The Canary Islands are Spanish islands just off the northwest coast of Africa. There are seven islands and we chose Fuerteventura to get away from the other really touristy islands. This place was still tourism driven but I guess just not as much. Aside from tourism this island's big economy is goats. There were goats EVERYWHERE.
We spent about five days there. The flight over was tight and poor Sean did not fit in the seats. I was still recovering from Tera and Ed's visit and made the stupid mistake of staying up all night before we left. It was dumb but I was busy getting everything ready, packing, cleaning and we had to leave the house at 3:30am so what was the use of sleeping for a few hours? Well...dumbest idea EVER. The slight cold I was fighting quickly blew up into a full on sinus infection. Complete with ear aches and nonstop snot flows. So that aside, the trip was wonderful.
The flight was about two hours with a connecting flight from the main island. Once on Fuerteventura we rented a car and drove about an hour south to our resort. What a land. What views. It sort of reminded me of parts of California. No forests, just sandy ground shrubs and lots of rock, sand and open skies. We quickly checked in to our hotel and went straight to the beach before dinner. I was feeling quite ill and just wanted to go to the room and lay down but Sean was eager to see if nude beaches really exist. Unfortunately it was so late that everyone had pretty much gone home. We walked a short distance then wandered back to the hotel where we feasted on an interesting buffet and free drinks. What a waste though when you're sick!
I am glad that we had a rental car. Each day we visited a new beach and a new side of the island. It's amazing how different they were, each offering a new view and atmosphere.
|The beach outside our hotel.|
|Our little room and back patio. It was so nice|
to sit out there after a day on the beach and
read in the setting sun before dinner. This is
where I wrote out my postcards and made it
through two great books.
|A little view of the mountains.|
We followed the road down to the beach. There were only a handful of cars in the parking lot. At least one of those belonged to the single brave surfer in the waves. The rest of the people were no where to be seen. The beach stretched for miles. On your one side you have these large, solid mountains creating beautiful silhouettes against the sun. On the other side you have the blue ocean with monstrous waves. The beach was in between; wide and stretching for miles. Some of the guide books describe this beach as "desolate, eerie and abandoned." They forgot to mention that despite those few adjectives it also left you speechless and just simply awe-struck. So worth the drive.
|A lost buoy.|
|Aside from the grand mountains and angry ocean|
we had these big commanding clouds. It's
hard to find adjectives to describe this.
|I couldn't take enough photos of this place.|
Sean and I walked for hours along the beach. The end was nowhere in sight. It felt like a zen place but nothing quiet about it. The wind was the strongest here and the waves were impressive. Despite the breeze the sun was hot and I could feel my forehead burning down to the bone. But it felt so good to soak up that sun with the wind, waves and mountains in 360 degrees. After our 3 hours walk we were both hungry and headed back to the car. Up the hill a bit into the "town" of Cofete was a little restaurant clearly marketed to the few, but enough, tourists that came through the area. We had plates of juicy goat meat complete with chunks of bone and I had the bonus of wads of goat hair at the bottom of my meal. It was so good though and with a cold beer I could care less. There was a friendly donkey that made its way around the parking lot inspecting exiting guests for treats and entertaining those still eating their meals.
On our way back down to the hotel from Cofete we decided to drive to the very Southern tip of the island. There was a lighthouse and a view of this tiny fishing town.
The next day we visited another beach. I don't know the name but it was filled with windsurfers. This should have alluded to the fact that it was INSANELY windy. Despite the wind though there were tons of people sunbathing behind the mini dunes. Each party found a dune, claimed it as theirs by setting up blankets, wind blocks and umbrellas. The dunes acted as a little windshield but also as a little privacy fence. There were lots of naked people sunbathing here. Be careful when you peak over the dune. You may see an old naked German man. Sean and I set up our little territory on the edge so we could watch the waves and windsurfers. If I were feeling better I would have LOVED to have tried windsurfing but we stayed on our blanket and soaked up the sun. Well, I did, Sean stayed pretty much covered with his fair skin. When we were bored of laying around we took walks up and down the beach. There was a giant sand dune that was fun to climb up or you could walk the other direction and be hypnotized by the dozens of windsurfers whipping up the waves.
The last full day we had on the island we went to another beach that was really far north. It was constantly cloudy at this part of the island. From our beach at the hotel we could look out and see the clouds and then look up and our skies would be clear. Once we got to the beach we regretted not bringing warmer clothes! I had a hoodie but between the wind and clouds we were both cold! There would be no sitting around on blankets and sunbathing here. Along the rocky beach were stone igloos that were convenient for blocking the wind but it was still chilly. We explored the rocky shore for a bit then headed into the sand dunes and ran around there for a bit. The flora there caught my eye and Sean had a fun time running up and down the hills.
|The fabulous modest cafe where we ate our|
goat meat and beers.
|A view of Cofete. How would you like to live here? |
I think I could.
|Sean next to our Fiat Panda. That little car|
made it through some tough roads.
|On the road coming around a curve. This would have made|
me nervous but I had that view to distract me.
|Some old farm ruins. There were lots around the islands.|
|The end of the island.|
|Our set up. Not too shabby. It did a good job blocking the|
wind which was key. Sean had a good system to keep the
sun off of him for most of the day.
|A view from the sand dune. All those people in the water|
|Me on top of the dune.|
|The beach. The wind exposed a lot of the rock here. |
Also, take a look at that cloud cover. Tsk tsk tsk.
|Sean, cold, in an igloo.|
|I thought I could find some fun things in the|
little tidal pools but like the other beaches
there were no shells, or signs of living
creatures. Very interesting.
|A little beach flower.|
|Some more interesting plants.|
|The dunes. Sean off in the distance.|
|I am finding myself more and more drawn into succulent|
|A view from the dunes.|
|The end result was a scalp covered|
and shorts filled with sand. But still
The Canary Islands were fabulous and I wish I hadn't been so sick. It was like no other place that I've been and I think that it would be neat to come back and maybe go see what the different islands were like. I feel incredibly lucky to travel to places like this which would be almost unthinkable to visit via the USA. I will never forget that feeling of seeing Cofete beach from the mountain pass. On our way back to London we flew pretty low over the island and it was amazing to see those beaches from the air. What a trip, what a trip! The crazy part is that coming back to London really felt like home....