Thursday, April 5, 2012

Writing about Lanzarote

Everyone in our writing group has either chosen the island as their home or is a frequent visitor. The task set last week was to write an article about one aspect of the island we all love.
Here are a couple of examples of the finished articles by Lyn and Sandie:

Lanzarote is a small Island, one of the seven that makes up the Canary Islands. Although we are Spanish we are nowhere near Spain. We are situated some 60 miles from the African coast and benefit from a sub tropical climate.
Lanzarote is almost certainly the prettiest of the Islands, conforming to the late Cesar Manrique´s ideas, which were laid down in law, that dwellings should all be height restricted and painted either white or cream. Paintwork on windows, doors etc may be green or blue or natural wood. There are historical reasons to the green or blue; farmers had green and fishermen had blue on their houses. This has been lost in as much as anybody can be whatever colour, providing it is green or blue, and now the myriad villas and apartment complex´s conform making the island look like it is covered by lots of sugar cubes on the countryside, very pretty.
We have unconventional beauty naturally, the mountains and countryside are lacking in greenery, due to our climate, but the stunning array of browns, beiges and greys and black can be breathtaking, particularly when the sun is setting behind the mountains and they take on a completely ethereal magnificence. Something that has to be seen to be appreciated.
We have beaches ranging through white sand to gold and completely black, each beautiful and magnificent when viewed against the blue blue skies and sea. The sea is clear affording stunning sights of underwater life, and perfect for swimming and diving.
If dining out is your passion, Lanzarote is definitely the place for you. Thousands, yes, quite literally thousands, of restaurants and bars offer world class cuisine of every possible type from cheap pub grub to gourmet dining of the highest standard. Something to suit all budgets and tastes, children’s dishes are readily available everywhere too and the children are always welcomed.
Entertainment may be found in the evenings, again, to suit all tastes and ages. If a quiet evening with a glass of Sangria and sea breezes is your thing, then that is well catered for also. All age groups are welcome and feel very at home on Lanzarote. Night clubs are normally situated close to each other but nothing on the scale of Ibiza or Magaluf. It is not unusual to see parents and even Grandparents in these clubs along with the younger generations enjoying the music and having a ´boogie´.
If you should choose to explore the Island, you will discover that it is only 38miles long and 13 miles wide. There are seven main tourist attractions including our ´live´ volcano (where you can choose to enjoy a meal cooked over the heat of it in a dedicated restaurant), underground caves, a high viewing point overlooking our sister Island La Graciosa . Everywhere you drive to there are breathtaking views and (almost) always a view of the sea in the distance. Look carefully and, in spite of our hot dry weather, you can find numerous wild flowers bravely smiling up at the sun. Of course, we normally get a wet season around February time. Don’t let this put you off. A heavy shower can become history ten minutes after it has come down, due to the ground being so warm it dries it immediately. It is a rare occurrence indeed to get a day with no sunshine. Our winter temperatures average 21c daytime and rarely dip below double figures at night. Summer is very pleasant and, although it can peak at 40c it is more likely to be a comfortable 35 ish and as we have a constant breeze it does not feel stiflingly warm as some Mediterranean countries can.

Four and a half hours from the UK by plane, our beautiful Paradise Island is waiting to welcome you!
April 2012

Easy Walking on Lanzarote’s Footpaths

Lanzarote has many walking opportunities to suit all ages, abilities and levels of experience. For a small island such as this is, the choice is really extensive and the main problem is choosing where to begin! The good news is that you don’t have to embark on a full day’s trek in the more remote areas of the island to experience its peace and tranquillity, and wealth of fascinating flora and fauna.

In Costa Teguise, for example, which is a purpose built resort in the south of the island, there is a series of way marked walks on footpaths in and around the town. Ranging in length from 4.5 to 10 kilometres, these provide an excellent starting point and can prove to be a source of delight and interest for the first time visitor, seasoned traveller or full time resident alike. Walking these easily accessible and non demanding routes, you will quickly get a flavour of many of the island’s special attributes whilst getting some beneficial exercise and the wonderful fresh air of Lanzarote.

An information leaflet and map clearly displaying the walks can be obtained from the Tourist Office, located in the delightful, Cesar Manrique designed Pueblo Marinero, which is easily located in the centre of the town, near the seafront. There are also larger maps and information boards in various places along the promenade/cycle path that hugs the shoreline here, passing a number of beautiful and varied local beaches. All the walks are circular so, in theory, you can pick them up at any point along the way, but the logical place to start is at the seafront where there are ample opportunities for refreshments, before or after your walk, in a number of local bars, cafes and restaurants.

Each footpath is way marked for the vast majority of its route and, where signs appear to have run out or may have been removed, the way forward is still easily identifiable, as the footpaths are all made up of the same, small grade material and edged with lava rocks of various hues. As well as walkers, you will often see hardy mountain bikers and energetic joggers along the way, especially on the shorter routes. The longest (10k) route is the one to opt for if you are seeking peace and tranquillity. This one also affords a couple of breathtaking viewpoints of the coastline and outlying settlements of “sugar cube” houses.

On any of the walks, you are sure to spot examples of the wealth of flora and fauna of the island, some of which are unique to this special place. Lizards, geckos, butterflies and birds abound wherever you go. Where the footpaths meander through the more central areas of the town, they are edged by, or traverse, plantations of palm trees, cacti and succulent varieties of plants native to the island. In the more tranquil surroundings of the longest walk, you may also be rewarded by the sight of a local rabbit or partridge scurrying for cover, a busy hoopoe bird pecking at insects or a kestrel hovering majestically overhead.

All this in just one of the islands small, tourist towns and the whole island beyond still awaiting your exploring footsteps!

April 2012

There are more to come, on the quieter beaches on the island, getting around the island by bus, facilities for the disabled, fiestas through the year......

Despite the fact that it is Good Friday this week the group voted to have a session as usual which is very gratifying.
Don't forget your notebooks!

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