Discovering the Canaries

The sailboat, Zanzibar, has cast off again and is headed for the Canaries. Follow the continuing adventures of Laurent, Bérangère and their two children as they discover the Canary Islands.


LANZAROTE and Its Volcanoes

  We have anchored at the marina of Arrecife, principal city of Lanzarote, an island shaped by over 300 volcanoes.  The city has no particular charm, but the marina is modern and features all the commodities:  laundry facilities, clean showers, ship chandler, French bakery, shops, and restaurants…

We then went to the national park of TIMANFAYA, at the heart of the 51 km² that form the Montañas des Fuego.  It was here that, in 1730, history’s most impressive volcanic eruptions took place.  Over 200 km² were devastated over 6 consecutive years.

We visited the park by bus, via a sinuous route that cuts through the lava rock.

Today, over 300 years after the last eruption, as far as the eye can see, there is a lunar landscape in shades of black, grey, brown and red... without sign of vegetation.   It’s impressive!

We continued our visit, winding amongst the ridges, enjoying a majestic panorama.

The children were impressed.  Blanche asked a thousand questions, wanting to know all the “hows ” and “whys.”  Gabin called out to us each time he saw a volcano (about every 10 seconds).  The visit was very animated!


Last Days in the Canaries

  We continued our visit in the Canaries with the discovery of the local vineyards.  Here, there is no intensive viticulture; all the work is done by hand:  each vine is protected from the wind by stones.  They are planted in a small crater in the black, sandy ground.  The overall impression is quite pretty and very original.

We also explored the north of the island, up to “Mirador del Rio.”  The elevated site dominates the entire Ile de la Graciosa, offering a panoramic view:  we saw only sand everywhere.

We continued our motorised journey to stop at “Cuevas de las Verdes,” where immense underground caves were created by lava flows, stretching for over 7 km, up to the sea.

We spent several more days at port, waiting for a period of favourable weather conditions to head to the south of the island and moor at Papagayo, where we would meet up with friends.  We spent some splendid moments together.

Yet, our visit of the Canaries had come to a close.  We had initially planned to head for Cape Verde. However, we took the decision to modify our course.

We are headed for… Senegal and Casamance, with some 900 nautical miles to cover before we reach Dakar, the official port of entry into the country.

An account of our arrival on African soil will follow…