Thursday night we had some friends over to the piso. We celebrated a birthday with some food and drink, as is customary. Eleven PM turned into four AM, as is also customary. And I realized it was time for me to get to the airport. So I finished off my glass of wine and I headed out. I picked up Allison at her place and we caught the train to the airport. I will take this moment to say that you should avoid taking public transportation when you have the spins to the extent possible.
We navigated through the Madrid airport, made it through the Ryanair bag-size analyzation staff, got our seats and passed out. I don’t even remember taking off. I do remember landing though, especially that trumpet they played over the intercom. Real classy guys. So I finally started to come to and I took a look around me. Vast barren-ness. There was not a tree to be seen, just red and black dirt occasionally broken by the blue ocean. We were on the moon (aka Lanzarote, one of Spain’s Canary Islands).
We headed to Puerto del Carmen, one of the main coastal towns, where we found relative normalcy. Beautiful beaches, restaurants with the usual international fare, and friendly moonpeoples (aka Canary natives mixed with Northern Europeans and Spanish mainlanders). But on Saturday morning when Allison and I rented bikes and went south and inland we were once again in strange territory.
I should warn you: the south/inland part of the island is not very bike friendly. We later discovered that the northern coast, on the other hand, is very bike friendly. That was where the bike rental place guy told us to go, but if you know either me or Allison, of course we didn’t take his advice. First we went south past Puerto Calero where we found pure coastline. No buildings, few people. If you go this way you’ll need mountain bikes and you’ll have to be ready to carry them up/down stairs.
From here we went inland, past Macher and towards La Asomada. On the way we passed fields of green things growing out of black sand, cactus farms (I mean, where did you think all those cacti came from anyways), and moonhouses.
Once we got to La Asomada we were pretty close to the mountain (hill?) ridge. I am the kind of person who sees a mountain or hill and has to HAS TO get to the top. Does anyone else feel this way? Or if you see water do you absolutely have to go stick your feet in? I don’t really feel that way about water but I was just wondering if anyone else does… Sorry, back to the story. So flip flops aren’t great for mountain ridge climbing so Allison went back to town while I rode the other way to the end of the paved road. I locked up my bike and walked up in the black sand which seeped into my shoes. I found a dirt path and followed it to the ridge.
On the other side was a black valley bounded by hills that were almost perfect half-spheres. I only spent a few minutes before working my way back down. The bike ride down was a blissful, pedal-free romp. I started to take the highway back but quickly developed a great fear for my life. I turned off onto a dirt road. I weaved around rock walls and more moonhouses that were built, I think, to stop the ocean winds from blowing away all the black sand and soon-to-be plants that will grow in it.
I felt relief when I finally reached a paved road. Back to civilization to take the best shower of my life and hang out with the moonpeoples.