Our next port of call was Arrecife in Lanzarote. We had booked a tour to The Parque Nacional de Timanfaya and we were told that this would be like nothing we had experienced before………and they were right!
It was like we had walked on to the moon. Lanzarote has been the site of the most extensive eruptions in the Canaries in recent centuries. A major geological upheaval occurred in the 18th century. Between 1730 and 1736 more than 100 volcanic vents in the west of the island began ejecting lava in an area which is now known as ‘Montañas del Fuego’, the Mountains of Fire.
During the prolonged eruptions of the 1730s, which was one of the most sustained seismic events in our recorded history, lava flowed over fully 200 sq km, or about one quarter of the island’s surface, burying eleven local villages.
And in 1974, the region’s importance was recognised with the designation of a protected National Park status. The ‘Parque Nacional de Timanfaya’ or Timanfayo National Park (named after one of the unfortunate destroyed villages) was created. And since then, the whole region has become a tourist attraction, and the most distinctive feature on the Island of Lanzarote.
Have you ever had that feeling of having the devil on your shoulder and no angel to balance it on the other?
I suppose it really was a bit devilish of me to start a game of hide ‘n’ seek in this rocky terrain!
We weren’t too sure which way to go……….just as well that the coach driver saw the sign in time!
There are no rivers in this area and very little rainfall so the solidified lava has not been eroded as other such areas might have been.
This huge volcanic field covers about one quarter of the island’s surface.
The volcanic soil is very nutritious and is great for growing, however the wind and the lack of water doesn’t help for cultivation. The only things that seem to thrive are grapes, figs, almonds and onions all grown without artificial irrigation.
Most of the grapes go in to the production of wine, and Jane chose this bottle to bring home with her.
After the tour we all went back to the ship for a spot of lunch, and in the afternoon Jane and I went out for a walk to explore the town of Arricife.
We were exploring after most of the ship had got back onboard and so we had the place to ourselves again!
As it was so quiet we had the time to do a bit of geocaching without being noticed and giving the game away!
We caught the last courtesy bus back to the ship to leave this small town to fall back in to its normal quiet sleepiness.