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Spain

3 Islands tour

Spain 2011

large_1297706_1438458059576.jpgToday we have the 3 islands tour on the menu. For a boat trip from Playa Blanca [Playa-Blanca-travel-guide-348152] to Playa del Corralejo on the neighbouring island of Fuerteventura. On Fuerteventura we have one hour so just enough time to have a coffee and buy some things for our trip to the island of Lobos. On Lobos live only 5 people, 4 men and 1 woman and the whole island is a national park. We chose the short stop since it was too hot to hike up the volcano and we have bad experiences with walks to lighthouses (see first blog entry) We walked about the village a bit and ended up at the only restaurant where we had a nice cold beer on the terrace. We were lucky, there was beer, our guide warned us there wasn't always. Back at what's called the harbour we waited for the boat while eating our pre-packed lunch.large_1297706_14384580668749.jpg

Since we had the short stop at Lobos we had more time at Feurteventura, we walked along the coast past souvenir shops and restaurants and we landed at a nice English restaurant (?) where we had a Guiness on the small terrace. We just enjoyed the view on the beach, the weather and our drinks. There's probably much more to Feurtaventura but a trip like this one just isn't enough time to really go explore the island, we only had a couple of hours to spend before getting back to the boat again. We had a nice espresso at another restaurant as we were on our way back to the boat.

On the trip back to Lanzarote [Lanzarote-travel-guide-1310463] we saw some flying fish along side of the boat, it's a nice sight but they are too quick for the cameras. The trip leads us to the coast of Playa de Papagayo. There we can go below deck, it's a glass bottom boat so we can take a look under the water surface which is nice if you've never seen it but we are spoiled (snorkeling, scuba diving and other glass bottom boats) so it's not that special for us, but it's still nice. They lure the fish by feeding them so there is enough to see down there. After a while we head back to the harbour and I'm a bit surprised to see it's almost seven already.

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Posted by Stefmuts 04:16 Archived in Spain Tagged landscapes sightseeing lighthouse Comments (0)

Lanzarote by (rental) car

Spain 2011


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large_1297706_14384559218624.jpgToday and tomorrow we have a rental car at our disposal. So after breakfast we head north on the smaller roads. We pass the bodega we visited with the tour yesterday and made some photo stops at places the bus rushed by yesterday. We also stopped to take a look at what seemed like strange rockformations. It turned out to be something else, ashes! The layer is at least 3 meters thick and ones had the whole island covered. The wind shaped it so it looked like the strange rock formation I mistook it for. It's really soft and some people carved their names and stuff in it, you only need your fingers for that, it crumbles at the touch.

We skip the fortress of Tequise for now but we do visit Jardin de Cactus. This cactus garden is designd by the artist César Manrique, a local celebrity. It is completely walled and looks a bit like an amphitheater but with a (I think) completely misplaced windmill, but hey, artists are artists.

Next stop Jameos de Aqua, this is a kind of cave made by the lava flows.large_1297706_14384559598942.jpg A long line at the entrance so we decide to go to Cueva los Verdes instead, another part of the same 'cave' system. Here also a long line but you only discover that when your already in it. The path makes a turn and then it's down the hole so you can't see the line from the street. After queuing for a while we are at the front of the row, of course we have to wait for the next tour so another 15 minutes before we can go in, thank god for some shade. We can visit about 1 km of the 6 km long corridor with two levels. On the second level we we pass a pond, it looks really deep but it's only 10 cm deep.

After the tour It's off to Mirador del Rio a nice viewing point and after that we decide to go to 'los hervideros’ again to take a closer look at the coastline and to El Golfo to go down to the beach (all the things the tour didn't give us enough time to explore) We end the first day with rental car at Playas de Papagayo (I expected more of that)

Next day we drive to Castillo de Santa Bárbara in Teguise.large_1297706_14384559976985.jpg In the in the fort is a small museum on pirates, apparently the area suffered from pirates at one time. We also took the time to walk around the crater edge the fort is built.

From La Santa we tried to get all the way to Playa de Famara, we didn't make it all the way but we got a good look! Then we went to take a look at Parque National de los Volcanos. Parque National de los Volcanos is next to Timanfaya [Timanfaya-travel-guide-1321856] National park only difference is you can visit it on your own where at Timanfaya you have to take a bus tour. At some point the signage is failing but we did a nice tour on our own (with some geusswork on whether to turn left or right) We ended at a beach called 'Playa de las Malvas', not on our map but a nice place.

After all the lava we took the route on the other coast back to our hotel, here it's just beaches and hotels, not very interesting and it was getting late so we only made a short stop at Arrecife [Arrecife-travel-guide-333695] to take a look at the ship wreck in front of the harbour and then we drove straight to the car rental service to return the car.large_1297706_14384571875137.jpg Two days is just enough to do by rental car.

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Posted by Stefmuts 03:28 Archived in Spain Tagged nature volcano sightseeing Comments (0)

Volcanoes at Timanfaya

Spain 2011


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large_1297706_14348904048327.jpgWe booked the 'south bus tour' and were picked up at 9:10. It means touring the south part of the island, mostly National Park Timanfaya. At the edge of the National Park we stop for an optional camel tour. Since I've already done something like that in the Sahara I passed on this one. You could see the route the camels were following and it didn't seem that special to me, maybe if you have never been on a camels back before it's special. Our tourguide assured us the camels were well cared for but thats not why I didn't get on one! I saw a sign saying museum at the edge of the parking lot and was more interested in that. It showed how the camels came to the island and how they were used in agriculture, more interesting than a wobbly camelride going in a small circle around the parking lot. At the park entrance a long line so we first drove to a winery to look around, have a taste and an espresso (!) Than back to the park, still a line but a bit less than before.large_1297706_14348921288462.jpg In the park straight to the restaurant for some demonstrations. It's built on one of the hot spots in the park, just below the surface the temperature is 60 degrees Celsius and you can feel it when you touch the ground. They dug a hole about two meters deep where they throw in dry wood which inflamed in a few seconds. A bit further on they put in a steel pipe 10 meters deep, when they throw water in it you get a small geyser. The restaurant uses the earth heat to prepare meals but it's still early so no meat on the grill yet.

Then back in the bus for a tour through the park, no getting out of the bus (it's prohibited to walk through the park), just taking pictures from inside the bus. We did stop at the special sites and craters, it's a very impressive scenery.

We had lunch at el Volcano to complete the experience. Then to El Golfo, a green colored crater lake separated from the sea by a narrow strip off black beach and to close the day tour: los Hervideros, old lava tubes on the coastline where the sea seems to be boiling. But not so much boiling today, still a nice site!

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Posted by Stefmuts 05:36 Archived in Spain Tagged landscapes beaches island sightseeing Comments (0)

First day, burned and blistered

Spain 2011


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large_1297706_14348782699974.jpgThe evening before our flight we had a BBQ with my old colleagues so we didn't get much sleep but that's ok at the beginning of our vacation. I fell asleep on the plane even before take off but that's not really sleeping and resting so when we arrived at our hotel and found the room not ready I wasn't really amused (understatement)! The room will be ready at 13:00, that one hour waiting in the lobby instead of sleeping by the poolside. At 13:00 still room not ready and I fell asleep on a couch in the lobby to awake at three to hear: No, room not ready yet. Oke, now I've had it! A bit growling at the desk and waiving our reservationpapers and we could go to our rooms. Still not quite ready yet, towels laying on the chair instead of hanging in the bathroom, but who cares, we can finally drop our stuff and have a nap on a real bed. A swim, dinner and some ABBA cover band and tomorrow we start fresh. Our hostess is at the hotel at 9 and we book an excursion for tuesday and one for friday, rent a car for wednesday and thursday so we can go across the island.large_1297706_14348783453539.jpg When that's arranged we decide to go and walk to the lighthouse. Our hostess already said there's not much there but we like the walk past the beaches and on the boulevard. We started walking with some clouds overhead and a nice breeze, very pleasant. The beaches are nice but away from the beaches theres prety much nothing except for some cacti and a rocky coast, but still a nice walk to the Faro de Pechiguera or the lighthouse. I don't know which one is called Faro de Pechiguera, or maybe they are both called that. On our way back the clouds were gone but the breeze was still there so we didn't notice we were getting sunburned, I did notice the blister on my foot though. Back at the hotel we were reddish and limping, great way to start this vacation, a cocktail at the bar makes up for it though!

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Posted by Stefmuts 05:35 Archived in Spain Tagged landscapes beaches island sightseeing lighthouse Comments (0)

Sant Carles de la Ràpita & Delta de l’Ebre

Spain via Germany (!)

large_1297706_14408463399216.jpgAnother long drive to get to Sant Carles de la Ràpita, a bit south of Barcelona [Barcelona-travel-guide-334255] and a bit North of Valencia. TB has this town on the list as San Carlos but all my info says Sant Carles (have to report that error) We have a smooth drive untill Barcelona, here we nearly get washed away by a cloud-burst, but fortunately the weather clears up as we go further south. Our camping is called Alfaques (Alfacs) and it's located directly on the coastline. We put our tent on the second row from the sea, this spot is a bit bigger than the ones on the first row and a bit better protected from the wind. There is no sandy beach but pebbles and concrete at the camping but the sandy beaches are close. Next few days we spend exploring the Delta de l’Ebre and the town Sant Carles de la Ràpita itself. The town is small but it has some nice restaurants and its own Jesus statue like the one in Rio. Delta de l'Ebre is all about nature and sports like kite surfing. I didn't try it myself but it looks really spectacular. Besides the beaches and rice fields a large part of the Delta is a Nature reserve with lots of birds, even some I didn't expect to find in Spain like the flamingos. It's really a beautifull area.

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Posted by Stefmuts 03:40 Archived in Spain Tagged barcelona camping ebre_delta Comments (0)

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