Lanzarote, Canary Islands, is part of a chain of islands autonomous to Spain in the Atlantic Ocean off the north-western coast of Africa. As the photo’s show the islands are volcanic in origin with the last eruption on Lazarote around 200 years ago. The landscape is rugged and dramatic, so much so that it looks like another planet so it is no surprise that the scenery is used in movies of other worlds such as The Planet of the Apes.
At the last minute (literally) we decided to take a ship organised tour ‘Island of fire mountains and camel ride tour’ This tour also included a vinyard and winery always a good. What a great decision as everything else was closed for Good Friday.
At 9am we boarded the bus for the 25 min drive to Timanfaya National Park to see the Fire Mountains by Camel. The camel ride was a great experience and very well organised. There were busses and tourists arriving for the camel ride by the 100’s. Easter is a very very popular time for tourists here, however to there credit the loading, riding and resting of the over 200 camels was exceptionally well organised as was the Timanfaya National Park Generally.
The Camel ride was a lot of fun and took us up quite a steep grade. Going down a steep hill on a camel turned out to be something unexpected. We had to hang on! When going down hill the camel we were on felt like it had a dislocated shoulder with a severe double jolting movement and for a moment we considered calling over the camel train driver (what do you call a person who leads camels?) to say the camel appeared injured. We soon noticed that he seemed unconcerned and the other camels had a similar movement albeit that ours seemed more violent. Thank goodness Trish had her inflatable back cushion in place to protect her back. On our return the odd shriek from the ladies indicated that dismounting a camel is also a time to hang on as it drops to its knees front first. Trish is still getting the giggles remembering the ride as we write this!!
Click below to see more photos and read more on the National Park and Vinyard…………
Reboarding bus 6 we were soon off to the Timanfaya National Park entrance. Our timing was good as the long que of cars seemed to be behind us. Nevertheless the parking was so tight that we had to wait some 15 minutes for a bus to leave before being allowed into the park. The photos here speak for themselves, magnificent volcanic scenery and the rough and sharp rock lava flows quite different to the smoother lava flows we observed in Hawaii.
There is a restaurant here that cooks the food using the heat from the volcano (photo of food over volcanic heat vent. A demonstration showed this to be hot enough to ignite grass and paper when placed in the vent). Interesting that there is no sulphur smells here just heat.
Our next stop was at a vinyard and winery. The grape vines here grow in depressions in the volcanic gravel surrounded by a wall of lava rocks. Very unusual this is done due to the lack of rainfall and to protect the vines from the winds off the atlantic ocean.
A day at sea tomorrow then Cadiz on the Spanish Mainland.
Great explore. Canary Islands in Spain is one of main place for traveling. I never visited this place but heard many good things about it. Indeed, you had a great time there.
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