Posted by: glenswatman | April 11, 2007

200502 Fuerteventura

TUESDAY 1 FEBRUARY 2005 – Another nice sunny day but with a bit more wind.  I walk in to town to use the Internet and visit the Post Office, only open from 1.30pm – 2.30pm.  Sit out in the afternoon.  After Steve has played boules he, John & Maureen and Chris & Andy head up to the Last Resort to watch football. 



WEDNESDAY 2 FEBRUARY – The Italian vans looks like they are staying awhile as they clear the stones from their patch and begin to build a wall.  I feel compelled to intervene when they start digging up and transplanting shrubs to create a garden, after all we are in a National Park where you are not even supposed to camp.  Camels arrive on the beach for some filming and stay all day.  John & Terri arrive late afternoon in time to watch the camels get the hump as they are hoisted unceremoniously by crane into the back of a lorry.  We’re having an evening meal together and begin with our soup whilst watching the sunset and being entertained by their Jack Russell dog “spud” playing with rocks.  Move inside for the main course then play a round of canasta then another after dessert.  It’s an enjoyable evening and we are surprised to find it’s midnight when they leave.



THURSDAY 3 FEBRUARY – A nice day but with lots of intermittent clouds.  Wednesday and Saturday are the big changeover days for tour groups so we see many new faces on the beach.  A Geordie chap comes over to chat and gives us yesterday’s paper and offers to bring us water.  Filming continues on the beach but without the camels.  Happy hour at Andy’s.



FRIDAY 4 FEBRUARY – John & Maureen are up much earlier than their usual 9am.  Their son Stephen and family are staying on Lanzarote and they are going to join them for a few days.  Andy & Chris drive them to Corralejo where they will catch the ferry over.  The Italian vans both drive off and leave behind the wall and shrubs in the middle of the car park.  It’s a cloudy morning with almost no one on the beach.  Steve makes the most of this fact to practise his golf.  Using a sand wedge and standing in front of the van he tries to hit the balls in to “Catherine’s” bunker – a reversal of the normal golfing trend of trying to hit them out of the bunker.  Andy & Diane call for a coffee then give me a lift to town.  The sun comes out mid afternoon.  I make up a foursome to play boules against Chris & Andy.  I’m struggling with tennis elbow so attempt to play right handed and seem to be no worse than when I use my left hand! Andy & Chris join us for soup at sunset (I’m really getting in to home made soups at the moment and trying lots of recipes out).  Steve watches football at The Last Resort in the evening.



SATURDAY 5 FEBRUARY – Another day of mixed weather with solid clouds magically clearing away to clear skies only to close in again later.  Steve heads into town for afternoon football followed by rugby.  Seems I am now to be a football, rugby and golf widow. 



SUNDAY 6 FEBRUARY –  Very mixed weather with hot sunny spells broken by short but heavy downpours of rain.  Chat to Diana & Andy as they arrive for the beach then the Geordie man who drops us off some water.  Mid afternoon we see a family showing great interest in the van.  French Francois and his South African wife Cherie are very keen to look inside.  They recently emigrated from South Africa to Rotorua in New Zealand but their son lives in Scotland and their daughter in Holland so they want a motorhome as a base for visits.  Although they are really impressed it the timing is wrong as they have only just moved to New Zealand and can’t really afford to buy a van for a couple of years.  We do however have a really interesting talk to them all and learn lots about South Africa.  Just as they leave an English couple Bruce & his wife come over and want to know about bringing a motorhome to the Canaries as they have on in England.  No sooner have they left than Phil & Teresa who run a pub in Stafford come to chat.  A couple in their 40’s the lease on their pub is up in November and they intend selling up and going into full time motorhoming so have lots to ask.  They are still with us when I answer a door to a chap who has previously spoken to Steve and wants to ask us more questions.  Phil & Theresa cut short their visit and Irish Colin comes in.  His story is that he wants to bring his van over from Ireland to tour around the islands to find a plot of land to settle on.  It’s too late for boules by the time all our visitors have left and we feel like it’s been a real open house day – must be something to do with the weather. 



MONDAY 7 FEBRUARY – Weather much like yesterday but we have fewer visitors. I walk up to do the Internet and get definite confirmation that our contents insurance did not cover us for the items stolen from the motorhome.  Only manage the first game of our usual best of 3 boules before rain sets in and continues throughout the night accompanied by strong winds.



TUESDAY 8 FEBRUARY – A storm is forecast over the next few days.  I go on the Internet to investigate the option of going into a hotel and find both the Oasis Papagayo and Dunas Caleta on offer at £5 night.  Head to John & Terri’s to see what they are doing over the next few days before making a decision.  Walking up the side street I trip and fall forward into the gravel.  My hands, knees and toes are a bit of a mess so I am very relieved to find John & Terri at home.  Soak most of the gravel out in the bath then John drives me home to get bandaged up.  The palms of my hands are worst where I have removed a few layers of skin.  Spend the rest of the day resting and is has shaken me up quite a bit.  Teresa & Phil call to say Good-bye and stay chatting for quite some time.  Watch a DVD in the evening before sleeping on the sofa.  Lots of rainy spells but no real storm as yet.



WEDNESDAY 9 FEBRUARY – Andy & Chris drive over to Corralejo to collect John & Maureen.  They return with their son Stephen, his wife and their grandson Corrie.  Their time in Lanzarote has been spoilt by the poor weather and the fact that the apartment was really cold.  The weather is still poor so they take their family off for a tour in the area.  Andy & Diana call as they are leaving.  Steve goes to watch the rugby in the evening.  My hands are feeling a bit better although still weepy.



THURSDAY 10 FEBRUARY – Still wet and wild but now also cold.  News on the radio of over 30 immigrants saved off boats in the south of the island.  When the wind is blowing a strong westerly people from Morocco try to reach the Canary Islands but usually come unstuck.  Head to Corralejo to see if either of the hotels on offer have heating in the rooms.  Not only do neither of them have any form of heating but I speak to a number of guests who say it is warmer outside than in their rooms.  Have to feel really sorry for the holiday makers at the moment.  Do a big shop at Hiper Dino and take lunch at a Spanish restaurant down a side street.  The Euro 6 (£4.20) menu of the day includes 1 drink and is OK but not outstanding.  Lots of rain and heavy wind in the afternoon but we still opt to return to El Cotillo where the wind doesn’t seem so bad.



FRIDAY 11 FEBRUARY – Still very windy but we’ve exchanged the cold and the rain for warmer air with dust.  Behind the beach a lake has formed from the sheer volume of rain we’ve had.  Late afternoon the “Calima” begins to close in on us and we watch the mountains and coastline disappear within the dust storm.  It doesn’t get as bad as last time and we feel no need to move the van.



SATURDAY 12 FEBRUARY – Still windy but the dust is at high level rather like solid cloud so things could be a lot worse.  Steve gets his afternoon fix of footie.



SUNDAY 13 FEBRUARY – After almost continuous rain through the night we come up with a plan.  Maureen has offered to lend us her electric fan heater so a few nights in a hotel become more appealing.   Using the Internet we are disappointed to find the offer has finished and £5 rooms are now only available on Grand Canary and Tenerife.  Stop in town where we enjoy the £9 (£5.60) Sunday dinner at The Last Resort where John & Maureen and Chris & Any walk up to join us.  They are not showing the rugby so everyone re locates to El Toston where they are. En route I drop out and return to the van in the car park.  Shortly after Chris & Maureen appear.  Chris is not feeling well and wants to go home so I drive us all back.  Even heavier rain throughout the afternoon.  The lads get a lift back with Keith – they wanted to phone for me to pick them up but not one of them could remember their own numbers!  Word is that this is the worst weather here for over 60 years but may be a knock on effect from the tsunami.  They have previously gone a number of years with no rain at all.



MONDAY 14 FEBRUARY – Rain stops mid morning.  A walk around reveals that we now have a large lake at the back of the main beach.  Radio news reports that 2 large whales were washed ashore dead on the east coast of the island.  John & Maureen and Andy & Chris head off to see if there is anything to see and will text us with news.  Andy & Chris return having seen nothing at all, strange as you would have expected it to take quite some time for them to be removed.  John arrives just before sunset and takes us back to their place for a long session of cards interspaced by a lovely meal and 4 bottles of wine (between the 3 as I drink water).  After 1am John drives us home.  As we get out of the car the dogs Spud and Inky also do.  This creates a problem because Inky is a dark coloured dog (not easy to see in the dark) and even worse he is deaf.  Now picture 3 drunken and 1 sober adults trying to find him on the beach!



TUESDAY 15 FEBRUARY – It’s officially the worst and wettest winter on wecord, sorry record, according to the news.  Hazy all day but warm enough to enjoy being outside again.  For once there is no wind at all, unfortunate as the dust haze doesn’t get blown away! 



WEDNESDAY 16 FEBRUARY – Bit hazy but nice enough for sitting out.  It must be half term in England as lots of families arrive at the beach.  A lovely afternoon encourages even me into the sea.



THURSDAY 17 FEBRUARY – It turns out nice again and the beach is very busy.  After Steve has played boules we have “happy hour” at our place.



FRIDAY 18 FEBRUARY – Cloudy start so we both walk to town for a bit of exercise then end up getting a lift back after calling at John & Terri’s.  Sit out for a short spell in the afternoon.



SATURDAY 19 FEBRUARY – Both walk to town for a bit of exercise and to see if we can catch the fishing boats returning, but don’t.  Early afternoon “Catherine’s” bunker is claimed by a group who have brought a huge gas BBQ to the beach.  There seem to be 4 couples talking English.  A lady comes over to us and says they have forgotten their table and could they possibly borrow ours in exchange for some burgers.  She then proceeds to invite us to join them all, they seem to be about our age and look like they are having fun so we do.  Chris & Jane are here on holiday and have an apartment by John & Terri’s, the others live here.  Whilst we are sat with them a couple stroll over whom we met in the supermarket yesterday.   We’d invited Paul & Marilyn over for a drink at the van but instead they get asked to join the gathering.  Spend the next few hours getting to know everyone and end up being invited out with the group next Wednesday night. 



SUNDAY 20 FEBRUARY – A lovely day, sunny most of the time.  Chris & Jayne come up for a drink and a chat in the afternoon, they are the new tenants of Catherine’s bunker. 



MONDAY 21 FEBRUARY – A beautiful day so we began with an early breakfast on our terrace.  Paul & Marilyn pass by and end up making an improvised “biscuit” birthday card when we find out Marilyn is celebrating today.  Chris & Jayne claim their bunker and offer to bring us water and take some laundry when they leave. 



TUESDAY 22 FEBRUARY – The good weather didn’t last.  Rain in the night and a cloudy start.  Better than England where they have low temperatures and lots of snow.  Get a couple of hours of hot sunbathing weather in the afternoon.  Join Paul, Marilyn with their daughter Julia and boyfriend Tony for a fish BBQ on the beach.  We enjoy snapper and parrot fish served with Canarian potatoes and ratatouille whilst watching the sunset – superb.  Steve heads off for his fix of Champions League football.



WEDNESDAY 23 FEBRUARY – The brief sunny start soon fizzles out.  Walked to town to do Internet.  Cool wind all day, Steve’s got a bit of a chill and rests in bed most of the day.  John & Terri call round in the afternoon.  Steve not well enough to go out to watch football so settles for watching it in Spanish on our TV.  Heavy rain storm at night with thunder and lightening followed by lots of shorted rainfalls through the night.


THURSDAY 24 FEBRUARY – Paul & Marilyn call for coffee and bring fresh doughnuts from the German bakery.  The weather isn’t improving so they suggest a drive out as they want to see the shipwreck.  We first call at Ajuy and this time walk all along the cliff top then down the steps to two huge caves.  We’ve been told that they were used by the Germans in the war to hide submarines and it certainly looks feasible.  Turning off to the shipwreck and German man in a car tells us we can’t get through as the road is too bad.  We egg Paul on and find it is not much worse than before and possible to drive all the way to the wreck.  Call in to La Olivia petrol station on the way back.  The tortilla here is said to be the best on the island, all I can say is that if it is the best then I am glad not to have had an of the other offerings!



FRIDAY 25 FEBRUARY – Thankfully a nice morning.  The German jogging man Gerd comes over to ask to borrow a whisky glass.  His English friend has arrived complete with bottle of scotch and wants to share it.  Both Gerd and Roger end up coming to us and the men all partake in a wee dram even through it is very early in the morning.  Out of the wind it’s a fine day for sunbathing.



SATURDAY 26 FEBRUARY – We’re up early ready to go on holiday today.  In Corralejo we call in to the Lobos apartments where there is a launderette.  Euro 4.50 (£3.00) a load in a large machine and I take up 3.  Check in to the Fiesta Gardens Hotel where we have splashed out £5.00 a night for a room.  Manage to make space on the balcony to dry our washing, what must the other tourists think!  Late afternoon there’s a knock on the door and a bottle of champagne is delivered compliments of the management.  Walk down to the Chinese for the evening buffet.  Enjoy wallowing in a bath to finish the evening.



SUNDAY 27 EBRUARY – A sunny day but extremely windy.  Walk out around the headland where a few campervans and lots of tents are camped by a small beach.  It’s OK but nowhere near as nice as our usual spot.  At the hotel we take the special Euro 3.75 (£2.50) breakfast of orange juice, coffee, toast, ham, cheese, tomato, bacon, fried egg, bread roll, butter and jam.  Eaten by the poolside we feel like typical tourists.  Make full use of the room facilities to colour my hair and do a bit more washing.   Steve heads off to “The Oak” for his afternoon football but returns disappointed as Liverpool have lost.  We’ve bought a pizza to cook but realise there is only a 2 burner hob in the room.  I head down to the van and return as Charlie’s pizza delivery service. 



MONDAY 28 FEBRUARY – A cloudy start so I walk down to “Coolers” to use the Internet Euro 1.40 (£1) ½ hour.  Showers late morning but it stop long enough for us to walk out to “Molinos”, a typical Spanish workers restaurant, in the square by Hiper Dino.  For Euro 7 (£4.90) we get a starter, 4 bread rolls, choice of main course and dessert plus a bottle of wine and a bottle of sparkling water – excellent value, large servings and very tasty.  Spend the afternoon relaxing in the room and fitting in yet another bath before bedtime.



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