With sweaty palms and fingernails digging into the roll bar of Anibal, I keep my eyes sharply fixed ahead at the rocky off-road path. As we drive through the middle of the desert I am shouting “hole!” to diligently fulfill my arbitrary task of warning our driver of giant gaps in the “road” as I hang over the top of his beloved four wheel beast.
We fly through the open expanse of sand and rocks, over small lava fields, and down steep overhangs. We are on a quest to find what David, our bold adventure tour guide, has in store for us in what he calls the peculiar “one percent club.”
Originally from the Highlands of Scotland, this adventure junkie discovered the island of Lanzarote in the Canary Islands five years ago. Since then, he has made the mysterious natural oasis of volcanoes, beaches, deserts, and caves his personal playground to be shared with those who trust him enough to hit the trails in his rugged open top Jeep he calls “Anibal”.
On this installment of Adventure Holidays Lanzarote, we are making our way through this uninhabited desert valley to crawl beneath the craggy, crusty land and into one of the massive lava tubes that was carved out by hot magma during the explosive creation of this volcanic island.
We’ve just spent the past hour discovering fascinating wonders of the volcanic landscape above ground, hiking inside the massive crater of a hollowed mountain, then scaling the side of it in order to peer over its crumbling ledge into the vacant center. Craning our heads around, 360 degrees, we gripped the sturdy rocks to take in the breathtaking panoramic view that resembles what you would envision of life on the moon.
Now, after a bumpy off-road expedition to a seemingly desolate spot, we arrive at a small, peculiar scar sliced out of the ground, inviting us to crawl below the superficial layer of earth to see what secrets the island holds underneath the surface.
Switching on our headlamps, we begin to crawl down into the dark unknown. As we cautiously shuffle through the dark, rocky twists and turns of this massive lava tunnel, climbing over the pieces of the fallen rubble and ducking under the dangling mineral deposits, I feel like a kid again, exploring wondrous untapped hideaways. We finally emerge into the sunlight after a long voyage through one of Lanzarote’s underground secrets with an enlightened perspective on how these spectacularly mystifying islands came to be.
What’s truly fantastic about Lanzarote and David’s mission for his guests is that there are countless surprises yet to be experienced by the vast majority of inhabitants and visitors all over this tiny, beautiful landmass. Beyond lava tubes and volcano hikes, unmarked seaside villages, caves tucked away into cliff sides, beautiful hidden beaches, and the most spectacular outlook spots are all waiting to be revealed to those fortunate few that dare to discover them.
More Scoop: You can find David’s tours at http://www.facebook.com/adventureholidays.lanzarote?sk=wall, or shoot him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, look here for valuable flight information on getting to and from the Canary Islands.
Lauren Linzer, from Raleigh, North Carolina, gave up the day to day grind of corporate sales to embrace life in Spain as an English teacher and travel writer in Madrid and the Canary Islands. She is the author of Linzer’s Adventure, a travel blog sharing personal accounts of life on the road and living abroad. Read more about her experiences at: http://www.linzersadventure.com/