Friday, November 30, 2012

Fun in Lanzarote

Fumara Beach

So I wrote this post on the plane ride back from Lanzarote but am just now getting around to putting it up because we just finished 3 horrible days worth of exams in which I:

-might have failed
-ate about 1,800 calories of cashews within 27 hours at one point
-finished 3/4 of a jar of tahini
-smashed so much dark chocolate I had to take the trash out
-am still finding popcorn all around my desk (though this is pretty normal for me)
-gave MAJOR business to all of the cafes in a 1.5 mile radius of my apartment thanks to my latte addiction
-didn't go to bed before 2 am this whole past week. not for lack of trying. I apparently get exam anxiety now. great! 

I am so excited to have the weekend off from studying and to get back into a normal way of life. And relive this trip through working on this post has been nice!! 

Here is the old post though. I still agree with my 3 weeksago-self that if I fail the trip was worth it :)

View of some glory at Fumara Beach
Back in time:
I have my second round of exams in three weeks. Even if I fail due to my hiatus from school for this trip and have to re-sit my exams in August it would be worth it. This trip came at the perfect time as I alluded to before with my burn out from studying. We have pretty much been going non-stop since August 1 and it is catching up to me! I got in on Thursday afternoon, got a car, SIM card so I could have GPS, checked into my apartment, went for a little jog along the beach and promptly fell in love with this place! I was pretty stuffy and still feeling sick after flying but I was able to sleep alright and Friday I went out on my bike for a little tune up ride and was just getting so excited to race again but also as I looked around was just seeing all of the “mountains” around and thinking hmm that’s going to be fun. 

Phone camera could not do this spot justice!

Surfer's paradise

You can see that guy standing there, he had the cuttest dog running around the beach and into the ocean. I shared some of my beans and rice cakes with him. 
The island was formed as a result of volcanic eruptions and it is very unique in looks and coverings. It’s a lot of volcanic rock and the man that helped design/develop the island made it a rule that all of the buildings had to be similar so they are all low, small, white house that just dot the island. I couldn’t stop takin pictures of the place!

Club La Santa
The race was based out at Club La Santa, which is literally a training center for triathletes, bikers and swimmers with everything you would need for training right there, including a tri shop, multiple pools, spa, ocean swimming and of course wonderful places to bike and run. I headed over to pick up my packet and get checked in after getting in a quick ocean swim with some fish and checking out an amazing surfers beach. There were so many pretty/fit/attractive/gorgeous people at this race it was ridiculous and also a ton of people just out training at the club at the time so I was not without eye-candy athletes to look at!

You know you are in a triathlete/biker paradise when the biker on a sign is in aero.

Small circles of volcanic rock made by the farmers there to help keep water in for crops. 

I decided next to drive the bike course; I am so glad I did. The bike course covered the Northern part of the island and included a climb up Temanfaya which is a famous part of the Ironman course that they have here. I was scared going up the climb in my car because the guard rail was wimpy and it had all these switch backs. It reminded me so much of riding up Mount Lemmon in Tucson. As I drove higher and higher I was getting more scared of how we would be getting down…I hate descending because I am a huge whimp and was like ummm is this over yet. Eventually you start to go down but the road is pretty open and there were not too too many tricky turns so I was feeling better about it. I talked to coach and was pretty excited to race!

After the race I hung out with a group of very nice guys from Manchester and another girl I had met. It was nice to just “talk triathlon” and not feel like I was boring people! Club La Santa was so nice in that they had locker rooms so I just showered there and hung out with everyone till the awards.
Camels at the volcanoes. 

They really pulled out all of the stops for this race as well! They gave us all a very nice dinner in this tent and then had some live music. They also put together an awesome video of the race. This was an amazing race in terms of venue/organization and it did help that the location was amazing. I even got a unique trophy made of lava rock!

The next day was tourist day and Amy and I first rode camels around the national park, then went on a drive through the volcanoes and on a bus ride through the park as well. We stopped at this restaurant where they cook the food from the heat of the volcanoes which was pretty cool. We were both having waves of feeling like tired and awful then good, it was pretty comical. She is also a vegetarian so we just snacked on tapas and smoothies for the day including these really good roasted and salted peppers.

I wont go into details of the animal welfare issues here...I probably shouldn't have supported it with my 6 euros. 

Amy at the volcanoes! 

Volcanoes all around! You can see the hardened lava.

Driving through the park

HUGE volcano 

Smoking brush from the volcano at the restaurant 
Then it was time to go beach hunting! We went to Papagayo beach which is on the very southern tip of the island. It was difficult to find and you had to go down a dirt road for about 10 minutes then walk down this path and rocks to get there but it was so worth it. It was also pretty empty which was nice. We finally got to just lay out and relax. We walked over to another beach a little while later only to realize it was a nude beach eek! Like completely nude. Awkward when people go looking for shells on these types of beaches…..

Lunch: potatoes and peppers

So pretty! 

Amy at Papagayo

I was sad to leave, mostly because I have my school work cut out for me and Scotland is going to be SO COLD in comparison, but I’m already excited to race again. I am very thankful I get to travel and race like this. Just have to keep putting the work in to justify it!

 This is a view of Portugal from the plane. I need to find a race there as well! Gorgeous!

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