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29th October, 2019


A gentle overnight passage with calm seas saw a very tranquil morning dawn off the east coast of Lanzarote as we made our approach at around breakfast time. Normally there are trade winds here, blowing fairly steadily from the northeast, however today the sea was as flat as a pancake and there wasn’t a breath in the air. Which was good news from the Captain’s berthing manoeuvre, but not so good for those anticipating a cool breeze during the day.

Safely alongside at breakfast time, Cruise Composer Jobo made her announcement indicating that everyone was now free to head off and enjoy themselves ashore. Arrecife town doesn’t look like much from the port area, but once you’ve made your way some 2km around the north of the harbour (it’s actually a rather nice walk – alternatively of course we provided our complimentary shuttle bus) past a pleasant little beach on a coastal promenade, there are some delightful little bars & restaurants lining the coast, and further inland all the clothes shops a lady could desire. I think…

For those whom the town just isn’t enough, there were of course a number of alternatives offered by our Explore Ashore team. Scenic coach tours, walks to the dizzy heights of viewpoints and then down into caves, treks to volcanoes and even a BBQ whilst there, something called ‘sea-trekking,’ and visits to places called Palm Valley and Green Caves, were some of the many such options offered by our tours teams. Yes – there is a lot to do here!

I decided to work off some of these 6 course meals I had been enjoying since my arrival here almost a week ago, and so took my bicycle on a very pleasant ride along the coast, south from Arrecife, past the airport and onward along endless golden beaches. I have a friend who is a very keen cyclist and prior to my setting off, I asked him to recommend these new fandangled ‘Apps’ to download on my phone, which recorded my cycling activity: distances, speeds, heights climbed, etc. He duly recommended one, and I went about downloading it onto my telephone.

Off I set, and it was a most pleasant ride indeed, for there is a designated cycle track and promenade running all along the eastern coast of Lanzarote. I leisurely rode Southward for about 45 minutes, before stopping for a refreshing shandy and some Spanish finger food (tapas). Whilst seated, I checked my telephone and was pleased to note that I had recorded a distance of 20.4km at an average speed of 27.2km/h. Based on this information, I decided that was a good time to celebrate the halfway point with another plate of garlic prawns, before about-turning and heading back.

My return voyage was unfortunately not as rapid as the outbound one, having encountered some slow-moving traffic on the promenade as well as a few minor technical hitches setting in, such as cyclist seat chafe, however I was looking forward to interrogating my new cycling App on arrival to review all the stats and brag appropriately. However, after happily dismounting at Saga Sapphire’s gangway (no part of my body was more pleased of this than my derriere) I was astonished to discover that the new App had recorded a total distance of 8,301.6km at an average speed of 4,471km/h. Out of the way, Chris Froome!

Needless to say, I announced my phenomenal riding achievement to my cycling friend, whose response was immediate and conclusive: “Yes, it does that if you spend too much time in a bar.”

Anyway, however far I had cycled I felt suitably refreshed after a shower and was pleased to welcome everyone back on board after their adventures ashore, prior to setting sail for our next Canary Island late in the afternoon: Gran Canaria here we come!

Captain Kim Tanner

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

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.