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29th October, 2016


After another two days of fine weather and calm seas we arrived off Lanzarote under blue skies, and by 9 in the morning it was already 23 degrees. ‘Board of Trade Sports’for us, but many folks took the shuttle bus into the capital Arrecife, a ten minute drive around the bay. Two other cruise ships were also alongside so the waterside bars were popular, but the main shopping street a little quieter by the time I popped ashore during siesta.

Even the locals would probably admit that the town is not one of the most scenic, but the tours do go to some amazing places and after lunch most of our Saganauts embarked onto their respective coaches. Fire Mountain is always very popular and the trip to Timanfaya National Park gave an amazing insight into a volcanic landscape where craters and lava beds surround the road like some lunar landscape. In the 1730’s volcanoes erupted for six years. For those feeling a little more energetic a trek to the Cuervo Volcano, also known as the Raven’s Boiler was followed, understandably, by a tasting of wine produced on the island from grapes cultivated in cinder pits. Surprisingly good I was later advised.

The Cesar Manrique Foundation celebrates the life of the locally born artist who died in 1992 and is within his unique home that was built around five volcanic caves. Other local artist paintings, sculptures and ceramics also serve to conserve Lanzarote’s artistic heritage. That tour also included Tahiche where over 1,100 varieties of cactus grow in a former quarry. No doubt our gardening lecturer Sir Roddy Llewelyn was suitably impressed.

We left just after 7 in the evening, and just as the sun was setting, over the German cruise ship ‘Aida Sol’as it happened. Needless to say my departure broadcast made reference to the ‘Sol set’, polite enough but possibly a good job they were too far away to hear.

Captain Philip Rentell

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