Holiday on the rocks #2

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All kinds of cacti could be seen on Fuerteventura. These ball-shaped ones are always impressive, especially in clumps

Following on from yesterday’s reminiscing about the ingenious ways to use all those volcanic rocks lying around on Fuerteventura beaches, here is part two.

The second thing I had never seen before was on a day trip to Lanzarote. We caught the ferry for about 50 minutes from Corallejo to the port of Playa Blanca. Then we shuffled onto a bus for a five-hour tour of the island, stopping at an Aloe Vera factory, a winery and the Timanfaya National Park.

When I found out a winery was included on the tour, I admit I rolled my eyes. Seen one vineyard, seen them all. Rows and rows of vines, try some wine, on you go.

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Seen one winery …

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… seen them all?

But this winery is one I will never forget, because these are the vineyards …

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Each plant has its own hole, protected by a volcanic rock wall to stop wind damage. Have you ever seen anything like it? And for the record, the sweet white was too sweet but the dry white was quite nice (not that I know anything about wine).

So, the scenery was memorable for many reasons – the ground was so dark and the mountains looked amazing, with various red flecks from different minerals – but this Canary Island version of a vineyard takes the cake! Totally eye-popping moment and well worth the visit.

To find out more about the La Geria vineyard, and to see the plants in a better state than we saw them, go to this website. http://www.lanzarote-virtual.eu/lanzarote-round-island-trip/la-geria-vineyards-of-lanzarote

Here are some other snaps, taken from the bus, of Lanzarote. Around the port, it had a much cleaner, almost clinical, feel to it than Fuerteventura. Like the rich and famous, rather than the surfer crowd, would be comfortable there. But these are countryside pics.

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Yaiza has been voted the loveliest village in Spain – twice!

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Like being on Mars or something, but still incredibly beautiful and interesting

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Camel, anyone?

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Our tour guide making sure we were all prepared to hold a handful of small stones from one of the ‘hot points’ at Timanfaya National Park. They were damn hot! I had to drop mine quickly.

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Dry twigs caught on fire very quickly when put down this hole

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Water poured into this funnel burst back up within three seconds

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The restaurant in the park cooks meat on a naturally heated grill!

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We learned about the different types of lava flow as well. You’re not allowed to walk anywhere off the track because it’s so unstable and fine in places

So there you go! It’s nice to be surprised, isn’t it?!

Wishing you a wonderful day.

Holiday on the rocks

Two things have really stuck in my mind from our recent holiday in the Canary Islands, and they both involve the volcanic rock found everywhere.

From Corralejo, on Fuerteventura, we walked to the big beaches, or grande playas, near the extensive sand dunes on the north east of the island, and as we came around the coastline past the great holiday houses and beach bars …

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They even built some houses with the volcanic rock. Normally it was a garden feature but some houses used them for walls and not just pavers

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I went to uni in Toowoomba. Nice to know it’s a mere 18,000+ kilometres away

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A chilled place to hang out with a drink, looking at Lobos Island

… and hit the sand, Leo pointed out some circular formations, obviously built by man, using volcanic rock.

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What could this round mound be?

From a distance, I could only see two, so I thought they were places to barbecue (check me out, the classic Aussie, thinking of a barbie) and smartypants Leo, who’s been here before, laughed at my stupidity.

Do you know?

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What could …

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… they be for?

They’re for people to lie in, normally naked!, to protect themselves from the wind. And boy what a wind. It’s a windsurf/kitesurf mecca, which makes for tough conditions on the beach if you want to bare it all.

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Kites all over the beach. The ones with a human attached at the bottom, going through water …

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… like this guy

Of course, people wearing swimmers also used them, but I have to say (from the cheeky peeks I was taking as we walked past them, and there were dozens of the formations, some in better states than others) that the majority were filled with rudie nudies. I’d want to to save my bits from being whipped by the sandy wind too!

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Three wise monkeys

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I stayed fully clothed!

I’ll tell you all about the second weird man-made rock formation thing that I’ve never seen before tomorrow.

Wishing you a wonderful day.

p.s all the good quality photos were taken by Leo. Thanks Leo!

December 19-January 2: Canary Islands

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Sunrise in Corralejo

Buenos Dias señoras y señores. Feliz año nuevo!

Ok, all that came from Google Translate but my wishes are hearty and authentic, even if my methods are somewhat dubious!

We had a wonderful holiday in the Canary Islands, where I faked a Spanish accent while ordering dinner and found two new Latin lovers. Leo isn’t concerned.

Our base was in Corallejo at the north of Fuerteventura and we travelled all over the countryside, leaving the island only once for a day-trip to Lanzarote to visit the impressive and Mars-like Timanfaya National Park.

Lonely Planet map of the Canary Islands. West Africa is less than 150km to the east

Lonely Planet map of the Canary Islands. The north west coast of Africa is about 150km to the east

Three days in a hire car were enough to see a fair whack of the island, especially the impressive bottom western tip, and one day we rode 44km on an unpaved, rutted coastal path on bicycles. We’d hired the bikes for two days but couldn’t face another day in the saddle.

My favourite moment was watching brave kids in El Cotillo jump in and out of the rough surf.

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Love this shot – captures the moment perfectly. I had heart palpitations watching them dive in and out, doing flips and being crazy

We ate and drank like kings and queens, lazed in the sun, were impressed by the kitesurfers, windsurfers and stand-up paddleboarders and I caught a cold at 2pm on New Year’s Eve. Woo me.

So here are some “wrap of the day” photos from the trip:

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Day 1

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Day 2

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Day 3

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Day 4

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Day 5

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Day 6

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Day 7

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Day 8

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Day 9

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Day 10

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Day 11

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Day 12

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Day 13

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Day 14

At first I was worried I wouldn’t like the arid landscape, but even though it was sparse with barely a tree around, the old volcanic mounds were beautiful and changed dramatically with the moving sun. We’ll definitely be going back. I might need to re-learn all that Spanish I forgot when I moved to Switzerland!

Wishing you a wonderful day.