This entry is the continuation of the day tour showcasing the main sites on the island. After exploring the majestic and dizzying vast Timanfaya National Park, with all its volcanic soil, mountains and even craters, the tour moved on to the next destinations. Cueva de los Verdes and Jameos del Agua are two unique experiences, taking the guests down to long and winding lava caves and tunnels. Native artist Cesar Manrique, along with his friend architect Jesus Soto, redesigned the caves to make them more attractive, adding optical illusions, pools, lighting and plant grove.
Because of the technical issue on our bus’ roof, the tour was delayed — and we were starving when we get to Haria, where were to get the included lunch buffet! And before we got there, we drove a long way, across vineyards, windmills, and horrifying zigzag roads! Plus, it rained a lot, so I sat on the edge of my seat, waiting for the roadtrip to be over… 😛
The road going to Haria was long and winding. On both sides are geological formations, small groups of residential houses, and several vineyards. Our tourguide talked about the wine, the harvesting times, etc.. but I don’t quite remember all of what was said. Well, I remember that the harvesting times are different from the rest of Europe – something like that.
Thankfully, we got to Haria safe and sound at kl 14:20 (way past lunch, I know). Haria is the northernmost and easternmost city on the island. It is home to Cesar Manrique, and visitors can take a tour of his “museum” home (Casa Museo) there. However, we didn’t have enough time to do that. The main purpose of the stop there was to fill our tummy with food!
The buffet was served by the El Cortijo restaurant. They also let us taste native wine.
We left the village at around kl 15, so Carl and I had some minutes to have a look around, but not to visit the Case Museo of Cesar Manrique. We saw a small square, and lots of lovely tropical plants like cacti and bougainvilla.
After 15 minutes on the bus, we reached Cueva de los Verdes. The funny thing was “nothing was green in the cave”, although it’s name says otherwise. By the time we got to the mouth of the cave entrance, it started to rain. The queue was a bit long, with groups from different companies. The group ahead of us had to hurry in, and we sort of pushed ourselves in to avoid the rain. Nevertheless, the tours were well-organized and controlled by the guides. So, kudos to them!
Cueva de los Verdes actually reminded me of the Underground River in Palawan, Philippines which has a length of about 24 kms, although only 8 kms are navigable for tourists. Cueva de los Verdes, on the other hand, is 6 kms and was formed by the eruption of Monte de la Corona volcano thousands of years ago. Most of the floors inside were cemented and imaginative Lanzaroteños designed the length of it with lights, optical illusions and even an auditorium for concerts! The main rule when navigating the cave system was to stick with your group and to watch out for your head through narrow and low passageways.
As you can see on the pictures above, some parts of the cave system can be very low and narrow, while some parts can be huge and massive!
And here’s an optical illusion for you. Spoiler: It’s water!
Cueva de los Verdes was impressive, and imho, a must-see on the island — much to learn about the geographical formations and the island’s history. It was also mentioned that natives hid from pirates inside the caves. Cool, huh?
We left the site and drove on to another lava cave, the Jameos del Agua. I remember it to be smaller and shorter than Cueva de los Verdes, but still a sight to behold! Native artists, esp Cesar Manrique, made the site more attractive by placing blue pools, gardens and a cafe (sadly, it was closed during our visit). Just like the first cave, Jameos del Agua was formed by the Corona volcano thousands of years ago.
We arrived in Jameos del Agua a little before 5pm. It rained hard while we stood in the queue, so we were soaking wet during and after the tour. Luckily, we didn’t catch a cold the day after.
It made an impression that the main feature of Jameos del Agua was its inhabitants – the tiny and white blind lobsters! They sort of adapted themselves over the years to the darkness of the cave.
So, rain and sun in a span of 30 minutes… Before departing from Haria, we had a few minutes to explore on our own. Carl and I tried to get near to the sea, but to no avail.
The rest of the tour was just plain bus trip back to Puerto del Carmen. We were wet from the rain, starved, and exhausted. Overall, we had a great day learning and exploring Lanzarote, and the tour company made it as comfortable as possible, despite the difficulties with the transport and the rainy weather.
The next day, we planned to go plane watching by the airport and bar-hopping. The first and last bar-hopping experience. :_D More about that in the next entry! #spreadloveandpositivevibes
ALL PHOTOS AND VIDEOS ON THIS ENTRY ARE MINE. (c)