Lanzarote; the island of fire and lava

The sail down to the Canaries ended up taking four days. The whole trip was done using the genoa alone, and was a pretty rough affair, with large waves and quiet strong wind. But then we were in the Canaries! Since arriving in the Mediterranean in September, we had had the feeling that we were running from the weather, and now, in early December, we were finally in the Canaries where the sun was shining and we didn’t have to bring an umbrella everywhere we went.

La Graciosa is a small island just north of Lanzarote, with an anchorage below the ancient volcanoes. We arrived in the anchorage in the evening, and had a pretty rough night – the place was not exactly as protected as we had hoped. But no worries, the Canaries are small, and the next day we set sail and moved south towards Arrecife on Lanzarote. Since the trip was only around 30NM, we were not in a hurry, but when we still had half the way to go at 2pm, we finally started the engine in order to arrive before dark. When we radioed the marina it took a long time for them to find a suitable berth for us, and we later learned that they simply didn’t know what to do with such a small boat… As things were, we ended up on the pontoon for the people who stayed in Recife for a long time to fix their old boats.

We had really loved visiting Morocco, but being back in Europe meant that we could get a beer in the cafes, wear the clothes we liked and walk the streets without being constantly asked to buy something. And that was a really nice change. Arrecife was a cute little town, but the best part was that we met the crew of Lady Lale again, a Swiss boat with to girls Runa’s age, who we had first met in Tangier. So The kids were back to play dates and sleep overs.

The Canaries are created by volcanic activity, and everywhere we went we saw the old volcanic cones – very exciting for our volcano-obsessed kids. The last big eruptions on Lanzarote, about 200 years ago, left a large part of the island covered in lava, and this area is now the Timanfaya National Parc. To see the parc, we rented a car for the day and made a trip round the island. Seen with the eyes of a Scandinavian, the whole island is pretty barren, but still, the landscape clearly changed dramatically when we reached the volcanic area; lava in black, brown and red burned colors now dominated. We had to change to a bus, which took us through lava tubes and along the old craters. Very impressive.

From Arrecife we made our way south in little hops; we spent a couple of days in the bland Marina Rubicon (because of its pool), and one night at anchor off of Isla de Lobos, where it was so rolly it took an hour before the kids realized we had arrived… And we all found it very nice to take it easy for a while.

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