28:56.7N 13:32.8W Beards to Burgers

Sun 25 Oct 2015 14:49
14th October
The contrast between Pedro Barba (Peter’s Beard anchorage) and Arrecife Marina could hardly be greater or more delightful. The former is all natural, the latter a mass of concrete construction. I think the developers may have gone over the top as the upper floors of this vast retail and restaurant area are little used. On the ground floor many well stocked and chic clothes, shoe, baby and accessory shops cater for local and cruise liner trade and the hub of interest is right alongside us. Bars and restaurants abound, but within a Zoonie hull length from us we have  Cerveceria Surena bar where we can watch the Rugby World Cup games and next to it an Italian ice-cream parlour, Coralina Anema y Core, which we frequented on a daily basis when Charly and Tom were here.
We are on F1 berth right next to the harbour wall so all the nocturnal goings of a land and water kind could not be closer to us. On Friday and Saturday nights disco music goes on until 7.00am but does not bother us at all because we use our ear plugs and we like the sound of people enjoying themselves. We don’t even mind those who, for some unknown reason, have to shout their way home.
The water is full with fish and is a nursery for grey mullet of all sizes, the smallest and youngest near the wall and all around us. Sometimes during the night there is a flurry of moving water sound close by and we can only think a predator, under the cover of darkness, has come in to take a feed of them.
Participants of 3 rallies are present. The ARC Atlantic boats will leave soon for Gran Canaria to prepare for their mass exodus across the ‘Puddle’ leaving in the last weekend of November. We have 70 odd participants of the Mini Trans-At present. These game little boats left Duarnanez a few months ago on route to Guadaloupe via Arrecife . They are only about 20 feet long and their male and female crew meet for social gatherings at the top of their pontoon. They leave for their crossing on the 31st.
We were honoured to have Jimmy Cornell on our pontoon a few days ago. He started all the ARC Rallies and has written many books about World routes, passage making and destinations, which we have on board and are as indispensible to the cruising yachting fraternity as bibles to believers. He was inspecting the boats taking part in his (Canary) Island Odyssey Rally. Had I been quicker I would have thanked him for his hard work over the years on our behalf.
One member of his rally is a Norwegian yacht with a young couple and their beautiful blonde haired and blue eyed baby girl. They are doing the rally as far as the Caribbean and then returning home and letting her grow up a little before they continue. I liked the way, when they carried her, they both held her high so they were at eye level. Very proud and happy they were.
I was sitting in the cockpit with Rob and Derek, who had come to borrow some cotton to mend his tea-shirt, when a familiar couple came by. I looked at them and they at me and not trusting my memory thought they must just look like Mark and Tracey, we had met from Wet Dreams(!) in Chipiona, but they were going in to the Med I thought, so it can’t be them.
I mentioned it to Rob and he checked their position via the AIS and vesselfinderpro app on his Iphone, “You’re right love, they’re here, two pontoons down in that direction!” Rob said, pointing.
A few minutes later we wandered along there to find them moored three boats from the wall. “I just said to Rob, ‘do you know I just saw a couple the spitting image of Mark and Tracey walk along the harbour wall and Rob found you here on his phone!’” We joined them aboard to hear that as the Force 7 we had experienced reached them they took all sail off and motored, pounding so hard into the waves aboard their catamaran that Tracey ended up hurting her ankles. They changed their mind about the med and are off to the Carib instead. Their insurance company has insisted they take on two crew with experience for the crossing, one of which must have a Yachtmaster Ticket.  I had been worried that Tracey said she never drinks the water from the tanks, preferring to take bottled water for drinking. I did clarify with her that their water tanks are full as it seemed likely the weight of the water in the tanks was integral in the design, for stability.
They were off to another marina to get some new batteries as they were having the same problem as us before we went to Vigo, old batteries that would not hold a charge. We hoped our paths would cross again.
We mused that being flexible with plans, or anything else for that matter, is essential, as being set on one idea can blind one to other, sometimes better, possibilities. I have always felt that choices are a luxury in life, just as having enough money coming in is a luxury because it gives one choices. I remember the first months pay I received as a teacher suddenly gave Emily and me choices of all sorts after years of frugal but fine living.
16th October Friday
We walked to a very hopefull solar panel shop only to be told the only English speaker would not be in till Monday at 4.30pm. Well that was no help because by then we would be busy with Charly and Tom, who were due to land at 7.20pm on Sunday.
We took a taxi to the airport thinking we would pick up the car we had booked on line and have a couple of days touring. Just as negotiations were at an end the young lady said “When did you book the car?” I think she meant to say “When did you book the car FROM,” because we suddenly realised we had claimed it two days early. It didn’t seem to matter as we planned to return it when we took Charly and Tom back to the airport. £50 for a new Ford Fiesta for the week, not bad eh!
We drove to Marina Rubicon at the south of the island as that is where our Australian friends from the rally last year had come in aboard Orion. It was good to see Jane, Greg and their crew Keith once again and catch up on news. Greg’s cousin Margaret was on board too. Sailing from Gib with them they had the same cheeky force 7 as us and poor Margaret, a novice, held the toilet rim for about 5 days!
After the meeting we explored the marina area and went into the nearby 5 star Vulcan Lanzarote Hotel through an old church entrance complete with relaxing gregorian chanting music. After a quick tapas lunch we reckied Timanfaya National Park with its camel rides and coach tours of the volcanic region. It was windy with low scudding (love that word) clouds.
17th October
Saturday had four highlights. First the homes of Cesar Manrique, probably a familiar name to all of you who have visited Lanzarote, secondly the Pirate Museum in the Castel of Santa Barbara (couldn’t miss that one could we!) built to foresee advancing pirate fleets from Africa, thirdly the charming, typical and unspoilt village of Haria and fourthly LIDL!
Known as The Man who Loved Lava, Cesar’s dream was for Lanzarote to be made one of the more beautiful places in the world through the careful design of man. He had to be one of the world’s first architects to promote the fusion of nature with the harmonic needs of man to create restful areas that enhanced nature’s dramatic beauty. He qualified in Madrid as a professor of fine arts. After two years in New York he described the city dwellers as rats leading a life of artifice. He didn’t mince his words. The characterless boxy 60’s modernist concrete buildings that were emerging he described as designed by fascists! More appropriate an indictment at the time he said it, possibly, than by reflection now.
His ideas stemmed from various art movements including Cubism, Dadaism, pop art, Pollock, Warhol, plastic and kinetic art to name but a few. It means that his influence pervaded practical as well as aesthetic activities. His 2d colourful abstract art is everywhere even 23 years after his death. On the ties of a car hire company employees, on cars, since two major manufacturers commissioned him to design car murals, on banner flags, on rolls of fabric, kitchenware etc etc. Even now they are fresh and modern. His 3d sculptures celebrate the wind and whirl around like anemometers in the centre of roundabouts and at his home near Tachine.
He was very influential. He enforced a law that no buildings should exceed five floors. The one in Arrecife was built before his law.
He feared the island would be ruined by ugliness built cheaply in the pursuit of profit. He worried that too many cars would combine with the ugliness to put people off coming at all.
Today there is little building. Maybe planners realise that with the economic downturn there is enough accommodation for visitors. There are of course many hire cars. Visitors are used to the convenience of going where they want when they want back home. Understandably they require the same on holiday. Ironically, he was killed outside his Haria home when he collided in his Jaguar with another vehicle. His twin sister and two younger siblings live locally and are in their nineties.
I wonder what he would think of Lanzarote now.