee in the local bar, and a wander around. We discovered that not all supermercados sell fresh meat, so we came back via Tiagua, where the butcher now knows us, and we got him to grind us some meat for me to make a Bolognese sauce.

Again we had spectacular landscapes, saw grapes being cultivated in abundance, and passed a series of bodegas along our route through the mountains. It must look quite different when there are leaves on the vines - right now they just look like sticks! John is managing to video through the windscreen as I drive, which adds a new dimension to the blog.
Click to view the YouTube HD quality video slide show of our Salinas de Janubio hike.
Lanzarore day 5

A blustery night, and very windy start, so we decided not to do a high hike, or a caldera edge, but to stick to the coast. This time we went to the south east, heading for Playa Blanca, and then its most eastern edge, parking by the Papagayo Arena Hotel. This is where the development runs out and the cliff top walking starts. There were many other people stepping out across the many trails in the semi desert, but there was plenty of space for everyone and many different trails. They all basically follow the coastline, with paths down to lovely sandy coves. It wasn't exactly beach weather because of the very strong wind, but a few people were attempting to find shelter down on the sand. We kept walking with lovely views all around. Actually we were heading for the Punta del Papagayo just beyond the Papagayo beach, we battled out onto the headland before heading back and going down into a small cove Playa del Pozo to find a little shelter on the beach for lunch. We had two little pipits tamely around us while we ate our picnic. Just as we headed back we saw a shrike - probably looking for lizards. Going back was quite a battle against the wind, but still very lovely. We stopped in Playa Blanca on the way back for a coffee and WiFi. Not our kind of place, with lots of tourists and the associated shops, but it served the purpose.

Desalination facts Janubio produces 7500 cubic metres of water per day and is the smaller of two plants on the island. At the moment they are at 90% capacity, and they are adding another plant at Arriciefe where there is already a plant. The general method is reverse osmosis.

Leaving Playa Blanco, we hit a rain storm as we headed inland, and the sea on the west coast was absolutely wild in the strong wind. We headed up through Timanfaya national park area (we are now getting a bit blasé about lava fields and volcanoes), the thing we were combatting today was the wind. We did a detour down through Tinjao to La Santa which was really bleak in the weather and desert. Driving back inland up to Soo we crossed a sandy desert in a sandstorm - despite the car windows being closed I still had grit in my teeth. It was still wild and windy back at Villa Amatista, but no rain. We were so lucky to have chosen a sunny walk on the right coast today.
Lanzarote day 6

Another very windy night, but despite the wind, in the morning the sky was brighter as we made plans for the day. We again chose a walk in the south east as the wind was too strong for the north west desert, or for high walks. As it happened, the walk we chose was slightly vertiginous! We did a coastal walk from Playa Quemada to Playa del Pozo along the cliff edges. The village was charming, and the cliff top walk spectacular, with clear zig zag paths up and down the barrenco (ravines). At one point I missed the main trail, and we did have a hairy scramble alongside the cliff edge - we did not make the same mistake on the way back.

Playa de Pozo (pozo = well), was not the same one we were on yesterday, but more of a black sand beach, very remote and beautiful - we were the only people there. It is thought that when the Normans invaded Lanzarote in 1402 under Jean de Bethenecourt , the beach became one of their first settlements. In the 1950's the Serra Rafols brothers carried out archaeological investigations revealing the remains of a tower, a church, dwellings, wells and a burial area. Other historians believe the remains of the water channelling and well system, complete with triangular rock carvings, point to the Phoenicians as the first settlers. There is a reconstructed well on the beach by a small refuge, where we sat and ate our sandwich overlooking the sea and an area of fish farming in the water. It was absolutely gorgeous, and felt really remote.

We made our way back via a slightly different route, heading into a barranco and were back seemingly much quicker than the outward journey. We stopped for coffee in a lovely restaurant called 7islas before heading inland again.

We headed inland via Uga and San Bartolome towards Tahiche to the Fundacion Cesar Manrique. Born in Arrecife, the capital of Lanzarote in 1919, he has influenced the direction of the island through his philosophy, art and sculptures. He died in a traffic accident in 1992, but his influence is still felt through his sculptures and efforts to preserve and enhance his native island. The plain white, low level buildings with green shutters and doors, and the sculptures on roundabouts are just two of his areas of influence, but he did far more. We were totally inspired by his Fundacion, this was his main residence, carved into the lava flow from the 1730-36 volcanic eruptions. It was a domestic architectural project, a two story building, built over five large bubbles or lava caves. The open spaces and windows looked out onto the lava or down into gardens and pools. The caves were turned into seating areas, and the majority was painted a shiny white to contrast with the black lava. There were so many ideas to be had from this alone, but there was also great collection of paintings. The two main sculptures are outside. One has white tetrahedrons moving in the wind, and the other has a series of coloured semi-spheres moving in and out of circular holes. Both had that movement and harmony, which seemed to be a theme of the whole 'museum'. You always know when you have been to a great place when you start to think about how to implement some of the ideas into your own space. Marigold Cottage here we come!

Back via the supermarket in Tiagua to our little home in the hills.
Click to view the YouTube HD quality video slide show of our Papagayo hike.
Click to view the YouTube HD quality video slide show of our Playa Quemada hike.
Lanzarote day 7

This was our most adventurous and longest walk so far. We headed back over the pass with hairpin bends to the northern town of Haria. It was pretty busy as there is a Saturdayf craft market. We first tried to WiFi outside the library, but for some reason we could not send e-mails, which meant that photos will be posted without the text. Never mind it will all come right in the end. At Villa Ametista they are changing servers, so no WiFi at the moment either.

We sat in the square for a coffee, wandered around the market, and then drove further north to the village of Ye from where we were to walk. Ye is dominated by the volcano Montana Corona, which given the strong wind we decided not to climb, but to combine a couple of walks in order to circumnavigate it.

We parked towards the far end of the village, and descended into a valley of vineyards. People are busy pruning these in their dormant season, and they are all protected from the winds by lava walls. We could see the sea to the north east, way below us across lava fields, and we actually ended up descending quite a long way. The biggest factor of this whole walk was the strong wind - we were grateful if it was behind us for some of the longer uphill stretches later on.

Having come down quite a long way on dirt tracks, we then had to climb up again Montana Corona was always in our sight. We encountered only one other couple on the entire hike, they were we think Spanish, had no map, and wanted to climb the mountain! We really could not help them a lot apart from saying they were the wrong side of the mountain for an ascent. We ended up a little bit off piste ourselves, but followed the general direction to go up and round the mountain on old terraces.

The last section of the walk was the most dramatic as we headed for the cliffs of Guatifay - these gave the most spectacular views of the cliffs of Famara to the south, and with the light, of Graciosa island and the coast below to the north. It was breathtaking and I only worried that John was getting too close to the edge to take the photographs. To head back to Ye we also went a little off piste, skirting old fields, and scree running down the black lava ash to get on the trail back up to Ye. By the time we got back to the village we were windswept and exhausted, and very pleased to find the Ye Social centre open where we could have a coffee and John could sample the local wine.

Driving back we took the route along the main north - south road to Arrecife, turning off to go up to San Bartholome and our 'home' near La Vegueta. We did pass a few more Cesar Manrique sculptures on the roundabouts.
Click to view the YouTube HD quality video slide show of our Ye hike.
Lanzarote day 8

A week since arrival and we feel like old hands. Today was a different sort of day. First we drive the short distance to Mancha Blanca to the Sunday fruit and vegetable market. There were just a few stalls of local produce, and it was good to be there early. We picked up vegetables and fruit for the week - we will design our menus around them as we go along. We wandered into the church, which is a source of local pilgrimage as it is the place where the lava flow was turned back by the Virgin Mary, so people bring their sorrows and leave them there.

We had decided to leave the car at Villa Amatista, and do a local walk, ending up in the next village Tiagua for Sunday lunch at the much recommended Restaurante 'El Tenique'. It specializes in Canarian cuisine and freshly grilled food. Sunday is a day for families to eat out, but nowhere near as early as us, so we were the first customers and had very special treatment. John chose a mixed grill, which had four different kinds of meat, and I chose fresh fish - three young fish cooked to perfection and served with Canarian potatoes, and served with green and red mojo sauce. We sat and watched the world and cyclists go by, and were brought a honey and rum liqueur on ice to finish our meal Licor Ron Miel - very nice it was too.

John had devised a great route there and back so that we did a circular, and did not use main roads at all. He had downloaded an app called Maps to Go Lite putting the one for Spain on his iPad, so we have details on the ground for both driving and for hiking. Zana and Kady were quite surprised as we arrived back through the fields.

We returned about 3 pm, and changed the sheets and towels, read and relaxed a little - the weather was a little calmer today.
Lanzarote day 9

Today we decided to go early to El Golfo in the south west before all the day visitors arrived. We were first in the car park, and the only people walking up to see the Green Lagoon for which it is famous. This is a half volcanic crater, with fantastic rock formations, and a rather dubious looking green lagoon left inside, then a beach and then the sea. This was just a brief aside to our real walk for the day, which started at the other end of this village, which looked a lot more attractive with no people!

The terrain of the walk was lava, so our strong soles and ankle support were essential. The trail was quite narrow, and absolutely spectacular with crashing waves on the lava to the left, and wonderful volcanic formations such as lava tubes and caves appearing every so often. Mounds of green Euphorbia's were the only vegetation, and on the most recent laval flows there was absolutely nothing growing. We walked for around 3 kms on this tough ground, heading north into the Timanfaya National park. Eventually we met a dirt track near Playa del Paso, and turned right, still passing through the edge of the jagged lava, as we exited the National Park. We entered somewhat rugged farmland and stopped for our picnic with views back down to El Golfo. Even in this inhospitable landscape, we saw a flock of Trumpeter finches finding seeds in a barren looking field. They were quite colourful, with little pink beaks. On the way down to the village, we found a short cut and saw a lark. The sea below looked spectacular with the large waves rolling in.

We found a restaurant with WiFi and live music to sit for a coffee and to upload our blog. Afterwards we drove to Casa Museo del Campesino, on a roundabout just north of San Bartholome. We had passed this a few times and knew that it was one of Cesar Manrique's sculptures, but were pleasantly surprised by the ambience of the associated cafe and design with various artefacts. The contrast again of the black and white, and this time use of green paint for the windows, doors and seating, is becoming very recognisable as Manrique signature.

One feature of today was the lack of strong wind. There was some cloud in the morning but we had sunny intervals and the temperature was quite pleasant. On the way home we shopped for dinner ingredients at our local super mercado in Tinjao.
Click to view the YouTube HD quality video slide show of our local Sunday hike.
Click to view the YouTube HD quality video slide show of our El Golfo hike.
Lanzarote day 10

A damp start up here in the hills, but optimistically we set off for Famara to do the circular route, and as we dropped down from the hills we could see the sea and mountains in the sun.

Famara is where all the surfers and kite surfers head, and indeed we saw both out on the huge seas - amazing to watch, and I can honestly say not something I have any desire to do. I did once have a go at wind surfing on the lake at Tattershall, but never mastered turning round which was a bit of a problem!

The backdrop of this walk were the tall cliffs of El Risco de Famara - we had been at the top of these on our first walk from Haria. We could also see Graciosa island off shore which was bathed in sunshine. The walk started at the end of the development of Famara which was a big bungalow complex, which looked as though some were privately owned, and some rented out to tourists. They were right on the edge of the dunes and beach, so very exposed to all the winds and weather.

One of the first highlights of the walk was seeing two hoopoes at very close quarters in a garden, great to observe, and so exotic. I have once seen them in England, but the very first sighting was in Peshawar in 1975.

The walk actually climbed up into the cliffs passing an old farm, and heading up to a spoil heap and small house at the entrance to a tunnel, which would have been used to source water from deep inside the mountain. It looked as though there was still some water being provided, but possibly not for the whole community of Famara as it originally would have done. We wended our way a little higher, and tried to see if anyone could walk up to the top of cliffs or round them to the salt pans on the northern tip - maybe was the answer, but not by us!

Picnicking before our descent to the beach, we were able to complete the 7 km walk by heading back down the beach always heading towards those kite surfers out on the ocean. The views were fantastic on both directions, and we could really see the desert aspects of to area of the island.

We stopped for a coffee in the heart of the surf end of town which certainly attracts a certain kind of person, before heading up inland to Teguise the ancient capital.

We had a good wander around the city - lots of plaza and squares, and great old doorways and we even found wifi (but not very satisfactory) in one of the squares. We were actually on our way to Jardin de Cactus, which was the last of the Cesar Manrique creations. Outside is a giant artificial cactus, which appeared to play a tune in the wind, but inside was something else, I am no cactus person, but the whole place was amazing (thank your Lesley for insisting). I had no idea that there's were so many euphorbias that were cacti or that aeonium were cacti. The setting in a bowl with a windmill on top itself was inspiring - watch this space. John writes; I was especially impressed by the way that irregular lava slabs had been used for all the paving - no concrete, pavers or tiles visible and the way the slabs fitted together was marvellous. Even if like Stephanie you don't like cactus, go to see how a natural volcanic product that the island has lots of can be used artistically. Oh, and some of the cacti are pretty neat, too!

By the time we got back to Villa Amatista, the weather was clear and it was sundowner time.

Click here for Stephanie's cactus video
Click to view the YouTube HD quality video slide show of our Famara hike.
Lanzarote day 11

The weather dictated our choice of walk today. It was pouring with rain up here in La Vegueta, so we headed for a coastal walk again, this time in a different area. We started in Puerto del Carmen, which is a marina south of Arriciefe. It is obviously a popular tourist enclave, and the walk was well paved for the first kilometre or so as we headed towards Puerto Calero, another marina. To get there, you actually walked across a very barren exposed desert with a much calmer sea than we have seen of late on our left. It was quite warm and sunny on the outward journey, and again around Puerto Calero there were pleasant paved walkways above the marina. We carried on towards Playa Quemada, where we had walked a few days ago. We found a place on the rocks out of the wind for our picnic overlooking the sea, and it was only when we got up that we realised the clouds looked ominous, and we even had to put on our waterproof jackets for the return.

We sheltered down at Puerto Calero marina for a short time, but then headed back across the really exposed desert with wind and rain driving us onwards. We were lucky the wind was semi-behind us, but still we got quite wet. Because this was a tourist area, there were quite a lot of less well clad people also battling in both directions. All in all we walked about 10 kms, and the only advantage of the starting point was that we could find a cafe with WiFi at the end. Here we could sit and upload the last few days videos to YouTube in the dry and over a couple of long cups of Cafe Solo and a beer for John.

As we headed back up into the hills there had obviously been quite a lot of rain as there was standing water in places. How happy the farmers must be.
Click to view the YouTube HD quality video slide show of our Puerto del Carmen hike.
Final Update 11 February
with new links to HD quality video slide shows
Lanzarote day 12

A day for dramatic waves and surf. The night had been incredibly windy, and it had not let up this morning but there were some patches of blue sky, so we headed to the south western tip of the island to do a walk along the seaward margin of the Rubicon desert. We began the walk at the Faro de Pechiguera (lighthouses), which although a great focal point from a distance, are disappointingly undeveloped. This is really the western edge of Playa Blanca, and from here we headed along the Atlantic cliffs northwards.

To begin with there were various tourist development - some were exceedingly nice with interesting gardens and designs, others looked a bit more like a Lanzarote Butlins camp, but all the buildings are white and low rise which certainly helps. The sea was magnificent, with huge rollers crashing onto the Laval rocks - we were walking headlong into the wind as we strode off into the desert landscape. We saw an interesting flock of waders, which we think were sanderlings - John got some good photographs.

The only building visible in the distance was a very scruffy old house with various old caravans and camper and around it. It was on the most impressive peninsular, but what a scruffy sight! The only other people we saw were a group of five collecting rubbish off the cliffs. We have seen locals clearing the sides of the roads - it appears to be an island wide initiative. Passing the scruffy house, we could see another strange sight, which is the skeleton of a failed project. This was a huge hotel complex called Atlante del Sol, which was abandoned before completion three decades ago. Isolated and ugly, it is a landmark though, and just before getting there we turned back.

Our lunch spot was totally spectacular, sitting on the rocks watching the huge waves crashing in onto the black rocks. In the distance we could see the lighthouse from whence we had come and the island of Fuerteventura not far away.

We drove into Playa Blanca for a WiFi moment over coffee, before heading back up into the hills. The wind was as strong as ever, but we were able to sit outside our house in the sun for a cup of tea.
Click to view the YouTube HD quality video slide show of our Faro de Pechiguera hike.
Lanzarote day 13

Today's walk was a longer inland route, prompted by slightly calmer conditions, and cloud! We drove to and parked up in the village of Uga, and did a circular route based on this small village. In total it was 11kms, with 490m ascent and descent.

The first half of the route climbed up through the La Geria grape pits. This is the method of growing grapes in zocos (depressions of volcanic ash enclosed in a horseshoe-shaped wall of volcanic rock with a vine planted in the centre). We saw several farmers working their zocos, pruning the vines, burning the prunings and fertilising. They could all drive their vehicles up the track we were walking.

From the trail, we had great views of the mountains, and in the cloud and black lava it looked quite satanic. There were a few figs in and amongst the grapes, and in the distance we could see the bodegas where the wine is produced. Over the ridge we suddenly had views of the East coast from Arriciefe south to harbours we had walked from on previous days. We lost a lot of the height we had gained as we went down to La Asomada , before turning back up again to climb to another ridge. Suddenly we were into the wind, so before the major uphill walk we stopped for our picnic lunch.

The ridge was right above the Geria, so we had more views of the main vine growing area. We headed through some peaks before descending back down to Uga, picking up a little wood along the way in case we had a fire in our room. Back in the car we drove first to San Bartolome which was just closing up for the weekend at 2 pm. It had such a pleasant feel in the centre with a pedestrianised area around the church and theatre, and people were living in and around the centre of the town with gardens. We realised this was not the time to hang out in a cafe, so drove the nine kilometres to Teguise where we knew there were pleasant bars and cafés. In fact we found a lovely one called La Cantina, where we hung out for an hour or so over cafe solo, and John even had a beer. This was a chance to catch up with WiFi, and update the blog.

We drove back via our supermercado in Tiagua where we shopped for the last few days (list made on my iPad).
Click to view the YouTube HD quality video slide show of our Uga and La Geria hike.
Lanzarote day 14

We were up in the cloud and rain, and not sure where on the whole island might be dry. We decided to try the east coast at Costa Teguise, and this turned out to be a good choice as we had very little rain, though for most of our walk we could see the rain and cloud on the volcanoes close by. We actually did a prescribed walk on a 12km circuit, which even our hiking book mentioned that it had been fairly artificially created. This having been said, we enjoyed the walk, and got a chance to see the third major coastal resort (the others being Playa Blanca and Playa del Carmen).

The walk started at the southern end of the long promenade, which has been very sympathetically made using pavers - lots of space for bicycles, walkers and buggies. The sea was calm, and there were a few fishermen, and further along we actually saw people swimming from the sandy beaches. Every so often there was an interesting sculpture, so there was plenty to look at. The majority of the buildings were set back and low rise with pleasant gardens along the promenade edge. There were a few people around, but not crowds.

We made a diversion to find a coffee and pastry shop we had read about near the tourist information. This took a bit of finding, and when we followed the directions into a hidden courtyard, there was no 'Helga's Kitchen'. We settled in the end for Matilde's Kitchen, and it turned out to be one and the same place having been taken over a year ago switching from German to Italian ownership.
We were tempted by the apfelstrudel and another similar but savoury pastry to go with coffee - both were delicious. WiFi was good too, so we were able to catch up with the blog and e-mails.

Back to the walk, and we went all the way to the northern tip of the promenade, from where we headed inland. We passed a really weird monstrosity of a hotel inland, then onward we almost felt we were in the country as we wended our way around the back of the coastal development. We found a place to have our picnic with a view back down to the sea, and continued following the prescribed footpath back to almost where we had started. It had really been quite pleasant, with only a few drops of rain.

We decided to drive right to the very north of the island to the small port of Orzola as we had not made it that far before. We passed the lava fields from the eruption of Montana Corona which we had been skirting on one of our walks. As a result this a area is hardly developed at all. Orzola is the end of the road, as the huge cliffs rise above. The ferry to La Graciosa leave from this little port, and it seemed like a pleasant but very isolated place. We drove back through Maguez and Haria, climbing up those hairpin bends for the last time. The roads were exceedingly quiet on the way back, and we even took a dirt road after Teguise to get up to Tao as a shortcut. It appears that the volcanoes around us in La Vegueta have really greened up in the time we have been here with all the rain.
Click to view the YouTube HD quality video slide show of our Costa Teguise hike.
Lanzarote day 15

Inauspicious weather or not , we had plans for our last day. We headed into the volcano area, parked up and circumnavigated Montana Colorada. This would be an excellent introduction to anyone walking in the area as it had interpretation boards and descriptions in Spanish and English at strategic points illustrating so many of the features of volcanic eruptions. The walk was only 45 minutes, but we had great views of many of the areas which have become familiar to us.

We drove on trying to escape the rain by heading down to the West coast through Soo, but it was even raining in the desert! This had not put off the surfers (wet anyway), or the paragliders, and we certainly got great views of the cliffs in cloud.

We headed up to Teguise thinking that we would have lunch there, but it was a huge Sunday market and everything was parked up in a major way! with roads closed, so we abandoned the crowds, and headed off to La Geria, the wine growing area. Several times driving through here we had spotted a simple sign Vinos, unlike all the big Bodegas, and it is here that we came. It was a simple family run affair called Bodega La Querencia, the father grows the grapes and makes the wine, the mother makes cheese, and the daughter runs the bar. The only food they had was cheese and tomato with crisp bread, which went down very well with a glass of their red wine. The ambience was lovely! Manuel the cat adopted John, and we spent a pleasant hour there.

Lunch was still on the cards, so we went back to the restaurant in Tiagua. This week it was already seething with people, but the food was as good as before. The clientele were locals and expatriate families - it obviously has a good reputation.

The rest of the day to be spent relaxing and packing ready for departure for London tomorrow on Norwegian airlines.
Click to view the YouTube HD quality video slide show of our Montana Colorada hike.
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