We visited Timanfaya National Park as a shore excursion through our cruise on Celebrity Equinox. The landscape is like nothing I have ever seen - volcanic lava floes frozen in time, so hard to describe! We have Lanzarote artist and apparent Renaissance Man, as there was nothing that he couldn't do, Cesar Manrique, to thank for the design of this park - the building of the roads and the caveat that only buses can drive on them, thereby restricting access and preserving the natural beauty of this very fragile environment. The park center building is beautiful - love the demonstrations, including the chicken cooking on the volcanic grill! The images, the history of the eruptions, the rugged unique beauty of the desolate surroundings - will stay with me always.
The camel ride itself was great fun! It lasted about 25 minutes. We were very happy that the guides took photos with our camera for us, for everyone, which is very helpful - a small tip was appreciated. Also, and I don't know if this was only because it was a cruise ship excursion that we were on, but there is a man along the camel route that takes photos with his camera - then, back on our tour bus later in the tour after we visited a winery, the photos that he took had been printed and they were distributed on the bus at a cost of 5 Euro per photo, if we wanted them. They were actually pretty good, not the best quality, but since this was such a unique experience, not something we do everyday here in Boston, I was happy to buy one of the shots. The camels seem to be treated very well. Later in the day, we were lucky to see them all heading home, led in groups by their handlers - they walk "to work" mid morning and "walk home" mid afternoon, their days are not too long. Though they seemed not unhappy to carry us on our tour, they seemed jubilant when they were walking back home - light on their feet, at almost the pace of a jog! Who isn't happy to go home after a day of work?
Timanfaya National Park cannot be missed on a trip to Lanzarote! And be sure to make time for the camel ride!
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