Wednesday 23 October 2013

Lanzarote - South Island Tour

The entrance sign to Timanfaya National Park was (of course) designed by Cesar Manrique. I like this image which gives you an idea that you are now landing on the moon...

The one way roads through the park are only the width of the tour bus, so even though people are not allowed to walk on the fragile lava fields, you get a very close view of the landscape.

There is so much variety in the way the lava has cooled. There were also some pretty hairy moments overlooking craters (I had my eyes closed and a tight grip on the arm of my seat, so no photos of craters!).

The bus tour took us past the salt flats - Las Salinas de Janubio - and the guide explained the process of collecting and drying sea salt.

In my last post I spoke of Los Hervideros (The Boiling Pots) and the viewing points designed by Cesar Manrique. Here is another view of the volcanic coastline there.

The lagoon at El Golfo is a beautiful green, separated from the ocean by a sandbar (and for preservation, a man-made wall). The green is caused by both olivine stone, which is plentiful in Lanzarote, and bacteria in the water.

We also had a stop at a local vineyard. I had been wondering about these horseshoe shaped walls all over the island (I was reminded of the abundant stone walls in the west of Ireland and thought it was a way of dealing with volcanic material). Apparently the walls are built as windbreakers but the farmer has to dig down below the volcanic ash to reach the soil to grow the grapevines! It is intensive labour but an interesting way of growing things in this year-round warm climate!

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