El Aljibe in the remote village of Los Valles, where I was going to spend my last night. From the outside, it looked like a traditional Canarian farmhouse, albeit a rather chic one. Inside, however, a staircase led down through an archway into an enormous stone space with a vaulted ceiling and mezzanine sleeping area. Originally the underground water cistern for the farm, El Aljibe is now stylishly decorated with paintings and sculptures by renowned local artists, all friends of the owner, who was also close to Manrique and worked with him on some of his projects back in the 70s.
Further north still, I entered into the potato-farming territory at Los Valles and had a quick look at a more traditional stand-alone 150-year-old rural house, Casa Barranco, a rambling cluster of rooms around its own patio, and with its own bread oven and pool. Not far away lies El Aljibe, a unique villa with the same owner (Yayo Fontes, one of the driving forces behind rural tourism in Lanzarote), which happens to be in a former giant water cistern. This is a “special occasion” place to stay, for couples on anniversaries or honeymoon; the kitchen and bathroom, above ground, are like the bridge of a ship, while the bed is suspended down below on a platform in the middle of a softly lit vault.