Chicken?!!?? Why are you starting your post with chicken?, you may ask. Well, this tasty chicken isn’t ordinary chicken..it wasn’t grilled on just your usual, mundane, old charcoal or propane grill….it was cooked from deep below the ground, by the fire and heat from a volcano! Wow! We must admit, it tasted like plain old good juicy chicken that you get when it is cooked on any grill. But the novelty was too good to pass up. We now have the essence of a volcano inside of us!
Lanzarote is our first stop in the Canary Islands, not named after little yellow birds, but named from the Latin Canariae Insulae, Island of the Dogs. It was named by the Mauretanian King Juba II, as he claimed there were vast numbers of large dogs here. Called the “Island of Eternal Spring,” Lanzarote itself is a volcanic island. From 1730-1736, a series of volcanic eruptions occurred on the island and produced 32 new volcanoes over a distance of 11 miles. Lava covered a quarter of the surface of Lanzarote. This led to deforestation and drought, forcing many of the residents to flee in the ensuing years.
So, the restaurant with the volcano-cooked chicken is in Timanfaya National Park. Walking through the park is forbidden; when you arrive, you board a bus that drives through the strange and weird “moonscape,” as it is called. Accordingly, all of the photos you see were taken through the window of a bus, so some are a little blurred. The landscape certainly looks other-worldly, and at times it is hard to remember that you are not on a sci-fi movie set. It certainly was a surreal experience, as it was so stark and barren. In fact, the terrain is considered so similar to the surfaces of the moon and Mars that it has been used for astronaut training and the testing of interplanetary rovers.
In the second photo, the man walking away from the hole with a bucket had just poured water onto the hot stones and earth underground to produce the steam column that you can see…quite a serious amount.
After these photos is the official logo of Timanfaya, El Diablo, the Fire Devil, as the park is located in the Fire Mountains. It was designed by the most famous Lanzarote artist, Cesar Manrique, and it is everywhere, as you can imagine. You can buy not only t-shirts with the devil and his quindent (also called a pentadent and a fivedent, but it is not a trident!), but also earrings, keychains, charms, necklaces, towels…exploitation in the highest. We also visited Manrique’s house, which is a work of art in itself. There are cave-like staircases, open atriums with full-grown trees in the middle of the house, built-in benches and sofas, natural stone walls, and lots of desert landscaping. These photos all follow El Diablo.
After that are a few photos of the downtown (Arrecife) and the coastal view. The photos end with Charlie, who seems to be appear everywhere, featured in statues and posters in many of the cities we visit. We had no idea that a screen idol of the 1920s and 30s still generated so much interest!