…………..and Guilt on Lanzarotte!

It is 2 weeks since we  last tied up anywhere , so we headed for Marina Rubicon on the South coast of Lanzarotte. Just to the West of the entrance one of our American friends was lying comfortably to anchor off the beach  , but we headed in . The staff were friendly , the chandlery was the best we had seen since leaving Hamble and there was free wi-fi. It  looked  a good place to explore the island from and carry out some repairs  and improvements that were overdue. 

Around the marina  things were perhaps not so good with some fairly horrible touristy sites and there in the middle of them all was a simple white single story building with lanzarotte green doors and windows – and four flagpoles  sporting  large black flags. Alongside was an old wooden beach fishing boat , still in fairly good condition. Across the front of the building was a banner proclaiming – “Once this was a beach!” Another had a poem which I think  very roughly translated as -” Its better to try and fail for something that you really believe in than just lie down and let them walk all over you” It seems that when the developers moved in on the little fishing village that previously fronted this sheltered bay , everyone sold up except this one fisherman, and he continues to fight the development in the courts .  I think I would like this man – he must be a strong and awkward customer to take on a battle like this . The man who translated the banner for me thought that at one point the developers had been ordered to dismantle the whole huge edifice , but the battle continues.

So where do we stand in this. We are holed up , with electricity and water and internet access , and can leave the boat  for a few days if we wish  even though the wind is howling. Meanwhile my American friend sits patiently at anchor outside  ,  quite safe but unable to leave his ship , but safe too in the knowledge that he is playing no part in depriving the fisherman of his livelihood and environment.  That the arguement is taking place at all  is no small part due to a man called Cesar Manrique – artist and architect who had an incredible  influence on the development of the island  , trying to ensure that it was tasteful and sustainable . Today we visited the amazing Parc National de Timanfaya , created by him in 1970 to preserve the wonderful volcanic landscape caused  by the eruptions of the 18th century.  It is like visiting Lobos and  rewinding a million or so years through time and seeing the land before nature had worked its softening miracles on the volcanic mayhem, with only the lichens managing to find a toe hold  on the place. Everyone who visits Lanzarotte  comes here  and yet he has managed to make the the experience for the tourist  profound and enthralling  whilst still keeping the environment  pristine and safe.

The marina and surrounding development at Rubicon has not – and I feel bad about my part in this!

From lanzarotte

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