“Is the key in properly?”
“I’m pushing it but the handle won’t turn”.
“Has it locked again?”
“Hey guys, how many British people does it take to open a Canarian door?”
“Apparently about six”.
We had arrived in Plays Blanca, and now our holiday could begin; Providing we could get into the bloody Villa, that is.
Lanzarote had been a no brainer. We had picked up the flights and seven nights in a private Villa for a little over £250 each, and considering how much comparable hotels and destinations had been for the beginning of summer, we really had found a bargain. And once we had (finally) battled through the door and flicked on the lights, we were met with a spacious habitat complete with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a heated pool and a charcoal BBQ. I’ve paid a lot more for a lot, lot less.
However, being millennials, the first order of business was to try and sign into the Wi-Fi, because what good is seeing a sunny new location if you can’t go home and share the pictures instantly on Facebook? This revealed the only real issue with our accommodation, as we found a note on the wall, left by the providers, that may as well have read “the internet is bollocks, don’t bother”.
So we didn’t.
So, onto the next thing on the list of priorities. As much as I’d like to pretend that we were there for the culture specifically, a private Villa is the perfect location for a foreign booze up, and I’m happy to report that you don’t need a lot of Euros to make that happen. The supermarkets charged a pittance for local beers and lagers, and we discovered a caramel vodka for five euro that quickly became our lifeblood when more consumption of water wasn’t 100 percent necessary.
The villa, and the pool, became a true headquarters for our holiday, allowing us to relax on the sunbeds, play cards, and listen to music when we weren’t exploring our little portion of the island. We had some issues with the BBQ in a similar vein to the door fiasco when it came to lighting it, as it took all six of us, two boxes of matches, some firelighters and the magic ingredient of olive oil to get a flame going. But I do now feel more in touch with my inner Neanderthal after our delayed success, so every coal has a positive ember.
If I had to sum up the island itself, it was beautiful, but to be simplistic I would say that is made up of equal parts roundabouts and Irish Bars, the former of which everyone ignores and the latter of which they most certainly do not. Our favourite bar quickly became the Dubliner, an Irish bar near the Marina with a great atmosphere, holding live music every night and offering up cheap drinks to encourage you to sing along. This is a vicious combination, as I found out when singer Mick Garry (legend, by the way) coaxed a bizarre and utterly terrible mash up of “Lose Yourself” and “Come Together” out of me when I drew attention to myself by heckling. Something which became a theme for the week once I discovered another bar with karaoke.
One important thing that stood out about Lanzarote related to the food. We found that every menu inserted the word “special” onto the most basic of dishes, with the assumption that a dish became special just because it had a fried egg on top. Which was really just odd, and I’d hate to see what Canarian Special K tastes like. Also, most of the chicken we encountered was decidedly dry, but I did have one of the best kebab pizzas I’ve ever tasted from a takeaway, so swings and roundabouts, I suppose.
For me though, Lanzarote was also a painful experience, and I feel as though I left a vast percentage of my blood and skin along the waterfront; with only the majority of accidents being my fault. I am tempted to sue Lanzarote after I tripped over a sewage grate thats edges were turned up and faceplanted the concrete, but I checked my travel insurance and I’m not covered for “being a clumsy pillock with ridiculous clown feet” so I may just have to drop it. Like my friend accidentally dropped me from a fireman’s lift for a reason that none of us really remember. What didn’t help my case also was the number of bets I took that involved me doing stupid things for cash reimbursement , such as drinking Olive Oil and Vinegar, sitting on a cactus, trying to cross the pool without the cover falling in, and getting slapped right on fresh sunburn. In fact, the goading call of “Five Euro!” became so prevalent that I came back with more money left than I should have, and I made more of a living from injuring myself than Jonny Knoxville has done for a good decade.
But what was most enjoyable about our holiday was having a relaxing space to just chill out and enjoy the sun until we looked like Drumstick squashies, all for next to nothing. I’m flying back out to Fuertaventura in July, so I may have more of an opinion of the Canaries as a whole after that, with the added perspective of a tad more sobriety.