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Saga Pearl II blog - Captains' blogs

5th February, 2018

We found ourselves approaching the designated UNESCO Biosphere reserve of Lanzarote, at around 07:00 on Monday morning. The main city of Arrecife could easily be spotted by its array of mostly white buildings against the volcanic backdrop. Our local pilot embarked just before the harbour breakwater, and was on the Bridge just as we were throwing our lines ashore to the linesmen. He enjoyed a fine cup of coffee and a little chat with us as we were tying the ship up alongside, allowing me to practice my Spanish.

Fluffy white clouds dashed across the sky south-westward today, marking our arrival in the Canary islands with the almost always present trade winds. Some of these clouds carried a bit of what we ever-optimistic Brits sometimes to refer to as ‘liquid sunshine’ but otherwise it remained mostly sunny, allowing everyone to head ashore and enjoy the first of our Canary ports.

Lanzarote will forever stick in my mind as the first place I ever rode a camel. It was one of those rickety wooden two-seater arrangements – one either side – perched precariously on top of a snorting, spitting, particularly grumpy looking animal. I was around 8 years old I believe, and was to share the ride with my little sister who was about half my size. As the camel rose from its lying position, the chairs took on what I perceived to be a worryingly steep list with the weight difference between us, and I spent the next 30 minutes of my life desperately clinging on to the camel’s hump in order to remain on board. Still, it must have offered my parents half an hour of peace and quiet during the family holiday…

One of my favourite sounding trips on this island was to ‘Fire Mountain,’ within the Timanfaya National Park. This trip took Saganauts trekking through craters and lava beds in a lunar-like terrain. Demonstrations were given of the latent power of a volcano, and one must presumably have been careful not to fall in. Boiling waters were then visited at El Golfo beach, along with a series of caves and blowholes. Finally, a panoramic drive took everyone a local wine cellar for a little tour followed by a well-deserved afternoon refreshment. Right up my street.

Well, we stayed late into the evening here, allowing those to sample the local seafood delights of Arrecife or wander the quiet cobbled town streets, before sailing at 22:30. Next stop tomorrow is Fuerteventura, and the little-visited port of Rosario.

Captain Kim Tanner

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

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