If you prefer to listen instead of reading, click here: Lanzarote by bike
Lanzarote in July is beautiful.
Lanzarote in July is quite busy.
Lanzarote in July is where you do not want to be if all you wanna do is sit by the pool – sun burn will be the happier of possible outcomes.
Lanzarote in July is burning hot.
Lanzarote in July is a fabulous spot!
C and I flew to Arrecife for the first time. We have already seen Fuertaventura and Gran Canaria. Everyone kept saying that Lanzarote was cheap, everything easily accessible, nice sandy beaches, good food, nice people. Nothing not to like then!
Thankfully this time we departed early in the morning. No cars booked ‘cos a quickie taxi ride to Puerto del Carmen was not expensive at all and we wanted to simply “stay away from the masacre of everyday-ness”.
Found our apartment, checked in. Sadly we were unable to change the ground floor one for something higher, despite of having pre-booked a higher floor.
The Receptionist was such a nice lady! Speaking Polish, German, Spanish and English. Her mom was Polish but she was born in Germany. How she ended up in Spain I don’t know but I dare to assume she was a German tourist that fell in love during holidays in Lanzarote. Got married because got pregnant and after second bebe, the local damped her ‘cos family was too much of a disruption to his freedom. I know she was a single mom of 2 so the story is very probable. Surely am somewhere close to the truth.
Later on we walked over to the pool area. A bunch of very loud folks from Dublin (so much for escaping the everydayness!) took over the entire space.
Three older dudes moved into the apartment above us and kept sitting at the table and staring around.
After this we rather quickly went in search of easy routes that would take us into the town and further to the beach.
Puerto del Carmen has long sandy beaches. The one next to an old town harbour, called Playa Chica, is a small secluded one among huge rocks. Too crowded though as surrounded by the rental apartments and hotels.
Thankfully, only a few metres further north, there is a huge beach that splits into Blaya Blanca and Playa Grande. Here you can see crowds too, however the beach sizes help to reduce the feel of sitting on an Asian train.
It was an evening. We went for a dinner. It was quite a walk from where we stayed, for C mainly. We chose a place on the opposite side of the road from Playa Blanca, that is an example of a typical Spanish holiday resort sea front, packed with stall-like looking restaurants mingled between the souvenir shops. We had a pizza and a calzone. Quality, quantity and prize – holiday-town-seafront-like. Typical. Not overly excited after having such a meal, but no longer hungry and definitely not as hot as on the way to this place, we climbed up the street that led us to our apartment. Of course on the way we met a lovely British lady who was in the mood for stalking people who wanted to rest and fed us with some bollix about her ex husband’s swimming. Whatever! Went to sleep.
The apartment was very nice but being on a ground floor, especially that we booked a higher floor, was a bit annoying. Particularily because the bedroom windows had bars in them and were small. But sure, we did not get an apartment to stay in it afterall.
In the morning, we made a discovery! Spar, around the other corner, filled with delicious local food, freshly cut hams, cheeses, breads and rolls straight from the ovens. And the assortment! OMG. The shelves with fruits and veggies were bending and C and I just could not absorb this goodness of flavors to choose from.
Here, in Ireland, you do have a choice….but of completely tasteless food. Especially fruits and veggies are almost as if they were fake. So being able to bite into something that is not just made to fill your tommy up but also to give you pleasures is defo a good reason to go to the South!
And have you ever watched a Spanish butcher slicing jamon? Jamon is Spanish ham and it is sliced off of the whole leg.
We were standing there with the jaws dropped and staring at the guy who looked like Antonio Banderas in his late 40s. The show was priceless despite it being an everyday life occurence here. He first put on a metal glove, well made out of some stainless steel wire of sorts which made him look like a medieval knight…. Don Kichote, only from back to the future more like. And then he got his sword out. Oh what sort it has been! You could cut yourself only by looking at its sharpened edge. He then positioned a huge piece of cured and aged jamon in front of him and the slices that were coming out from under that knife were almost see-through, like rice paper. No need to mention no torn bits! – but I must praise him again.
Watch this amazing video about Jamon Iberico (Iberic Peninsula – Spain + Portugal):
The woman who had asked for the ham looked at us. We looked at her. We must have been visibly getting hungry ‘cos she grabbed it and quickly ran away almost as if we were to steal it from her or something…. In fact we are not the gratest fans of traditional fatty jamon, lady – just FYI in case you read this at some stage….
Chloe, who back then used to be a bit of a picky eater, now sat by the table munching on the fresh baggette dipping it in a really really tasty and so so fresh pate, topping it all up with a yoghurt drink and then ice tea to make things more interesting.
We had a plan! A day before, on the way back to the apratment, we popped over to a local bike shop. Ha! Not just any bike shop. The guy in there was an artist. He used bicycle parts to build fabulous tables and decorative items. Truly pretty. We made a deal on the rental and promised to appear next mornig.
Nicely fed, caffeinated and covered with 10 layers of sun creams, we happily walked out in the direction of adventure:
Did I mention happily? 🙂
We got our bike for half of what other places quoted. If you wanna know which place it is let me know. The guy attached the seat, secured it and adjusted everything to ensure we were actually comfortable and enjoying this cycling adventure. Thank you for this Good Human! You are one of the nicest of people we met on our travels!
It was getting hot. Real hot. But This time, I ensured to train Chloe to put plenty of sun screen onto my back from time to time. Unlike in Portugal, when she was too small to spread the cream on my back and I got so burnt on the first day of 10-day holidays that not only have I suffered as hell but the worst was when my skin started to peel and I looked like a dinosaur in the middle of shedding. People at breakfast did not seem delighted with this view of huge flakes of skins hanging off of my back and ready to fall onto their plates anytime (which it never would, by the way, and they would know it if they had the basics of biology covered). Anyways, we always used to sneak outside and, why were they eating inside when outside there were plenty of rattan tables and chairs surrounded by beautiful flowers, I do not know.
Back to Spain however! So yea, this time, my baby was well trained already. Even though her swim suit said She was a WonderWoman in training…
There is a pretty cycling path that starts in Puerto del Carmen, on the road that is parallel to the coastline, and which leads all the way up to the Arrecife airport. How cool is this!
So we boarded our vehicle that was even equipped with a basket. We did not carry much though, led by experience, and headed for that adventure.
The worst part was to get out of that busy road in Puerto del Carmen because it leads through the town hence there are cars, tourists walking and daydreaming, children running around and not paying attention – you know all that stuff you get in a touristy place like this.
And then we went out into an open space, along the coast of beutiful Lanzarote with an invisible view on Africa 🙂
We rode chillfully and cheerfully, enjoying the heat, which was not so bad since we were getting a bit of a breeze. Passing smaller and bigger holiday resorts to our left and occasional busy bar/cafe/restaurant on the beach to the right, we finally reached what we planned as our first stop.
Playa de los Pocillos – JEEEZUUUUUS how huge it is! Our route was passing directly beside it, so we thought it would be a good idea to spread on the sand for a while and splash in some droplets of the Atlantic.
There was a beautiful hotel situated by the entrance to that beach and we thought: what’s wrong with these people roasting by the pool behind a 2 meter high glass fence while there are kilometres of such beach outside of their aquarium.
And then, the aquarium fence ended and we ended up on an open, kilometres long beautiful sandy beach that was facing Africa and had stunning view on the aircrafts approaching the nearby airport tarmac.
First gust of wind and we knew the answers to all our existentional questions. Sick sick sick. We put the bike down hoping to spread a blanky but not a chance. The sand was already battering us from every angle.
And it was this sand with big volcanic hard grains. Chloe started to cry. I said: well since we dragged ourselves and the bike all the way accross the sand here, why don’t we at least go to the water and cool down a bit and wash off this sand (that glued itself onto our creamed up bodies and was so stuck that nothing could unstuck it)?
But Chloe would not have it. One Ryanair aircraft and a bucket of tears later, I decided to wash myself and we would head further ‘cos this clearly made no sense. (Just like the hotel housekeepers cleaning the 2m high glass fence with the window cleaner and beautiful white cloths… made no sense…).
Walked backwards into the water staring at my crying child and still trying to encourage her to at least try to step in for a second. And this is when that big nasty wave got me and revealed my boobies when departing from my swimsuit. That guy was staring, yes, and so what!
I came out really angry now myself. Gathered us into one bunch of everything and we headed for the restaurant accross the road to first get rid of that sand from our underpants and follow with some lunch.
Two plates of food and a few glasses of freshly squeezed out orange juice later, we hit the road again. Oh the seat on the bike got so hot I felt like my butt was getting on fire. Especially that the general matter of things is that the longer you cycle the wormer it gets. Not cool!-er.
A little while later, we spotted a playground – Parque Infantil Matagorda. Yes, in the full sun, between the road and the sea. Not a single tree or a piece of a roof cover. So practically usable only in the early morning or late evening. But since our hot butts were already hot, a bit more heat seemed like nothing to fear.
After a few attempts of sitting on the playground equipment that was literally piping hot and being in the 40C hitting us directly in the middle of a paved area, we decided it was time to move accross that little fence and hop into the water.
This beach was like heaven on Earth. Despite of seeing the crowds behind a similar glass fence in the hotel Beatriz Playa and Spa accross the road, we thought it would be the right one this time. And so it was. And thanks to those people, it was alllllll for us. Well, maybe some additional 5 hoomans that bothered to stroll by within the entire two hours we’ve spent there…. We kept moving from one cool spot to another as the coast is slightly diverse in here. Which was very unusual and welcome.
Playa Lima…. only a few minutes away from the airport runway. We sat there and watched the aircraft landing and taking off literally above our heads.
We made it. The Arrecife airport runway behind the fence.
We went all the way to the end of the cycle path, watched some aircraft and went back, popping over for some drinks and snacks to the nearby Spar.
Playa Blanca welcomed us with this view:
My back did not survive this journey unharmed though. So while dragging ourselves up the hill back to the apartment, we took the adventage of an aloe vera plant. It was huge, so losing one leaf was of no harm to it, especially that it was going to a really good cause. My lovely little future vet lady spent an entire evening massaging its juices into my back. And guess what! Next morning it was like new and ready for another short bike adventure.
One day we will come back there because this time, having no car, we visited only a few nearby places. There is however an entire island still left to be discovered with its wonderful Park of Volcanoes and vineyards, caves and beaches.
Hasta Luego Lanzarote, Vamos a volver pronto.
A & C
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