Yesterday was the hottest ever, no sea mist at all in the morning, so hot it was hard to be outside or do anything. It was windy, but this bought no respite as the wind was blowing from the Sahara so it was hot and sand laden. I did manage to walk up to Hollie’s office, originally I’d thought about taking a taxi but, for the first time in history, there were no taxi men outside trying to get my business. The walk is probably only about a mile but it took ages because I was dodging from palm to palm trying to get every bit of shade I could. I understand now why many Moroccan women wear head scarves, I think I’ll get one before I come out here next. I also drank half a litre of water on each leg of the journey. What a relief it was to reach an air conditioned office! We had a coffee and a nice chat, quite a lot of it about the state of things back in the UK these days. Continue reading
There was a bit of an altercation on the promenade right outside out hotel yesterday afternoon. A huge dog, Commando thinks it was a bull mastiff, attacked a small dog. Everyone around the pool was alerted by barking and yelping and stood up to see what was going on. The big dog actually had the little dog in its jaws and was shaking it. The owner was trying to get it to stop but not very successfully. Eventually, after what seemed like an age but can’t actually have been that long because Commando had started to walk out onto the promenade to help but hadn’t actually got there, a huge shaven headed tourist threw a bottle of coke over it and someone else hit it on the head and it dropped the little dog. I’m not sure who the little dog belonged to or what happened to it but the owner of the big dog wandered off as if nothing had happened. Funny, as we were just commenting earlier that, although there are cats everywhere here, you rarely see a dog. Probably a good thing. Continue reading
Yesterday lunchtime we accidentally had a huge lunch. We decided to grab a sandwich at the pool bar and it turned out to be a giant affair with chips and a big mound of some kind of coleslaw type salad. I couldn’t eat it all but I had a reasonable try. When it came to our evening meal we decided to share a pizza at Camel Cafe as neither of us really wanted much. The pizza was lovely but then we made the mistake of ordering a desert, our first desert since we arrived. I blame Commando as it was his idea. We chose a desert to share, thinking it wouldn’t be too big that way, although we didn’t really know what it was going to be because it was just called Camel Special Desert. Obviously there wasn’t going to be any actual camel in it, we were pretty confident of that much.
Funny how we all come to depend on twenty four seven wifi access without even realising we have. With no beach wifi and the hotel charging prohibitively high prices, Internet access is something to be rationed to once or twice a day from cafes and restaurants and even then it’s fairly patchy at best. You don’t see the locals walking around with mobile phones glued to their ears or constantly checking their emails. I guess not too many of them even have mobile phones. In actual fact, apart from being able to post my ramblings, it’s almost a relief to be able to get away from texts, emails and being accessible to every man and his dog round the clock. In fact it’s relaxing.
I took advantage of the free wifi last night at Camel Cafe to post about my Moroccan adventure so far and we lingered over a leisurely meal and some drinks. I find I don’t have much appetite in this heat. I had an amazing pepper steak which came with cauliflower, green beans, carrots, chips and, inexplicably, also rice. I managed to eat the steak, about half the vegetables and a few chips but I couldn’t even contemplate the rice. Perhaps if I lived out here I’d be skinny, then again, I’d probably get used to it after a while. Who knows, with the small meals, the walking and taking the stairs instead of the lift, I could even end this holiday lighter than I started. That would be a first. Mind you, I may be getting ahead of myself, it’s early days yet. Continue reading
Morocco, it feels like coming home (Saturday 4th August) We’re finally in the air. There was a moment or two there I didn’t think it was going to happen. What with all the traffic on the way up to Gatwick, worrying if Mattie Matiz would get us there, then arriving to find our meet and greet wasn’t there waiting for us, despite my phone call when we got to the M23 to let them know we were nearly there. Then there was the departure gate debacle. Continue reading
My first impression of Lanzarote was that people seemed very friendly. A taxi driver, seeing us looking lost as we emerged from the terminal directed us to the kiosk where we needed to pick up our transfer. The Scottish woman working there was super helpful, telling us about the island and what to see, obviously a little in love with it herself. An unfamiliar vista of volcanic mountains, black soil and strange contorted larva mounds beside the roads sped by outside the window of our transfer taxi. The hotel, designed by César Manrique, was beautiful. Best of all there is free wifi, ok so it doesn’t seem to be the speediest or most reliable but the price is good.
We took a little walk to get acclimatised to the twenty seven degree heat and our surroundings. The scenery is stark in comparison to England’s verdant hills and verges but it has a beauty to it, black or red soil dotted with fat trunked, stubby palms and globular spiny cacti, square white buildings and everywhere black volcanic rock. Walls, paths, sculptures all carved from blocks of grey black porous stone. I guess you build with what you have available and on a volcanic island that means igneous rock.
The sun was getting low in the sky as we walked up the hill past little supermarkets, shops and bars, low cloud hid it from view but the clouds were haloed with bright light and beams spread out across the blue sky like something in a painting. Snap, snap, snap went my phone. Strange papery petals in brilliant cerise on the bourganvillia outside the hotel were blowing about so much I had trouble taking a photo. In actual fact the papery petals are not petals at all, but bracts of leaves, the flowers are the tiny white frilled circles in the centre that look like stamens.
A pre dinner walk along the shore outside the hotel gave me even more beautiful snaps of the sunbeams radiating from a golden cloud turning the waves breaking on the greyish sand to liquid gold. Breathtaking stuff. Then there are the huge black boulders, worn smooth by the waves framing a gold flecked sea and the white buildings of Costa Teguise spread out before us. There will probably be walks along this shore and lounging on this beach tomorrow.
Hunger took us into the hotel restaurant for dinner. Our half board meals are buffet style with a banquet of fresh salads, meat and fish cooked to order, pastas and fresh sauces not to mention the array of fruits and ice creams. With good food like this every day I’m hoping for a nice healthy holiday and not too much extra poundage at the end of it. Mind you the tiramisu ice cream probably doesn’t count as healthy but still, it’s been a long day, with not much in the way of food at all and I am on holiday!
Part of being on holiday is relaxing and the next day was a chill out day. After breakfast we wandered round the pool looking for some sun beds that hadn’t already been nabbed by the early morning towel brigade. Luckily, as it’s out of season and the hotel is by no means full, we managed to find two beds in a quiet corner by a little pool with tinkling fountains and a fringe of umbrella plants. We set out our blue towels and Commando settled down to sunbathe. Continue reading
Hot feet in the sea – Barcelona Beach
By now we’d had enough of craning our necks to stare up at buildings and, being Sunday, shopping was out of the question as the only shops open are cafes, bars, restaurants and big shopping centres. I’m not a fan of big shopping centres, give me little local shops any day. We decided we would round off our day with a few hours relaxation at the beach so we consulted our maps again. We took the metro from Passeig De Gràcia to Estacio de Franca and, despite all the miles wed already walked, decided to walk from there rather than change trains. Continue reading