During lunch, it was explained that from hereon it is my responsibility to put the oxygen, spare regulator and mask into the van we are to use (my second tranche of responsibility).
Mala is to the East of the island.
On the way from base at Costa Teguise (a minibus journey of about 30 minutes), the landscape changes and becomes a patchwork of cacti fields mainly (I am told) to feed the cochineal market. North African labour is used to brush the beetles from the cacti.
Mala is also known for its nudist colony.
Don't get me wrong; I live by the principle of 'there by the grace of God', except where it involves large amounts of exposed wrinkled flesh, overtly spreadeagled in all directions. I remember seeing a wildlife programme about elephant seals basking in the sun before re-entering the water…
Back to the point:
The van was parked and after listening to the brief about the dive we were about to do, we took out our boxes of gear before getting changed by the roadside into our dive equipment.
We walked past a bunch of basking nudes and entered the water by way of a giant stride. The dive was good with a range of different sea beds, mostly made up of volcanic rock frozen in time to form long dark fingers reaching out into the deep blue, but interspersed with sand and surge-induced slowly waving weed. Long spine urchins with extreme blue lines lay scattered across all the rocks, moving their spines in reaction to any disturbance in their vicinity.Fish seen:
- Ornate wrasse
- Parrot Fish (male and female)
- Small Flander (below the sand)
- Eagle ray
When the dive ended, the walk from stairs to van was difficult. I was really tired and would happily have gone to sleep there and then.
After returning to base, Patrick offered me a lift home with my new bike, which was gracefully accepted, I went in and cooked some Spaghetti a la Carbonara, before falling into a warm bath.
After a kip in the bath, I decided to go out cycling to explore the town, establish where in relation to other points of reference I am living and to judge whether I can cycle to work. Frankly, I shocked myself how well I did cycling around, up hill. Even if I did go for a tumble trying to cycle down some stairs whilst talking on my mobile phone (some things never change).
I must have cycled, in the end, for about 3 hours. I stopped at the beach bar for a pint of beer, before heading home for the night and a good sleep.