It is rarely I sign up for tours -about once a cruise, maybe less. But I found not that much interesting to see in Accerif last time – even given the excuse of a Sunday. Lanzarote is a volcanic island with major extensions and eruptions dating from 1730-36. It seemed sensible to see the area, especially since the tour included a camel ride.
No, we did not get a particularly friendly camel. Bernardo, in fact, sat back down on the job twice before being convinced he didn’t have a choice. Considering that the Eldest and I are not exactly the heaviest bit of baggage with which he could have been stuck – I don’t think this demonstrated much intelligence on his part. The camel handlers – on the other hand – had muzzles on them all which prevented both spitting and biting.
From there, it was just a short bus ride to the main building near the largest of the old volcanos. Although everyone keeps saying that there is no current risk of eruption, there is still magnum not that far below the surface. Down about two meters the temperature is high enough to trigger off spontaneous burning of hay tossed in for demonstration purposes.
In an area not very far along the ridge there are a series of pipes stuck vertically in the ground. If you, let us say, pour a bucket of water down one of those holes, it will take less than three second before it is returned to you in the form of boiling water and steam.
The lava flows, once started wiped out more than 25 small villages, fields, live stock and traveled from the center ridge to the ocean, extending the size of the island substantially. Driving through the fields we could see the layers of lava colored by included minerals and the area where, almost 300 years later, lichens are just starting. Lava tubes are clearly visible as are arches and caves cut in by the sea.
The last stop on the tour was a vine yard. Since the soil is dry and poor, the vines are raised on the ground. The semi-circles edged with volcanic rock retain what little moisture is in the air enabling the vines to survive. Since I can’t tell from wine – I have no clue as to whether or not the small bit provided for sampling was worth drinking.