Lanzarotte reconsidered

We think this island is pretty special . Pass swiftly through the holiday developments on the South and East coasts ( and in all honesty they are neither huge nor particularly gruesome ) and we found ourselves in a unique place where even the agriculture has a sense of artistic style. Huge areas of land are covered with pits and semicircular stone walls that face into the NE trade that , at least during our stay ,was strong enough to make walking to windward quite difficult. The resulting pattern over the hillside was stunning. The black volcanic sand in which this living sculpture is set is dry as dust – but i understand that it collects and protects the night time dew and feeds it down to the roots of the vines nestling below. We tried the wine and to our uneducated palate it is very good , in fact a minor miracle in that the island receives less rainfall than parts of the Sahara.

Our “walking maps ” were pretty awful so we just set out across country . At the North end of the island on the cliffs , the gusts were so strong that Lynda was twice blown over , but the views were stunning and well worth the risk. At the South end the scenary was marginally less spectacular and we ended up in a little fishing village as yet undeveloped and still not spoilt by the tourist trade. Im sure many of the simple little white houses were rented out to holiday makers but there was nothing ” that took it out of its Lanzarottan context.

From lanzarotte

As for the recent volcanic area of Timanafaya ; words fail me but perhaps the photos will convey some of the extraordinary and unique quality of the landscape. Never before have I seen purples and reds and ochres and yellow and even cobalt blue altogether in a landscape and I would dearly love to come back one day and try to capture it on canvas .

From lanzarotte

The island has many pressures. German and English tourism could swamp it . Sub saharan Africans frequently try to land illegally and the artistic legacy of Cesar Manrique will be difficult to maintain now that he is dead . Let us hope however that his determination to protect this special place will continue to be honoured.

One Comments

  1. Hi Phil Linda
    Yes the scenery is stunning and you don’t have to get far out of town to reach it. Even the tourist areas (we have a time share in Puerta del Carmen) are completely different to those in Tenerife and G Canaria due to the low rise nature of the architecture. Your pictures are getting us exited already for December. Hang onto Linda when that wind blows.


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