[Tuesday 2 April 2013]
I was able to have a shower today. The dressing on the right heel didn’t become waterlogged and peel off, so I left it on for a third day. We got to the restaurant for breakfast a bit after 9.30am. I had grapefruit and red grapes, followed by sweetened puffed wheat, then bacon and ham and baked beans. The coffee was weaker today. I added some milk that Janet took in a little teapot from the dispenser near the breakfast cereals, because the stuff they supply with the pot of coffee doesn’t whiten it at all; it must be milk and hot water. Janet poured herself a cup of coffee, didn’t like its pale appearance as it was being poured, and discarded it untasted.
On the way to the bus stop, Janet saw a sign to the right saying “Supermarket” and other things, which she decided to follow. I walked on towards the stop. A Tetley’s lorry passed me, which struck me as strange; I just had time to snap it on high zoom before it disappeared round a bend in the road.
11:43:58 Tetley’s lorry, near the embarking bus stop
11:43:58 Detail of 11:43:58
Janet caught up with me, and we got the bus (11:58) from the bus stop (“Flamingo”) to its turnaround point at Papagaya (or “Las Coloradas”, as it says on the ticket). It was €2.60 for both of us, so that seems to be the standard fare regardless of distance. Papagaya proved to have nothing of interest, just dwellings, hotels, and a sparsely patronised “Shopping Center”.
11:58 “Flamingo”–“Las Coloradas” €2.60
12:13:12 View from across the road from the alighting bus stop
12:16:44 Approaching the “Shopping Center” of Papagayo
12:16:44 Detail of 12:16:44
12:18:36 Flash-flood channel, presumably
12:18:48 Flash-flood channels. Drip-irrigation tubes visible
12:19:00 Drip-irrigation tubes visible
Unbeknown to me, Janet’s hat blew off into a high-walled storm drain; and although she got down into it easily enough, she couldn’t get out again. The first I knew, after I looked around in vain for her, was her calling to me for help. (It must have been she whom I saw earlier, though, in the flash-flood channel, walking by; but it didn’t occur to me to recognise her, because it was such an unlikely place for her to be.) I managed to hobble down to a place where I could pull her up.
We followed a sign saying “Playas Papagayo”, figuring that “playas” must mean “beaches” (“Playa Blanca” = “White Beach”, then), but the road ended at gates to a hotel courtyard. Janet asked a family the way to the beach — I’m not sure what their nationality was, but the teenage son pointed the way in broken English. It was along an unmade, stony, uneven path, though, so we turned back. In answer to our question, he also told us that there were no shops there, just beaches.
We found a café in the “Shopping Center”; I had a large beer (€2.00), Janet two 200ml Coca Cola Light (€2.60) and I also had a burger: the choices were “Iberian”, “chicken” and “beef”, and I chose an “Iberian” with cheese (€2.20). It seemed to be beef, fairly “rarely” cooked — so I don’t know what the difference is, unless it be similar to the choice between “beef” and “Aberdeen Angus” back home. The receipt was headed “CAF. ROPER PL. BLAN”, presumably “Café Roper, Playa Blanca”, and the address was “C.C. EL PUEBLO LAS COLORADAS, 35580 PLAYA BLANCA”. Perhaps there was more to “Papagayo” than we discovered, and this was only the “Las Coloradas” part.
12:51:32 Lunch in the “Shopping Center”
Thence, back to “Las Coloradas” bus stop. We’d already noticed that cock sparrows here have brown heads, like Italian sparrows; and, indeed, one left his chasing of a hen bird in a bush to pose on a rock for us.
13:37:30 Posing for the camera, behind us at the Papagayo bus stop
A couple came and sat on the bench next to us to wait for the bus. The man proceeded to assault us with the smoke and ash and stink of a cigarette. We got the bus (13:39) — the driver, who looked like François Truffaut, went out for a smoke before returning to the bus and driving off — to the T-junction with the road to Rubicón (“Los Arcos” on the ticket).
13:39 “Las Coloradas”–“Los Arcos” €2.60
I noticed tubes along the ground between the trees and shrubs lining the longish road that we walked down (“longish” to me, anyway, because my feet were sore) — evidently drip-irrigation like that which we encountered first in Israel. (I later noticed similar tubes on the photos taken “12:18:48” and “12:19:00”.) This is perhaps the second such tie-in in our diverse holidays: drip-irrigation in Israel and now on Lanzarote. The other was Scaliger-style crennelations in Verona, Sirmione and elsewhere; we noticed that the ones in the Kremlin, Moscow, were similar.
We crossed over to the left, where there was a shopping centre. My camera reported a “memory card error” when I attempted to use it, so I took the card out and put it back, and it worked OK then. The shopping centre had various animals carved in what appeared to be black stone: a Spanish fighting bull and a gorilla were what I noticed. I sat on a bench with a backrest — unlike the bench in the photo below, which I took while sitting there — while Janet went to a shop to find a hat that could be tied under the chin.
14:08:22 Shopping centre, Rubicón
She also bought a can of Coke at a supermarket, and drank it as we sat on the bench. The ATM in the shopping centre expressed regret that it couldn’t serve us. We left there on the opposite side from where we entered; there were two lions there, one each side of the entrance, of pink marble by their appearance. They were “entire”; they had cojones. I realised I didn’t have my hat, so sat on my tripod stool while Janet went back to look for it. She was a long time, and when she came out she was distressed: she’d bent to pick my hat up and had struck her head on the overhanging metal fence, just behind the bench, as she straightened up. She had a lump on her head. We walked down to the seafront. Janet wasn’t keen because it was so windy, but I wanted a photographic record of the place.
14:43:06 View towards Marina Rubicón
14:43:38 View west towards Playa Blanca
My walking was laboured and painful, so we got a taxi back to the Timanfaya Palace. Transferred today’s photos from the camera (15:21) and edited them one by one (15:24–15:56), in some cases making additional cropped views. Made them into a PowerPoint presentation (15:58–16:37). Meanwhile, Janet went to explore the signposted supermarket, etc., that she’d had a cursory look at earlier. She came back with supplies of Pepsi Max Zero and bottled water, also three postcards and stamps. The stamps were headed “Swiss Post” — strange! — but had a picture of a Timanfaya landscape and crater on them. I continued assembling photos in this document and writing in it. We went for dinner at 6.30pm. I had various starters, including caviar on little toasts; veal stew with various vegetables including chips; an ice-cream cornet with vanilla, strawberry and chocolate ice cream; and blue cheese and biscuits. I ordered a bottle of Vega de Yuco, a purplish, or very deep pink, red wine, made from local grapes in Lanzarote, with a fresh, fruity nose and taste. I asked for a cork so I could take away what was left.
21:43:22 — Detail
Despite the pain in my feet, I suggested that we have a walk to the promenade where Janet went earlier.
20:02:30 Promenade near our hotel
20:02:30 Detail from 20:02:30
20:04:40 Promenade near our hotel
20:04:40 Detail from 20:04:40
We went in one of the restaurants/bars, called El Duque, where Janet had a Pepsi Diet and I a large beer.
It was dark when we left, ca.9pm. Instead of going up the alley by which we’d come, we went through the locked back gate of the Timanfaya Palace estate, using our room key-card, and proceeded up. Surprisingly, though, the path led us up to the ungated front of the hotel. Janet had a shower, updated her holiday journal, and went to bed ca.10.30pm. I continued on the computer, trying to piece together events, till after 11.30pm.
[Thursday 4 April 2013]
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