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Tales of the Urban Explorer: The Wreck of the Telamon

Tales of the Urban Explorer: The Wreck of the Telamon

January 2020 · 4 min read

I read about the Telamon before embarking on our holiday to Lanzarote and thought it might be worth a visit.

The problem is that it’s just a one photograph encounter and I really don’t do those.


If I could clamber on to the ship and properly explore it well that would be something else.

What I found funny is that TripAdvisor list it as an ‘attraction’, and then most of the comments are people moaning about it being a rusty old wreck. Well yes, that’s just what it is!

The Telamon sank on 31st of October 1981 off the coast of Lanzarote, about a mile north east of the port of Arrecife. On it's last trip it had a charge of tropical tree trunks on board carrying them from the Ivory Coast to Thessaloniki when it came in distress off the Canary Islands.

With it being a 5 minute car journey, I figured I would do something different than the rest of the many Telamon photographs and get a stunning sunrise shot.

Dragging along an unwilling @bingbabe, we departed the hotel around 7.30am for the 7.45am sunrise only to find the weather sucked on this day.


Storm clouds were lingering on the eastern horizon but still we pressed on.

Finding the Telamon is easy, you can see it clearly from the main road that lies between Costa Teguise and Arrecife next to what looks like a large industrial plant.

We pulled up in front of a seedy looking restaurant which looked like it may have been a front for drugs or weapons with all the comings and going I was about to learn about.


There is free access to the beach which you can see by the sign planted next to the partially cordoned off area. I headed down and took a couple of shots crouching down at the water’s edge.

Not satisfied I had the best vantage point I double backed to the car and walked past the restaurant and a car containing FOUR dodgy looking blokes who momentarily looked up and then continued their nefarious activity.


I had to infiltrate a building site strewn with lava boulders to get to where I wanted, and where the sun would come up or not on this day.


There were signs of vandalism and a graffiti ladled building I passed on the way and it was hard walking.

Taking a couple more shots, I started to settle in waiting for perhaps a glimmer of sun to come through.


...'the view from my hidey hole, not the best place to linger with angry mafia bloke's after you'...

Next minute my phone’s ringing…

those dudes are looking for you’, a nervous looking @bingbabe was telling me

you better come back like now, they have been making phone calls’, she continued in an agitated voice.

Fucking hell, I was trespassing but it’s not like there was anything worth nicking besides boulders of lava.

I backtracked hastily and walked back to the car, no sign of any of the dodgy blokes.

So where are they’, I exclaimed with some impatience in my voice.

They went down the street looking for you

Well they didn’t look too hard’ I responded, ‘I wasn’t hard to find

I swear she that girl has an over-active imagination.

So it was back to the original beach area where the budding Spanish Mafia have no control over me, I hope.


I found the beach to be the best place, and walked to a few areas for different angles of the ship. I could see people had climbed up at some point, graffiti donning some of the turrets.


...'it's a little tricky getting here, but this is probably the best place for that sunrise shot, if the sun appears'...

What would it be like walking those decks? Probably very unsafe and a death trap I imagine.


There is a sign warning people to not dive or climb up, but that’s quite normal I suppose. I didn’t have any rope or diving gear so I needed to be content with shots from the shore.

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I never did get my sunrise shot, stupid weather! It’s supposed to be sunny here 24/7.



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