January 12 – February 08, 2020; 2781 nm and 323 days after departure from La Rochelle
Yes! It was such a nice feeling to leave the marina. Spending almost two month squeezed in a berth next to the quay wall was definitely enough. We needed space and our freedom.
That is not to say we didn’t enjoy our stay in the marina Lanzarote and Arrecife. The marina was very protected and safe. The staff was very friendly and helpful, we can highly recommend staying there. And Arrecife is a decent little working city not too overrun by tourists and still kind of original. Well, it was just time to continue on.
After returning back from Germany we still had lots of things to do to reduce our long working list. We all know by now it’s a never ending story, but we all do love it, don’t we?😁 The most important, because most visible project to me was renewing our seams in the kitchen and bathroom area. It turned out great! It looks sooooo much better than before. I love it.
We are usually very busy, still we tend not to overwork ourselves. After all we’re so called retired, or open ended sabbatical as El Capitano used to say it. So we did take some time off to discover more of the island or recover in cafes for our well deserved cafes con leche or sometimes we chatted with like-minded sailors.
Thanks to Radio Atlantis we heard about an international surf event which took place in La Santa on the other side of the island in the middle of February. It sounded great so we checked out the busses, walked 35 min to the bus station and took the bus to our destination. Crazy brave surfers and body surfers were waiting a long time for the right wave to get into the tube and survived in there. That was at least what I thought. Of course all of them came out again, some still on their board and some off it. I was sure it must have been a great feeling, but I was scared to death just to think about doing it. Yeah I know I probably would’t even be able to paddle out that far. Too old, too weak, too lazy and and and…
Anyhow it was absolutely amazing and awesome to watch. And apart from the fantastic spectacle of the cute looking boys the bus ride itself was also worth the way. It was an hour trip through smaller towns, up and down some hills and through the beauty of the always impressive volcanic landscape.
A couple of days later we jumped again on a bus. This time our destination was further up north to a village named Haría. It is an atmospheric little town located in the” valley of 1000 palms”, so they say. It is an exaggeration but there are quite a lot of them. Our book guide and other brochures were keen on pointing out the legend of the palms. It recounts that once upon a time the townsfolk used to plant for every girl, locally born one palm tree and two for every boy. (Not fair to me!)
But that was not the reason for us to visit the valley. It has also attracted famous César Manrique and became his home during his later years. I can’t remember when he exactly moved there but it was sometime in the 1990. We wanted to visit his house, which sounded amazing in all the guides. It was (and still is) a beautifully decorated house full of personal belongings, it has two patios and a separate workshop, that hasn’t changed from the day the architect died. We loved the crazy, cool, huge, kind of outside bathroom. You can see it in the title picture with us posing.🤪 It was not allowed to take pics therefore we don’t have much.
We definitely enjoyed it, but that was not the house I really wanted to see. I did not realise at this point that there were two houses of him to visit. Actually I wanted to see his house where he used to live before he moved to Haría which is in Tahiche . We were looking for the house which he built in volcanic bubbles, in and with the nature. We went there as well a week or so later…a MUST do!
The bus connection in Lanzarote was not the easiest. Sometimes you either wait for hours and I mean hours, like 4 hours, or you walk to another line bus stop to reach your destination. That was our decision after visiting the Manrique house in Haría. The good thing was we would probably never have walked such routes with a well connected bus system. We found a nice, very dry trail to the east coast side Punta Mujeres to reach our bus back to Arrecife. The path took us, fortunately mainly down hill, through- meanwhile known -volcanic pebbles with great views over the ocean. A rural area with only a few houses and some poor looking patches but with it’s own charm.
One and a half hours later slightly exhausted we arrived at our destination, the bus stop in Punta Mujeres. The bus arrived and we sank happily into our seats…
We extended our stay for another week as El Capitano was waiting for a sailor who was selling his HAM/SSB radio tuner. He wanted to exchange his because it was not tuning all the frequency bands we needed.
More time for our todo list but also for the city and surroundings. After talking to some locals we found some organic shops and a huge (huge compared to local dimensions) Chinese groceries store. We restocked soy sauce, wasabi, miso and lots of other things which were hard to get on the islands.
The days went by just like this. One day Rob and Paulyne invited us for a nice Indian style dinner (thanks again guys) with surprisingly 😉 great food and long chats. The other day we walked 8km along the coast side to the very touristic village Costa Teguise. As mainly British visitors were staying there we found lots of pubs including football screens. We asked the nice barkeeper if they would switch to “Bundesliga” which she did. And lucky as we were we could watch the game Bayern- Schalke. Yeah 💪 and El Capitanos team won! Double yeah!
El Capitanos birthday present was a professional fishing tour to learn more about the proper skills to eventually get some bites. That turned out to be a great experience. Pepe the fisher man provided a fantastic tour with very useful information and lots of fishes. We learned about trolling, bottom fishing and spinning and we actually caught fishes. I was pretty good at bottom fishing. I caught 6 fishes while poor El Capitano only got zero. So sorry. At least he caught two or three big tunas while trawling. Goooooood job.
As already mentioned we went to see the other Manrique house with its amazing nature/human architecture. Built on a lava field and using volcanic bubbles as rooms makes it a very unique living area. To us it was the most impressive house, we’ve seen so far. There were two levels, one above ground and the other below and the entire space is unbelievable huge. Outside there was a lovely garden filled with cacti, plants, palms and a beautiful bougainvillea overgrown entrance. It is difficult to describe and the pics we made don’t express the fantastic unusual living area. The bubbles are spectacular. Manrique had a great sense of designing the house and especially the bubbles in very cool, crazy but also cosy rooms. He combined art with remanufactured objects and often used local materials. To make a long description short, it was stunning!
By the time the tuner arrived we had Altimate already ready to leave. All the usual cleaning, washing, provisioning was done. El capitano just needed to check the tuner and off we almost were. Of course we couldn’t leave without a goodbye party on Altimate with our old and new friends. Many thanks to Thomas from “Just 4Fun”, Walter the Swiss guy, Gaide the very good English speaking French lady and of course Paulyne and Rob from “Saviour” for the nice evening. As always see your somewhere again.
On Friday the 7th of February we left Arrecife.