Friends, Fun and lots of Photos during First Worldwide Instameet in Lanzarote

For many people, especially those who don't really use this amazing social media app, Instagram can appear to be just for those who love posting endless selfies, while in reality, it offers so much more. Instagram and great locations are a match made in heaven! 

I'm not going to deny that some people's Instagram feeds are full of pouty faces and mirror shots, and I've even posted the odd selfie myself, but with just a quick search you can find some absolutely awe-inspiring shots on Instagram. Some photo feeds illustrate just how incredible the world is and will give you a serious feeling of wanderlust!

I love photography in general and use many social networks to post my photographs such as Flickr, Tumblr and Twitter. All these services are great, but there is something special about Instagram, as suggested by its name: it is meant to be instantaneous and of the moment.

This is the way that social media is clearly heading with other apps such as Periscope and Snapchat now becoming hugely popular. For instant photography though, Instagram is definitely the king.

Sometimes photography can be quite a solitary pursuit which is often the best way of capturing a great shot. It is also awesome to meet up with other like-minded enthusiasts though for photo-walks and photo-meet ups.

This year was Worldwide Instameet 13, in which thousands of people around the world were set to meet up for organised Instagram gatherings to take photos and get together with friends and meet new people.

Luckily this year through the organisation of CACT Lanzarote (Centros Turísticos de Lanzarote) in collaboration with IG Lanzarote, Carmen Martín Robledo, yakito_cabrera and Jose De La Rosa the Worldwide Instameet was brought to Lanzarote for the first time! 

Earth Day was on the 22nd April too, so this was also a perfect time to showcase the amazing natural beauty of Lanzarote and show it to a worldwide audience using the power of social media.

This was an absolutely fantastic day in which around 65 enthusiastic photographers and lovers of Lanzarote's unique natural beauty met up, and were taken to different parts of the island to try and capture the moment. First of all, we were all taken by bus on a tour of the incredible Montañas del Fuego/Timanfaya National Park.

Here we were driven on a special route not taken by the normal tourist buses, and we stopped off at an area where we were allowed to get out and take in the spectacular national park outside of the confines of a bus. The views were incredible, a true marvel of nature! This was especially true when we walked up to a special viewing platform that looked out across to the ocean, and endless horizon.

Everyone was having a great time, taking photos, listening to information about the history of Lanzarote's volcanic landscape, and of course, taking some selfies (well it is Instagram after all!). Before leaving we given some time to watch the spectacular moment when water meets volcanic heat. I had seen this before but it is still an awesome sight!

Later on, after a delicious traditional lunch, we headed to some other locations for more Instafun. This included the first volcano to erupt during the devastating Timanfaya eruptions (1730-1736): Volcán del Cuervo.

If you visit Lanzarote you should definitely head to this volcano. The walk to reach it is spectacular as you head through the amazing "Mar de lavas" which means the "sea of lava". This name is incredibly fitting, as you will feel like you have entered a different world. 

Once you reach the volcano you can walk right inside the crater, and take a stroll around. Stepping inside an extinct volcanic is definitely one of those moments far removed from 'normal' life, and offers a great photo opportunity!

As the day wore on, inevitably many of the larger group had had to leave to attend other more ordinary arrangements than strolling around volcanoes. A small but dedicated group of Instagramers remained though and we headed to the final location which offered equally impressive sights.

Despite living in Lanzarote, I had never seen the giant volcanic bombs which awaited us. Apparently, these are the largest in the world, and after seeing the size of them, I wasn't about to question this.

What a fantastic day and excellent organisation from all those involved; a big thank you to those behind this event which has had a brilliant response from everyone lucky enough to attend. There were a huge number of photos posted on Instagram, and the next Instameet in Lanzarote should be even bigger and better next year! 

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You can also find me on Twitter and Snapchat: simonturkas


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