Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Very old school caravan…

We were excited when the brochure for the excursion to Timanfaya national park offered camel rides. Luckily, on the ride out there, our guide saw that the “camel stand” wasn’t busy so we got the old school caravan under way post haste. There were probably more than a hundred camels waiting to take tourists around a small circuit for 15 minutes or so.IMG_6289 (1024x683)Robert was terrified but sucked it up quite nicely. The rest of us were almost giddy.IMG_6312 (1024x683)Camels have a reputation for being cantankerous, but we found these to be quite pleasant (and patient).IMG_6316 (681x1024)IMG_6287 (1024x683) Hopefully they’ll use part of the 6 Euros apiece we paid to spring for teeth whitening treatments for these (otherwise) beautiful beasts of burden.IMG_6293 (1024x684)It was at this stop that my camera started bugging out. I still haven’t had it looked at, but now it won’t take pictures at all. I hope it’s the lens (which I’ve never been crazy about).IMG_6341 (1024x683)Our guide explained that the camels are very well cared for, only working every other day. Our camel herder gave our breakfast muffins B lugged along to one our camels, so I think they are a bit pampered.

The Boilers…

On the Tuesday during our vacation we took a day excursion to Timanfaya National Park, situated on the enormous lava flow created during the 18th century mega-eruptions. On the way, we stopped and rode camels (more on this later). Who needs Giza?

The park is fascinating. The lava hardened hundreds of years ago, but a few inches down is still hot (hundreds of degrees Celsius a couple of meters down)! A restaurant there simply dug a well and cooks steaks etc. from this heat.

On the way back, we stopped on the coast at Los Hervideros (roughly translated as “boilers” in English), one of the most beautiful coastal areas I’ve ever seen, even more dramatic because of strong winds.


Sometimes you flip the camcorder on and magic happens. Could be just because I love the subject so much, but this video of Emily flittering about on the beach captivates me. I feel like the kid in American Beauty watching the wind-born trash bag (although to me Emily is much more fluid and graceful!).

Monday, March 14, 2011

The slow wind-down…

An unusually long (for me) video of a gorgeous sunset viewed from our balcony. What more can I say?

Golden at the beach…

About two kilometers (about 2 miles) from our hotel sits the small city of Playa Blanca. This little burg boasts a jewel known as Playa Dourada (Golden Beach). Not only is the beach itself world class gorgeous, it is tucked under a well developed commercial area with restaurants, bars and even supermarkets. The hotel had a shuttle that went there several times a day, although a cab only costs 4 Euros.

From our rented chairs (3 Euros each), the view was drop dead beautiful. Warning: The gentle bobbing of this sailboat is hypnotizing.
The water was gorgeous. I took this shot from one of the breakwater at the west end. It is one of my favorite shots from the trip.
This shot is from the breakwater to the east. I LOVE LANZAROTE!!!

Papagayo Beach

Our hotel took its name from a neighboring beach, Papagayo Beach (Parrot Beach in English). Although only a 10 minute walk from our hotel, Papagayo Beach is fairly remote, with no infrastructure such as bars or even restrooms. It is sandwiched between two bluffs that give somewhat adventurous types a gorgeous view in both directions.

Here’s the approach to the beach from the hotel.

Here’s the view from the “western bluff”.

And now toward the west from the eastern bluff.
As you walk down the treacherously rocky coastline east, you find a series of remote beaches of various sizes (that attract a fair number of nudists (sorry, no video)!).

The hotel…

We stayed at an all inclusive resort called the Sandos Papagayo Arena Hotel. Because of lackluster (to put it lightly) food service, I’m on the fence as to whether I would stay there again. However, the place is beautiful, our room (a junior suite) was huge and the view from our balconies was gorgeous. Here’s a shot of the back of the hotel with a mega-zoom on our balconies.

The beach at the back of the hotel isn’t particularly hospitable, but there were a couple of very nice beaches very close. Here’s Emily playing on the hotel’s beach our first evening there.
Here’s a shot roughly south from the beach.
More on the other beaches in future posts.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

We’re back

Just got back from a week in Lanzarote, one of the Canary Islands. What can I say? We are in love with the place. More posts, pics and videos forthcoming. Here’s a bit of unedited video from Playa Dorado (Gold Beach) about 2 kilometers from our hotel.

Here’s the big mountain behind the hotel.