Me and my ex old man took a holiday in the Canary Islands earlier this year. here`s a little journal of what we discovered there…..
Officially Spain, the flight from Birmingham to Lanzarote takes four and a half hours and if you flew around 69 miles further on, you would be on the coast of west Africa. The plane was very hot and cramped so I was very glad when we touched down.
We taxi`d to our self catering apartments called Luz y Mar. As we journeyed the few miles from the airport, I was struck by how pretty Lanzarote`s coast is, with clusters of white houses dotted here and there, solar panels glinting everywhere in the strong sunshine and beyond, the deep azure of the ocean scattered with shallows of brilliant truquoise. Lovely.
We were staying in Puerte del Carmen which is a pretty town and a major centre for deep sea diving so it was busy and bustling, which I like. There are plenty of eateries reflecting good cuisine from all over the world and many Irish pubs which remain open until 4 and 5am. There are lots of shops to mooch around of the cheap and cheerful touristy kind, especially Chinese supermarkets which are packed with all sorts of trinkets, clothes and souveniers from upwards of around 2 Euros.
Our apartment was one of about 300 on a huge and very pleasant complex where all the apartments are painted white. A lovely, quite small pool sits in the centre of it all and I had it to myself which was fabuloso. I love swimming on my own, it`s so cathartic. It`s so quiet here, but the man in the pool bar assured me that in the high season (August) it is absolutely rammed. There are cactus gardens all round the complex which are very stark and attractive against the black, volcanic gravel that they grow in. Palm trees fringe the pool and in amongst the dried fronds which hang down their tall trunks like Bob Marley dreads, roost dozens of sparrows, house martins and collared doves. They enchanted us peeking out from their leafy homes every day before lining up on the balcony railing, waiting to be fed. We gave them crumbs and cheese in abundance and wound up with bird pooh all over the floor and table but hey! We didn`t care.
There are two supermarkets nearby which are very convenient and several places really close to the apartments where we could sit and catch the breeze and sip a cold beer. It`s hot, around eighty five degrees so the breeze is lovely.
On Sunday we walked down the steep and winding road into the town, which took us about ten minutes. Tony wasn`t well, his head ached and he had the most horrendous cough. The chemist was shut, It was Sunday so we strolled further on down to the harbour where we found the locals celebrating Canary Day. It was baking hot and there was a market, iced beer on sale, traditional Spanish food and live music. We decided to stay and sat in the sun drinking beer which tasted delicious, the live Spanish music was good. We ate two plates of tapas consisting of deep fried home made crisps, salted Canary new potatoes (lovely) cooked tuna standing in a sweet vinegar and a very sweet, sesame paste which to our surprise, complimented everything else. We ate until we were really full. Tony knocked a glass of cold lager over my legs which was shockingly and stickily refreshing.
We taxi`d back up the hill at about 1.30pm, slightly pissed. All of the Canary islands are volcanic so of course they are really hilly everywhere. Tony went to lie down and have a kip, I went to swim and then sun bathed for about an hour which is plenty long enough on day one and it was nearly tea time so I was becoming a bit peckish. While Tony dozed I walked to the supermarket and bought cheese, salami, crackers, butter and olives and then came back and watched TV. It was an English film with Julia Roberts and Clive Owen in it, all dubbed in Spanish but I had seen it before so I knew what it was about. Tony got up to eat at about 9pm and then went back to bed. I was sleeping on the sofa and it was incredibly comfortable. I slept until 5am and then got up. I had bought milk the previous day and then forgotten to put it into the fridge so it was slightly sour but I didn`t care. I still drank loads of sour milk tea.
Tony eventually arose at about 9am, he was cough, cough, coughing and still had a bad headache. His cough sounded awful and I was quite worried about him……..