BUSY DOING NOTHING ON LANZAROTE
by Norman Warwick
For an island with approximate dimensions of only 70 km from north to south and 25 km from west to east, Lanzarote has over 200 km of coastline, of which 10 km are sand, 16.5 km are beach, and the remainder is rocky. These shorelines surround an inland that whilst beautiful, is not without its challenges and even dangers, so it is perhaps not surprising that there are plenty of adventure holidays to book or even half or full day adventure excursions by some of our bolder visitors.
Lanzarote is blessed with 330 days a year of sunshine on average and this good weather and the lifestyle are what mostly attract people to the island. We are, though, less than 100 km from the coast of Africa and so some of the adventures offered take place in a heat into which only mad dogs and Englishmen would venture.
This island´s is hardly of the traditional rounded and smoothed and softened type of beauty seen on the lids of chocolate boxes. Instead, the craggy, volcanic moonscape, most vivid in the island’s centre, gives way to a gentle greenness only in the North of the island
However, the south is home to the best beaches but these, too, offer opportunities for adventure, whether it be ploughing through the white tops on a speedboat, or jet skis or water skis. The surfer dudes of Santa and other areas seem to ride for miles, throwing shapes as they do so and then splashing down in cold, white spray. there is also the great surf at Famara, windsurfing at Costa Teguise and world-class sports training facilities at La Santa Sport.
For some, the naturist beaches at Papagaya might be all the adventure you can take.
César Manrique venues demonstrate how man can work with nature with extraordinary results, however and away from the coast, Lanzarote’s landscape is unique. In fact, UNESCO has given the island World Biosphere Reserve status, in order to protect it.
Local authority regulations on the amount and style of development mean we are spared the billboard advertising and high rise buildings that blot other landscapes.
There are companies like Adventure Holidays Lanzarote, that offer visitors and residents the chance to get out and about and take part in some activities with like-minded individuals who enjoy trekking and seeing the “other side” of Lanzarote by taking a 4 x 4 trip off the beaten track.
As I drive my matey little Micra along the safe main highways I often see plumes of sand and dust being whirlwinded up to the sky as those born to be wild go hurtling over sandbanks and dirt trails, and pull in like a twenty vehicle wagon train for a cold beer or glass of wine and some tapas in a typical Canarian village. I may be sixty eight but I could be out there with them. I still run with the heart of a kid and I think I would love to drive like that but the wife won´t let me so that´s one adventure I´ll never have.Whether you decide to join one of their Volcano Treks, or an off-road trip, or to go Mountain Biking or Zip-lining or to take a Personalised Island Tour, you should, of course, check out the credentials of the company supplying the thrills so you can be sure you will enjoy the adventure.
You don´t have to disappear into the volcanoes of Timanfaya for a week orspend days in the desert lands because half day activities can also be found on the island for solo practitioners or larger groups, with experienced facilitators in Diving, Kayaking and Stand Up Paddling as well as all kinds water sports, and even archery,….. though i´m fairly sure that takes place on dry land with targets with a gold in the middle, rather than from a surfboard, with a harpoon aimed at whales.
There really is something on Lanzarote for everyone who loves the outdoors, especially for those looking for adventure.
The island hosts many annual international events which attract vast numbers of competitors and spectators alike, such as the Ironman Lanzarote, which even at sixty eight I feel I could enter. I´m sure I could cope with the swimming, running and cycling but the wife says I couldn´t so I won´t !
Lanzarote hosts sections of the world tour events in surfing, kite-surfing and wind-surfing and sailing circuits.
However, whether you are an experienced diver or an absolute beginner you don´t have to be an athlete to enjoy adventure,. You might prefer to discover the crystal clear underwater kingdom.
Learning any new skill is, in itself, an adventure so why not have lessons in how to surf, kayak, wind-surf or, if you prefer, just go fishing. Lanzarote is a perfect environment for those who enjoy running, biking, trekking and hiking, playing golf or even para-gliding. I would, but the wife says I musn´t,…. so I won´t.
Really, I´m one of life´s deck-chair fans and I prefer to feast my eyes on the natural beauty that surrounds us. I´ve lived here on Lanzarote for five years and there are still parts of the island yet to see that remain on my bucket list. Papagaya naturist beach is one of the places. I think I´d like it there,…oh, hang on the wife says I wouldn´t so we won´t !
Still, I can listen to the tales of adventure and derring-do that my friends talk about. A pal tells me that she and her partner, who live her on the island, took an excursion with Adventure Holidays Lanzarote. She spoke of how they saw our land from an entirely new viewpoint. She says they seemed to travel from a lunar landscape to the desert in 10 minutes… and that was after diverting around about 100 goats on their daily walk !
Even writing about these adventures is exhausting though, so I think I´d better go and have a lie down in a darkened room.