16 November 2014 | Marina Lanzarote, Arrecife, Lanzarote
We had not planned to join any of the rallies for boats crossing the Atlantic. We were going to stop at the marina in Arrecife, Lanzarote to say hello to our friends from Nyctea (another cruising boat that had wintered in Sicily with us, and whom we had crossed paths with several times in the Med this summer). Nyctea had joined the Atlantic Odyssey Rally, organized by the famous sailor Jimmy Cornell. As we found out, this is a low-key rally, with only 40 or so boats participating. There were several cruising families, including one with teenagers in the same age range as Alec and Roan. We befriended several of the boats participants and ended up joining the rally, especially when we found out that the organizers had no problems with us staying longer in the Canaries (we wanted to stop in Tenerife and climb Mount Teide, an active volcano which happens to be the tallest mountain in Spain).
Lanzarote, a barren volcanic island had suffered several volcanic eruptions during the XVIII and XIX centuries. We visited the western area where the Montañas de Fuego (Mountains of Fire) and the Timanfaya National Park were located. At the park, we saw several interesting demonstrations of: water being vaporized like a geyser, food being cooked over a volcanic vent and dry bushes spontaneously catching fire, all courtesy of the ground heat. Next we drove for about 30 min to the other side of the island – this is not a very big island – to visit Cesar Manrique House and Museum. Manrique, a famous artist of the mid 20th century, built his house in a lava coulee and integrated some natural volcanic bubbles of basalt into his house, modifying them into living rooms which he decorated himself. Spectacular! Manrique also made a tremendous impact on the development of the island. For example, he managed to restrict the height of houses to under 4 floors; also by his influence, no billboards were allowed in the island. The result is a charming island, with no mega hotels. If you want a relaxing vacation in a place with striking and beautiful scenery, this is your place.
The rally started on Sunday, November 16 at noon. We left Arrecife at the same time, but instead of continuing for 2800 miles, we just went 150 miles or so to Santa Cruz de Tenerife.