Friday, December 19, 2008

Looking back on our trip

I knew little about the Canary Islands other than being places on the globe that were interesting because of their location. The word Canary comes from the Latin meaning dog (canine) and has nothing to do with birds as one might think. They are a chain of the islands starting about 25 miles off the coast of Moracco, Africa. Lanzorate is the first. They stretch west for another 100 miles (La Palma.) They are volcanic in nature...very volcanic in the case of Lanzorate. There is virtually no rainfall, no rivers, no aquifers....they use desalinization and caputured rainwater for their water needs.

The earth is so hot, so close to the surfice that the pitures above tell the tale. If they were here in the US we would use them for their geothermal potential, I am sure.

Would I go back to Lanzorate? No, but that is not to say that the experience of seeing their island was not worth the stop. I might go back to La Palma since it is green, lush and teaming with bananna trees.

The idea of this cruise started out as a "business" opportunity. It was sponsored by the leader of the group that I teach mediation for...nationally. We were originally were transiting from Barcelona to NYC on an NCL ship. That was altered when NCL decided not to bring that ship across the Atlantic. It was going to make stops in the Azores and the Canary Islands, then end up in NY. The agent setting this thing up quickly booked us on a similar cruise from Barcelona to San Juan. I might have preferred sailing to NY since I did that once on FDR and recall the sights of the Big Apple as we went past the Statue of Liberty.

Looking back, however, I am glad we went to SJ since it was a warm weather crossing rather than a cold weather crossing. That was nice...traveling a thousand miles south into the warmth and sunshine. Those are good memories now that we are home and virtually snowed in.

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