at "heaven beach" (we made that up) with Stacey.
Yeahhhhh, so this trip actually happened in January...but I decided it's time to catch up with my blogging. I am going to keep the words short and sweet--mainly because it was so long ago and I can't remember every intricate detail, but also because I am sitting in an airport and want to have this post done before I get on my plane headed for HOME! So I'll start with a few photos:
prepping for some surf at Playa Blanca--beach break!
Stacey atop a random mountain we decided to conquer one day. We had a near-perfect 360 degree view of the ocean....
Stacey--on our beach run during our final morning. You'll see plenty of picture of Stacey, as she was really my only subject :)
It was tough to beat the time we spent on Lanzarote--with all the peace and solitude, delicious food, and gorgeous, isolated beaches. But Fuerteventura was like a completely distinct country. It was much less touristy (though it was down-season in Lanzarote, it still seemed like a tourist destination), had more local charm and character, and was a bit more upbeat. I was dying to surf once we got on the island, as I had heard that you could surf year round and there were plenty of good breaks around the island. But on our first afternoon on Fuerteventura--we arrived a little later than we thought--we had a workout to accomplish. So we looked around and decided to conquer a mountain. It was a small mountain, but nonetheless one of the highest on the island. It was really incredible and unique to be able to see ocean surrounding you--360 degrees around--something that makes you feel insignificant and infinitesimal (a feeling I inexplicably enjoy). I took some crazy photos from atop the mountain (see this page's headliner), and when we tired of being blown around by the powerful winds, we ran down the shaley, steep side hill...
At the bottom of the shale hill--this was on a plateau, a false summit, a mountain valley, a circle of life, of sun, of light
a dark, abandoned building on our walk back from the climb
a lighter, livelier part of the dark building
We stayed in a wonderful hostel-type-house called "Beach Bums," owned by a few Italian folks and updated quite nicely. We bunked in one of the smaller, older rooms with two beds, a private bathroom, and a communal kitchen and lounge area. It was a very neat compound with fun people and a great vibe.
the lounge area at Beach Bums
looking up from inside the communal area at night
We awoke the next morning to go surfing.... It was pretty surreal to surf in the middle of the ski season. The water wasn't even all that cold--our wetsuits were only 3,2's. Stacey and I both had a tough time catching any waves in the incredible line of beach break. We pretty much just got pounded and did a lot of paddling. But the few waves I did catch made it all worth it, as I suppose it always is with surfing. I surely have mentioned this feeling before: working with something so big and powerful, riding something so pure and real, feeling a natural force so strong and unforgiving--it really is something perplexing and mystifying, only describable by a feeling...
The next day after our workout we went exploring down a dirt road--with no goal in mind and plenty of time we discovered a popcorn beach, a hippie shack, a crazy lighthouse, and the most incredible beach in the world with a gorgeous wade-pool inlet and a view to die for...
just some interesting beach garbage
the crazy hippie shack
the dirt road we ventured down...
a beach somewhere along the dirt road
Yuh what's up Stace
num num popcorn beach
We drove along this dirt road all the way from Corralejo to El Cotillo, where we decided to sit at a restaurant on the water and watch the sun go down. What a lovely closing evening...delicious, fresh fish (with their heads still on, mouths agape), more Sangria, and another (boring) breathtaking sunset while sitting on the ocean deck of La Vaca Azul (the restaurant).
looking out from our table at La Vaca Azul
Stacey playing el capitan
a fuzzy El Cotillo at night
The next morning we woke up, packed our things, and headed to Puerto Del Rosario to go for a jaunt and play in the ocean before catching our flight that early afternoon. We searched for a place to rent bikes, but as our time floated off we decided to just run along the beach and then jump in the water one last time before returning to winter again...
cooling down after our run in the sun
the better half of cooling down --no, Stacey did not drown
how I love GoPros.
I was sad to leave Fuerteventura (and Lanzarote), and the Canary Islands in general, but it was a well-deserved mid-season break from our crazy world of snow that I was ready to return to. Overall I think I enjoyed Fuerteventura a bit more than Lanzarote--it simply felt more raw and real. It certainly was dirtier and probably a bit sketchier, but I enjoy exploring a place and its reality. I find it less charming when a culture has conformed from its roots to its tourism, and it seemed that Lanzarote had done that a bit. It was, however, incredibly relaxing to stay at a spa/resort and eat amazing food (not schnitzel!) for a few days before roughing it a bit more in Fuerteventura.
After all is said and done, I am looking forward to the day when I can return to the Canary Islands, and I hope I get the opportunity to explore a few more of the islands next time. Considering the fact that I spend almost the whole winter in Europe every year, I see myself returning to the islands soon. And I am smiling just thinking about frolicking in the ocean mid-winter. What a trip.
a colorful night wading in El Cotillo's ocean
adventures to and from, here and there, home and away, around the world--through my eyes, lens, and mind