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Lava and Lounging in Lanzarote

Canary Islands - Lanzarote

sunny 27 °C
View Canary Islands on kmmk17's travel map.

After around half an hour of crossing the short channel between the islands we arrived in Lanzarote. The ferry port is on the south side of the island in Playa Blanca, which was luckily where we were staying, and it was only a short walk with our suitcases to the hotel.

Inside the hotel

Inside the hotel

Similar to the last, being built into the hillside, we arrived at the reception on one of the top floors of the hotel. Check in was pretty quick and we walked down the corridor towards our room we noticed ours had an extra sign. As we got closer we couldn't believe our luck as it said "suite".

Our room

Our room

Inside we found that we hadn't just been given an upgrade, but had received the best they had, a suite with a huge bed, sofa, two tvs, double balcony with sun loungers, and a complimentary bottle of wine.

Inside the room

Inside the room

After settling in, and taking a tour around the complex, we made our way down to our first dinner in the new hotel, and found it far better than that in Fuerteventura.

Sunset

Sunset

The rest of the evening to this long day of travelling was spent chilling and enjoying the sunset from the room - at least until the fireworks show later on, which were exploding just metres from our window!

Fireworks

Fireworks

The following day was another relax day. After breakfast we took a walk down the coast to the harbour, before sitting around the pools and taking a dip. The evening had an ABBA tribute act, and so we decided to sit watch the performance.

ABBA Tribute Act

ABBA Tribute Act

The following morning we had booked an excursion to the National Park. We woke up earlier than usual to be ready for the pick up at the hotel. Waiting before the pick up time many coaches showed up, but not the one for us. We waited and waited, as did a few other people who appeared to be on the same tour as us, but nothing. By now it was half an hour late so I made a call to the number of the confirmation form. I was told it would be on it's way, but when i queried that it was already now half an hour late I was told that it had already been here and we weren't there. Absolute rubbish, as we were there 15 minutes prior, but nevertheless no trip for us. I was told there was space on the excursion the following day but I would need to rebook.

I contacted the booking agency and explained and luckily they rebooked us without further charge. However by now I was not only annoyed at being lied to, but also having to get up early to sit around and wait for nothing. Tomorrow would now be another early start and who knows if we would even make it on a bus? Nevertheless we still had the day to relax, so we did the same as yesterday sitting around the pool before dinner and an evening walk.

Evening stroll along the coast

Evening stroll along the coast

The following morning after another early start we were not very hopeful. We showed up even earlier, and tried to be more pushy with each coach that did turn up to make sure we didn't miss the right one. But eventually the correct bus showed up - right on time and right outside the hotel, exactly where it was supposed to. This definitely didn't happen yesterday! As we boarded the bus the lady asked if I was Kevin - yes I said as she apologised for yesterday saying it was her fault!

Well, at least we were on the right bus. The other couple who were on the same tour as us however we not so fortunate, as after a bit of confusion were not allowed on. Who knows what was going on, but we were on a bus at least and headed to the national park.

Lago Verde

Lago Verde

After picking up many others, we finally made it to the tour proper. We began by stopping at the the Lago Verde, a green lagoon in the middle of a half submerged volcanic crater, filled with minerals and microorganisms. We had a nice view from the edge overlooking the lake, black sandy beach and the sea.

Landscape

Landscape

Continuing through the remnants of dried black lava from the last volcanic eruption, the next place on the trip was just down the coast at Los Hervideros. This coastal area has cliffs made from the solidification of the lava and subsequent erosion, causing unusual balconies overlooking the sea smashing into the cliffside.

Los Hervideros

Los Hervideros

After driving past the salt farms we headed further inland to the wine growing areas. Here grapes are grown in holes in the ground, which keep them warm and shielded from the wind. We had a taste of the local wine, which was almost syrup like, before boarding the bus again.

Wine Fields

Wine Fields

We were now headed for the edge of the national park proper, where there are camel rides. Although we weren't interested in taking a ride, we did watch others, including the couple who were refused onto our bus this morning - they must have been on a different tour to us after all!

Camel rides

Camel rides

After a lunch break we finally made it to the national park. Here it looked like Mars, with orange sand, and craters unlike anywhere else I'd ever seen. We stopped at the entrance to the park where a restaurant sits on the top of a steep hill next to geological experiment areas.

Fire

Fire

We were first shown the heat beneath us, with burning gravel just inches beneath our feet, before shown hay burning from just sitting inside a hole, and the most exciting - a geyser experiment with water being poured into a vent.

Geyser

Geyser

We then took a look inside the complex to see that the food served in the restaurant is cooked over a large natural chimney, before boarding the bus again for the last time.

National Park

National Park

We were now headed for a half hour tour around the national park which would take us up, down and through the landscape showing the rocks and craters that make this place so unique.

Looking inside a crater

Looking inside a crater

By now it was already getting late and after arriving back at the hotel we took a short rest before making our way down for dinner.

Our final day was spent enjoying the sun, pools and beach, as well as taking a walk down the coast and popping into the local shops.

Playa Blanca

Playa Blanca

With our time for collection the following day confirmed, tonight would be our final meal at the restaurant, and after tucking in to the last buffet, we enjoyed what remained of our final evening on the island.

The following morning we checked out and boarded our transfer bus to the airport. After 4 hours of screaming children and views over Central London, we eventually made it home, but again like the journey on the way there, found by the time we got home we were pretty tired and it had taken all day!

Nevertheless it was a great trip, enjoying something different from before, as well as a chance to finally rest after 9 months of working hard on our house.

Tips

Posted by kmmk17 10:38 Archived in Spain Tagged sea beach island spain sand sun resort pool geothermal geology geography geysir canaries Comments (0)

The Calming Canaries, part I

Canary Islands - Fuerteventura

sunny 24 °C
View Canary Islands on kmmk17's travel map.

After finally getting our house sorted, we treated ourselves to a relaxing week away in the Canary Islands. Not wanting to have an exact copy of the enjoyable holiday last year, we narrowed down our choices to Greece, Cyprus or the Canaries, eventually settling on the latter. As they are geographically African, and seeing as we were flying that far I wanted to make the experience feel as North African (and less Spanish) as much as possible, and so booked two hotels - one designed like a Moroccan Kasbah and the other surrounded by dunes. Being me, I couldn't spend a week trapped on a single islands, and so we were island hopping between Fuerteventura (the one that looks like the Sahara) and Lanzarote (the one with the volcanoes and landscape like Mars).

After a week of work, we got up early on Saturday to take the journey up to the airport. Heading to our gate once boarding commenced we joined the priority queue, along with most other passengers, and somehow managed to board the plane first. Nevertheless it was still another 4 hours before we landed in Fuerteventura, and then boarded our transfer bus on to Costa Calma, where we were staying.

Most of the island is rocky, but parts are full of sand dunes. This included Costa Calma, which is built on a low lying isthmus in the south of the island. And as our hotel was on the southern edge of the town, we would have views directly over them.

View from the room

View from the room

Eventually arriving almost 12 hours after we had awoken earlier that morning, we checked in. After a bit of confusion we were told our room 'is a nice one'. Heading off to take a look ourselves, we found it on the top floor, where just a handful of rooms were located, and it had glorious views of the whole complex, including the pools, terrace and beyond over the sea, lagoon and sand dunes. Exactly what I had hoped for now were had arrived in Africa!

View of the hotel from the pools

View of the hotel from the pools

The hotel was 7 floors high, and built into the hill. The reception was on the fifth floor, at street level, whilst lower levels had the restaurant and spa, before opening to the ground floor with a turtle pool, and the outdoor pools.

Turtles within the hotel

Turtles within the hotel

Further on from the pools heading further down the hill were more rooms, which led on to a gate and a path to the beach.

Our hotel from the beach

Our hotel from the beach

By now I was already feeling tired, and after popping to the supermarket and touring the complex we made our way to our first dinner. Being the same hotel chain we stayed in the previous year, we were expecting a full range of buffet options. Although this hotel was not quite as good as that in Salou, it was still good, but my tiredness didn't allow me to enjoy it tonight as much as I would on following nights.

After an early night, the following day was to spent between the pools and the sea. After eating a big breakfast, we were fortunate to find that the pools were warm enough to swim in. We spent the morning between the pools and the sun loungers, topping up our tans, and then in the afternoon we went for a walk down the the beach, and then across towards the Lagoon.

Sotavento Lagoon

Sotavento Lagoon

We had seen the lagoon from our hotel room, and by afternoon it had filled with water, being a popular place for kitesurfers as well as people taking a dip. The lagoon is separated from the sea by two long spits, with a small opening into the sea, and it was possible to walk along the spits with a shallow amount of sea water rushing into the lagoon. This was an interesting experience, being safe yet surrounded by water.

After walking back we chilled before it was time for dinner. This time getting to full enjoy the full range of delights on offer, before enjoying Sangria on the balcony.

The beach

The beach

The following day was much the same, between the pool, sun loungers, and then off to the beach. After chilling and then dinner (this time sat on the sea view balcony, rather than inside) we took an evening walk around the area, before enjoying the final night in Fuerteventura.

The next morning we had plenty of time, as although we were crossing the island, heading for Lanzarote, we had all day. We awoke and grabbed our final breakfast in the hotel, before checking out and heading to the bus stop. Once we arrived, we saw a big crowd of people, which meant a) we were in the right place, and b) we hadn't missed the imminent bus.

With our suitcases in tow, a German suspected we were headed for the airport and came to ask me in German if we were headed to the airport. Hardly surprising, as it appeared this whole resort was mostly full of Germans, with very few English people. I replied "Ja, ich... glaube" (Yes, I think so), trying to remember which was the appropriate verb. He then realised, like most Germans do, that speaking in English was more time efficient than me speaking in broken German, and so instantly switched the conversation to English.

We explained that although we thought the bus was headed to the airport (most didn't, but coincidently this one was), it was irrelevant to us as we weren't heading there anyway. Somewhat bemused by what we were actually doing, he went on to tell us all about how he often travels here for wind surfing - leaving us to wonder why we were somehow the experts in local transport when we had never been here before and he'd been here loads. Nevertheless the bus soon turned and we headed off towards the capital of the island.

After an hour and a half we arrived in Puerto del Rossario, and had half an hour before the next bus. We decided to take a quick walk into the town as we had plenty of time, finding a small town much more traditional and different to the tourist resorts across the island.

Puerto del Rossario

Puerto del Rossario

Heading back to the bus station we had missed the next bus by a minute or so, so took the following bus on to Corralejo - the northern port town. Unfortunately the usual route through the dunes was closed, which I had hoped to jump off at, and instead headed on a route more into the island, where we could only see the dunes from a distance.

Corralejo Port

Corralejo Port

By now it was getting later, and the much cheaper ferry we had wanted to take was still well over an hour away. Instead of hanging about to see some of the town, or head to the dunes with our suitcases in tow, we decided to take the next ferry and not long later, after walking through the mouth of the ship, we island hopped to Lanzarote.

Posted by kmmk17 13:58 Archived in Spain Tagged sea beach island spain sand sun resort pool canaries Comments (0)

Sun, Sea and Salou

Catalonia - Salou & Tarragona

sunny 23 °C
View Catalonia on kmmk17's travel map.


After a summer of weekend city breaks, and several years of adventures this holiday was going to be different. A week by the beach in Spain! The plan was to visit Salou, in Catalonia in northern Spain, where there was plenty of entertainment and a great hotel that I had stayed in over a decade ago.

After taking an early flight out of Luton on Saturday morning, we flew in to Barcelona Airport arriving around lunchtime. Although Reus was much nearer, there were no flights from Luton and this also meant we could have a weekend in the Catalan capital on our return. Annoyingly however, to get from the airport to the hotel, a series of unfortunate delays and irregular journeys meant the journey took four hours.

When I had booked the holiday, staying in this hotel was a no brainer, however when I came to book it, it had been removed from booking.com. Hurriedly checking the hotel's own website I found there was nothing wrong, and that it was in fact cheaper booking direct. A blessing in disguise!

In fact, when I was about to confirm the booking, it asked me if I was a member of the hotel's club. I wasn't but I was told that if I became one, I could access the 10% discount! Checking that there was no cost associated with this, just a simple registration and the receiving of newsletters, I joined and then entered my membership number into the system. On the next page it re-totalled and had given me a 15% discount! Even better, so I booked then and there before the price changed!

When we arrived at the hotel they asked me if I was a member of their club. I replied yes, and she smiled and told me that as I was, we would find something special in the room. Having been here three times previously I knew the rough layout of the hotel, and when we went towards the room I found it was already an upgrade, as it was pool side rather than road side, despite not paying £40 extra for the privilege. When we got into the room, there were two water bottles, what a nice bonus!

Pool view from the balcony

Pool view from the balcony

Next thing, a knock at the door, the maid was there with a gift in hand. I looked blankly and she double checked we were the right room. "Yes, it's for you" she confirmed. I took the gift and went back inside the room to examine. A small box of chocolates and a voucher for a free cocktail at the bar each! Not bad when I'd only signed up for a 10% discount in the first place!

Our special gift

Our special gift

By now it was 5pm, with dinner in just an hour and a half. We had wanted to make use of some of the facilities, but as we had arrived much later we didn't have time. So instead, we popped out to the supermarket to stock up on wine and snacks. After a short rest and a look around the hotel facilities, it was then dinner time. We had been excited about the big buffet dinners and they did not disappoint. A massive selection of food on offer, from chips and pastas to rice and noodles. Soups, salads, different types of meat, pizzas, breads and to finish off - cakes, fruits, ice cream, sweets, and tonight, a chocolate fountain.

Some of the desserts on offer

Some of the desserts on offer

Taking little bits of everything on offer we filled up until we ate too much. Popping back to the room we enjoyed a quick drink of wine before heading out for an evening walk.

When we arrived at Port Aventura train station, the closest one to the hotel, we found there was no machine to buy our ticket on return. Therefore we decided to walk to Salou station, only five minutes further walk to check if we could buy a ticket there.

After walking down a small back street we eventually got to the station. With a ticket machine, we decided to buy our ticket for our return to Barcelona on Friday now, as with just a few trains per day we didn't want to miss the correct train or have to walk further than necessary with all our bags.

Water fountain show

Water fountain show

After sorting this out, we then made our way on a short walk to the promenade, where as it was Saturday night, there were numerous water fountain light shows taking place by the beach. After watching these we had a stroll before making our way back to the hotel.

The following morning we went down for breakfast to find yet another big buffet of food. With bacon, eggs, sausages, breads, omelettes, pancakes, fruits and yoghurt and even champagne, there was plenty on offer. After filling up for the day we went back to the room to change into our swimwear for our first day of relaxation. We started by going to the roof terrace for a bit of sun lounging as well as sitting in the Jacuzzi with views of the nearby area, including the rides of the PortAventura theme park where we would visit tomorrow.

Theme park view from the jacuzzi

Theme park view from the jacuzzi

After sitting in the slightly chilly water for a while, we dried off and headed downstairs to lay by the pool. After sunbathing for a while we then attempted to swim in the outside pool, which again was a little too cold to be enjoyed.

After heading back to the room we had a few snacks for lunch before heading back out and heading towards the beach for some sunbathing and swimming. The sea was warmer than the outdoor pools, but today it was a little bit rough so after a fair amount of bobbing, we dried off and went back to the hotel via some of the shops.

With a few hours before dinner we decided to spend a little bit of time in the indoor pool, which was a lot lot warmer. Spending a bit of time swimming, we then had a rest in the warm Jacuzzi before enjoying the sauna and steam room.

After spending most of the day in the water, we then went back for a shower in time for dinner. Again, a full buffet, this time with fajitas instead of burgers at the live cooking.

Cocktails and flamenco

Cocktails and flamenco

Tonight the hotel entertainment was a Celtic-Flamenco fusion, and so we decided tonight would be the night we would enjoy our free cocktails, whilst sitting by the pool watching the show. Although it involved far more Celtic than it did Flamenco, it was still an enjoyable piece of culture.

After what felt like a busy day of relaxation, the following day we got up nice and early to make it to the theme park in time for opening, hoping to avoid the queues. Having bought the tickets in advance, we exchanged them for the real tickets before entering the park and going on the first ride - Furius Baco, a launched roller coaster. Although I enjoy thrill rides, Chris wasn't so keen, but nevertheless we both went on this first ride which ultimately neither of us enjoyed as much as we thought.

Shambhala's Himalayan theme

Shambhala's Himalayan theme

We then hurriedly made our way to the back of the park, in the China section to ride the two big roller coasters overlooking the entire area. Chris didn't fancy them, and so I made my way into the queue for the first one - Shambhala, expecting to be gone ages. But with a single rider system in place, I pretty much jumped the queue and in no time was already riding the coaster. Waving down to Chris and my bag, next thing I was enjoying views of the whole coastline at over 80mph. Coming back down to the ground, we reunited, as I then joined the queue for the next ride, Dragon Khan, which although busier was still relatively quick to queue for.

We then began our walk around the theme park, doing a loop and stopping at interesting rides en route - including a mine train and a hall of mirrors. We then got to a spinner ride, which seemed much more gentile than expected, and after riding another spinner ride not long after we needed a bit more time to recover. Despite the theme park now having been open for several hours it was still relatively quiet with many shops not (yet) open.

Tutuki Splash

Tutuki Splash

It was now time for the water rides, enjoying the log flume, rapids and log boat ride getting reasonably wet, but refreshing as the sun had now come out. Finishing the circuit, we walked towards the back of the park again, heading for Angkor, a water shoot boat ride, where neighbouring boats battle to soak each other with guns.

Angkor

Angkor

By now we had done a big loop of the park and after seeing the queue for Shambhala had increased substantially we decided to end our day at the theme park here, and head back to the hotel - we were coming back the following day anyway. After getting back we rested before going up to the roof top Jacuzzi again, now finding that over the course of the day the water had heated right up making it far more enjoyable to sit it.

After having a rest we then went to dinner. Having our fill once again, we quickly made our way down to the beach before it got too dark to have an evening stroll. After walking 14 miles today our feet were aching, and so we eventually made our way back to the hotel to sleep.

Jaume I statue on the promenade

Jaume I statue on the promenade

The following day we headed back to the theme park. Getting up a bit later we still arrived at the theme park less than an hour after opening, but with the weather being much nicer today we found it was substantially busier. Again we headed for the back of the park, and I rode Shambhala again, before we looped the park once more going on rides we found enjoyable, as well as watching a few of the shows and finishing off by taking the train around the park.

Staying much later in the park today we made it back with less free time before dinner. After a very busy few days, we had a much more relaxing evening, just enjoying dinner and then resting at the hotel.

On the Wednesday we decided to head over to Tarragona, the larger town up the coast. Heading up on the train from Salou station, we began by walking from the station in Tarragona along the coast and uphill towards the Roman amphitheatre. With nice views from the road itself we decided not to pay to go inside and instead carried on walking towards the main street, before exploring some of the old Roman town. We then headed down to the main roundabout in the town centre, and after missing the initial bus we wanted, made the following one not long after.

Roman Amphitheatre

Roman Amphitheatre

We took this bus just outside of the town to the Ferreres Aqueduct, a huge Roman Aqueduct built around 2000 years ago used to supply water to the Roman town of Tarraco. After walking along the top of the aqueduct we then made our way towards the next bus stop heading south. Although there was a bus stop right outside the complex, this was only on one side of the road. In order to take the bus back, we had to walk a mile to the next housing area for the next bus stop heading south.

Les Ferreres Aqueduct

Les Ferreres Aqueduct

Once we had taken the bus back into the town, we swapped to a long distance bus at the main coach station, and headed back to Salou. Stopping to get some more refreshments at the supermarket, we headed back to the hotel, before we changed and headed back to the beach for some swimming. Today the sea was much calmer, and after an hour or so we headed back to the hotel to chill before dinner.

20170921_120739.jpg

After another evening of chilling, the following day, Thursday, was our last full day at the hotel. Like Sunday this would be spent relaxing around in the hotel or by the beach. With the water outside getting vastly warmer in the afternoon, we spent the morning having a wander around the promenade and getting souvenirs. After walking along the beach, we then headed back to the hotel and headed to the outside pool before swapping to the indoor pool. After a little while we then headed towards the roof top Jacuzzi once more, where we met a Welsh lady who told us all about her life in the Valleys.

By the pool

By the pool

I then headed back down to the indoor pool, to make use of the sauna once more, before we changed for our last dinner at the hotel. Our last evening by the sea was spent walking along the promenade and watching one of the water fountains lit up.

Fountain

Fountain

After almost a week, the first part of our holiday was almost over. On Friday morning we made the most of our last breakfast, lashing our pancakes with chocolate sauce and having a glass of champagne, before going back to the room to repack our suitcase and backpacks.

Up until now it had felt quite sad, however after checking out of the hotel and walking towards the train station, it now felt quite exciting again. We were about to go on a weekend's holiday to Barcelona!

Tips

Posted by kmmk17 09:59 Archived in Spain Tagged sea food beach hotel train catalonia swimming pool roman ancient flamenco aqueduct rollercoaster themepark Comments (0)

Nice to see you, to see you - Nice!

Côte d'Azur - Nice & Monaco

sunny 30 °C
View Côte d'Azur on kmmk17's travel map.


Summer had finally arrived, and it was time for the first of the weekend breaks together with Chris.

Flying out on Friday evening, we boarded our plane to find that as one of our fellow travellers was on a surprise birthday trip - our destination was never being mentioned. Thankfully after the two hour flight we had arrived in the correct city where it was now getting dark and so we headed to our hotel in Nice for a well earned sleep after a long day.

After breakfast at the hotel, our Saturday was reserved entirely for Monaco. After getting some help from a local buying our tickets, we took the short train ride along the beautiful coast to the second smallest country in the world.

Monegasque Border

Monegasque Border

The train station was built entirely within the hill at the very top of the country, immediately adjacent to the French border, with the train station being part of the French network. In fact there was very little existence of the border at all, and we only managed to get passport stamps by visiting the tourist information centre - although these were at least free unlike in San Marino...

Eventually finding the exit we wanted, we made our way down the hill to the port at the bottom, before walking towards Monaco Ville, and back up a hill to the Royal Palace complex.

Views of the Harbour

Views of the Harbour

After stopping for views of the harbour we carried on up the hill to the Palace, before walking around the old streets buying souvenirs and taking photos of the pretty views. It was then time for the Changing of the Guard to take place.

Changing of the Guard

Changing of the Guard

After watching the parade we then headed back down towards the harbour to take a look at the huge boats that had come in to moor.

Boats in the Harbour

Boats in the Harbour

The next place on our trip was Monte Carlo, and we headed back up another hill, walking around the back of the casino towards the hairpin, one of the most iconic parts of the Monaco Grand Prix circuit.

The Hairpin

The Hairpin

After walking past the tunnel, another famous feature of the course, we stopped for food before walking along the coast towards the beach.

Monaco Beach

Monaco Beach

The beach was much softer than those on this coast, being made of very small pebbles, and after putting our feet in the warm beautiful water, we had a rest before continuing on our journey.

The Monte Carlo Bay Hotel

The Monte Carlo Bay Hotel

Eventually making it to the end of the coast we briefly crossed back into France before coming back and visiting the Monte Carlo Bay Casino. However as they only had gambling machines, we left without having actually spent any money and headed back along the road to the Casino. After taking photos of the front of the casino we then headed back towards the station to return to Nice.

The Grand Casino

The Grand Casino

On our trip over to Monaco we had considered stopping in one of the bays en route, however being so tired after a long walk in the heat around Monaco we decided to head straight back to the hotel for a rest.

Villefranche-sur-Mer

Villefranche-sur-Mer

In the evening we headed out for dinner, ending up again in an Italian (as with Paris), where my dinner turned up in what looked like a sick bowl!

Sunset

Sunset

We then sat on the beach to watch the sunset before a nighttime exploration of the promenade and city centre, which we had rushed through the previous evening and thus not had the time to take in.

Le Negresco Hotel by night

Le Negresco Hotel by night

On Sunday we checked out of the hotel and headed down into the city centre to view it by day. Starting in the main square, we then headed through the Old City passing quaint little shops and a market.

Old City

Old City

We then headed up the castle hill, which once there appeared to be far more exciting than we thought - a refreshing waterfall and a plaza with views over the port as well as city.

Waterfall at the top

Waterfall at the top

By this point we were starting to run low on time, and so we quickly headed down and had a chill on the rocky beach before walking back along some of the promenade.

Nice from the top

Nice from the top

After a last wander around the city, we returned to the hotel to grab our bits before making our way to the airport for our flight home.

Having expected Nice to be a bit shabby, it turned out to be a lot nicer than expected. Very well kept, with beautiful views, and a lot more on offer than expected. Monaco meanwhile was exactly as we expected - rich and luxurious. An interesting trip!

Tips

Posted by kmmk17 13:01 Archived in Monaco Tagged sea beach views city hill grandprix Comments (0)

Polar Plunge Madness

In Search of the Penguins - Deception Island & Hannah Point

sunny 3 °C
View In Search of the Penguins on kmmk17's travel map.


Today was the final day in Antarctica. After a wake up call and breakfast, we entered the caldera of Deception Island, anchored up and landed ashore.

Deception Island

Deception Island

Being geothermal, the island was almost barren of wildlife. Being much more rocky and with almost no snow compared to our previous landing sights. Nevertheless there were many points to view over the caldera, and after a short walk we arrived back at the beach for the Polar Plunge.

Polar Plunge

Polar Plunge

I certainly was not going to take part in this, but half the group did - stripping down into swimwear or nudity and then racing into the sea. The geothermal heat warms this part of the sea from around -1 to 1C, and this chilly temperature was clearly visible on many of people's faces.

After that experience, we then headed back to the ship for lunch, whilst the ship left the caldera and headed towards Hannah Point on Livingstone Island in the South Shetlands. This would be our last landing point, and we weren't to be disappointed! After enjoying perfect weather for the last few days, we landed to find huge penguin colonies covering the entire area.

Penguins

Penguins

Upon arrival, the G Adventures flags caused complete bewilderment amongst the penguins, and then with all the tourists landing on shore they simply didn't know what to do. After a little walk around the area, I sat down and attempted to get a penguin selfie. With curious penguins coming over to see what I was or simply running past ignoring my presence.

Penguin Selfie

Penguin Selfie

At one point a group of chasing penguins literally ran into some people's legs, falling over and then trying to work out what to do next! What an experience!

Penguins

Penguins

After a few hours soaking up the last of these unforgettable landing experiences I headed back to ship for the day's review and then dinner. As tonight was the last evening in Antarctica, we celebrated by having a fancy dress contest. However as I turned up too late to get a costume I didn't join in. Nevertheless the turnout was pretty high - including our Aussie friends as The Jackson Five (Minus 3), Cameron in drag and funniest of all - Gary, the stripper penguin.

Evening Entertainment

Evening Entertainment

After a really enjoyable evening I then headed up to the bar with the group for drinks with the crew band, before finally calling it a night.

What a great way to end the Antarctic adventure. And yet there were still two whole days on the ship to come!

Posted by kmmk17 17:00 Archived in Antarctica Tagged beach party swim penguins drunk penguinhunt antarcticcruise Comments (0)

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