Monday, 9 May 2011

1001 Ways to Use a Volcano (continued)

When you are visiting La Cueva de Los Verdes, if you haven't had too much of caves, you might want to pop across to the other side of the crossroads to another of Cesar Manrique's brainchilds - Jameos del Agua.  This is quite a different experience, so like Grasshopper and me, you may prefer to make this another unique day out.  Go to for details of the Jameos and other places that combine art, culture and nature.

The Jameous are craters formed when the roof of the lava tunnel from La Corona Volcano caved in millions of years ago.  They are at the sea end of the tunnel and are an example of Manrique's mission to meld nature with art.  We weren't sure what to expect, especially after meeting a couple in the Jardin de Cactus who raved about the place and it's layers of surpises.  We weren't disappointed. 

We descended again into a hole in the ground and came into a large, open area where you can enjoy refreshments and light meals.  Very nice we thought, but lets see what's in the next bit.  Going downwards  into the dark again we entered a domed grotto with an underground lake which has water filtered through the rock above.  The lake is the unique home of rare blind albino crabs that are only about 2cm long. To see a photo of these creatures visit
After admiring the crabs, and tut tutting at the evidence of people who had thrown coins into the water despite notices requesting people not to (it harms the crabs apparently), we walked on hoping there would be more opportunities for a coffee.  Sure enough tables and chairs were set out in another large area on numerous levels, divided by plants of all types.

There are huge sail-like sun shade/rain covers which are suspended over the gaps in the rocks above. It had been raining, so we mopped down a couple of seats that had missed the overhead protection. Coffee was good and not too pricey, and we shared our muffin with the very colourful and tame sparrows that beg for food.  Go to Grasshopper's blog (see above) to see greedy spuggies. 

We climbed again towards the light, and were gobsmacked to find ourselve in a huge crater, rocky walls towering above us, open to the sky, and beautifully masquerading as a South Sea Island blue lagoon complete with palms, figs and an array of exotic plants, surrounded by a wide, white walkway looking for all the world like a sandy beach.

Off this lagoon, you can choose to descend into anther auditorium grotto, or climb up rocky steps and lush planting to the next  restful gardens.  We bought inexpensive, tasty local ham and cheese bagettes here, and ate them under the protection of an arbour as it was very windy the day we visited. 

Winner of the Curious Fish Smart Loo Award
At the risk of looking as if I have a thing about loos, I must tell you that toilets we went to on this top level are pristine, complete with plants and terracotta pots (not glued down -  they would never last in the UK).

The Jameos del Agua is so large that there is also a musuem displaying equipment used in measuring seismic activity.  There are different types of volcanic rock exhibited and information about the important research and educational work being carried out in field of vulcanolgy. 

I saw some nice peridot and silver jewellery that seemed reasonably priced in the gift shop.  Apparently it is possible to walk along the beach at Playa de Janubio, picking up pieces of black lava rock that hide the green gemstone olivine (or peridot) inside.  I didn't get to do this nor did I give in to temptation in the gift shop, so there's another treat for our next visit.

Jameos Del Agua is a fascinating place to visit.  Next time we go we would like to have dinner there one evening and attend an event in the auditorium.

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