Thursday, July 22, 2010

I really should have finished writing up our holiday in Lanzarote by now, but blogger's temprementality over putting up my photos, coupled with the new job taking up time, and the very hot muggy weather has kinda delayed things. Luckily I havn't any crafty stuff done that needs urgently sharing (same reasons as above have zapped my mojo) and tbh not much has been happening in my life other than (see above).

So, the last bit (finally).

After the workers had finished digging holes all over the villa and we had had a bit of a chill out (and all the other other excitment that was going on) we drove into Porta de Camon for a game of crazy golf. There were very few other people in there as it was the dead time before dinner when everyone from the beach was off getting showered and changed for an evening out, so it was really relaxing, and although it wasnt a terrific course in the terms of crazy golf, we all had a good time.

Kelly had promised me a stroll along the prom, pretending to be a tourist, browsing the cheesy tourist shops and choosing from the many bars and cafes for our evening meal. It didnt turn out like that though. The road to the seafront was shut for repairs so we ad to take the long way round to the 'old town and harbour' which was apparently the better part of the town to visit. When we got there, lots of 'improvements' had been made and the harbour and any sea views had been blocked by huge concrete cubes piled up presumably for sea defence. The kiddies park was devoid of all its swings and toys, and become a concrete expanse of boring nothingness.

There was no shops (tourist or other kind) and of the half a dozen or so cafes/restaurants, half of them had their waiters our, bombarding passers by with menus, something we all hate and, being contray made us choose one of the other eaterys even though the view across the bay was obscured.

Our meal was lovely although service was a little slow as all the waiters (in all cafes that night I assume) were watching the Spain v Portugal match. Our waiters had obviously been told they could only wear their team tee-shirs if Spain scored, as when the shout went out for the goal, all the staff vanished, only to return with large grins and Spain strip.

Our final day and at last the sun came out with a vengence, so it was a full day by the pool, finishing off the last of our books, and the last of the food and booze. We could go home with a tan and our heads held high since back home we knew there was a heat wave going on.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Lack of photos

I had loads more photos I wanted to put in the last post but blooger wasnt playing nicely. Lets hope it plays nice for this post.

With only 2 full days left of our time in Lanzarote, we were eager to make sure we did all the things we had promised ourselves we would do. Kelly persuaded Ollie that they really did want to go to the aquarium but I had only visited the London one with them in May and wasnt keen to go again so soon. The solution was that we drove into Costa Teguise together, and then go our seperate ways.

We wanted to just walk round and take in the town, and were happy to see the authorities has marked several circular walks to do just that. We started walking along the prom, past the large posh hotels, and then seemed to arrive on the outskirts of town
We seemed to have come the wrong way round to see the sights, but all the same we had fun on the keep fit machines before moving on, through a cactus type garden.
We couldnt see where the route went after that so made our way through some back roads, and had just arrived in a more civalised part when the kids phoned us to say they had finished in the aquarium. Obviously there hadnt been enough fish to keep them occupied for more than 20 mins.

We met up and had a rather strange lunch (spanish omlette made with chips instead of potatoes???) in a beach top bar before returning to the villa.

We were aware that there would be a guy coming to sound out the pipes in order to find the leak, and we were not surprised to find them at the villa on our return. They had sounded all over the grounds and villa but hadnt found the leak so decided to dig a test hole to see if they could find the pipework where it entered the house to see if they could follow it round and discover the leak that way.

We read our books in the shade while the guys continued to dig more holes, join pipes and eventually leave, unsuccessull to return when the owner was in residence.

T he weather improved enough in the evening for us to move into the garden and read by the pool, only for the next lot of excitement to occur, two police cars, three policemen and a police dog turned up at the villa across the road!!

It all happens on our holidays.

Monday rolls around again.

Monday on holiday that is.

The weather kinda matched the mood after the defeat of our country's football team in the World Cup, dull and dismal. We decided it was a good day to go visit the fire mountain as hopefully it wouldnt be too hot.

Ollie drove the hire car there, and on the way stopped at the information centre so we could get a general overview. We werent that impressed when it turned out the simulation of a vulcanic erupton was only working 40% - basically this meant we stood in a darkened underground room and had our eardrums blasted with very loud thunder type noises, then saw a small puff of steam through a hole in the wall.

The lava fields are advertised as 'stunning' and gives a real feel for the history and landscape of the island .... in truth there is little to see but miles of rocks,
but I did enjoy the time spent trying to get decent photos of craters and small mountain eruption holes through the coach window without getting any reflections back. I dont think I was very successful.

You can also have your lunch in the mountain top restaurant
where the food is cooked over an open pit sinced the temp of the mountain internally is still over 400 C despite the last eruption being over 200 years ago. We were able to enjoy the guides demonstrating this as they poured cold water down drill holesonly for it to return in a jet of hot steam,or igniting drytwigs laid in open holes simply combusted by the rising heat.
After that the kids took us to the 'Black beach' at Cala el Golfo to see the black lava sand, the green lagoon and to paddle a bit in the sea. This was quite fun especially since the rock bed we were paddling in was very slippy and nearly all of us took a small tumble at some point.By the time we returned to the Villa the weather had heated up, the clouds cleared away and we were able to laze by the pool with our books.

Game tournaments were abandoned as a coachroach had passed away in the games room and was providing great sport for a whole heap of ants who had formed a long chain gang to disect and cart off the remains!

Wednesday, July 07, 2010


Saturday morning in Lanzarote, and a surprise phone call from the Villa owner. She was really worried that the lack of water was ruining our stay and wanted to check we were still happy - yes we were - and she also insisted we go out and have a meal on her - we could do that, or would we rather a refund of some of the holiday rental- well ok if we must. What a lovely lady and what a change from all those horror stories you hear on the media. (And true to her word a cheque was waiting for us on our return home!!)

The day was a day for lazing around the pool, reading our books, taking in a few rays and generally chilling out. Ollie got to try out his new lilo in the pool.

Ollie on his new lilo.

We tried out the hot tub but spoilt by our own at home which was bigger with more jets where this one was a bit of a squash for four of us, much older and a bit tired so we didnt enjoy it as much as we thought we would.

In the evening it was the fuzz ball tournament and guess what? I lost again.

Sunday at the villa dawned ....... overcast, windy and a little cooler. It was the day of the island's biggest event, market day at Teguise. This, apparently, is a huge event, and there certainly were plenty of stalls lining the narrow streets. Ollie had said we needed to get there early ahead of the coach crowds, in fact we were so early, many of the stall owners were still setting up. Actually I think the poor weather had kept the crowds away, we certainly didnt stay that long as it got really cold and a light drizzle driven on by strong winds made it a very unpleasant experience.

Kelly and Ollie pick out some crafted goodies.

Kelly and Ol bought a lovely tea candle holding set, and we bought a hand crafted, sand blasted wine bottle holder but then we high tailed it back to the warmth of the villa.

Poor weather meant we didnt stay to watch the entertainment.

The dismal weather was only equaled by the dismal performance of the England football players in the World cup game against Germany with us loosing 4-2.

The calm before the disappointment

To cheer ourselves up we decided it was an 'eating out' evening, but we couldnt decide where to go. In the end, we dropped the kids off at their fav restaurant while we ventured further afield into Arrecife. Well of couse, this is us, and a holiday wouldnt be a holiday if we didnt manage to get lost at least once. First we couldnt find the seafront, then we couldnt find a parking place, and getting home.............

The whole town seemed to be built on the premise that every road needed to be one-way, there should be no left hand turns, and no-where should there be any road signs/names ESPECIALLY on roundabouts.
We did manage to stop the car though, and had a lovely evening stroll together along the prom,

Strolling? along the prom in Arrecife

followed by one of the best ever, tender sorloin steaks I have ever eaten, topped off by an italian type ice-cream from an ice-cream parlour.

Meanwhile, as the only customers, Ollie and Kelly had got a lift home from their restaurant by the owner, a good job as it took us another hour to navigate back the 5 min drive to the Villa.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Lanzarote is a dry old place

When we came back from our delish meal at the restaurant it was to discover there was no water in the villa. We had put this down to simply a water cut in the main services as we had had these frequently when we visited Cyprus and Crete, but we still had no running water the following morning, and whats more, the lady in the villa next door did!!

Kelly rang the managment firm in charge of villa maintenance. It turned out that it was a problem they knew about already. There was a huge underground water storage tank that supplied the villa with water, but there was a leak somewhere between there and the Villa. A huge leak!

Anyway the Maintenance bloke (Graham, a really ni
ce guy) turned up an hour later, refilled the underground tank via a series of valves, switches and pumps (technical stuff) and then showed the men of our party how to shut off the system when we went out or went to bed, so that the tank would not pump dry again. He said he was still trying to get hold of a man with sounding equipment so that they could trace the leak.

We weren't going to let a little thing like lack of running water spoil our holiday, so after a full english, we set off to visit the island's caves.

First we visited the Caves of Los Verdes, a long underground system formed by the volcano lava flow. I cant say I enjoyed this part much, I am not really one for caves, and this one wasnt particulary spectacular.

Not that spectacular - the cave, not Martin!

In some places it was quite hard to get through, some spots were particularly low and there were lots of stairs.

Some low spots - Ollie caught on the roof.

I loved the second cave we visited ( Jameos del Agua) though. It wasnt really a cave, more a tunnel, which has been converted into a cafe and night club. There is a large pool in which can be found tiny lind white crabs which were facinating.

Blind albino crab

The lagoon looked really inviting, especially as Kelly had forgotten the sun lotion, but alas it is not open to the public.

We got a bit lost in the information centre looking for the exit which got a bit frustrating.

Kelly was insistant that since there were so many games facilities available at the Villa, there was going to be league tables and leader boards. I did try to point out that since the order of winners/loosers was going to be pretty predicable before we even started that it was probably a waste of time, but she insisted and drew up the first table for playing pool in the games room.

After bbq'ing T Bone steak on the barbie,

we grabbed some sangria and made our way down to the pool table, clearing out the dead cockroach as we went. The games ended in much the way we had predicted, with me firmly at the bottom of the league.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

LOvely relaxing week in Lanzarote.

We have just spent a lovely relaxing holiday in Lanzarote with Kelly and Ollie. Thank you, you two, we had a great time.

Well I say relaxing, but you know that holidays with us are always like holidays with the Cranks, something always goes slightly astray and this past week was no exception to the rule (Boo will be so pleased to read).

So having finished the back log of washing, shopped and tackled part of the jungle in the back yard, its time to post photos and tell tales of our time away in the Canaries.

The week didnt have too auspicious a start as it was, I was attacked by the iron. As I de-creased Martin's tee-shirts to pack, for some reason it decided to erupt in a sideways stream of steam and scald my stomach. I didnt realise just how badly, and it wasnt a place I could easily drench in cold water for 20 mins, the result is still blistering skin.

Anyway packed and in mostly one peice we drove up to Croydon to watch one of those awful England World cup matches, stay the night at the kid's place and then at some god early hour in the morning, take a taxi, train, and then plane to our villa in the hills. ... .... except the booked taxi didnt arrive. Kelly had prebooked it during half time, not really thinking that everyone at the taxi firm would be in the grip of the game and not focussing on the paperwork. As we discovered the next day, (when the taxi firm phoned us up in Lanzarote,) they had booked it for the wrong night!!!

So we were 40 mins late getting to the airport (good job Ollie had suggested we leave really early) grabbed a none too fantastic breakie in Frankie and Benny's only to sit on the tarmac for another 40 mins due to industrial action by French airtraffic control!!

We got there in the end though, the villa was fantastic, four bedrooms, games room complete with a pool and football (fuzz) table, a huge huge swimming pool,

Huge swimming pool.

and a (rather dissappointing) hot tub. We unpacked and looked forward to the coming week, started out with a scumpious meal in the local restaurant.

View from the end of the villa garden.