It’s taken quite a while for me to around to writing this piece. We’re very close to the birth of our first child now and I’ve let my mind wander back to the last holiday we had as a couple. The last for possibly quite a while. Change has arrived.
Monday March, 5th 2012
I didn’t do my homework before flying off to Lanzarote so I was a little shocked to find how barren the island was. We’ve been to Santorini, another volcanic island, which was amazingly beautiful. Lanzarote wasn’t. Our bus drove past, what appeared to be, a very large building site. The only greenery being the cactuses on roundabouts and in various gardens. It didn’t take me long to create and memorise the first verse of my Lanzarote poem. Thinking back now, I should I have realised it was still winter despite the hot weather.
From a land of green
To a desolate heaven.
After this I decided to write a verse for each day of my holiday. What started out as a little haiku exercise, became an eight verse project.
We were staying in Playa Blanca on the south coast. On our first full day we took a coastal path east to find a beach my wife had read about, perhaps on one the many maps we’d been given. The path came to a sudden halt at a cliff face. Some walkers were climbing but it wasn’t something I would let my expecting wife do. Backtracking the path, we found the correct route to take and found the beach we were looking for.
The sun was bright and I sat watching the sea, composing my next verse.
Sunbeams scatter on
Dancing waves of the blue sea.
Wednesday was windy and quite cold when the sun decided to hide behind the clouds. This didn’t stop many of our hotel’s residents trying to catch some rays. Either that or they were determined to make full use of an all-inclusive booking.
We left them to it and chose another walk. This time to the west.
Laying on sun beds
Fully clothed against cold winds.
On Thursday we walked west again, a little further than the day before to look for another recommended beach. On this walk I began to notice that many of the cacti had some form of graffiti. Mostly the usual initials loves another set of initials.
We hired a pair of sun beds for the day and I settled down to read a book I’d taken with me. The next verse soon followed as one cacti images had stuck in my mind.
Sex in the minds of young teens.
I’d forgotten my camera that day so we decided to go back on the last day so I could provide some colour to this inspiration. I could not remember where it was.
A bus ride to Arrecife, Lanzarote’s capital. The wind had settled to a light breeze and we began to wilt on our quest to see as much variety as possible. We jumped inside many of the shops and also found the time to see many of the wonderful baby clothes that were too expensive to be a sensible buy.
To the north of the town, was the welcome sight of a walled lake. We found a bar on one corner and staring out at the boats in the distance, my imagination turned to the next verse.
Enjoying drinks in
Waterside shade’s cooling breeze.
The island’s history was the order of the day as we travelled on another bus for the volcano tour and on to Timanfaya. All that barren land we observed at the beginning of the week was brought into focus as we learned of the lava flows that rolled over villages, farms and livestock. The complete devastation of over half the island.
We also learned that Lanzarote does not have any natural fresh water. A curious place for a growing hotel trade, or early settlers for that matter. Most water today is imported from neighbouring islands but Lanzarote also had a desalination history where salt was also traded.
Lava flow desert.
Buried homes and buried souls.
What better day to top up our sun than a Sunday? A day of ease by the hotel pool finishing my book. The history lesson from the day before still weighing heavily on my mind.
A sun bed graveyard.
Our naked skins sacrificed.
Lanzarote had grown on me. It might not be a destination that I’d choose to go again but it has left its imprint on my memories and it’s always sad to travel home after a short break.
Flying home to life,