Friday, 6 June 2014

Lanzarote, part twelve TIMAFAYA & Los Hervidoros.

Today was one of the highlights of this holiday. This, according to everyone we’ve spoken to that’s been here, is the number one MUST DO on Lanzarote!
We’d planned to come here earlier in the week, but delayed it because the conditions weren't right. It had been VERY windy on the day we’d planned to come (reinforced by some other hotel guests who said they went that day, and could hardly stand up).
Anyway, today was PERFECT, with hot sunshine, clear skies and good visibility.
Time to go volcanic!

Don't forget, you can click on any of the pictures for a larger version or slide show.
The road to Timanfaya National Park is, as you would expect, very ‘moon-like’, and edged with vicious-looking sharp volcanic rock.
I would love to know just HOW they build roads over this stuff – can there BE an easy way????

Manrique’s entrance sign to the park.
We had been warned to go as early as we could, as it gets really busy with coach trips after about 9:30, so here we were at about nine o’clock, ready to see the sights.

‘Montanas del fuego’ – mountains of fire.

Very dramatic, or very drab? This place would be different things to different people. Sue & I love it.
Yes, we love and live among greenery at home, but it’s good to see the other side of nature sometimes.

Stark and harsh, there’s very little to support life here.
We arrived at the visitor centre, and walked straight on to a coach. Cars are not allowed in the park, so everyone has to go on the guided coach tour, which winds around the park, sometimes on impossibly sharp bends and narrow ‘roads’, stopping here and there at points of interest. We’re not really ones for ‘guided tours’, but in this instance, there was no choice.

Some of the youngest (and still active) parts of the island are here at Timanfaya.
You can read up on it HERE

How would YOU feel – this is the coach drivers view of the ‘road’ ahead!!!
Again, you have to wonder – HOW?????

Another coach on the far side wends it’s way around the park.

All around, all you see is one volcano after another. This was (and, in places, still is) one very turbulent place.

Huge volcanic gorges edged the road as we continued.

This was the only life we saw really, a green, scrubby plant on the slopes.

No wonder they tested moon vehicles here, and made films too.

“Right, you lot – BREATHE IN!!!”

It looks like the top of that mountain was just blown apart.

After the trip on the coach, it was time for the show. Two bored-looking guys (who could blame them, they had probably done this thousands of times) did the ‘tricks’.
The first one placed a pile of brushwood in a hole.

Within a few seconds, it started smoking, then burst into flames.
(cue ‘oooo’s’ and ‘ahhh’s’)
See the video HERE

This guy was particularly officious and surly, but his trick was good.
Just pour a little water down the hole, and........

It came back two seconds later as a roaring jet of steam.
Watch the video HERE ( and note ‘Mr Grumpy’ always looking for the next poor tourist to tell off)

In the impressive visitor centre, they had a grill set up over a ‘hot hole’.
All this food was cooked by the heat rising from the bowels of the earth by the time we had done the tour.

The centrepiece in the restaurant, sort of pan-like?
Another Manrique, I think.

At the end of our tour, which lasted about 45 minutes, we could see what we were told coming true.
 Now HOARDS of people were arriving, and there were long queues for the tour coaches.

Posing by the sign.

The centre was built around the remains of a tree.
Like the park, simple, stark, but hugely impressive.

The restaurant looked like it could seat a LOT of people, and was probably just there to cater for arranged trips, as it didn’t seem to be open for us.

Before we left, we just had to get THE photo.

On the way back, we saw the sign to ‘Los Hervideros’, which means ‘boiling pots’, and decided to side-track to take a look.

Quite a bit of action in the sea, but NOWHERE NEAR as much as the other day.
That’s where we made a mistake, this place would be ten times more exciting on that sort of rough day, and that is when we SHOULD have come here!

This is how it might have looked – a photo taken from the web.

Ah well, another time maybe, but it was still good today.
The volcanic holes allowed the waves in, then, as they smashed against the walls, directed them upwards in a plume of spray.

People were all around at vantage points, trying to get a good picture.

Tomorrow was set very fair and warm, so we intended to use the car & go for a beach day at Papagayo.
Snorkeling and relaxing would be the order of the day.

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