Lanzarote

It's Christmas 2015 and we've made it to the Moon!
Or at least it looks that way.
Lanzarote is one of seven islands that comprise the Canary Islands, off the west coast of Africa.
It is the fourth largest island.  They are all of volcanic origin, and as you are about to see,
the Canary's are desert islands.



Timanfaya National Park

If you ever get to Lanzarote, a tour of this volcanic park is the one thing you MUST do.
But DO NOT try it on your own - take a tour bus.



Here is the backup of cars waiting to get to the visitors center.
Could be waiting hours for a parking space to open up.




Pretty busy crowds even on December 23.
But, being on a tour bus, you go right into the park.


Before going into the park, here is a brief history of volcanic activity here.
The greatest recorded eruptions occurred from 1730 and 1736 -
non-stop!   The lava flowed continuously for six years.

As a result the size of the lava fields is massive - some 20 square miles.

Access to the park by the public is strictly regulated to protect the delicate flora and fauna.

There are one or two footpaths, and a popular short route where one can visit by camel. There is a public car park from which one can tour the volcanic landscape by coach using a road that is otherwise closed to the public.

The volcanic activity continues as the surface temperature in the core ranges from 100 to 600 C at the depth of 13 metres (43 ft).

This is demonstrated by pouring water into the ground, resulting in a geyser of steam which is an attraction for tourists. There is only one active volcano, Timanfaya volcano which the park is named after.


The park ranger has a pail of water.



Which he pours down a pipe.


And, seconds later, we have a steam geyser!


The heat of this almost 300 year old volcano
is very close to the surface.
Here, a ranger drops some brush into a pit.



And again, within seconds, it ignites.




The flame got pretty hot,
so the photographer had to retreat a few steps.



But, the heat is not just for show.
A barbecue pit was built right next to the visitors center,
and they actually use the volcanic heat to cook lunch.



Now convinced this is the real deal,
we take the bus tour through the lava fields.
No private cars can do this - only tour buses.












Being only 100 miles from Africa,
the Canary Islands adopted camels as a mode of transport.


Our tour included a camel ride,
and again - no waiting - the drivers are at the ready.

Seems Blakey has picked out one for our journey.



He hasn't bit me yet.....
...we'll give it a go.

And, the caravan begins.


Hold tight...it's a bumpy ride.




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