Canary Islands, December 2010
Hello from the warm (mid 20’s) Fuerteventura Island in the Canary Islands. Fuerteventura translates to Windy Island – and that is so true! We were just a day late leaving snowy England as we awoke the day of our departure and saw on the news that Gatwick airport was closed due to snow and that travelers should not go there. So we didn’t. We finally managed to get through to our travel operator only to be told that they were still checking in at Gatwick – i.e. the airport is closed but the terminals open. And that for our flight they hoped to fly out of Stanstead later that day. So off we rushed to Gatwick, on trains that were running late and slow, due to the snow, to find what they actually had meant was that we were to have checked in at the original time. We only found this out HOURS after trying to find someone to help us. We were not pleased. We were then told that they didn’t have any more flights to Fuerteventura for 7 days! More Grrrrrrrrr. And we had lost our money. So we shopped around and got a flight two days later with Ryan Air flying from another London airport, called Luton.
But before that, a we interlude from our last visit to Brighton,. Christmas was starting to sprout up over teh town and we had a little Christmas cheer with Kate too!
It was so lovely to be able to see Kate again. Also in Brighton Peter got his “fit to fly” letter from a GP – so we are definitly coming home!
Lucky Benedict – we arrived back on his doorstep for a third time! Thanks Bene! Of course the up side being that we got to see him again. The next day we managed to get out to Luton, as it is 40 miles away and it was still snowing. So off we trudge with our bags through the snow to catch the tube, to transfer to an overland train and then to a bus. It was a bit of a mission but we were glad to be there. We stayed in an IBIS hotel at the airport and it all worked out very well.
It was quite exciting to be starting another chapter, and off to somewhere new again. We had chosen the Canary Islands as they are warm and we wanted a relaxing by the pool type option. Heike’s parents had recommended a hotel / spa there and we are now there, and it is wonderful! It is in the town of Corralejo.
Our room is right on the beach and I spend a lot of time sitting on our deck watching the sea, boats, people, surfers etc.
The hotel also has two outdoor pools and one huge indoor one, with water spouts to help massage your head, neck etc. Very nice! Also saunas, spas, sensory showers etc.
And, it has become like Christmas since we have been here – trees, decorations etc grow by the day. By the way lucky we came the day we did as the Spanish Air Traffic Controllers went on strike the following day! Phew.
There are also 5 restaurants at the hotel, and as it is off season we get breakfast and dinner included in our price. We eat mostly at the buffet restaurant – I usually don’t like buffet food but they have 4 “live stations” where they cook your food to order! Nice. Each night has a theme (e.g. tonight is Italian) so we are enjoying trying new things.
Yesterday we went over to another Island, called Lanzarote. We booked what we thought was the ferry and it turned out we had actually booked an excursion on a glass bottom boat too! Good one.
Lanzarote is a smaller island and is good for beaches and shopping. It was beautiful.
We only had three hours there so we walked around a bit and then had lunch overlooking the sea. Peter had a whole fish made into two huge fillets, which he really enjoyed.
The trip back on the boat was ROUGH. The boat was crashing in to waves and swaying from side to side. Luckily we didn’t feel sick and we got back safely. And we saw our first ever flying fish – it was amazing! It did really fly and looked like it had wings.
Today we rented a car and went to the middle of the island to have a look. The landscape is amazing – so sparse due to previous volcanic activity.
We had lunch in a town called Betancuria, and it was so wonderful. It was a traditional Spanish restaurant and of very good quality.
We have seen some amazing sand sculptures – note the second one is “active”…….
The island is covered in cacti – of course – and these round ones are very common.
Peter and I hve discovered teh delights of a cockatail called Mojito. We have a lovely bar tender who made us one “on teh house” to try and we have had “several” since then.
So, two more days and we are off to Madrid for three days, then to Istanbul for five days, then home. We land in Auckland on 23rd December. I guess this will be my second last blog! Yikes!
We hope all your Christmas plans are going well and wish you a wonderful festive season.
Love Jo and Peter