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canoeing, kayaking and other adventures

canoeing and kayaking adventures born in the Southeastern U.S. and now centered in Scotland...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Lanzarote Escape - Day 1 - 3/11/2008

Some time away from work has been a long time coming for me. Part of why I ran off to Canada in October was to stave off the burnout. We escaped Edinburgh for a week of sunshine and (planned) warmth in Lanzarote, which is the easternmost of the Canary Islands. True to form, Brian brought some freakish weather with him -- it was cold for a couple days in the tropics!!! We spent our first full day on the island exploring the resort town of Puerto del Carmen by bike, following first the promenade and then the trail along the coast. Best of all, we found a little singletrack along the way. :)

The most entertaining part about the resort town was that it catered to English and Irish tourists with a bit of German thrown in just for fun. Irish/English breakfast was easy to find (as was veggie breakfast). Pubs and restaurants advertised which football matches and soap operas you could watch there and when. As the often lone American, I thought it was hilarious. I am used to avoiding resorts and tourist traps that cater to American tourists and here I was in the middle of a English tourist trap. Scary! Funny!

We biked as far as Puerto Calero, which is the posh neighbour of Puerto del Carmen. Cheap shopping and cheap meals can be found in the latter. Expensive shopping and slightly less cheap meals can be found in Puerto Calero. Brian was very keen on doing a submarine tour, which we were able to do there. We boarded our (wait for it) Yellow Submarine for about an hour's tour of the sea nearby to a depth of about 30m. Yes, it really was yellow and yes they played the Beatles for us on the way up. We saw loads of fish including some that loved playing in the eddies along the boat itself. Nothing rare or exotic tried to eat our submarine. Sadly, no Great White sightings or anything like that. Lots of barracuda, seabream and perch swimming around as well as lots of urchins sitting on whatever rocks they could find.

We got a little lost on the cycle back to Puerto del Carmen. Not properly lost because the landscape was wide-open volcanic with very few trees to get in the way. We just exited too early to avoid some steps and had to cycle a little while on a road instead of a trail.

On the way back, we stopped at a private tourist information office and were reminded of typical English customer service, still another laugh for me. English tourist traps and all.

It was a good day exploring, especially once we escaped the resort itself. Both of us were keen for the grand tour coming up to see what else on the island outside of the resort towns was worth exploring.

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