The Appeal of Flat Lowlands, Strict Building Codes, and Formidable Mustaches

The Appeal of Flat Lowlands, Strict Building Codes, and Formidable Mustaches

posted in: Canary Islands, Highlights | 2

The Burnetts are in the beautiful Canary Islands after a very boring three-day passage.  We are talking about a LOT of motoring, people.  They even hoisted their new asymmetrical spinnaker (in the middle of the night, even!) and had no incidents.  That means that all of the scenarios that play out in Mel’s head whenever they hoist a spinnaker (a sheet wrapping around Greg’s leg like a Kraken tentacle and pulling him overboard, another sheet wrapping around the lifelines and ripping out the stanchions, spinnaker wrapping around the jib and forming a knot somehow, spinnaker halyard snapping and sending the spinnaker and its sheets into the sea with subsequent bilateral prop foul, sheet coming off of winch and burning through Mel’s sailing gloves as she tries to grab it, spinnaker exploding…THERE ARE MORE, PEOPLE…) did not happen.  They flew it for only four hours before the wind died.  This was a shame, as that means no one else got to see the beautiful design, as the Burnetts picked the colors after a heated spinnaker design contest.  This is the largest object so far that has come out of Mel’s head and been translated into reality.  It was a close call, though.  Quantum initially told us that they were all of out of the crucial “fluorescent raspberry” fabric we requested, but at the last minute they found some lying around in a loft.  The Burnetts are sure it was hoarded because it was so popular…

That giant fluorescent raspberry balloon (and Marvin’s faithful Yanmars) landed the Burnetts on the island of Lanzarote.  It is crazy to think that just a three-day sail could put them in a place so distinct from Morocco.  French has been exchanged for Spanish, dim and frenetic markets featuring live bound chickens and decapitated camel heads have been replaced by brightly-lit IKEA-sized supermarkets (through which the Burnetts have walked, crying, making random exclamations, and pulling familiar cuts of pork to their chests), bargaining has been replaced with fixed (and high) tourist prices, and mosaics rotating through the color spectrum every centimeter have been replaced with entire buildings restricted by law to just three hues: white, green, and blue.

It’s been a while since the Burnetts have experienced this sort of topography.  While many mountains (okay, volcanos) dot the horizon, just like Italy and Greece, there are enough flatlands here to allow for contemporary development.  A series of volcanic eruptions less than 300 years ago cleared the way for modern city planning, leading to the Burnetts finding themselves driving down many straight, flat, fat highways with nothing but landscape and the rare megastore parking lot to look at.  Just like home!

Regarding the sightseeing, the Burnetts have time-warped from a world of prehistoric, ancient, and medieval architecture to the future…well, to the 1970’s, anyway.  The 1970’s may not seem so modern to most of our good readers, but the Burnetts are walking around a bit stunned at the moment, much like the famous historical figures in that classic fable entitled: Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.  This groovy new feeling was inspired by the architect César Manrique, whom the Burnetts never heard of before but know all about now that they spent a day driving around, exploring many of this Spanish Frank Lloyd Wright’s creations.  One of the coolest included Lagomar, a house supposedly bought by the heavily mustachioed Omar Sharif and then lost that same day in a bridge game with high stakes.  Now that’s a nerdy way to lose a house.  Mel wonders if many of the ancient ruins they saw in the Med had that kind of cool backstory.  Like, “Tharn was jealous of Grok’s magnificent flowing hair, so Tharn defeated Grok in a bloody battle of Jenga-like stone stacking and took over Ġgantija, putting in a pool/cistern…”

Anyway, good readers, here are some pics of funky architecture and palm trees to warm up your December…

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2 Responses

  1. Mikal (Cline) Moore
    | Reply

    Hi Mel! Your blog is the best thing on the internet. I am a little sad to have caught up on your posts. Binge-reading through your adventures has been a treat. I started following along when I saw your mention in one of the Rice-y magazines that appear from time to time. Your writing cracks me up. Anyway, a cheery hello from a very wintery central Oregon.
    Your fellow Lovetteer,
    Mikal (Cline) Moore

    • Mel
      | Reply

      Thanks, Mikal! I remember those Rice days fondly! Hang in there in the cold!

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