The Fiesta de Nuestra Senora de los Dolores is held in Mancha Blanca every September and this year I went along to have a look around the craft fair and see what it was all about. The pilgrimage to the tiny village of Mancha Blanca is to honour the island’s patron saint Los Dolores. Many residents and tourists dressed in traditional dress walk the route to Mancha Blanca from their home villages across the island. The craft market had some beautiful items for sale among them some goat skin sandals (not my up of tea) and some lovely wall decorations. The roads were a bit gridlocked by the time we came to leave and it took us nearly one hour and forty minutes to do what would normally be a 40min drive home, still it gave the boys a chance to get the barbeque going and the wine cold ready for our arrival. A nice afternoon was spent in Haria with friends, what a perfect day.
With Christmas and New Year celebrations just about coming to a finish the whole island is gearing up for Carnival time.
Carnaval Arrecife 2012 starts on the 10th February and runs till the 22nd. The main parade on is on Monday the 20th February followed by the Burial of the sardine on the 22nd Feb. The theme this year in Arrecife is Vikings and everyone is being asked to make their costumes from recycled clothing. As you can see from the pictured Viking face it is made up of two mops, a colander, a banana and a trumpet. From Arrecife the Carnaval travels to Puerto del Carmen for the 23rd till 25th February. The theme here is Cowboys and the main procession is on Saturday 25th February. Then its onto Costa Teguise and Ville de Teguise and Playa Blanca from the 1st till 4th March with the procession being on Saturday 3rd March.
When you visit Lanzarote you must spend at least a day in Arrecife. There are lots of shops if you fancy a bit of retail therapy and bars and restaurants a plenty where you can sit and while away an hour or so and do a bit of people watching. I went there the other day with a friend and we had coffee and cake at the “Star’s City Lounge” on the 17th floor of the Arrecife Gran Hotel. Wow, what a view and it wasn’t a particularly clear day, at sunset looking out over Timanfaya I would imagine it’s quite stunning. Just below the Hotel is Reducto Beach complete with palms, very tropical and cosmopolitan so if you fancy a swim bring along your togs, I don’t think nude bathing is encouraged in Arrecife!!. Going back to my coffee and cake, I must say that it was reasonably priced at 3.99€, taking into account the comfy sofa’s and the views it was worth every penny, especially as I didn’t pay, my friend did, thanks Bev.
We have friends over from the UK at the moment and on Friday night we took them along with two other residents into Costa Teguise for dinner. It was bit of a con really because us three girls wanted to go to the Friday night market which is held in the Pueblo Marinero, had we told Alan and the boys that the main objective for going to Costa Teguise was to go to the market then they wouldn’t have gone, well Chris would because he loves markets but the other two most certainly wouldn’t. Men and markets what is it? Well we did feed them first to try and soften them up!
Markets in Lanzarote are abundant – what can I say you either love them or hate them, there doesn’t seem to be an in between, so while you are here on your holidays just in case you do “Love them” here’s an update of what and where.
Lets start with our capital Arrecife. The Recova (town market) takes place every Saturday between 9hr and 14hr in and around the old Plaza de San Gines. Stalls include fruit and vegetables, local cheese and dried fish and well as loads of souvenir stalls, clothes etc.
So you may have gathered from my previous posts that Alan and I like to walk and we have got into this Geo Caching thingy. Well its all about finding a cache or hiding a cache, so today we decided to hide one high in the hills of Haria. Now I’m not one for heights so the climb to hide this cache was a bit scary for me to say the least, but I did manage to get to the top without falling over or fainting or anything to bad. There was Alan boldly going to the edge of the cliff face and calling out “hey come and look at the view of La Graciosa” well as soon as I turned and saw the view and how high I was and how close to the edge I was the old legs got a bit wobbly, I was ok if I didn’t look to my left as I climbed, I could convince myself that I was just climbing a steep hill and there wasn’t really a drop of a few thousand feet to my left. Anyhow I did make it to the top wobbly legs and all and the views where spectacular.
What’s this I hear you say, well until last week I didn’t know what it was either. So let me explain, about two years ago a sports magazine called “Solo Deporte” each month gave the co-ordinates for a hidden cache and the object was to walk using GPS to find the so mentioned cache. We had some great days out doing these walks finding the cache and walking in places you wouldn’t otherwise go. So…………. I said to my good friend Jules I really miss doing the walks that Solo Deporte set up and she said, haven’t you heard of Geo Caching? well obviously I hadn’t so I checked it out and as they say the rest is history and we all did our first walk last week and it was really good fun.
La Graciosa is one of the smallest of the Canary islands and is situated to the north of Lanzarote. In this natural wonder you will find immaculate beaches of fine golden sand with peace and solitude and plenty of places for a bit of nude sunbathing. La Graciosa is home to approximately 500 residents and most live within reach of the capital and harbour of Caleta del Sebo. Fishing is the main island industry and the few restaurants that are on the island will always have the freshest fish to serve you.
Getting about the island is fairly easy and if you feel like a nice one hour walk then head to Playa de las Conchas situated to the north west of the island. This beautiful unspoilt beach is well worth the visit, the views across to Montana Clara are spectacular but beware swimming can be dangerous because of the strong currents. If you don’t fancy the walk then get one of the 4X4 drivers to take you across to the beach and make arrangements to be picked up again in time for your ferry back to Orzola. Alternatively head south to find some lovely beaches and safe swimming areas such as Playa de la Cocina.
Its getting to that time of the year when everyone takes to the streets of Lanzarote because its Carnival time. So if you haven’t planned on coming over to see us then now’s the time to book that flight and enjoy some winter sunshine and see the greatest show on earth, well its not quite Rio but its dam good.
All the action starts in Arrecife our capital on Monday 7th March at 7pm with the Grand Carnival Parade from Ciudad Deportivo (football ground) to Recinto Ferial (near the Cabildo Building).
Still in Arrecife on Wednesday 9th March there is a slightly smaller parade called the Burial of the Sardine this starts at the seafront and finishes on Playa Reducto where the Sardine will be ceremonially cremated.