First Encounters

Neither of us had ever been to a Canary Island before but today we had our first encounters with one. Our destination was the most northerly of the islands, ignoring a couple of minor rocky lumps getting in the way of the Atlantic swell, namely Lanzarote [pronounced Lan-th-arote with a Spanish lisp].

The easyJet flight was a bit of a rude awakening largely ‘cos I was an idiot. I expected a 3-hour flight based on Spanish time but the Canaries are on UK time so three hours turned into four hours. Dumbo! Anyway, we made it.

We were to have three days to ourselves before joining an Explore Worldwide walking tour. Our rental car was, brilliantly, awaiting us at our hotel. Seeing the interminable lines of people trying to rent cars at the airport, I was very grateful for this arrangement. Car rental is painful always and is now suffering a post Covid trauma (not that Covid has gone away). With the lack of business over the various lockdowns, rental companies sold many of their cars. Now there is a shortage and they are having trouble replacing their stock so rentals are in short supply. Ours was great, delivered to us without any queues and came complete with full insurance and a Spanish satnav.

Lanzarote balconyOur hotel is a complex of self-catering apartments, the Aparthotel Costa Mar. Our unit had two bedrooms and a very basic kitchen. Star turn was the sea view balcony where quaffing beer and wine looked like being a pleasure.

Though we’d got the car for three days, given our 03:30 alarm to get here, we left it parked and went in search of some tapas for lunch … and something to wash it down, of course. It wasn’t the greatest tapas on the planet but was relaxing enough for weary travellers trying to find their feet. The padron peppers were decent but the puntillos de calamar [baby squid] were a let down.

Sitting at the restaurant, everything seemed to be in the 60s: the temperature [°F, of course] and the music – we were serenaded by a collection of Bee Gees tracks. The hotel suite continued the 60s theme with its bedding – sheets and blankets. Hmmm.

There’s a Spar supermercado opposite the hotel which came in handy for a self-catering option. After a lunch of tapas, anything large in the evening would’ve been a waste so we got some albondigas [meatballs] for an evening meal which I threw in a local sauce rejoicing in the name of Mojo Rojo.

There was nothing else for it but to set about relaxing and proving me right about the balcony.

Posted in 2022 Lanzarote

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