That’s what happens when you spend 8 weeks (so far!) training on Lanzarote, friends back home start to call you the ‘professional tourist’ – or, alternatively ‘pool-boy’ or ‘life-guard’ but that’s due to them jealously seeing pics of my tanned physique on Facebook! Little do they know that this ‘beach holiday tan’ is from countless hours training in the sun and in fact trying to avoid getting too much exposure! Doesn’t stop the friends back home thre
atening to bleach my skin back to an acceptable northern european winter colour when I return, such as back to their anaemic white!
All joking aside, of course it is a real privilege to be allowed to spend the dark, endless winter in the warmth of Lanzarote. Nevertheless my days here are filled with doing the day-job; hard pre-season training, coaching (including hours of technique/video and biomechanic analysis) which leaves very little time for the traditional holiday or leisure activities.
Unfortunately despite our length of stay on this beautiful island, we’ve had no opportunity to play tourist – no trips to the house of Manriques, nor the lava caves, not even surfing in Famara. Even my trusty copy of Schirrmacher’s Ego lies almost untouched on my bed-side table – although contrary to what you may be thinking, that’s nothing to do with the either the author or content of this particular masterpiece!
Always a silver-lining however (and I know you’re already feeling sorry for me!), Finally, after much personal endeavour, driven perhaps by significant caffeine withdrawal, we found the perfect cafe and as a bonus, an excellent restaurant – afterall, if I’m not training/coaching I need to rest and sit around eating, right?! Another tick in the box is that both establishments are close-by and further maximise recovery time, bonus!
At Casa Matilda you get excellent Espresso, with the perfect Crema (!), round taste – and added to this a big range of homemade cakes and pastries. Especially real Apfelstrudel and amazing good white Tiramisu. The Café is in a small traditinal Canarian square which is dwarfed by a huge rubber tree in its middle providing adequate shade on the hottest days. Here you sit & relax in a tranquil and wind protected -and more importantly, totally missed by the hoards of conquering Easter tourists. It sure is hard to drag yourself away from the cake buffet and to jump on your bike and do the 3rd session of the day!
Obviously, as a professional triathlon coach I have to adapt and come up with a solution to this cake-ride conundrum. Well, I’d like to change directly from the afternoon coffee to the dinner!
Mr. Romeo is the name of our favourite restaurant. Of course we say this with conviction because we’ve done a rigorous (and unfortunately expensive) evaluation of all restaurants in Costa Teguise – forget your online tourist guide, just ask me…
It’s in it own charming courtyard too (this time with sea views) and not far away from Casa Matilda and stylishly furnished in shades of blue. You get crispy pizzas with very thin dough, homemade penne and ravioli, fresh fish and excellent steaks. Interestingly I’ve only seen women working there and so far haven’t met Mr. Romeo himself or in fact, if there’s really a Mr. Romeo? Not that is matters as this lady-team are doing an excellent job without him!
There are a few things which I’ll miss after my ‘professional holiday’.
Definitively the Espresso at Casa Matilda and the pizza at Mr. Romeo are amongst them. The sun and warmth of Lanzarote as well and hopefully, if I time it just right, we’ll return home at the same time that early summer arrives in northern Europe, afterall, I need to keep the old sun tan topped-up don’t I ?!