Talking of my feet being happiest when walking in sand along the beach in the About section, I would like to share a story about a place I am lucky to have often been to in the last couple of years, since my father-in-law and his wife emigrated to the small island of Lanzarote/Spain. We happened to visit them every year since their moving to the island.
Not a destination I would have chosen otherwise I fell in love with many of its aspects. The friendly people, the Spanish language, the barren volcanic landscape, the colours and flowers after rain, the plants that find just enough soil material and water to grow, the north of the island, the organic Aloe Vera products of Lanzaloe, and Playa de Famara.
It is the latter I wanna take you to today. But you can rest assured that I will write more about my explorations on this island in other posts. Playa de Famara is on the north shore of the island. Yet what is north, east, south, west, and in between on an island that lies somewhat from northeast to southwest in the Atlantic ocean, I find difficult to indicate. At least I never understand it the same way as my husband and my father-in-law do when we talk directions. For me, north means everything on the upper coast of the island and south therefore refers to the lower side. And yes there is a north tip and a south tip. No northwest and no northeast for me, basically. It means we need clearer explanations or a map whenever we want to be sure everyone understands where to go :0).Anyways, now let’s go to the beach. Playa de Famara. In the North. My favourite place on the island. Playa de Famara is a long beach, actually the longest of the island with a length of several kilometres. There are almost no sunbathers as both swimming is forbidden (and not at all recommendable for that matter) due to the strong undercurrents and the winds almost always come from a westerly direction (i. e. from the open ocean land inwards) blowing into your face quite unpleasantly while trying to enjoy your sunbathing. It is of course exactly these winds that make Famara the perfect surf spot, no wonder it is a renown surfer’s paradise these days. Some call it the European Hawaii ;0). For me it is a wonderful place for long strolls along the ocean.
The scenery with the Risco de Famara flanking one end of the beach, the open Atlantic ocean, the view to the island of Graciosa, and the white houses of the fishing village called Caleta de Famara on the other end make this place so special. What I also love about it is that I can walk for hours and indulge in the salty spray of the waves, the sound of the surf, and the pleasant feeling of sea water around my feet. Happy feet, happy Daniela! I truly deeply relax when I see and hear the ocean surf, my headspace becomes wider and calmer, I am in the here and now and get into the mood of celebrating life as it is. Such profound is the effect of the sea to me. I think it is THE natural medicine for me. Salt water definitely is.
“The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea.” Isak Dinesen
Enjoy the sound and the view, wind down for a minute just breathing in and out and doing nothing else:
Even though, I have walked along this wild stretch many times, I can easily do it again and again. As a matter of fact, it is a must do whenever I am in Lanzarote. Believe it or not, but the scenery looks slightly or even a lot different every time I visit. I experienced it with winds so strong that I felt literally sandblasted having sand EVERYWHERE just a few seconds after hopping out of the car. Very often the air here is a bit hazy due to the ocean spray and the sand. When it is hot on the island this is a place you may find some comfort thanks to the cooler and more humid air. The Risco de Famara changes colours depending on the recent climate and the sun’s light. I know it well with #fiftyshadesofbrown. But after rains it can glow in a fresh beautiful green. Mind-boggling.
Last year in November Famara was really different again. For almost the whole time we spent on the island, the winds came from the opposite direction than normal (southeasterly) meaning they were blowing out to the ocean in Famara. I think it was the first time I ever saw the foam of waves “flying” backwards out to the ocean. What a spectacular and unforgettable sighting this was. I stood in awe and hardly could believe my eyes. Remember, I am not (yet) living by the sea, so what may be the usual for some of you is still very unique for me. You did not need to worry about sand when it is blowing from a southeasterly direction, we thought. Hang on, of course, we did. For now, the sand of the dunes, which form yet another eye candy in the backdrop of the beach, was blown out to the sea and all skin that was not covered in clothes got a decent peeling. While a peeling might be good for our skin, it was too unpleasant to stay and stroll. What’s more, the dangers to my camera were to high. Sand grains are so small they can go everywhere and are set to stay. As I am not (yet ;-)) sponsored by Nikon, I could not afford for my D800 to be out and about in these conditions. Hence, I did not even try to take a photograph of this moment. So off we went on that day, quite disappointed. Now we knew, whenever the wind blows from southeast, there is no way we go for my beloved walk. Sadly, the wind did not intend to change, very much to my annoyance. But I still had hope.
Then on one glorious day, magic happened. The wind stopped altogether. No need to say we were off to Famara first thing in the morning. It is just a 10 minute drive from where we stay in Tahiche to Famara, but the weather conditions are rarely the same. Geography and Biology never stop to blow my mind. There was no wind but some overcast. No wind was special enough. Never before did we feel Famara WITHOUT wind. In our summer clothes – oh yes, it can be such a treat to be here in November when grey and cold days are the normal at home – we breathed in and out, let the scenery sink in, followed the horizon with our eyes, watched the surf come and go, and had fun jumping around the water’s edge. Then on our way back it started to rain. Yes rain. It was just a drizzle. But my inner child jumped for joy and I was thrilled. Just the sound of the rain drops landing on the sea’s surface and on the sand was a natural wonder. Let alone how the scenery now looked like, the smiles on people’s and surfer’s faces, the fun we all had walking, jumping, running, surfing, talking, watching, enjoying this rare spectacle. Rain is scarce on this lunar looking island. Being at the beach standing in the rain while still seeing the sun shining just a few kilometres away was quite something, I thought. The rain got a bit stronger and we a bit wetter….
We were back in the evening to make out the most of this windstill day at Famara. Maybe due to my not really knowing where exactly north, east, south, and west is on this island, I was never aware that one could see the sunset at Famara. I got it that day, though. Imagine the clouds still scattered in the sky, the sun rays finding their way through them, the moist sand evaporating the day’s rain water, and surfers riding the waves in the sunset and fading light. Luckily, I took some photographs of these breathtaking moments.
A visit to Famara is not planned for this year, so far, as I want to explore some new corners of this awesome Planet Earth. But then, who knows.
Thank you for being here today!
Until next time.