Friday, June 18, 2010

Lanzarote, Canary Islands

This is the story of the mid-May trip Evan and I took to Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain.

Day 0 - Wednesday, May 12th
We left the afternoon before our flight because it was too early in the morning for the trains.  Stayed the night in the airport (got very little sleep).  Evan and I had brought some beers from Maastricht with us and didn’t really have a good time to drink them, so we did in the morning at like 5am (before our flight).

Day 1 - May 13th
Arrived by plane into a really pretty airport right next to the water.  We then took the bus to Puerto Del Carmen, walked along the beach through the town on our way to the hotel.  I’m not sure if it’s the time of year, or always this way but hotels on Lanzarote were extremely cheap.  Our hotel was one block away from the beach, had a bedroom, living room, kitchen and balcony and was in a complex with multiple pools, internet… the works and only cost 25Euros total.  After getting settled we went to the beach that day and walked around/explored/napped.  We went out at night but things were really quiet so we just ended up making good friends with the bartender (because we were practically the only people there) and then went home relatively early.

Day 2 - May 14th
Today was just a great relaxing beach-day.  Our breakfast started out the day amazingly: 2.5Euros for Eggs, Bacon, Sausage, Potatoes, Coffee & Orange juice.  The rest of the day was spent either at the beach or trying to setup the rest of our trip (figuring out an island tour, grocery shopping & renting a car etc).  The night life was a little better on Friday, now that a lot of the weekend-vacationers were in town.  We ran into a group of Irish girls who we had met previously that day on the beach.  We went to a few different bars with them, which was fun… but nothing too special.  The Canary Islands in general are huge vacation hotspots for British so just about everyone there was Irish/English.

Day 3 - May 15th
This day we went on a tour of the national park & volcanoes.  It was a bus trip with all older British people.  We made a few cool stops on the way (green lake and rode camels) then went to volcano park.  As part of the tour the demonstrated how hot the ground was just below the surface by putting sticks in a pre-dug hole and watching them catch fire within seconds.  There is also the only (so they say) natural volcano-heated oven.  The tour ended with some wine-tasting.  Because the night life started rather late in the Canaries (it wasn’t worth going out before 2am at all) and we had to keep waking up early, we decided to take naps from ~10pm to midnight before we started pregaming and getting ready to go out.  Well on this night we both just slept through the night and didn’t go out at all.

Day 4 - May 16th
Today was our adventure-day.  We rented a car in the morning, went grocery shopping and drove up to the North coast of the island.  On the way we stopped at a pretty cool cactus garden, as well as a volcano-tunnel-cave-pool-thing (which is apparently part of the longest volcano tunnels in the world).  We found a beach near that and hung out there for a bit (taking a nap out in the sun) and then continued on further along the coast.  Evan and I agreed that this was the night we’d try out sleeping on the beach and we figured that first beach we went to would work out great.  On our way back from driving around the island we, oh a whim, decided to climb a volcano (the 2
nd largest one on the island).  It turned out being a ton of fun and very worthwhile.  It was also the only exercise either of us got all trip.
We then set out to sleep on the beach… bringing down our sweatshirts, food and some wood for a fire.  It was really windy that night so the fire turned out to be harder-than-expected to start, but eventually we got it going.  Unfortunately there wasn’t enough wood on the beach (and no thick logs) to sustain the fire for long so eventually we gave up trying to keep it going.  In the middle of the night Evan and I both got way too cold and agreed to drive back to Puerto Del Carmen, where we slept in our car the rest of the morning until we had to return it.

Day 5 - May 17th
Today we returned our car, went to the hotel for our last night and just took a very relaxing day of laying out… going to the beach and not much else.  This was our last time to really relax before school and finals started picking up so we needed to make the most of it.
We flew out the next morning and got back just in time to help Lewis celebrate his 21st birthday.

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