Clouds Over the Canaries

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BAIT AND SWITCH! Those were my indignant words this morning when I swept back the  hotel-room curtains and saw thick cloud cover. After yesterday’s gloating, here and on Facebook, about the fine weather I was enjoying here in Lanzarote, today was a different story. It even rained a bit. I felt sorry for the sun-seekers who converge here from all over Europe; I, at least, am not on vacation.

Above: A cactus-covered ‘lawn’ near Guatiza

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Above: The Manrique-designed Jardin de Cactus, a bowl-shaped amphitheatre carved out of a former quarry and filled with 10,000 species of cacti

I proceeded with my day’s program, visiting sites associated with Lanzarote’s man of myth, Cesar Manrique (1912-1992), a multi-disciplinary genius who transformed the island with his designs for everything from monumental engineering projects to kinetic sculptures found along the highway.

Below: A cactus gallery

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I found those game Europeans queuing up to visit the cactus garden; Jameos del Agua, the underground lava caves Manrique masterminded as a tourist attraction, below; and the spectacular viewpoint called Mirador del Rio that is the reward for navigating a cliffside road of hairpin turns.

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Along the road between these attractions, I got to experience the interior of the island.

Below, the predominant white-and-green color scheme of Lanzarote’s houses

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The town of Haria, below, reminded me we’re near Morocco. In a valley, it’s a lush oasis compared to the arid south coast.

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Below, Haria’s town hall; a sleepy street corner; and the restaurant where I found a very late lunch, after everyone else had gone.

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Below, the lunch: a salad with tuna, prawns, egg, avocado, cukes, carrots, white asparagus, olive, tomato, pepper, and chunks of honeydew melon. There was melon in my salad yesterday, too; it works!

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Lanzarote’s ‘wrinkled’ potatoes with two types of mojo, one with paprika and one with coriander.

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Below, the restaurant at the lookout on the northern tip of the island, with Manrique’s kinetic sculpture hanging above.

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The restaurant and lookout are carved into the ubiquitous lava rock.

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Below, the sweeping view they come for: the neighboring island of Grasiosa, and the lava as it must have looked flowing to the sea.

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Imagine it on a sunny day. Tomorrow’s my last full day on the island, and I’m holding out hope.

About cara

I blog for fun here at casaCARA, and write about architecture, interiors, gardens and travel for many national magazines and websites. My recently published posts and articles can be found here: https://casacara.wordpress.com/recent-articles/
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3 Responses to Clouds Over the Canaries

  1. Barbara says:

    So sorry the weather’s not cooperating, but I’m loving your pictures! Great cactuses. Don’t tell me you took all those w/ iPhone??

  2. cara says:

    Yep – all iPhone photos! The camera on the 4S is superb. By the way, the sun came out again on Friday. This island is growing on me…

  3. Joe Kunkel says:

    Wow, what a gorgeous place! I love the cacti and kinetic sculpture!

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