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 Post subject: walk
PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2014 8:12 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2012 5:34 pm
Posts: 38
We awoke to a clear morning but the wind was howling through the patio door as I opened it

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I was unsure what the wind would be like over the volcanoes terrain, so a rugby shirt and a plastic rain coat were put inside my light rucksack. I waited outside the apartments for the van pick up and around 8:30 a van drew up with Kayak and Walk on the side.

The driver jumped out and introduced himself as Ismael, he said, “we were to be a party of 5, but the others have withdrawn at last minute due to sickness".

Ismael had brought his son along as it was a Bank Holiday and I was really on a trek as a 'one to one' experience. So we headed to La Geria area and stopped at the side of the road, Ismael said,” this is an important crop growing area.

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The volcano in the distance (Caldera de la Rilla) only blew cinder (lapilli), across the region rather than lava and below it there is good soil.

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The farmers dig holes into the lapilli, for three good reasons, the shape of the wall around the hole carry the water / moisture to the center, where the trunk and roots of the vine are; The lapilli keeps in the humidity, and the small wall around, protect the leaves and branches from the salt bearing north winds (Alisios).

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We left and headed for the Natural Park (which is different to the National Park where no walking is allowed), we pulled into a roadside stop that clearly had a marked path

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and was leading towards a volcano with a massive blown crater at the top called La Caldera de los Cuervos.

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It was the first volcano to emerge from the Timanfaya eruptions in 1730-1736. The volcano just layered lava mud at the top

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but inside it became a lake of lava that slowly flowed out burying villages in it’s path


The Lava that flowed out created and area which are now called the bad lands, which one can't grow or farm anything

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this started a chain reaction of volcanoes in Timanfaya National Park. The eruptions usually occur from the NE and run to the SW and then when they hit the sea the pressure is so great they turn back and erupt in the other direction, more or less in a straight line


Originally years ago, the volcano had been used by people for quarrying lapilli, here called picón was extracted. It wasn't illegal, but there was no protection law. But now it has a ringed fence with a no walking sign around the edges

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Twenty years ago, the guide Ismael attended a concert, which was held inside the volcano and he said, the acoustics were marvellous.

The concert had been held since 1989 with Brian Eno The last concert was held at the XII Festival of Visual Music of Lanzarote. 11,12 and 13 October 2001.

The pathway leads us inside the volcano crater

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Although this photo doesn't really show it, inside the walls are vast

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Ismael got out a pair of binoculars from his rucksack

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And surveyed the ridges

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and pointed out a falcon nesting high up

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I zoomed my camera in on the area and just picked it up

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I have tried to enlarge it for you as best I can

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You just would miss things of interest like this doing this walk on your own

On the sides of the rock you can see the mud baked onto the basalt rock

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There are 4 colours on the volcanoes

The temperature of the lava depends on the depth of the magma released, the more deeper, the higher temperature and color wash, or lapilli is darker. As the eruption progresses, the emission surface is washed, therefore the temperature is lower, and lighter colors. Red or orange. Also iron ore mixed with air goes orange. So after getting back in the van we head off to a roja or red volcano

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Ismael siad the The first stage of vegetation are lichens. That came floating in on the sea breeze. Within the varieties of lichens, the most common is the Escán (Ramalina Bourgeana). This lichen has been used to "cure" the leather and give an orange tone.

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If you look carefully here, the Lichens are turning orange from the bird excrements

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On the coast, directly affected by the north wind, there is another lichen, the Orchilla (Rocella Canariensis). Which went urinated on turns purple and was used as a purple dye.

In the readings of Pliny a Roman naturalist, he refers to King Juba II on a Roman outpost, sailing to the Canaries and discovering the purple dye, the King himself, called them 'the purple islands' and the dye was much sort after by the Romans .

However ammonia has since been discovered, so if your wearing a purple cardigan ladies, it won't be manufactured by Julius Caeser's soldiers relieving themselves lol. The Romans also discovered the purple could be extracted from middins in whelks and sea snails.

In those days, purple and red were colours of importance

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The second generation of plant to arrive was the cactus

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varieties of which can be used to make sissal string and another aloe vera, which you may have see is manufactured and sold on the island

the third generation is the Palm tree, most of the Palm trees of that shape in America were transported from Lanzarote and research has shown that in San Antonio where the Alamo took places the area had similar church and building characteristics to that of the Canaries

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After a walk, we drove onto another set of volcanoes, Ismael said a few days ago we couldn't of driven down here after all the rain but today we were lucky

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It was a longish walk with a steady climb up the side of a volcano

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Ismael then showed me a plant, the Vinagrera or Calcosa (Rumex Lunaria), is an endemic plant, and therefore is protected. The problem is that growth in areas of evolution competes with other vegetation. It was introduced in Lanzarote from the island of El Hierro as fodder for animals. It has spread. The protection of plant, the protection of Natural and National Park, make it non removable.

It has a small pink flower and thousands of seeds that blow in the wind and plants are appearing all over the volcanoes and changing the landscape, as the photo above is showing

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The terrain around us

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and now looking back from where we have walked from

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and ahead

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After hearing about this trip I always had the desire to do it

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and it is turning out far better than my expectations of it

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As we reached the top and looked over the inside, this was a wow of all wow factors

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It was so wide and deep, I just couldn't get back far enough with my camera, the cracks at the bottom are where it just bubbled with lava

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the height of the walls are unbelievable

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This is probably my best shot but you just have to be here to get the real feel of it

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Other volcanoes in the distance, Lanzarote has had a count of more than 120 of them and Timanfaya National Park had more than 50 of them

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My personal guide for the day, Ismael

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The final part was to look at some of the lava flows and here we were walking on stuff which looked and felt like hard coke. I could even feel it under my trainers so good soled shoes are necessary

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Here we are walking up the lava flow paths of the red volcano in the distance

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so care needs to be taken in these parts, with cracks and holes about

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here the gases and explosions came out of the sides

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we are following the stream lines made by the molten lava as it came down

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Now here is one of these holes, it has been measured by lasors at over 200 metres deep, imagine the 100 metres Usain Bolt runs and then double it. If you fell down that, unlike Alice in wonderland, you wouldn't come back lol. This was the nearest I was going with a camera lol

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One a little more shallower I can photograph lol, notice the colours of the lichen changed by the birds

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so we continue up the lava path

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Then Ismael's son kindly went inside one of the gas fire holes and snapped a pic of it for me

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Here the walk was as far as we could go

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beyond was the National Park

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We had a banana, choc bar and water all provided by Ismael

and on the way back another deep blow hole

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and this

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The things I do to get a photo lol

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Ismael's son said, you might get a shot of this lava on the side of the hole

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heading back to the van, it is obvious Ismael is passionate for keeping the terrain special and natural but even domestic plants are creeping in on the terrain

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and he points out tracks in the cinder (lapilli) where people have just decided to walk across it and spoil some of it's natural look, these footprints could take two years to disappear

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There is so much more this guy can tell you about the rocks etc and I could go on all day, it was thoroughly worth the 35€'s to me, to be picked up from Playa Blanca (he is Playa Blanca based) and listen to his knowledge as we walked

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I booked mine through Tourist Ticket at the harbour but I know the guy has his own website

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