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Sunday
Oct112009

Lanzarote - November 2008

I was released, at the end of October 2008, from the need to turn up on a daily basis at a defined place of gainful employment. (OK, I was made redundant.) It's a bit of a no-brainer that you invest some of the cheque in a holiday that you haven't had to get your boss to 'sign-off' - indicating that the business can manage without you for a week. It also helps you start to come to terms with the fact that the business can manage without you forever. No need to realise in my case, the comfortable mega-corp that employed me had put the dreaded 'non-core' rubber stamp across my part of the business around about 1997. It was a considerable relief, when they finally managed to sell it at the end of September 2008.

Thus, with some indecent haste, MBG and I arranged to go to Lanzarote for a week in November 2008. We thought that we might as well be relatively comfortable, so we booked a week 'all-inclusive' in Playa Blanca. I love Lanzarote, but MBG hadn't been before. The best known resort in Lanzarote, Puerto del Carmen (PDC) can be 'interesting' and possibly a little loud.  Playa Blanca was perfect. It is a small, well organised, town on the southern tip of the island.

Town Plan of Yaiza - Playa Blanca is the left hand bit in brown.

 We stayed at the Playa Blanca Hotel. Apart from the somewhat unimaginative name, it was very good. Accomodation was in semi-detatched bungalows. Very comfortable, with bedroom, living room and well equipped bathroom.

Our 'Bungalow' - We liked it!

General view - pool and admin areaIt was about a 10-15 minute walk down the hill to the beach (and a few Euros for a taxi back - it was a steep hill). Beach is important to MBG, she is one of those people that go disgustingly brown under the influence of a solitary, insipid, ultra-violet ray. Thus the prospect of a beach, under cloudless blue skies, in 25 degree sunshine, was too good to be missed.

Beach at Playa Blanca - Lanzarote

We have evolved a pretty good system. We go to the beach and get settled. Well, MBG gets settled. I don't really do beach for very long, so once she is comfortable I tend to wander off and do a bit of exploring and fact finding. This will include establishing which of the local cafes are the most welcoming, and which serves the most refreshing half litre of lager. It was a very relaxing week.

Through previous experience, I have scant regard for many of the trips and tours that are on offer in many resorts. The exception will be the tour of the Timanfaya National Park in Lanzarote. On the night of September 1st, 1730, the first of many volcanoes erupted on the island. They continued to erupt, continuously, for the next six years covering much of the island in molten lava and ash. Timanfaya National Park covers the area most active during this period.

(Large) Lump of volcanic rock

While the volcanoes are no longer active, there is still considerable heat not far from the surface. One of the first party-tricks demonstrated at the Park, is the pouring of a half bucket of cold water into a short bore hole. The result is shown in the photograph below.

There she blows! 5 seconds earlier this was half a bucket of cold water.

Other Timanfaya pictures:

El Golfo - The Green Lagoon, actually a volcanic crater.

Part of the Lava Field:

Lava Field

...and a volcanic crater

Extinct (hopefully) volcano

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