ack in the days of yore, way back, like in January or May of 2021, I planned to visit this lush and tropical isle to participate in a race. Ok, so it's not lush and tropical, and what passes for arable soil is better described as large pebble Zen gardens. But at the root is a kernel of fact: I did plan to visit Lanzarote to run a race: the Haría Extreme Lanzarote to be specific.
It was touted as a bucket list event: difficult in the extreme, but worth doing. I wasn't going to attempt the full ultra, just the marathon distance. At the time, the website showed that it was canceled for 2020 (no surprise) but was still scheduled for November 13, 2021. Based on that nugget, and the belief that the (fuck) Covid epidemic might be in a lull, or even in decline by late 2021, I made travel plans: I bought my one-way ticket and booked an AirBnb. I even trained a bit so I would merely zombie the finish, and not corpse it mid-way through.
As the event drew ever closer, I repeatedly checked the website. It was unchanged, still declaring the race to be on, but registration not yet open. As October began to ebb, my faith in the race occurring also ebbed. This race is not going to happen. My feeling was reinforced by the deafening silence of response to my emails to the organizers.
No problem, I don't need to run like a fucking madman anymore. Heck, I just finished a marathon anyway. I'll go to Lanzarote, eat, drink, sit on the (topless) beaches and enjoy life.
And so I am. But, I figured I may as well pay a visit to Haría anyway. Turns out a rather famous artist lived there. So I learned how to use the bus system here (no mean feat for a guy whose experience with public transport is pretty much only in foreign countries - New York City included), boarded a bus, and headed to Haría.
This is a quiet town. Like super quiet. Like Langoliers at the airport quiet (look it up). The only life was found at César Manrique's home/museum (there were 8? people) and at a couple of restaurants on Constitution Square - mostly cyclists touring the island taking a break. I'm glad I didn't book a place to stay here. I'm not sure they've got internet yet.
As for César Manrique, the house/museum was really interesting and I'm glad I went. He was killed in a car accident in 1992, and the house, reflecting 1960s-1970s influences, was kept as it was when he died. Books, music, technology, furniture and even the contents of the drinks cart are as they were. Sorry, no photos there. They're forbidden and I'm a law-respecting guy. Here are a few others, though. One of the square, the town, the climb to it, and a “field” of Zen pebbles. The last two were taken from the bus.