A Travellerspoint blog

Walking on the Moon

Lanzarote


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Lanzarote has an amazing moon-like landscape that is like nothing we had ever seen before. Where else in the world would you see volcano cones on the horizon everywhere you look and black lava stone in between. How the people of Lanzarote have learned to build and incorporate the moonscape into their island is very special.

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We were excited to return to Casita Palmera, our “home away from home” in the Canary Islands. Marcus, the person that actually owns this place, had it all set up for us to go, a spread of groceries, lights on, music playing and even a fire burning in the fireplace. It was great to be back! http://casitapalmera.com/

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We enjoyed ten days here in May/2021, when we first met our Airbnb hosts, Marcus and Heidi, and all their furry friends. This is definitely a place for animal lovers with three dogs, three cats, two ducks and many chickens … which means fresh eggs for Dean every morning:

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We really wanted some R&R after our Morocco adventure in one of our favorite places, so other than visiting a few things that were closed last time due to Covid, we spent a lot of time relaxing in Marcus and Heidi’s beautiful home (and hung out with their pets!) We saw many of the Lanzarote sights last time, so check out our blog “Lanzarote - Lava & Grapes” from May 2021 to see all the cool stuff here https://margoanddean.travellerspoint.com/61/

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One place that was closed last time is right in Haria, the town we were staying in. It is the last home that Cesar Manrique lived in, and pretty much left as it was on the day he died in 1992. It is now a museum. Manrique is a famous artist/architect from Lanzarote that had a huge impact on the island during his lifetime and today. He was instrumental in establishing architectural requirements for the island to keep it “Canarian” when facing mega-development for tourism. Also, his amazing artistic projects around the island are fantastic and are major tourist attractions. (See our 2021 Lanzarote blog for more info and pictures – it’s quite amazing what he designed and built with lava rock and volcano tubes.)

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For a small town, Haria has some great restaurants. We enjoyed a great lunch at Tacande in the main town square. We enjoyed the ‘Watchtower’ tasting menu that had many yummy courses: (trio starter - rock fish croquette, peking pig trout, rabbit taco; tom khai kai fish with thai salad & sweet potatoes; goat satay with tzatziki; citris coriander for dessert)

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The weather was perfect for hiking along the east coast between Playa de Los Caletones and Punta Mujeres. The holiday travelers had not rolled into the island yet, so we had the trail and the ocean to ourselves:

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Even little Haria was decorated for Christmas and had several poinsettia trees. We have only ever seen poinsettia trees in Maui before, just outside of Hana. Feliz Navidad (Merry Christmas) everyone!

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Another great restaurant in Haria, is Puerta Verde (Green Door). Our waiter, Jason, was Argentinian and avidly watching World Cup on his phone in between serving tables (Argentina vs Netherlands). Dean was tracking the score on his phone, so Jason invited him behind the counter to watch the final plays of the game. The food was scrumptious, and it was exciting when Argentina won! (Mussels in white wine, slow-cooked pork, grilled seabream):

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During a walk at Costa Teguise we came across dozens and dozens of crabs sunning themselves on the rocks. However, they quickly scurried away when we tried to take pictures - a little camera shy. We also saw a couple of paddle boarders braving the waves:

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We got caught up in the hype and excitement of the World Cup games, first cheering for Canada and United States, then the Cinderella team from Morocco. We felt a close connection given our wonderful trip we had there last month. We texted with Ali after each game to recap the plays and hear about the Moroccan people partying in the streets. We hoped they would go all the way to the final game. We watched one of their wins in Arrecife when they played Portugal and qualified for the semifinals, the first African country to ever do so. It was very exciting!

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We went paddle boarding in the canals of Arrecife as the ocean was too rough, but we didn’t have our waterproof bag with us so don’t have any pictures. We enjoyed the sunset after boarding:

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We had watched Morocco beat Croatia at a bar in Haria (Centro Cultural la Tegala) and noticed they served food too, so headed back there for dinner and another big World Cup soccer game – France vs England (France won). Marcus was none too happy with England not winning:

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Having a big lunch out on Sundays with friends and/or family is a wonderful Spanish tradition that we love. We went to one of Marcus and Heidi’s favorite restaurants in Costa Teguise with them and had a great meal at Taberna El Bocadito: (tortilla, ham and shrimp croquettes, sauteed mushrooms, chipirones, black angus steak and pork cheeks):

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Then we toured through the wine valley, stopping at Stratvs for a wine tasting. On top of having great wine, they had built an incredibly intricate nativity scene that replicated many buildings from Lanzarote and their vineyard:

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Sunset was beautiful that night over the volcano cones:

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On a particularly sunny day we headed to Famara Beach for a walk and to watch the surfers. This wonderful beach seems to go on for ever and you walk along staring up at this huge granite wall that towers over the beach:

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Also had to eat of course, a very scenic lunch spot:

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We went on a tour at Vega de Yuco Winery, which produces one of our favorite Lanzarote dry white wines, Yaiza, made from Malvasia grapes grown in volcanic soil. It all comes from this amazing landscape, which prior to the 1730 volcano eruption was a village and farmland - hard to imagine:

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A little lunch at Rubicon Winery, garlic shrimp, ham with melon and couple of glasses of lovely dry white wine! Yes, it was as good as it sounds!

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Lanzarote’s wine country is such a cool landscape, I will never get tired of looking at the black lava rock and the vibrant green plant life. How could this be? Interesting to know that staked grape vines on this property produces approximately 5-6 kilos of grapes. However, the vines that are growing on the ground in a depression behind a round lava wall produces 18-20 kilos of grapes, the reverse of what you would think:

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During our last trip to Lanzarote, Fundación Cesar Manrique in Tachiche was also closed during Covid. Manrique did an amazing job of creating a two-story building over five large volcanic bubbles or lava caves. He connected the five bubble with narrow passageways that were burrowed into the lava. He turned them into “recreational” areas including a pool, dance floor, BBQ area and even a painter’s studio! All decorated with a jungle of plants. You can only imagine attending one of his many wild parties! It’s unreal how he envisioned this party shack in a huge lava field along with keeping it all looking Canarian!?

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“Welcome to my underground lair”, (a favorite Deanism):

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Swim anyone?

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Cesar Manrique and his dog. This dog was in many photos around both houses so was clearly loved:

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The garden is very colorful against the black volcanic rock, I found these yellow flowers particularly unique looking. No idea what it is:

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Heidi had recommended some hiking trails around the volcanoes just outside of Parque Nacional de Timanfaya. It is very difficult and dangerous to walk through the lava rock, so you must follow an established trail. We had done Caldera Blanca last trip, which is a great hike where you climb the volcano, walk around the edge and peer into the caldera. At Caldera de Los Cuervos you can hike into the caldera without climbing up the side, as there is a natural break in the side where it fell in – bonus!

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At Montana Colorada, you can walk around the volcano to see all the debris that was thrown out of the caldera when it erupted. Lots of fragments, but the most interesting is “the bomb” that scientists today are still questioning how one this large landed so far from the eruption point.

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Playa Blanca and Punta del Papagayo are at the other side of the island where the ferries go between Lanzarote and Fuerteventura, the neighboring island. We arrived via this ferry last time we were here. Punta del Papagayo is a park, protecting several beautiful beach coves and rugged coastline – we had hiked through here last time. Very beautiful but not as warm as May!

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We stopped at La Santa on the way to the south end. The waves that rolled in were massive and made a huge spray when they hit the weather coastline.

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We enjoyed a dinner out with Marcus at a cool little local Columbian food restaurant, Restaurante Arepera Jojoto y Millo La Unica, in Mala, near Costa Teguise. Arepas stuffed with sauteed mushrooms, shrimp & octopus, and roasted lamb chops (a Columbian specialty) that were out of this world! (We missed a picture of the arepa, kind like a scooped out toasted pita pocket, but better, the first picture is what they were stuffed with.)

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Puerto del Carmen has a nice long seawall above the beach that we enjoy walking. We met some Moroccans visiting there and had a nice chat about our recent trip. They were very friendly and full of suggestions for more places to see in Morocco, further south than we got.

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Sunset over Fuerteventura from the Long Beach Club in Puerto del Carmen was spectacular:

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Another coastal hike, this time on the west side of the island between La Santa and Tenesar. It was a rugged trail with the amazing ocean as a backdrop again….it never gets old!

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We worked up a little hunger, so had to lunch at “Majo Picon”, a restaurant that Heidi recommended and booked for us in Tinajo. Perfectly grilled chipironies, tuna salad and roasted pork cheeks, delicious!

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On our last day in Lanzarote we went to the Teguise Sunday Market for some last minute shopping, and then watched the World Cup Final (France vs Argentina) at home with Heidi, Tony and Blacky. Yes, surrounded by pets it really feels like home!

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Leaving Lanzarote - a camel from Canada in Duty-Free?

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We flew home through London and had dinner with our niece Erika. She was supposed to join us in Lanzarote but was too busy working – oh to be young again!

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Denver bound – time for Christmas! See you soon Auntie Connie!

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Our furry friends on Lanzarote: Marcus and Heidi’s pack is at the top of the list of course!

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Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!🎄🎄🎄

Posted by margofiala 20:35 Archived in Spain

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Comments

Today I finally got around to reading this blog entry. I see I am first to comment. Perhaps everyone else is celebrating Christmas Eve! I can hardly wait to land on Lanzarote. Only 15 more sleeps!

by Donna-Lynne

The one week we have planned to be on Lanzarote will not be enough!

by Johndotbike

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