For my husband’s birthday, I decided to surprise him with a bit of Winter sun. I can’t believe I managed to keep it a secret! When he finally learned we were going to Lanzarote he was really excited. We scarcely go to sunny destinations and are notoriously bad at ‘relaxing’ when on holiday, so this was a very different kind of holiday for us.
In the interest of totally switching off, I took a week away from the internet and didn’t bring my camera. The challenge of taking photos with just my iPhone (and GoPro, I know it’s water resistant but I didn’t fancy testing it that much!) was quite fun and I enjoyed not lugging all my camera stuff along with me.
The weather was great, 20°C to 25°C each day. It didn’t rain once and the time of year meant the resort wasn’t too busy.
Rather than self catering as we normally do, we stayed in a big hotel. It was novel having vegetarian food easily accessible and not having to think about anything. The pool had 15 pools, ranging in size which we spent time each day exploring. The larger pools were absolutely freezing but smaller ones warmed up nicely by the afternoon.
Best of all was the pool in the premium area (swag). Although I’m pretty sure all guests visiting without children got access to this ‘exclusive’ gated area. The pool was huge, —big enough to warrant a bridge across the middle—lined with palm trees and surrounded by deck chairs with cute little tiki umbrellas. At the end of the pool a bar served drinks until midnight. All the deck chairs here had nicer cushions than the rest of the resort but snagging one meant arriving early. Some pros even had these giant peg things for their towels. We were clearly pool lazing amateurs.
After breakfast we tended to head to this area. Where I would order an Americano and work on my Simpsons Tapped Out town. Adulting at its finest.
The pool looked so blue and inviting, every morning I debated wether I should get in. When impatience got the better of me I made a break for it and sat treading water alone until my lips resembled the colour of the pool.
Freddy’s Cat House
Feral —but incredibly friendly— cats were found all over the hotel. And in fact Lanzarote generally. A local charity called Freddy’s Cat House has set up cat feeding stations everywhere for them. It’s so nice to see they’re being looked out for and a neutering program is underway. Naturally they got all of our remaining Euros. International crazy cat ladydom.
Summer is by far the season where I feel most out of my comfort clothes wise. I’m far from fashionable at any time of year but enjoy hiding under layers and wearing mostly black whenever possible. One reason to enjoy digging my Summer things out is my Skinnydip clamshell bag. I mean, it’s holographic and did I mention its shaped like a shell? OOTD: Serving you mermaid realness with Monica from Friends humidity hair.
Like any self respecting 8 year old, I get really excited by anything volcanic. One evening we drove to Volcán El Cuervo, an expired volcanic crater we found the first time we came here. You can walk inside and see the hardened magma and crazy colours. Geology rocks.
There’s something weirdly humbling about standing at the foot of these massive structures. I like to imagine how weird it would be to live through an eruption. Some people might find miles of lava fields bleak but I think they’re fascinating. In Lanzarote the lava fields are sparsely covered with succulents and home to fast moving lizards.
Another volcanic bit of sight seeing we partook in was a pit stop at this eerie green lake in El Golfo.
The most beautiful and remote beaches we’ve found in Lanzarote are at Papagayo. Four beaches are accessible from one dirt track, with views out to Feutaventura. The cliffs are eroded into amazing shapes and the water is so clear you can see the fish swimming in it.
One morning we went to check out Papagayo and decided to go snorkelling. It was freezing but once fully emerged you kind of adjusted to it. Huge and colourful fish swim right up to you in the shallows. I managed to find a blue starfish but the highlight of the day—and indeed my snorkelling life to date— was spotted by Aaron. Without any exaggeration, a gigantic, bigger than me, Steve Urwin incident sized stingray swam nonchalantly underneath us and out to sea. I was so shocked (and a little bit terrified if I’m being honest) I jabbed away aimlessly at my GoPro and didn’t manage to film it. But it was completely amazing.
One of my main reasons for wanting to learn to dive was to swim with rays. As it transpired I’m absolutely terrified of diving and will never, ever do it again. But it felt amazing to sneakily realise that ambition when I least expected it (and whilst in close proximity to the surface. Where as a non-amphibian I definitely prefer to stay).
Reef 1. Amy 0. I briefly considered claiming this happened during an altercation with the aforementioned giant stingray.
Jardin De Cactus
Lanzarote was the place which accelerated by cacti and succulent obsession. I love seeing the bright flowers and huge cacti dotted around. I’m going to have to organise some sort of plant exchange program. I want mine to grow to these proportions!
You can tell I don’t go to many hot places. I spent the whole time looking for lizards and got genuinely excited by this giant cockroach. Aaron was less enamoured with my find.
Last year I tagged along on my friend’s appointment with Dr Sam Bunting, Harley St dermatologist and owner of the best skin I think I’ve ever witnessed. She drilled into us the important of wearing SPF—yes, even in Wales—and I vowed that this year I’d turn over a new leaf.
I purchased factor 50 (wrongly) thinking that would give me maximum protection. I covered myself in it, rubbing it in so not visible anymore and then got burned within about half an hour. The whole trip was like a trial and error experiment in how not to use SPF. Whilst I did manage to prevent any serious sunburn I have to admit I came with rather red arms. I’ll be reviewing a couple of facial products containing SPF I used and loved over the coming weeks.
Despite loving cold places, I have to admit I think a dose of natural Vitamin D in Lanzarote has done me a world of good! It was so nice to relax, read loads of books and take a proper break from things.