June 2014 – Lanzarote

As the plane began to descend, the tiny island of Lanzarote came into view, a small almost barren vista the colours below ranging from grey through to black, little vegetation and a strange moonlike landscape.

The group, divers and non-divers, having enjoyed the short flight from Gatwick were eager to see where home would be for the next 10 days. After a short taxi ride we arrived at La Florida, a small establishment of self- catering apartments grouped around the swimming pool.

Day One began with a meeting with the Diving Company, Techno Diving, owned and run by Katharina Reichrath, to discuss the diving. Most of the diving was to be around the harbour area, but due to the wonderful weather conditions, Katharina suggested that our first dive should be on the opposite side of the island, an area often inaccessible because of the prevailing winds.

This proved to be a very interesting dive due to the fact that the site was located adjacent to the local nudist village and quite a few locals were swimming! The access was down about 100 steps, cut into the volcanic lava which reached down to a level area and then two ladders to allow entry into the water. Other wildlife encountered on this dive included string rays, tuna and nudibranchs.

By Day Three an extra diver had joined the group and was enjoying the opportunities which Lanzarote has to offer.

The diving over the next few days threw up a few surprises. The variety of fish was much greater than expected and included an angel shark, large string rays, sand eels, cuttle fish, sardines, shoals of barracuda and box and puffer fish. Diving conditions were generally very good, including the visibility. Although there were lots of dive companies around the harbour area, dive sites were never overcrowded. This would also be an ideal venue for novice divers.

For the non-diver or those who wish to get a feel for the island above the surface of the water, Lanzarote has a host of fascinating attractions. Timanfaya National Park, which includes a six mile volcanic route, is truly amazing. Accessible only by a tour bus the scenery is surreal and includes a stop at The Devil`s Restaurant, where the BBQ food is cooked by the heat of the volcano….from the depths of the earth! Other attractions include the house of Omar Shariff, Teguise, the old capital of the island and Jameos del Agua saved and developed by Cesar Manrique, an extra-ordinary combination of lava, sub- tropical plants and an amazing lake enclosed by rocks.

Some excellent Spanish restaurants, very helpful and friendly locals (English is widely spoken) the beautiful weather and the diversity of the island both above and below the water made this a very pleasant venue and one which the group would not hesitate to visit again.

Report by Alan Sedgwick

Posted in Reports
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