For Day 3, we let a private tour company plan the day for us, promising a showcase of the most important sites on the island: the vast Timanfaya National Park, the surprising Cueva de los Verdes and the curious Jameos del Agua. Lunch in Haria was also included. The bus was a bit late, as usual, and we picked up several more passengers before the official tour. The weather was not much on our side – it poured in the morning and in the afternoon, and it was very windy all over the island. Nevertheless, we had an interesting and educational day, making the day tour all worth it.
We exchanged buses in Yaiza, a small town in the southern end of the island which has retained the typical white houses in Lanzarote. We didn’t do much in Yaiza, although it was possible to eat in the restaurant or climb the mounds while waiting. Our tourguide even took a smoking break with another driver. Everyone was laidback at the beginning of the tour.
Then, we drove on to the popular volcanic parkland. As mentioned on the title, the Timanfaya National Park is 51.07 km2 in area. I saw miles and miles of volcanic soil and rocks – some reddish in color, some black or brown or even yellow. It gave the impression of being on planet Mars! According to sources, it was the result of volcanic eruptions between 1720 and 1736, and in 1824.
Some of my photos were bluish because of the bus’ window. 😛
In the middle of the park is the Islote de Hilario, where visitors can grab some food from the restaurant, buy souvenirs, and be amazed by geothermal demonstrations. It was actually very cool, because despite the wind and the cool breeze on the surface, the layer of sand a little bit under was hot! The islet also has thermal anomalies, which, according to sources, means that the surface temperature could reach up to 250 degrees Celsius, and 600 degrees Celsius about if 13 meters deeper.
A cool demonstration was creating artificial geysers. It was cool to watch the ground hold spew out water!
We probaby stayed around 15-20 minutes in Islet Hilario, then, we left to make a tour of the park.
The winding road and the vast volcanic beds.. it was too dizzying for me to handle, and I felt nauseated. I handled it well though, unlike another elderly tourist who had to call the attention of the tourguide. The tourguide said that it wasn’t uncommon for visitors to feel sick while touring the park. Just look at this:
This was the crazy part, because we heard a “dunk” and voila, the bus’ roof was blown apart! The skillful driver went out to see the damage, and after deciding that it was safe, we drove back to Hilario so he could have it fixed, or so we could get into a new bus. So.. yepp.. we were a bit delayed. It’s okay though, for as long as we were safe!
There was no to little vegetation, and I saw no form for animal life.
Before the turn ended, it started raining again.
Timanfaya National Park is unique and a must-see while in Lanzarote. I think that it was actually what the whole island was about — history and geology of a volcanic island.
Anyway, it took some time for the bus to be fixed on Islet Hilario. Then, we left the park past noon, so everyone was starving by the time we reached Haria. More about the next leg of the tour in the next entry. Gotta get some sleep ‘coz dayshift tomorrow. 🙂 #spreadloveandpositivevibes