Samstag, 28. Mai 2016

Lanzarote, the Volcanic Island

Hola everyone!

Thank you for coming by to have a look at another story of the travel mouse!
This will be the last trip during my EVS that I will share with you, since I'm almost at the end of my 9 months in Spain. Only three weeks left!...mhm
My house mates Irene, Rosy and I had booked the flight to Lanzarote, Canary Island, in the winter when it was raining cats and dogs end here in Galicia. You can imagine how we were longing for sunshine! 
But the whole rest of our trip we organized just a couple of days before our flight. 
We were really lucky to find a couchsurfer who was okay to host us the entire week and even offered to pick us up from the airport although we arrived almost at midnight. 

The first day we discovered our immediate surrounding, which was the town Playa Blanca and the beaches beyond it. The area there is called Playas de Papagayo- "the parrot beaches"- and they get their name from the shape they have: from above it looks like a parrots' peak. 
We got sun, ocean, looooots of wind and beautiful views. At the end of the day we returned to Playa Blanca quite hungry and had pizza for dinner (funnily, there are many Italians living on Lanzarote).

The next day we wanted to explore the capital of the island, Arecife. Yeah, it was nice! We spent spent about 2 hours sleeping on the beach and snacking. After strolling through the town a bit more we decided to see another town called Puerto del Carmen. Again another stroll through that town, looking for a travel agency that might offer cheap trips around the island. One was closed, another one open and there we booked a day trip to the neighboring island Fuerteventura. 
We picnicked on the beach and saw the sun set, talking about what we could do the following day. 

In the end we didn't have to plan anything because on Saturday our host was so kind to take us around the island in his car. First stop was a black beach, due to Lanzarote being a volcanic island.
We also got to see a green lake called "El Golfo" and then stopped to ride camels. Well, only Irene and I. Although I felt some pitty for the camels and I clearly wasn't supporting the animals freedom it was an experience I value because I have been wanting to do it for a long time (checked one more thing on my life's to-do list). Then we drove through very dry volcanic landscapes to the Nationalpark Timanfaya  were we got to look down a volcano. On top of its opening they have put a metal grid to grill food for the restaurant next door. With a tour bus we got to have a closer look at the inside of the nationalpark. Getting hungry after a while we stopped in a small beach town and I ordered salad with "Papas", which are small potatoes boiled in sea water. In the end they are ready to eat and have a thick crust of salt on the peal. Next we stopped at a beautiful overlook on the small island next to Lanzarote called "La Graciosa". In the late afternoon we tried to enter into three different important sites of the island but they were all closing, so we continued, passing wine plantations and other fun places until we returned home to the house. The three of us walked to Playa Blanca and bought ingredients to cook our host a good "thank you" dinner for this special day!

On Sunday we went first to the "Jameos del Agua", a little lake in a cave in which little white crabs live. It is part of one of César Manrique's artistic sites where he used the volcanic manipulated nature and created something new within it, such as houses, a theatre auditory, a pool,... You will see more of his work later on when we visited his "Fundación" on Tuesday!
Afterwards we visited the "Cueva de los Verdes", ("Cave of the Greens"), which are tunnels underneath the earth in which the hot lava streamed out towards the ocean. They get their name from a family called "Verde" who used to live above the cave and would keep their farm animals in the cool shade of the tunnels. 
Then we walked along the coast, looking for a beach and eventually found one! On the way there we passed some cute houses, two of them even more special as they were decorated with ceramics. But after a bit of relaxing we had to take the bus home because it was already getting evening. 

Hurray, Monday! It was time to take the ferry over to Fuerteventura! The ride only took 40 minutes as we neared us the other shore. The ferry docked in the town Corralejo which is in the north of the island. After walking for a while we arrived at a beautiful beach with white sand and blue water, wind surfers speeding not far away from us. We spent all afternoon there and had a fun time. 

We wanted to see more of César Manrique, Lanzarote's most important artist, so on Tuesday we went to visit the "Fundación", partly a museum with art peaces, partly a underground house constructed within volcanic holes. Again, very impressive! He reminded me a bit of Gaudí (Barcelona) and Hundertwasser (Vienna, Austria), as they all let themselves be inspired by nature in their own way. I really enjoy seeing such kind of art!
After our visit we went to Porto del Carmen one more time to find some souvenirs and have our last dinner on Lanzarote at a Chinese' place. I tried rice rolls for the first time, yummy!

On our last day, Wednesday, it was time to say thank you and good-bye to our lovely host, clean the room and walk fully packed to Playa Blanca and enjoy the beach one more time.
We  had some time until we wanted to catch the bus to the airport so I went to look into the shops. Also I wanted to buy food for the trip. So, 5 minutes before the bus was scheduled I arrived at the bus station and the girls were waiting, in front of them a long line of tourists already entering the bus. When it was our turn the driver told us the bus was already full. Noo! We tried to convince him that this was our last and only bus to catch our flight, but no. So we had to take a taxi. That wasn't the most pleasant experience of our trip. But at least we caught our flight without problems and returned to Santiago safely.

I'm glad we got to travel to Lanzarote together. It was a very nice trip, we got to know each other even a bit better, had our laughs but also our struggles. But that's part of being human!
This vacation was like a pause in my time as a volunteer, marking the beginning of my three last weeks here in Spain. Now it's time for me to work and finish my projects that I have started here, to enjoy the time fully and to try to turn some of my to-do's into action (like going camping on a beach).

I will be back here soon!
the Reisemaus/ travel mouse

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