The Bear Grylls of Lanzarote

We think Bear Grylls is a good 'un. One moment he's describing how he built a shelter in a storm whilst fending off wild snakes, the next moment he's vulnerable and humble as he shares his faith journey then before he's finished roasting aforementioned wild snake, gives wonderful advice in giving our best to relationships.

I love these two wonderful quotes from his books, first about scaling the tops of mountains...

Many people find it hard to understand what it is about a mountain that draws men and women to risk their lives on her freezing, icy faces - all for a chance at that single, solitary moment on the top. It can be hard to explain. But I also relate to the quote that says, if you have to ask, you will never understand.
— Bear Grylls, Mud, Sweat and Tears
Whether it is the wife, husband, girlfriend, boyfriend, family or friends, so often those closest to us are the ones who get the worst of us. It is as if we feel that they are the only ones we can be grumpy with, and we save our best for our guests or for work. But this is a recipe for struggle. The smart man and woman save the best for those they love. If we show our loved ones the most gratitude every day, then life will smile on us in return. Gratitude, gratitude, gratitude: three words to help you thrive. Trust me.
— Bear Grylls, A Survival Guide for Life: How to Achieve Your Goals, Thrive in Adversity, and Grow in Character

What's wonderful about Bear is that he seems to say yes to the challenge. Whether that challenge is learning to love sacrificially, stripping away empty religion from his faith or taking on the little task of climbing Everest.

We saw a bit of Bear in Ivan from Croatia, who stayed at Oasis Surf House for a month over the Christmas period. He's an adventure guide in his work life, and an adventurer the rest of the time. We knew he was going to be having some adventures when we realised he'd brought his own tent, hammock, hacking knife and first aid kit. Whilst staying with us at Oasis he'd one day be camping on the cliffs of Famara, catching the incredible sunrise...

..and the next day catching his own fish, finding wild tomatoes and building a palm leaf shelter on our roof to gaze at the stars...

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We consider ourselves to be off the beaten track here at Oasis Surf House. We're in the north of the island, halfway up a volcano and between two of the island's best surf spots, we tend to attract adventurers and surfers. Ivan takes exploring to a whole new level! Did you know that just beyond the caves tourists are invited to explore is a series of caves hiding seven lakes? We didn't...until Ivan found them.

Here is one more quote from Bear which we felt defined why Ivan reminded us of him so much.

The difference between ordinary and extra-ordinary is so often just simply that little word - extra. And for me, I had always grown up with the belief that if someone succeeds it is because they are brilliant or talented or just better than me… and the more of these words I heard the smaller I always felt! But the truth is often very different… and for me to learn that ordinary me can achieve something extra-ordinary by giving that little bit extra, when everyone else gives up, meant the world to me and I really clung to it…
— Bear Grylls

Ivan looked for more out of Lanzarote, he combed the island for new ways to see its raw beauty. He may have found himself into a few scrapes. In particular when he explored an unmarked route of 14km from Mirador Del Rio along the base of the cliffs of Famara (towards Oasis Surf House). As the light faded and he reached his last kilometer he observed that the way was too dangerous as the waves were crashing against the cliff edge making the narrow path treacherous. So Ivan turned back to his starting point. Climbing 13 kilometers in the dark, he arriving at midnight back to a lookout point at the top of the cliffs the middle of nowhere. He was thankfully able to hitch a ride back with a good story to tell.

So we won't be recommending that particular route if you come to visit Oasis Surf House! We will tell you however which volcanoes Ivan cycled around, how to find the caves not visited by your average tourist and hope you bring back some freshly caught fish. We hope you''ll come and explore!