Tag Archive for: lanzarote

I bought this McDonald's back when I was in Lanzarote. I have just stumbled on the images in my Photosandbox./imagebank

I like the idea of trying different fast food around the world to demonstrate to myself how bland choices are when faced with the ever dominating global brands which affect our lifestyle and diet in particular. 

Don't get me wrong, my taste buds drool at the thought of a Big Mac as much as the next man. 

What I mean is when thinking about the mixed grills available for small change on the island in the back streets of Teguise, for example, the prospect of eating an overpriced bun which tastes the same as if it were bought in Croydon or Orpington, is amazing in spite of the massive logistical nightmare required to achieve such a feat, but also dreadfully boring because of the very same.

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What makes eating a McDonald's in various countries abroad interesting is the relativly minor differences one can observe.  I recall in Athens, Greece, the bun was different.  Obviously it must have gone through various market trials and the buns they used there were more spongy and kept their picture perfect shape.  In the UK, the McDonald's buns are typically very flat and unflattering.

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In Lanzarote, the bun was nothing special.  What was extraordinary to what is available in the UK, is that I was able to buy a beer to go with my Big Mac meal.  This was pretty cool.

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Last night I was talked into attending my first ever foam party. 

The foam party takes place every Friday at probably the only real night club in the town – Coyote´s disco pub. We all know what that means, right?  Old recollections of 'The Venue' in New Cross, 'The Works' in Canterbury etc. and you would be so wrong.  These places are better!

My arm was well and trully twisted when my new pal 'TorquayDD', said "So, are we going to the foam party later?"

I found myself saying "Yes, it's going to be a real laugh."  And although so wrong, on so many levels, I was right. 

In Costa Teguise there are a few places the British like to hang out, and at times I had best confess that, being British, I have in the interests of research investigated them all. 

Obviously I have taken these distasteful forays with a purely scientific approach to understanding how other tribes (within my own tribe) live, with their different cultures, different customs etc.  One question still unanswered is that I am still not quite sure why people come to a place like the rock only to sit in a bar eating fried food, drinking beer and tea, watching the x factor surrounded only by Brits – I think this is really odd.  It is just beyond me, but I am trying.

Back to the point.  The foam party can only be described as carnage.

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The foam is generally cold and sticky.  I have been reliably informed that this is normal for foam parties.   Clothes get saturated.  In all the hullabaloo my feet were trodden on and my flip flops which have served me so well since the 22 March were broken.  Boo!  If one put a drink down, it was almost immediatly stolen.

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The lights were good and despite my ears perpetually feeling like I have a pair of fingers stuck in them, the music was so loud, there was a physical effect as the heavy resonating beat forced itself through my bones.  I think, without wanting to exaggerate, my knee might just have occasionally bent in time with the music thereby creating a strange effect of a wobbly tall person badly imitating what a minority of people could possibly describe as a dance!   This went on for about 90 minutes.

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So the conclusion, having seen a bunch of people who were either too young or in my opinion in some cases too old (insert my name) to be there smearing themselves with ash-flicked bubbles and alcohol induced vomit-fuelled foam:

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I am sure that some who were there enjoyed it.  For me it was purely entertainment seeing how hedonistic people become, given the introduction of a drop of fairy and a big hair drier.  You must obviously empathise how I am just above all this sort of thing, operating on a higher plain.  Of course, it was a real chore seeing a writhing mass of wet dancing bodies all looking to meet new and interesting people.  

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So the recommendation?

If you don't fancy seeing a group of people get wet and dance to the point of drunken exhaustion and if you don't want random people coming to talk to you in a slurd way, telling you why they want to be your friend.  Don't go.











Sorry for the delay in writing.

Since arriving back on the rock I have been up to my eyes in diving, sun and generally going out and about meeting new people.  What a tough life…I hear you cry.  And you would be right.

One of the little gems which my pal SJ introduced me to is a little cafe in Teguise.  I am pretty sure I wrote about it before.

Essentially it is just off of the Lion Square.

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This is the outside just after the Sunday market has closed.  Stall holders, artists, bohemians and the like meet and socialise inside and outside 'Las Palmera'.  I recommend it to you.  But only if when you go in, you tell the guys there that I sent you. 

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This is the door.

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This is the bar.

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The guy in the hat is a really good bloke.  The whole place is filled with music, food, drink and spanish chat.  It is a really vibrant place.

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It's only small but you can fit a lot in.

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These are the Sunday afternoon musicians. 

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Counting money.


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This is the kitchen.  It is really basic but produces amazing grilled meat.   If there is a reason not to be a vegetarian, this place is it.   So I can't become a veggie just yet!

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Better view of the grill.





As I drove down from Famara toward the salt works, I passed mile after mile of small semi-circular windbreaks built from volcanic rock.  The windbreaks surround one side of a dell dug from the pecan. 

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The dells and windbreaks are to protect individual grape vines.

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The uniformed rows stretch from the road in all directions and in most cases continue up the sides of the old sleeping volcanos.

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The grapes produce a selection of wines which in my experience taste ok and do the job at a reasonable price.

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The shapes are interesting to look at and I am told this method is distinct to the islands in this part of the world.

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I can't help reflecting on how long each basin and windbreak must have taken to create initially and then would love to know how many centuries have passed with this method being adopted. 

Answers on a postcard please.

A few weeks or so ago I hired a car to drive around the island.

020510 093 This is a picture of my Opal; my ticket to freedom!

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On one of my trips I went to Famara which is best known for its excellent surf.

020510 390 I was struck by the sand dunes which resonated with me, probably due to happy memories of Camber Sands.

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The sands are blown into picturesque shapes.

020510 387 The trade winds blowing from the Atlantic cut grooves into the dunes.

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If the sands are disturbed, small slides are started, creating new and strange shapes.

020510 386 Sands are blown across the road.

Overall I was really impressed with the sands of Famara.

For more information on Famara:  CLICK HERE  (opens in a new window)

On Sunday I went on an outing to Graciosa which is a small island, a couple of km North of Lanzarote.  The ferry trip across the Rio strait was beautiful.  The journey really offers some amazing Geology. 

As the ferry takes you into the narrow water way, you can literally watch as the clouds form over the higher ground in the Northern part of Lanzaroteon top of the dorment volcano's.

Unfortunately on our journey we saw no large marine mammals. 

A friend and his wife had explained that in September a few years ago, the watched as thousands of humpback whales squeezed and swam through the strait.  Normally the whales pass around the little narrow stretch of water, but for whatever reason on this occasion enormous cows and bulls piloted their young, on their journey south.  It must have been incredible.

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We left the Lanzarote harbour of Orzola by ferry to the island, a trip which lasts approx 45 mins.

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This is a photo of the return ticket.

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This cat hulled ferry passed us as we left the harbour.  Most of these boats boast of the glass bottomed feature, but my experience demonstrated how the glass was covered in seaweeds and so visability was rubbish.

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A couple of kids fishing off the rocks on the side of the Rio strait.

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 My first view of Graciosa.

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My first view of the village of Caleta del Sebo, the Capital of Graciosa (Pop. 700).

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The harbour/marina.

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The harbour of Caleta del Sebo has two piers and a small marina in the bay.

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Whilst we were still om the ferry we saw this small (35 foot-ish) customised sailing boat.  It was like a mini galleon.

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The other ferry with a greek-style fishes mouth and eye painted on its hull.

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An old fishing boat.

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Small fishing boat with throw net in the harbour, opimistically named Jesus!

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Four little boats in the harbour.

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An old fisherman undertakes maintenance on his boat wearing a traditional Canarian hat.

Last weekend I went with some holidaying guys (Pipa, Big Dave and Anna) to LagOmar.  

We travelled by taxi from Cotsa Teguise and the journey took about 15 minutes.

There is some speculation about the circumstances surrounding his ownership or indeed his residence, but all agree that the actor Omar Sharif did by the house from a friend of his and soon after lost it in a game of cards.

On Friday and Saturday nights the gardens are used as a club.

Its a cross between a National Trust garden and a chilled club where although some people dance, most are sitting in groups chatting, meeting new people and making friends.  Extraordinary.

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Big Dave coming into the house through its tunnel.

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Blurd image of the aviary in the garden.  Its about twenty feet tall (just over 6m) and was probably for canaries.

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Pool in garden by the aviary

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A walkway leads us from one part of the garden to another

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The swimming pool.

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Walkway from garden through to bar

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Sky lights which look down into a walkway tunnel, meanwhile we walk overhead toward the bar.

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The bar which is in a cave-room.

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Its the light, not any other reason which makes this a blurred picture!  You'll have to believe me.

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Me, Pipa, Anna and Big Dave after being laughed at by some canarian teens.  If only they knew – fools!

Some day time images of the place

The place is amazing and I definatly suggest that if you are in Lanzarote, you make the time, day or night to see it.  It is so cool.

I sent a letter to Razor care of the Sheppy Prison Cluster the week before last.  I enclosed his glasses and asked if he could complete a visitor order, which I now know is the protocol.  To date I have heard nothing back anf my time here in the UK is running out.

I fly to Lanzarote on Sunday morning to start my Scuba internship with Calypso Diving.

I don't think I am to get my guitar or hat back which is a shame.

Over the last week my house has had a makeover, with assistance being provided by dad's wife, my sister and a new vagabond pal, who has made her way around Africa and South America over the last seven years.  All have worked really hard to clear out my gaff.

Ultimately six boxes of precious things made their way into the attic, whilst 22 black bags of belongings (from downstairs alone) were taken to the tip.

I loved the hat for all it and its feather symbolized which I have already described to you in previous articles.  I also loved the guitar, remembering Loz, Christina and others playing it in the Petts Wood House after mum died when I got drunk for a week, following Loz's dad's wedding. 

The guitar also brings memories of Dave singing 'the Duck song' and the only song anyone has ever written about me, 'Lloyd stole my midget' – brilliant!

It is concluded by all and agreed by me (the rational side of my personality anyhow) that I do have some 'letting go issues'.  "What's wrong with that?" my alter ego screams inside my head?

Maybe the hat and guitar are just two examples of this and maybe its karma that 'Razor the hat thief' does not write back, maybe without the prompts I my memories need to be relied upon more for what they are – glorious memories, whilst life moves on.

Having been given the email contact details of a dive school in Lanzarote, I tried getting in touch last week.  No reply.

week I was informed that the interface between Hotmail and Terra is
often having an argument so emails are delayed or lost.  Ridiculous as
it sounds, it's true. 

I telephoned one of the contacts last
night who explained that the principle of me doing the courses I need
to go forth into the wide world and procure gainful employment from
diving is not a problem.  That it would take about 6-weeks and that I
would need to talk to the boss about an intern placement in the
morning.  He seemed a really nice chap who was very keen to explain all
the considerations ahead of me.

This morning I phoned the boss. 

seemed really switched on.  The telephone call was short and sweet.  Yes, the
intern placement is a goer.  Yes, it will take a month and a half to
complete 60 dives necessary to qualify.  I would need to undertake a
first aid course and that I would not need to bring any of my own
equipment, everything will be supplied including the encyclopedia and

Wow! so the game is on.

This evening I followed up
with a call to the house of the guy I spoke to last night.  His wife
was very accommodation and explained that accommodation would be
available at least in principle for the first two weeks.  If it does
not work out, then they would help me find some else on the island that
is reasonable.

So this is good news and demonstrates that the
no-plan plan is good so long as every opportunity is followed up and
one is flexible.  It also demonstrates once again that network-based
leads are good leads to follow.

Now I just need to pack up some more of my books and throw away even more of the repulsiveness which fills my house.