Thursday, 3 April 2014

Lanzarote, part four - Jameos del Agua and Cueva de los Verdes

Today, we got the car, so this was when we began to explore the island.
First, a walk to the front, then a bus to the airport, where we picked up the car.

The beach and rocks, partially covered by the tide now.

All the fit people were using the exercise ‘park’. We’d seen one of these last year in Fuerteventura, and thought what a great idea it was.
But, of course, you need the climate to be good – it wouldn’t work in the UK, I don’t think (and it would probably be vandalised).

 very ‘interesting’ cactus we saw.

We boarded the bus to the airport, three euros each, but not all went well! The hotel reception told us where to catch the bus – but it turned out we were at the ONLY ‘stop’ where it DIDN’T stop!!! Anyway, all ended well as we crossed the road to the bus station, and caught the next one (which, to this day, we have no idea why it was there – according to the timetable, there wasn’t one due for another half an hour???).
The reason I’d not hired locally was that I saved about 50 euros doing it this way – a no brainer!
As we passed by roundabouts, we saw the first of many sculptures on them. This one was a sailing dingy. Not sure if it was a Manrique, but a lot of them were.

This one DEFINITELY was a Manrique!

We picked up the car, then set off north. We had a plan, and today we wanted to see the  Jameos del Agua volcanic ‘caves’.
Well, here I am at the entrance.

You can read more about these phenomenon here;
This underground lake, Jameo Chico, is home to the blind crabs.

This is what a lot of people come to see, there are THOUSANDS of them in the lagoon.

But a lot come to see Marique’s touch to this amazing place set among the volcanic ‘bubbles’.
It’s like a paradise, hidden below ground level, but open to the sunshine. The trademark white dazzles in the light.

The underground concert hall in a volcanic bubble. 
What an incredible imagination Manrique had, to be able to ‘see’ all this in his head!

Another of his pieces of work hangs above.

There’s also more of his design in the visitor centre. We climbed the steps to explore.
This was my favourite ‘piece’ :-)

As expected, white dominates again on the inside.
 These mirrors were set into the entrance, and gave that ‘eternal reflection’ phenomena.

Next stop – just a two minute drive away, were the ‘caves of Verde’. Actually, the name of the family who owned the caves once!
Now, yet another attraction on the Lanzarote itinerary. You can buy a ticket for between two and six locations, the more you visit, the more you save (or spend). We had four on our ticket.

People agog at the sheer force of nature that must have occurred to create these ‘bubbles’ or lava tunnels.
They are a total of over four MILES long, and were formed when the nearby Monte Corona threw a wobbler about 5,000 years ago.

Sue & I had visited cave systems before, but this was different. With being young, by comparison, they had none of the usual feature like stalagmites/tites etc, but were still impressive, in a different way.
Locals hid in these ‘tubes’ when pirates visited the island long ago. A sad story is that, due to ONE MANS' betrayal, in 1618, hundreds of them were captured and taken into slavery by Algerians.

The system even had it’s own ‘theatre’, with an almost acoustically perfect auditorium, complete with seating (not very comfortable though).
The guide talked us through the forthcoming events. They do a food and music night, which sounded quite good.

Looking up through the roof, through this huge ‘bubble’ hole.

The underground lake. It looks bottomless, but is, in fact, only a couple of inches deep.
Reflections in it are amazing!

Next was the famous Mirador del Rio.
EVERYONE we spoke to who has visited this raved about it, putting it second only to the Timanfaya volcanic national park.

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