Not quite footloose and fancy free, as one cliche goes, but ‘off on my travels’ as another has it. ‘Our’ travels, I should say.
I’m going to repeat my previously-asserted laziness and dispense with accents and similar diacritics: they’re just too much bother on this Kindle and Bluetooth keyboard. Count yourself lucky you’ll probably get apostrophes, which will double up as quotation marks.
Yesterday Sonia and I left Inverness and spent a tolerable night in the Bloc Hotel in Gatwick. We were greeted by the news, on our arrival, that we had been given an upgrade and were now on the 8th floor and had a window: not that the view is great.
Throwing financial caution to the winds, I had promised Sonia a slap-up meal at Wetherspoons, but the choice was extremely limited: burgers were ‘off’, as were beef shank, bagels and several other items. My pint of Doombar did raise my spirits, but I think £2.85 is a bit much for a tea bag.
Back at Bloc, Sonia managed to set her alarm for 5am rather than 6am, but that was really a minor blip as she got back to sleep quickly and I played mindless games on my Kindle. Transfer between terminals was smooth, as was finding a USB lead to replace the one I thought I’d left at home (I found it later, but one can never have too many USB leads). Pret a Manger sandwiches and hot drinks in hand we wandered towards Gate 45G, to be greeted by an EasyJet wifey using the tannoy to chivvy late arrivals: we were well inside the time-window. Not allowed to take our hot drinks on the shuttle to the plane, we slurped some down, Sonia burning her mouth in the process, and got onto the shuttle, where we hung around regretting our lost drinks and getting chilled in the frosty air.
We perked up once on the plane until we discovered that it transpired we would be on the runway for over an hour, which was a real drag, our 7:40 flight not taking off until almost 9am. A family of three were complaining about being split up (Mum and child row 20, Dad directly in front in row 19). This caused a fair amount of confusion, compounded by a couple of late arrivals and a guy who was sitting in the wrong seat: in the end, attempting to be amenable, Sonia and I ended up being separated, though just by one row and the aisle.
Our arrival in Arrecife was uneventful, the weather warm (not hot) and breezy, the car hire smooth (though Mrs M took lots of photos of existing scratches and dents which the hire company said they knew about: they also said to disregard the electronic warning about the tyres being under-inflated…) and the journey to our accommodation was mercifully short. In the interests of full disclosure, I must admit to having snapped verbally under pressure (different car, refractory SatNav, manual gearbox, ‘wrong’ side of the road, I could go on…), but calm and good nature reasserted themselves and we arrived at Caserio de Mozaga without murder being committed by either party, but after a brief stop to get olives, wine, crisps etc.
Mozaga, roughly in the centre of the island of Lanzarote, is about 5 minutes’ drive from the coast (though we took longer to savour the locals hooting at us as I forgot how to drive a manual car and had to think twice at every roundabout). I’m not sure yet if it’s just the cluster of small botanically-named streets (we’re on Calle Malva – Mallow Street) with their white buildings or whether the surrounding countryside is also included. We’re staying in Caserio (Farmhouse) de Mozaga, which is a small rural hotel: first impressions are pretty positive. The Caserio is a cluster of oldish buildings and we’ve got a ground floor cottage room with sizable shower room etc. The decor is traditional, but occasionally verges on the twee. We’ve not used the restaurant yet – it’s on site but run by someone else- but the communal lounge is well equipped with tea & coffee making stuff and a good library of books, including ‘El Senor de Los Anillos’ by JRR Tolkien. I’ll pretend it’s time that is stopping me reading it, rather than my pidgin Spanish.
A brief wander round the pueblo rapidly exhausted its obvious delights, but allowed us to buy some more olives and I got an ice-cream! I also spotted bottles of what claimed to be cannabis beer: a closer examination threw doubt on this claim by the brauerei.
The landscape is not quite as black as I had imagined, knowing the volcanic nature of the island, but that’s a good thing from my point of view. It does look as though there may be some good low level walking.