Sunday, 11 May 2014

Lanzarote, part nine - La Geria wines and WILD waves.

After the Manrique foundation, we decided it was time for a drink (well, to have some small samples of the local vino, maybe buy a bottle or two), so we headed for La Geria, the wine region of Lanzarote.
We knew we’d found it by this incongruous marker :-)

We’ve NEVER seen vineyards like THIS!! How many man-hours it must have taken to build all the walls, wells and harbours, is mind boggling. I must admit though, the DO look amazing, and seem to protect the vines from the almost constant wind here.

The first one we came to, ‘La Florida’ bodega, looked quite classy.
Everything neat and tidy, with bits of winery paraphernalia in the yards.

And this incredible piece of kit sticking through the wall.
A wine press, we imagined? (And a nice table and stools)

AHA! Inside it became obvious how it worked.
This place is super-neat inside AND out. One of the more ‘up-market’ bodegas.

 Like something from another planet, the vine harbours cover the hillside.
IMAGINE the man hours to do this lot? It reminds me of the stone walls in the Peak District.

This bodega did the famous goats cheese and meat tapas, so we called in.

Inside it was VERY rustic, not ultra-modern. like La Florida.
There were two Germans there when we arrived, but after they left we were alone.
We weren’t REALLY hungry, but felt we just HAD to try this cheese, accompanied by a glass of the local wine here.

The bodegas charged four euros each for wine tasting. To be honest, I can see why. After tasting, I couldn’t find ONE I liked enough to buy a bottle. Lanzarote wine isn’t what I’d call nice! Sorry, but it really is terribly mediocre and has not got any ‘mmmm’ factor about it. No wonder all the hotels and restaurants ‘house’ wines are from the mainland (usually Portugal).

We tried one last bodega, just to be sure. This one was the most rustic (and yes, the wine was awful again)

It looks like a hard life here, very hard!

 It was time to move on. Today had been a bit wild, wind-wise, but very warm and pleasant. Ideal for touring. We made our way towards our next goal, El Golfo, to see the green pool we’d heard so much about.
On the way, we drove past Salinas de Janubio (the salt flats of old) and saw these AMAZING seas!! We just couldn’t resist pulling onto a small car park and getting out to see it first hand and close up.
You can read up more about the salt flats here;
Anyway – out of the car, the seas were even more wild!
See the scene as we pulled up in the car, click here;
The crashing sound was great. Sue and I just LOVE wild weather, and particularly when it involves the sea.
We loved it at the lighthouse when we hired the bikes, but these seas were FAR more dramatic.
This picture doesn’t do it justice.

But THIS one does!!

We had to be careful, as the waves were really unpredictable. You wouldn’t dare turn your back on them.
Even though we were high up the beach, and the waves were (mostly) breaking much lower down the steep slope, every now and then, there was a BIG one.

And it COULD catch you out;

The spume off the wave crests was some of the best I’ve seen too.

That’s Sue on the (relative) safety of a bar of rock that ran for about a third of the beach.

You know that odd wave I was talking about?
This couple got caught, as one broke right up to, and over, the top of the beach slope.

See the raw wildness click HERE
Look how THIS wave almost reached me too.

You can see the steep angle of the beach on this shot, but it didn’t stop some of the rollers from climbing it.

Ready to run from the advancing wave!

In this one, it almost looks calm, doesn’t it, benign, almost?
I DO love the starkness of these black volcanic beaches.

After AGES spent on this beach, we decided to go to El Golfo while we still had light, maybe even watch a sunset there?
Here’s our little hire car, with another ‘montana roja’ behind me.

On the way, we passed a place called ‘Los Hervidoras’. THAT was a mistake, to pass, I mean.
I did stop to take more pics of the sea crashing up the rocks, but little did I know just what we were missing.

More of that later

One last thing today - a quick trip to El Golfo, to see the famed green lagoon.

And here it is - in all it's weird glory!
We'd seen all the pictures, but when you see it for the first time, it really DOES look alien!

There were only a few people here today, so it was good for pictures.
We climbed over the volcanic path and descended to get close up and personal.

A panorama of the beach - click on it got a larger version.

Even the cliffs were an unusual red colour.

The small settlement of El Golfo, mainly here for tourists, with lots of restaurants, bars and cafes.
 A local told us of a possible pending change in the law, which would make many buildings that were too close to the sea in National parks illegal. If this was passed, ALL these buildings would have to go!

A pose for one of the few people we met to take our picture.

We relaxed in a small bar, hoping for one of El Golfo's famous sunsets.
Alas, cloud rolled in, and the best we could do was a good set of 'ray' pictures as the sun streaked through the cloud cover.

On the way back, we called at the salt flats.
The beach with the amazing waves was just over that rise.

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