• Richard and Petra

Lanzarote, Lava, Cactus and Caves!

At the end of October we were joined by 4 guests who came aboard Celtic Star in the charming little marina at Puerto Calero. We spent the next 6 days sailing around the volcanic island of Lanzarote. Firstly, we headed north for an overnight stop in Aricefe before continuing anti-clockwise around the top of Lanzarote to the remote island of La Graciosa! The small town of Caleta del Sebo consisted of dirt (sand) road, s a few cafes, a couple of small supermarkets and a church!

Look at the top right end of the 850 metre cliff pictured above, here there is a lookout and cafe called Mirador del Rio. The view across to La Graciosa is amazing as you can see from our picture below! I took this when Richard and I visited on an island bus tour the week after!

Returning to our circumnavigation! We sailed south from La Graciosa along the west coast of Lanzarote past the Timanfaya area where extensive volcanic activity last occurred between 1730 and 1736. The lava flows and multiple cinder cones were clearly visible from the sea.

After our guests had departed we joined a guided walk of three volcanoes led by an enthusiastic geologist! He explained the different features and types of volcanoes and the sequence of eruptions in this area and the rest of the Canaries.

The largest volcanic bomb in the world! A molten gobbet of lava hurled from the crater! (Not wearing a blue shirt!)

We walked into the oldest crater that started the 1730’s eruptions.

and we walked up the cinder cone to look inside the last crater to be formed In 1736! All mono volcanoes!

Now, back on board with our crew, we sailed around the SW corner of Lanzarote to anchor on the South coast close to the under water sculpture park, the Museo Atlantico. This is a brilliant installation which we had scuba-dived to the week before! The next day we sailed across to Fuerte Ventura to allow our guests to explore their third island and the delightful town of Correlajo before finishing their cruise in Marina Rubicon near Playa Blanca.

In the week since our guests departed we have been very busy! Firstly the usual chores to complete; laundry, cleaning and routine maintenance! The next day we went on our three volcanoes walking trip which I have talked about above. We learnt a such a lot and found out the different names for fast and slow moving lava; Pahoihoi and AA!

The next day we had a full day of jobs to do. Starting with lift out and pressure wash, here is Celtic Star with a clean and shiny bottom and a sailing a knot and a half faster for it!

The following day we joined another tour of the island which was also really enjoyable! We started at the Monument al Campesino, designed by the artist César Manrique. Made from old water tanks which are painted!

We then visited his house which he designed and built in and around lava bubbles! We had visited it 12 years previously and it was just as wonderful as we remembered!

From here we visited CM ‘s Cactus Garden! His final work! It was fascinating and really spiked our interest in Cactii!

Next stop was the Mirador Del Rio, (also mentioned above) designed by guess who? César Manrique! Fabulous designs incorporating nature and architecture!

Looking out of the cafe window towards La Graciosa!

After the many and varied sculpture, art and architectural experiences created by Manrique we thought the tour was over. However, our final visit of the day to the Green Caves was the most magnificent of all! The tunnels and galleries were caused by lava and magma flow not by erosion or water, so the shapes, swirls and colours encrypted volcanic events in a fabulous lithographic record.

The one way guided tour lasted over an hour and took us down to a depth of 43 metres below the surface.

It was accompanied by atmospheric lighting and at times music that truly inspired awe and wonder !

What a great day out, but we were exhausted at the end of the day!

We said “Adios” to Lanzarote on 7th November having explored it thoroughly both on shore and at sea! With 40 knots of wind and 3 metre seas a rapid and wild sail took us down the east coast of Fuerte Ventura to Gran Tarajal. Bizarrely, there are a lot of hairdressers in this small town, so we are both getting hair cuts on Saturday before we continue making our way to Gran Canaria! I definitely need one as you can see from my hair- raising visit to the Jardin de Cactus!

I will publish my next diary and information about how to follow Celtic Star across the Atlantic Ocean before the fleet departs on 24 th November!

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