Living so many years in Lanzarote I was never good at catching sunrises, until I started to trail run. Although living close to the beach those 15 minutes of magic in the morning were never a priority. (And we never owned a dog.) But when I started trail running sunrises all of a sudden became a necessity and the weekend long runs made me wake up early and catch that sun rising, no matter the weather. Highlights of my life in Lanzarote.
“There’s a sunrise and a sunset every single day and they’re absolutely free. Don’t miss so many of them.” - Jo Walton
Catching more than 300 sunrises over a 2 year period, I can tell you not two sunrises were the same. Every single one beautiful, in its own way. Maybe one or two were disguised behind some clouds, but it always showed up. Always. That’s the beauty of sunrises in the Canary Islands. They always show up.
“The sunrise, of course, doesn’t care if we watch it or not. It will keep on being beautiful, even if no one bothers to look at it.” - Gene Amele
During these 300 sunrises I figured there were three different types:
1. The Beach Sunrise
2. The Trail Sunrise just around the corner
3. The Peak Sunrise on the volcanoes
The beach sunrise along the boardwalk
This is when the general crowd hasn’t made their way outside yet, you meet the dog owners and the friendly man working, with a missing tooth smile and raking the sand, preparing the beach for the day.
The air is crisp, dawn patrol changing shifts in their police cars. The smell of coffee passing the corner cafe’ and the silhouettes of the seagulls in a sky slowly shifting into blue. You take off your shoes and feel the cold, wet sand between your toes and you start walking along the shore and waterline.
“The breezes at dawn have secrets to tell you… Don’t go back to sleep.” - Rumi
The morning breeze touches your face. You stop, listen, smell and breathe it all in. There is something so magical with a beach sunrise. Maybe the hope and anticipation of starting the day, a new beginning, all that fresh air.
Dipping your toes in the Atlantic Ocean. Not to mention the beauty.
The trail sunrise just around the corner
This is a sunrise that feels like a reward. You wake up early, drink coffee in the dark, the house is silent, the kids and your other half are left sleeping. You tiptoe out the door and go to your car. You look up at the sky and think, oh no, i should have worn warmer clothes. It’s still dark. You drive along empty roads passing shops that are closed, not even the supermarket is open and it’s hard to imagine it will be busy in a couple of hours. You turn on the radio and hear your favorite song. You know this will be a good sunrise and you can’t wait to hit those trails.
While driving in your car you see in your rearview mirror the sun starting to rise, you know there is still 15 minutes before it will shine completely for you. You arrive at your destination, park your car and stepping out you feel a chill. The only way to warm up is by starting to run.
You start slowly, warm up and about 5 minutes into the trail… There it is. That WOW. The reason you woke up early. The reason you made an effort to make it to this trail.
“Here comes the Sun” - The Beatles
“Live in the sunshine, swim in the sea and drink the wild air.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson
The sunrise when you’ve reached a peak
But it’s not only beach sunrises or that sunrise around the corner that are magic. Running on the rim of a volcano or to a volcano top is also magical and greeting the sun together with a flock of goats. Better than any morning show on TV.
“The best view comes after the hardest climb.”
Lanzarote is a grateful place to catch sunrises. You always have a closeness to the sea and from almost anywhere on the island you have views towards the ocean. Most places are so easy accessible too. Mountain peaks to hidden beaches.
My absolute favourite part of the island to catch volcano top sunrises is in the Femès Transajaches area.
“The mountains are calling and I must go.” - John Muir
When you begin on your trail you aren’t really aware of how challenging the climb can be in harsh winds and cool morning air. Before you’ve reached your peak or arrived at a viewpoint you maybe regret getting out so early and battling the fierce winds. But once you’ve made your way to the top and you see that sun! I don’t think there is a better feeling.
“Don’t forget about the blue skies, sunrise and all the space in between.”
It’s all thanks to trail running that I have discovered the beauties of sunrises and especially Lanzarote sunrises. They are so satisfying and well worth the effort. These glorious magic morning moments are something I will take with me wherever I go. Thank you Lanzarote.