Canary capers. Monday and Tuesday…..


After we had breakfasted on Monday morning on a local full English of course, I suggested we take a bus into the island`s capital Aracife, (which is pronounced A-ra-seef-y,) where we could stroll around and do a bit of window shopping.  The buses are frequent and cheap in the Canaries so it`s incredibly easy to get all over the place.  We paid one euro and thirty cents for the journey which was about five miles from where we were, along Lanzarote`s pretty coast.  We found a chemist straight away and I bought Tony Vicks ointment for his chest, some cough medicine and sleeping pills.  We strolled around for a while taking it all in.  Aracife is a large, modern town full of shops, hotels, sports and leisure centres, places to sit and sip coffee or a cold drink and watch the world go by.  It is like many large towns in Britain except it sits next to the beautiful ocean and has a large and extremely pretty harbour.

We found a pet shop and I bought a smart, new collar for my dog Alf and a large bag of bird seed for our feathered visitors back at the apartment. As I looked at my reflection in various shop windows I was struck by how much I resembled an Easter egg on legs.  I made a note to myself – must lose weight.

We walked along the length of Kings High Street which is famous for its designer shops.  I looked at leather bags from around two hundred euros each, I gazed into the windows of Mango and Zara and wished I had a ton of dosh.  We realised we were hungry and so walked downhill again, to the harbour where we took lots of pictures and tried to avoid a group of dodgy looking people who were sitting around with very dirty sleeping bags rolled up by their sides, their clothes were dirty, they looked like they were high or drunk or something anyway, we walked away from them.  It`s what I experience in every country I visit, the extremes between rich and poor and usually they are sitting side by side.

It was very hot so we found a fish restaurant called Lemon and sat in the breeze and ordered paella.  It took thirty minutes to prepare and the fish was fresh and very nice but disappointingly, the rice was Golden Rice, from a packet like you get at home.  The prawns were huge and sweet and juicy though and the mussels were delicious, drizzled with olive oil.  We gazed out at the sea which was a deep blue and crystal clear and drank lots of iced water.

We taxi`d back to the apartment and Tony went to lie down.  I lay on the sofa and read my Kindle.  I finished an excellent book called “A Lady Cyclist`s Guide to Kashgar,” which I enjoyed immensely.  Eventually I dozed, a bit sore, I was quite sunburned after our walk around Aracife.

When we were both awake we visited a little English pub which was a few doors down from our apartments.  There was a pub quiz on that evening but the pub was very parochial and full of ex-pats who asked us if there were any white faces left in Birmingham any more.  I made myself unpopular by asking if there were any black ones in Lanzarote.  An obnoxious little Scottish man sat by me and when I laughed at something he said rather belligerently, “Are you laughing at me?”  I thought, I am drunk, he is drunk, far too drunk and went home.

Tony took a sleeping pill and went to bed but woke me at three a.m. banging and clattering about, switching on various lights, looking for his glasses.  He said he still felt like shit but his cough had noticably lessened.  I made a cup of tea and he went back to bed. I fell asleep again at five a.m. and we were both awake by nine.

The cleaner knocked the door but I sent her away, “no need thanks,” I said, I just accepted fresh towels.  Tony said his head felt fuzzy from the sleeping pills so he didn`t want to do anything at all that day.  However, we did go and eat breakfast. I think when you`re on holiday a full English breakfast is a lovely way to start the day, served with fresh orange juice, delicious.

Tony returned to the apartment to go back to bed.  I walked down into town and found the beach. To my surprise it was really tiny, a little horse shoe shaped strip no longer than about fifty feet or so which in the height of the season must be horrendous.  That day though there were just a few random people lying on the sand and children building sandcastles.  I paddled for a while and watched the divers returning, squelching and dripping and slapping their fins on the path from their boats.

I went into the town shopping and bought trinkets for my daughter.  I bought Aloe Vera for my sunburned shoulders and it immediately soothed my hot skin.  I spent a couple of hours wandering along the sea front and then taxi`d back.  Tony got up for a cup of tea and shared crisps, cheese, garlic dip, olives and peanuts with me before going back to bed.

I put my cossie on and lay on the balcony for a while but the sun was so hot, it beat me into retreating back into the cool of the apartment.  Another tourist had generously left me a book, a paperback by Douglas Kennedy called The Big Picture.  It looked promising so I plumped up my pillow and lay down on the settee to begin…..

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