Thursday, 29 May 2014

Lanzarote, part ten - Haria & Famara.



Next morning, more excitement, as we were going to Manrique’s second house, where he was living when he died in the car accident.

The drive to Haria was quite long, and the road very twisty in places. Manrique deliberately chose Haria for the remoteness and peacefulness.

This is the peaceful centre square of Haria. In the past the Town suffered many Pirate attacks, the worst of which occurred in 1586 when the pirate, Morato Arraez, burned the place to the ground along with all of the famous Palm Trees.
However the trees grew again, perhaps due to the local tradition of planting a Palm Tree for every child born (or two for every boy). Locally, this area is known as the 'valley of one thousand palms'. 


The grand entrance to the Manrique house (by now, we knew not to expect anything less from the man).
You can read up on him HERE

Another beautiful ironwork gate, this time paying homage to the palms.
He never missed a trick!

Now this DID surprise me. Obviously the car company had commissioned Manrique to paint this, but it DID seem to me to be below him? It sort of cheapened the art for me, in the same way that the Beatles painted their Rolls Royce in psychedelic colours.

After all the desolation, to see a flower was a joy. This one was in the garden, with small purple ones behind.



He really was into his BBQ’s, and we could almost ‘feel’ his presence here, laughing and socialising long into the warm nights.

Then we entered the house, and immediately were hit by the stunning design of the place.
All these years later, you’d think the place would be old fashioned, but this bathroom has such class, like the rest of the house, that it’s timeless and would not look out of place today.


I bet there’s MANY a happy, convivial night been spent at this table.

And many a gourmet meal rustled up in this kitchen, as I expect Cesar was a gourmand as well as all the other attributes he had.



‘Just’ a swimming pool would NEVER do for him, the addition of the black lava fountain is just SO him!
It serves no real purpose, except to draw your eye, and look beautiful.

This whole area was to be completely roofed and enclosed, but this is as far as he got with his plans, before he was killed.
The foundation have left it exactly as it was on the day he died.

Old, but SO, SO modern looking, even now.

This was a special guest bathroom, with twin sinks.

And the master bedroom, fit for the master of Lanzarote!

Picasso, schmicasso!
You can see by the light switch just how big this piece is.
To ME, this isn't art, but what do I know?

The relaxing area at the side of the garden.
They had a TV screen here running a loop, with movies of the man enjoying life, campaigning, painting, sculpting etc etc
It was strange to be watching him, feeling slightly voyeuristic, now he had passed away.


Even the retro sunbeds looked ultra-modern.

The nucleus – THIS was where the master created. Manrique’s workshop and studio, where some of his great works came to life.
Again, left EXACTLY how he had left it when he went on that fateful journey in September, 1992.

After the brevity of the house, we decided to unwind with a coffee in one of the street cafes in Haria town.

Time to leave this shrine to the great man.

We left Haria, looking out over the terraced and low-walled land above the town.

After the long drive from Haria, and still full of the wonderful experience of Manrique’s house, we decided to come here to Famara, a place he frequented when he was a boy.
As you crest the rise, the sight that greets you is epic! VERY reminiscent of the beach and backdrop at Cofeta on Fuerteventura, (you can see that HERE);
 
An incredible rise of volcanic rock forms the jaw-dropping background to this place,

There was a small housing ‘estate’ type of thing, holiday buildings, far too regimented for this place really. We parked up, and ‘went wild’.
This is a panorama of our playground that day.
You can watch a video of a Famara panorama  HERE

It was amazing to see this beautiful red flower blooming amongst the sand and rocks.

Yes, I had a fleece on! The wind was quite strong and we needed that extra layer. 

The dunes were fabulous, and the beach just called to us, so we decided to walk the length of it.
Alone for AGES, we saw only two other people on the entire walk.
Our aim was to walk as far as we could see.

Sculpted by the wind, the sand was forever on the move.

Patterns of nature, etched into the movable sand canvas.


There was, surprisingly, a good track and LOTS of places to park along here.
It must get really busy at times, as there were also litter bins every hundred yards or so, a bit surreal today, as it felt as wild as it could get?
We continued our walk, just trying to see how far we could get before having to turn back.

The sea was full of action, with wind and big waves being the order of the day.
Just offshore, we could see some vicious-looking rocks just poking above the surface. Boat navigation around here must be a very dangerous and skillful thing.
This huge lump of rock made a nice foreground for a picture. You can see the waves breaking over those rocks.

Sue, looking a bit windswept (but happy), with the volcanic ridge behind her.

Amazingly, there were some houses here!!!!
I am always fazed by just how remote people will go, and it ALWAYS makes me wonder what they do for basic services (if there ARE any)?
Again, reminiscent of ‘Villa Winter’ on Cofeta beach.

This is the track – not bad, is it?

Another of the ubiquitous shore markers, and another view of the ‘shipwrecker’ rocks.

Paradise, and all OURS!


When we got back to the main beach, there were LOADS of guys on kite-surfing boards, enjoying the brisk conditions.
You can see a video of this spectacle HERE
We decided to explore the (very) sleepy village. The harbour was a very up-to-date thing, probably had some sort of E.U. grant, but the place itself was really sleepy and quiet.
The houses went right up to the shore. If that law is passed that is threatening the houses at El Golfo, these must surely be in the firing line as well?

That shore had the most unusual ‘rocks’ I’ve ever seen on a beach. They looked like white eggs that were full of holes, almost like a loofah?
They made for a great vase-filler at home though!

We had read that Manrique’s brother had a restaurant here called ‘El Risco’.
We HAD to go in, just to see the place. It now had a new owner, but there were still connections to Manrique everywhere.
We just shared a small snack, and had some wine before setting off back home after a really great day.

We might try our favourite beach tomorrow – then it’s time for the fireworks of Timanfaya!








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