A Trip to Lanzarote & a Buddhist Exam

Hi everyone!  I’m back at long last!  I hope you all had a wonderful Spring Break. 🙂

And thank you so much for all the lovely comments you left while I was away. I really appreciate them, and can’t wait to catch up with you guys!

I’m sorry I’ve been away from the blog for so long, but we ended up going away for a couple of weeks.  Then, four days after my return, I had a 3-hour written Buddhist exam.

I’ve treated the last 3 weeks as a bit of a ‘retreat’, spending lots of quality time with the family and studying hard.  I’ve really valued this ‘down time’. It’s been wonderful to escape (briefly) from the busyness of daily life, switch off the phones, computers, TV, and just ‘be’. It’s been bliss!

Here are a few of the highlights of our Spring Break…

For 14 nights we stayed in an apartment on the outskirts of Costa Teguise, on the volcanic island of Lanzarote.

To reach the main resort, we walked along a beautiful coastal promenade, which had some handy exercise equipment which we had fun using every day. I’m in serious need of some upper body strength!

We first visited Lanzarote a couple of years ago and loved it so much that we wanted to return.  The volcanic landscape is magnificient.

For six years, commencing in 1730, there were continuous explosions, tremors and lava flows in west-central Lanzarote, and at least 23 hamlets were buried.  The centre of the volcanic activity was in Timanfaya.  Since 1974, a surface area of 542 square kilometres has been designated as a National Park, and you can explore it by coach or camel.

 

It’s an incredible experience!  You really do feel like you’re on another planet!

Another of our favourite sites on Lanzarote is the Cueva de los Verdes.  This is a section of the largest known lava tube in the world, created during the eruption of Monte Corona.  After walking along a twisty-turny labyrinths you come to a truly spectacular site.  Our photo doesn’t really do it justice.

Another section of this great lava tube can be visited at Los Jameos del Agua.  In 1968, the artist Cesar Manrique worked on this site, turning it into a beautiful architectural attraction.  There’s a lava cave with a lake, in which live a rare species of small, blind, albino crab.

The site also has beautifully designed cafe areas, an outdoor pool, exotic garden and volcanic education centre.

Sitting in cafes studying for my exam was a common sight of me this holiday 😉  I really appreciate how supportive M and Lil’ L were. They gave me all the time, space and encouragement I needed to revise for my big exam.  One day, Lil’ L returned from the shops with a little Buddha statue that he’d bought me with his own money!

A section of cave at Jameos del Agua has been turned into an auditorium with seating for 600 people.  It’s such an atmospheric place.  I’d love to see a concert there one day.  I bet the acoustics are out of this world!  When M and I entered the auditorium cave, we found Lil’ L sat on one of the seats meditating!

After his meditation, he went back outside and resumed his climbing adventures….

… and seeing how close he can stand to the edge of water without falling in. (He didn’t actually fall in this time, which makes a nice change!)

We also loved spending time at the Jardin de Cactus, another attraction designed by Manrique.  My Dad was a huge cactus fan and I wish he’d got to see this garden.  He would have loved it!  I’ve never seen so many cacti… and some of them were seriously huge!  It was a great place to spend the afternoon and there was another stylish cafe for me to install myself in 😉  The view below is actually from the cafe.  Isn’t it amazing?

As well as the volcanic landscape, another reason why M and I love visiting Lanzarote is to see the legacy of artist/architect Cesar Manrique.  His style is so distinct, and clearly influenced by his love of the natural landscape.  He was involved in the design of all the major attractions on Lanzarote.  Since his death, his home has been converted into a museum.  It’s one of the most incredible houses that I’ve ever visited.  It’s built in a lava field, and some of the rooms are actually lava bubbles!

How cool is that?

Lil’ L found himself some nice little spots to sit and read.

This is the first holiday that he’s really been into reading.  It was so nice to see him enjoying books (even if it is the Wimpy Kid!)  He must have got through at least 5 ‘fat’ books (as he calls them) during the 2 weeks.

Wimpy Kid is not my thing at all, but I did love Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which he read to us every night 🙂

And finally, no blog post of mine would be complete without the mention of FOOD!  We ate really well this holiday, except for a minor blip on our first day when we went to the nearest cafe we could find and ended up eating a ‘junk lunch’ of veggie burger and chips.  M and I felt so rubbish after this lunch that, from then on, we avoided the junk food.

Most lunch times, we returned to our apartment, and prepared simple lunches of salad, Spanish tortilla and freshly made baguettes that we bought from the local supermarket, followed by a dessert of fresh fruit, nuts and yoghurt.  We even found soya milk and soya yoghurts in the local supermarket, as well as British rolled oats for our morning porridge!

We really enjoyed these lunches and felt a million times better after eating them, compared to our first day ‘junk lunch’.  They left us feeling feeling full of energy and ready to head straight out for an afternoon of site seeing 🙂

There were lots of great restaurants in Costa Teguise which had veggie options on their menus, and we ate out most evenings.  We also came across this lovely little veggie cafe, tucked away in a corner of Costa Teguise on the strip of beach known as ‘Las Cucharas’.

It was run by a friendly German guy, who would cook stir fries and other delicious dishes using fresh produce from the local market.

This week, Lil’ L has kept telling us that he wishes he could go back to the Surfer’s Veggie Cafe and have one of their Mexican wraps.  He really loved them… even though they were filled with lettuce which he normally doesn’t touch with a barge pole!  I must have a try at re-creating them at home.

My favourite dish was the wok stir fried veggies, accompanied by rice and toasted sunflower seeds.  So simple, yet so tasty!

I can’t wait to have a try at re-creating this dish too.  The flavours were amazing!

So that’s what I’ve been up to these last 3 weeks.  My time in Lanzarote gave me the chance to take a ‘breather’, check where I am in my life and ‘realign’ myself back onto the path where I want to be.  I’ve made some big decisions about my future, which I’ll tell you about in another post.  It’s all very exciting (and a little bit scary!)

My weeks away have also renewed my enthusiasm for cooking plant-based meals and this week I’ve made a couple of simple, new dishes that Lil’ L has described as ‘winners’.  I’ll be posting the recipes shortly.

I’m also really looking forward to catching up with my wonderful friends, and that includes you guys out there in blogging world.  I can’t wait to see what you guys have been up to!

I look forward to catching up with you all very soon xx

 

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9 thoughts on “A Trip to Lanzarote & a Buddhist Exam

  1. Great holiday and what a great island! I love the cliffs and breakers on the north side at Famara. Properly wild looking if you like that sort of thing!

    1. It was an amazing holiday… and big shock to come back to this rainy, cold, dark weather. It was baking hot before we left 🙁 I heard this morning that May is going to be much the same, so I better start getting used to it!

    1. I find that people either love or hate Lanzarote. I guess the volcanic landscape could seem a little bleak to some people, but I think it’s incredible.
      I’m really looking forward to reading your posts and seeing what you’ve been up to these past couple of weeks. Hopefully you’ll have some yummy recipes for us to try 🙂 x

  2. Ha ha very funny! Glad you only bet 50p as I wouldn’t wager any more than that 😉 I’m hoping that everyone did better than me. It was a tough exam!

  3. Welcome back, Sharon! I missed your posts, but am so glad you had a good time and enjoyed some time away from everything. I have to admit, I had to look up where Lanzarote is, but I am glad you shared your experience! It sounds simply incredible and your photos are amazing! I love that Lil’ L surprised you with a little Buddha–how sweet he is! I can’t wait for your meal recreations, and hearing your big plans. So exciting!

  4. Hi. Just found your site and love it. I’ve lived here just outside Costa Teguise for nearly 20 years and will be here forever. It is fabulous for the sporty and has some concerts, particularly in the winter. All sorts.going.on especially for people with an open mind

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