I made the huge mistake of breaking one of my own rules – “If it says eco, then I avoid it!” – by booking onto an ecoFinca (whatever the fuck that means) in the north or Lanzarote. About a quarter mile (real measurements, not this EU rubbish) outside of a little village in a rather nice neck of the woods well away from any sort of commercialisation. The gardens were expansive and beautiful and the setting superb with absolutely no neighbours and a view right down to the sea.
But ‘eco’ my arse! Certainly ‘off grid’ would have been a fair summation. No mains gas, just bottled and no mains electric, just solar panels. Also water from a 2000 litre tank up the garden. You could describe the atmosphere in the evening as ‘romantic’ if you were a romantic sort of person (I’m not), but gloomy would be more accurate as the only lights are sparsely spread around the place and are 12 volt. This I could live with were it not so bloody cold.
As you might have guessed, there’s no heating. To be fair this is fairly common in Lanzarotean properties but most of those are on the mains so you plug in a lecky heater or fire up a wood burner. We settled for sharing bodily warm under a thoughtfully provided thick fluffy rug.
Lanzarote would be nicer if the wind dropped, but it’s a trade wind so basically it never does. In the evenings it gets chilly and in the day time you have to find a sheltered spot to avoid being beaten to death.
But back to the ‘eco’ thing : If you’re going to milk the terminology for profit then you need to make an effort rather than just hang a sign out. The window were single glazed so any heat just went straight out through them. Err – double glazing? Ever heard of it? And if you’re going to lecture me on the sparcity of water, then you need to avoid me having to run several gallons down the sink before the hot water arrives to do the washing up. Yes, you guessed it. Dishwashers are not eco friendly. Neither it seems is a microwave or an electric kettle – although the electric kettle would likely have used less energy than the one you had to boil on the propane stove. Strangely, though, we did have an electric toaster although I admit that during my sojourns in Greece I have become quite adept at making toast in a frying pan.
Anyway, we had a chilled time in more ways than one and it was nice to get away from the miserable bastards we are surrounded by at home! Leaving the airport in driving rain and hacking home up an unlit motorway was a pain – but at least it was warmer than the previous night!
So I’m back and normal service will be resumed over the next day or two…