Saturday, December 15, 2012

Montana de Ecanfraga

I was going to walk around Montana de Ecanfraga, a big mountain close to Villaverde, ever since my excellent map arrived. Map shows two routes, one that goes around Montana de Ecanfraga only, starting and finishing in a different bits of Villaverde, and a longer one, which makes a loop around Montana de Caima too. My intention was to try the shorter one.

I was somewhat disappointed this time, because I couldn't match the map to googlemaps. Where the paper map shows a route, aerial photography shows nothing much. And there might be a good reason for that, because there was no clear visible path soon after I've turned off a dirt track into the malpais. Maybe the idea is that you can't go very wrong there, with two mountains on either side of you for the orientation, and you can just pretty much go as you please, I don't know. I intend to give it another try some day, but this time I decided to go up the mountain instead. Amazingly, there was a double tyre track going up. The distance between the tyres made me think quadbike, but I am not sure. The track went on an incline where no right-minded person will drive any vehicle at all in my opinion, either up or down. Walking is fine though, not too scree-ey, although on a steepish side of course. I found about a million different paths going up and down the mountain; I think most of them are made by goats, not by humans.

I include the route I took below.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Ajuy to Arco del Jurado

Last week my friend was staying with us. He is a lot less nervous driver than me and together we managed to visit some places on Fuerteventura where I've never been before (and probably won't go again, considering how steep and narrow some roads are).
This road that leads to this walk, I am happy to say, is not one of those. I did drive to Ajuy myself before, and it's not too bad at all. But I was not even aware that there is this stone arch just a short walk away from the village.
Fortunately, recently I bought a large-scale map of Fuerteventura by Kompass. It has a lot more information on walks that I was ever able to find before. So when we made a vague plan to go "somewhere there, maybe Ajuy", I had a look at the surrounding area and found "Naturdenkmal Arco del Jurado" (yes, the map is mostly in German). Quick search on google produced some images that looked good, so off we went.
The walk is very easy, no ups and downs of any significance. If you find yourself climbing up or down, stop and look for alternative route, there surely will be one.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

El Cotillo and sunset fishing


Today, me and Yuri went to El Cotillo in the evening to catch a sunset. Corralejo looks to the east, and I am not an early riser normally, so there is a very little chance of catching either in the two "sun just above the horizon" moments. El Cotillo is perfect for sunsets.
The bus driver who took us there looked at the tripod and repeated several times that the last bus back is at eight, at eight, get it? Am I got? I found it rather sweet that he was so anxious for us not to miss the last bus. Somewhat intrusive perhaps, but that's all cultural, your business is everybody's business it seems.


Sunday, November 18, 2012

dunes by day and by night


Yet another report from the dunes.
The cracked and apparently dry surface above is the bottom of a former large pool of rainwater, sort of temporary pond. We saw it containing some water just a few days ago; and it was a surprise to me to find all the water gone when we went that way on Saturday.
However, when I went down there, I found that the water didn't go very far yet, there was a layer of very slippery mud just under the surface, maybe two centimeters deep of so. Judging by the marks, I was not the first person to slip there; fortunately, I didn't fall, but my (almost) new walking shoes had to get their first wash afterwards.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Lajares to La Oliva


Essentially the same route as here, but this time I did the slightly longer version that ends up in La Oliva, following the trans-Fuerteventura footpath GR-131 in its Etapa 2 exactly. It was cooler today and I was alone (no complaining kids in tow), so it worked out nicely.
Another  significant difference with the earlier walk was that now there is so much more green. It makes me happy to look at the green patches and the flowers. The flowers above and below are Chrysanthemum coronarium, garland chrysanthemum, and now there are groups of them here and there. I had to go down on my knees to shift the perspective and make this patch look bigger, but I do hope that eventually we will have more and I won't need to do that. I might do it still, but it woud be nice not to have to.
You can see Montana Colorada in the background of both of those pictures. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Flowers finally :)

I was waiting and checking, waiting and checking, and the flowers finally appeared. It's not what you may call a field of flowers, but you can see patches of those small white ones on the edge of the dunes, in that place I went to check on the greenery last time.

Of course, I didn't know what they were. And once again, I was impressed by the power of facebook. I sent a message here and received my answer the same day. I don't know who maintains this FB page (author of the book, maybe), but whoever it is, thank you once again.

It's Androcymbium psammophilum, a "vulnerable species" due to restricted habitat, only found on Fuerteventura and Lanzarote. The number of plants that appear each year differs greatly and depends on the amount of rainfall. I feel absurdly proud that I spotted them :)

References
http://www.floradecanarias.com/androcymbium_psammophilum.html
http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/162355/0

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Green is appearing


Today I decided to go and check out the dunes after the big rain of last week.
Now, the authorities (and I can't even tell which ones, to be honest) in their eternal wisdom closed the dunes for pedestrian access about a month ago. That is, they erected, for want of a better word, some signs all around the edge of the natural park, about fifty meters apart from each other. Signs say that there is no access the the dunes. The same signs also say that you can't light fires there and can't pick up flowers or bother the wildlife. Last two bans seem a bit excessive, because if you obey the first one you won't be able to do either of the followings two, but there you go. I guess to simply say "no access" appears too harsh or unfair or something.
There are two signs that are different from the others. They say that you can, in fact, enter the dunes (presumably in those two places), but you have to stay on the path. Problem is, there is no single  definite path, at least no marked one, so once you are in, you can move with a crazy randomness of a happy butterfly.
You can probably tell that I don't like those signs and the ban itself, can't you?

Friday, November 02, 2012

Lajares to Villaverde

Our initial intention was to go from Lajares to La Oliva, but that is a litte bit longer and it was very hot today again, so we decided to opt for a slightly shorter route. I spent some time trying to match the very schematic route from here to the googlemaps. I sort of did, but was not completely sure that I would be able to identify it when in the countryside. I shouldn't have worried, the path is well sign-posted. Most of the route that we did is along trans-Fuerteventura footpath, relatively new collection of paths that cross the whole of Fuerteventura from Corralejo to the Point of Jandia. There are nine "Etapa"s, that is, the whole route is divided into nine stages, but one of them is on the Isla de Lobos, so there are eight of them on Fuerteventura proper. Corralejo-La Oliva is the second stage. There is approximately eight km from Lajares to Villaverde, and slightly more than nine to La Oliva

Friday, October 26, 2012

Montana Roja



We went up Montana Roja (Red Montain) a few weeks ago, but somehow I failed to write it up so far. So here goes.
There is no problem with finding the mountain, as it stick out above the dunes of Corralejo in a very obvious way. When doing some preliminary research, I even found a report by a keen runner who went, well, running up to it and then up the slope to the top. Still, I felt that I don't want to just go in a straight line, as it were, and maybe it would be the best to go with somebody who not only knows where to go (that bit is pretty clear), but also how. Turns out I probably could have gone by myself without too much difficulty, but you never know until you try.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Majanicho


We were going to get to Majanicho, a small fishing village not very far from Corralejo, for a goodish while already. In fact, me and kids made a few false starts, never getting there, up till today. There is a "cycling route", accordng to Cabildo, which is not really. That is, you can bike there, but it's not a dedicated cycling path, just a dirt road which cars and cyclists share. Share rather unhappily in the case of cyclists, as the passing cars almost always create a cloud of fine red dust. Works as a very cheap self-tanning option though.
Majanicho itself is a tiny place, and to me it looks like the houses there are not meant to be permanent dwellings - rather somewhere to be when you go fishing. There were very few people around the village, although quite a few parked cars, I assume the drivers went down to the ocean to fish. Overall, the place has a rather surrealistic feel to it, like "The Zone" from "Stalker" movie.

Monday, October 01, 2012

Las Palmas

This weekend we went to Gran Canaria for the first time. If you consider that we've been living on one of the Fortunate Islands for over a year, it is a bit odd that so far we've only been to Fuerteventura and Lanzarote (ok, ok, and Isla de Lobos, if you start counting smaller ones too).  But time came to check the rest out and off we went on Fred.Olsen ferry from Morro Jable.

Ferry itself theoretically takes one hour forty minutes, but in reality it took about two hours in both directions. Both ways we also swayed quite alarmingly from side to side, maybe the "normal" timing really happens when the ocean is a bit calmer.

Important note: if you plan your journey yourself and are a foot passenger, i.e. one without a car, don't be fooled by apparent proximity between the arrival point of this ferry and town, as I was. I looked at googlemaps, checked the distance using my fingers and figured it's about one kilometer. When we arrived though it became clear that the arrival point is not where the googlemaps think it is. It's a lot deeper into the "container area" of the port, and you have to walk along Avda. de Las Petrolíferas, which is indeed lined with those huge cylinders full of something oily and therefore doesn't exactly smell of roses.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Playa de Sotavento de Jandia and night photography


Last week, apart from going to Ajuy, we visited the Jandia peninsula. It is on the opposite side of the island, but it's not a long drive - certainly lot shorter than drives we had to underatke to get to Norfolk coast when we lived in Essex.
Playa de Sotavento de Jandia, or Playa de Sotavento, or simply Sotavento, is probably the most famous beach on the whole of Fuerteventura, and that's saying something, as there is a lot of stiff competition. The surfing championship is held there, and the water is just beautiful. The entrance to water seems to be free of sharp rocks, although I didn't check the whole length of the beach of course.

The interesting feature of that beach is that there is a long sandbank running along the shore at a distance maybe couple of hundred meters. It separates the open ocean and a shallow area of less moveable, slightly stagnant water. We were there when the tide was at its highest, but even then it was possible to walk along the sandbank, sometimes wading a little.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Ajuy


This weekend we took out a little rental car and went on a few outings around Fuertevetura. One of those was to a place named Ajuy, which, I must say sounds quite shocking for a Russian ear. Especially when you say something like "I am in Ajuy" in Russian.

Anyway. Prior to this visit, I was convinced that the road to Ajuy is extremely bad; not at all sure why by now. The small road that goes to the village itself  (FV-621) is not that narrow and doesn't behave like a snake; a somewhat trickier stretch is on the bigger road FV-20 between Tuineje and Pajara; or, if you are mad enough to take FV-30 bewteen Betancuria and Pajara, that should provide you with a good adrenalin influx. Still, if your car is powerful enough, it's not really that bad, especially with automatics.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Nighttime London

We lived in the UK for a very long time, but somehow up till this year I never did any night time photography in London. So I don't know if summer London is always such a delight to photograph, or was it because of the Olympics. Doesn't really matter. Buildings and structures that might look dull and grey during the day, at night transform completely.

Not that the Tower Bridge  looks dull during the day, but some of the office buildings an the pics below do.

Monday, July 09, 2012

El Cotillo

We came to El Cotillo on Saturday evening to listen to some music on the second day of the free music festival Fuerteventura en Música 2012.
To be perfectly honest, for me it was mostly a pretext to have an evening on the west side of the island and to photograph some evening scenes. Kirill, who was there on the first night, brought back some pictures of some polygonal patterns visible on the stony part of the shore in low tide, less spectacular than ones at Giant's Causeway, but present.
There is indeed a pattern, more obvious in some places, less in others, and where the surface is more eroded, lines of lighter-colored stones are visible between the polygons.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Argonaut

The day before yesterday, Kirill found a nice looking shell with what he thought was something dead and slimy inside it on the sand of our favorite beach. He picked it up and carried it to show us; while he was walking, he felt something touching his fingers, and when he looked at it, a sad blue eye popped out to look at him. He started dipping the whole thing in the water as he walked; at which point the shy dweller climbed out of the shell and made bid to escape. The animal abandoned the shell; it looked like a tiny octopus. Kirill released it into water and it swam away, changing the color as it went. It  left the shell with us. According to my limited knowledge of octopuses at that point, they don't have shells, so we decided that the animal was probably carrying someone else's shell around for protection, rather like a hermit crab.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

big fish and good shopping


Today we walked to the tourist information to find out if there was anything interesting planned for the Sant Joan. There wasn't, or they didn't know about it, which is always a possibility with our tourist information. Anyway. There is a restaurant nearby, which has a fish cleaning table outside, right by the water. Today they had a bahamut being cleaned there. The table was surrounded by people taking pictures, kids staring as only kids could, and seagulls waiting for scraps.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Lajares-Corralejo



After my last walk around Calderon Hondo, when writing up the post, I noticed how close I was from the system of volcanoes that includes Bayuyo, which is, in its turn, right next to Corralejo. So I figured that a walk from Corralejo to Lajares (or vice versa) is probably reasonably easy, and this Sunday we decided to give it a go. We ended up going from Lajares to Corralejo; maybe next time we'll go another way round.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Calderon Hondo


On Saturday I went on excursion to Calderon Hondo next to Lajares with a small group of people none of whom I've seen before. Once again Facebook proves to be useful tool for a surprising variety of things.
The walk was easy and went along well paved paths. It is a section of a much longer walk that joins the two ends of the island together (Corralejo-Morro Jable). I knew about its existence; but for a potential tourist attraction it is quite surprisingly badly advertised. Up till very recently I believed that the walk runs through the dunes, and only stumbling upon the signpost at the foot of Bayuyo made me realise that it is not the case. The first leg of the path is Corralejo - Lajares; and the Calderon Hondo is just off the path. I am not sure why it is called "Calderon", and not "Caldera"; the difference that I can see between, say, caldera of Isla de Lobos and this one is that Calderon Hondo kept all the walls of the volcanic cone, and caldera of Lobos lost a section facing the sea. Here you can see just a part of the opening; one of my companions took a great picture of the whole; but I can't figure how to place a link to a photo in facebook, they've seem to have changed something again.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Bayuyo, second visit

When we first time went to Bayuyo, the old volcano nearest our village, we went with a group of other walkers, lead by a guy who knew exactly how to go. As I said before, you can hardly miss it, so the idea was to make use of his knowledge for least painful approach. This Sunday we went with kids, believing that we remembered the way. In reality, we didn't - we missed a turn somewhere and went along a different path. Surprisingly, it worked out somewhat better than the path our guide used. The problem with his route was that for a while there was no path - he probably cut a bit of distance that way, but walking across extremely rocky malpais is not my favourite experience. On Sunday, almost as soon as we realized that we missed a turn, there was a path leading in the right direction, with some cairns along it. We took it, and it lead us directly to the path that runs around the caldera.


Sunday, May 27, 2012

El Barranco de Los Molinos walk

Yesterday I went for a nice longish walk organized by the center for adult education where I take spanish lessons. There was a goodish group of us going, mostly spanish-speaking students who are taking subject other than spanish (well, for sure). Unfortunately, our own classes shrank dramatically by the end of the year.

Anyway. It's a nice, mostly level and very easy walk, starting at a small hamlet of Las Parselas. From there you first go to the dam and reservoir of the barranco (ravine). From there you go to the bottom of barranco and proceed to the sea level at Los Molinos, even smaller place of about two buildings; one of them being a restaurant. Once you located the dam it's impossible to get lost.

 The barranco is supposed to catch the rain water and the reservoir to hold it; unfortunately, this winter there was no rain to speak of and the water level looks very low. Below the level of the dam, what water there is in the bottom of the ravine is the one that filters through the earth from the ditches that come from the reservoir. There was very little of this water yesterday, which was good from a walker's point of view. Probably not that great for anybody else though.

 Those horses observed with no interest whatsoever as we started on our walk, unlike the dog from the same farm. It barked and barked, but funnily, stayed beyond the symbolic line of his territory provided by the low earth barriers. The pic is somewhat overprocessed; the original taken against the light.

More pictures below; including one of a dead goat. You've been warned.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Invisible fish and the Flag Beach again

Yesterday there was quite a few of those invisible fishes around at the Flag Beach. If you are wondering why I call them invisible, look closely. What you can see very clearly is their shadows, not the fish themselves. Small semi-transparent bodies hovers just above the dark outline.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Assorted week


Here are just some assorted pics from the last week or so. First one is our nearest proper beach, which I photographed many times - the Flag Beach. This time we came there when the tide was low, but was just coming in, and the sharp rocks in the foreground were being covered with water. When the water is higher, they might be lurking just below the surface, so beware when you go swimming. Water is beautifully clean, so when you can see that there is something dark under there, proceed with care. Isla de Lobos in the background.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Isla de Lobos walk


Both me and Kirill are attending Spanish classes two times a week, arranged by a local "adult education" organization. As the end of the year approaches, they arrange a few events for the students. First of them was a trip to Lobos (small island between Fuerteventura and Lanzarote) yesterday.
We've been to Lobos before, once in my case, twice in Kirill's, but both times we didn't really explore, just went to a small shallow cove and stayed there. This time, since we were with somebody who knew where to go, we decided we'll join the walk.


Sunday, April 08, 2012

cycling to the north and south of Corralejo


Some sites are keen to promote Fuerteventura as a place ideal for family sports, including cycling. Much as I want to promote Fuertevenura as ideal place for everything, "ideal" for family cycling it is not, at least not in the North, around Corralejo.

Both kids are now cycling to schools and sports, under our supervision in Timur's case. I was thinking for a while that we should do some longer rides and the Easter hols seemed like an ideal opportunity. So we did two slightly more extended trips - one to the north-west, towards Majanicho, one to the south, to the dunes by the road. What follows is an advice by a lay person who cycles, not a dedicated cyclist, keep that in mind.

Monday, March 19, 2012

El entierro de la sardina (The Burial of the sardine)

I saw carnival processions before, but I never saw the El entierro de la sardina (The Burial of the sardine) up till yesterday. I looked it up and apparently other ceremonies like this - burning of an effigy, accompanied by a procession/ritual - exist in Spanish tradition in various places. The burning symbolizes cleansing, passing of old and new beginnings. In this case, it marks the end of the carnival. In "normal" circumstances, burial falls on Ash Wednesday, but, it being Fuerteventura, it's not really linked to anything, and feels like a way to end the carnival with a proper bang.

I didn't take any pictures, because it was dark and crowded, but below are some videos of the event. It all happened on the small main town beach in Corralejo.

First, we could hear the sound of samba drums and a small torch-bearing procession of people dressed in black appeared. They were carrying the large figure of sardine with them. It was placed on a podium. If you look to the right of the sardine in the second half of the video, you could see some people dressed as priests, and just about see a crucifix in someone's hand. The whole thing is meant to look like a funeral; priests and lamenting women ("adios! adioooos!"), the works.



Sunday, March 18, 2012

Corralejo Carnival Parade 2012


Yesterday there was a carnival parade in Corralejo, the biggest of the several. I heard that it was going to be a big event, but didn't expect it to be on the same scale as one in Puerto del Rosario. I think it was bigger though, and more on the show side. Kirill is telling me that there were at least seven samba bands there (I didn't count myself), and when we leaving, the tail of the procession haven't started yet, so there might have been more. It lasted for two and a half hours, but we didn't stay for all of it - kids were getting tired.
We figure that the samba group above is not from Fuerteventura, although we could be mistaken. They were, deservedly, at the very beginning of the procession, had some simple, but effective dance routines, and their costumes were beautiful, too - check out these lace trousers in the facebook album.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Too much of a good thing. Or maybe not


Last Sunday and Monday worked out as pretty busy two days for me, wellness and fitness-wise.
On Sunday, there was a four hours "introduction seminar" to Chi kung and Tai Chi Chuan in Antigua sports center. I go to Chi kung lessons with Annalisa Paloschi (below) and I used to go to Daniele Scilingo's (above) lessons, and it's the same center that organized this seminar. So it was not exactly all new for me, but let me tell you, four hours is a killer. In a good way of course, but it still is. I don't know about other students, but for me personally the pain was mostly in the back of the legs and the shoulders.


Saturday, March 03, 2012

Big carnival parade in Puerto del Rosario


The parade was a week ago already, but somehow there was no time to write it up before.

After extremely photogenic Achipencos I was looking forward to this parade. (Though, unlike Achipencos, carnival parade is not something specific to Fuerteventura, obviously).

I am certainly no connoisseur, but I've watched and photographed some carnivals in the UK, and so far Luton remains my firm favorite, what with all the feather-clad samba dancers and majorettes. Puerto del Rosario grand procession is somewhat short on dancers in feathers - there were three ladies dressed as the one above, but that was all, I think. It reminded me of very tame Saffron Walden take on the same event - dressed up people enjoying themselves on the floats (I saw a few floats with on-board BBQ), amateur samba bands of all ages and so on.

But it can boast an amazing level of participation - the procession was very long for such a small town, and it looked like at least half of the viewers were dressed up somehow. It was like one half of the inhabitants are in the procession and another standing along the route.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Oasis Park Fuerteventura - birds of prey and Botanic garden

A bit more about oasis park. As I said, there are three daily shows on, out of which we only saw only the sea lions, the first one. We missed birds of prey and reptiles; but of birds of prey we did catch one interesting bit, which came after the show was over.
The birds of prey are kept in a distinct bit of park , the botanic garden, which is separated by a row of eroded hills from the main territory. To get there you need to walk about 1.5 km (according to their pointers), or catch a "jungle bus" - converted van, with rows of wooden seats. It keep shuffling to and fro between the main bit and the botanical garden, turning up at both "terminals" every ten minutes or so, so there shouldn't be a problem. Definitely wasn't a problem for us - we rode three of us both ways in a vehicle meant for at least ten times as many people. The Botanic garden is on a steeper slope than the rest of the territory and mostly contains cacti and succulents (makes sense really). There is also a lake with crocodiles (search me) and the bit where they demonstrate the birds of prey, more or less on the top of the garden. When we get there, there were very few people still sitting around, and a member of staff standing in the middle, looking at the sky and holding up something raw-looking (a piece of chicken meat, as I saw later from the photos)


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Oasis Park Fuerteventura


Last week we went to Oasis Park with my sister and her daughter. There are a few useful bits of knowledge that I got out of this trip.
First, most important, and something I didn't realize before - they run their own free bus service from all major resorts on the islands. The schedules are on their website. I am not sure if it ever gets so busy that you can't get on to the bus, we got on with no problems both ways. Free daily bus service means that you don't need to book the trip, you just get on the bus and pay your entrance fee at the park. "Last minute" travel company gives you a tiny discount - 1 euro per person - but takes a deposit, which ties you in a way; knowing about the bus you an just go whenever you like.

Of course, you can also go whenever you like with a car.

Entrance fee is 24 euro adults, 12 euro kids up to eleven. However, if you are canarian resident, take you residencia paper with you and you will get in for 14 euro, kids 7 - much bigger discount than with last minute travel, I wish somebody mentioned it when we were booking.

There is one drawback, or what we thought was a drawback, with buses - they bring people in the morning, and take them back in the evening, in case of Corralejo at 6pm. When we arrived and realized that, we thought, oh no, how are we going to spend seven hours here. However, it proved to be easy - the territory and variety of animals is quite large, there are cafes serving quite reasonable food, and there are a few (three at the moment, normally four) animal shows during the day, of which we saw only one. As a result, we didn't even quite finish looking around the park, and there was no time at all for checking out an enormous garden center attached to it (sob, sob, I have to come back)


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Achipencos 2012


Carnival started in Puerto del Rosario, capital of Fuerteventura, a few days ago. Big carnival parade will be next week and I am quite looking forward to it; today though there was something rather special. It's called Regata de Achipencos, Regata Achipencos, or just Achipencos. I won't pretend I understand what the word means,  probably nothing. The idea is that a few quite obviously sea-unnworthy vessels take to water in the Puerto del Rosario, crewed by strangely and/or cross-dressed people.

The  theme of the carnival in Puerto del Rosario was "fantasies"; that should have given the participants a lot of choice of how to dress. Given that, the number of Smurfs-crewed floats was rather surprising.


Friday, February 17, 2012

walking on Bayuyo


Today we went for a walk up the volcano that is nearest to Corralejo, which apparently goes (or stands rather) by a funny name Bayuyo. There is path going up it that is visible form the village, but we were told (quite correctly) that is is not so easy to find where it starts. So we went with a group of people from one of the hotels, led by somebody who knows exactly where to go. It's not that you can get lost there, it's just that stone desert doesn't make walking very comfortable, so you need somebody who knows how to cut walking on a rocky surface to a minimum

Saturday, February 11, 2012

evening light change

 Those two pictures were taken this evening with just eight minutes in between them. Just another demonstration of how fast everything changes when the sun is setting. Of course, the processing might have increased the effect, but the last bits of sunshine disappearing from the Isla de Lobos and the clouds is the most obvious difference

Monday, February 06, 2012

Morro Jable


Since we moved to Fuerteventura half a year ago, we spent every single night at the same place, not going anywhere, even for short while. It can be explained by the house moving experience killing all possible urges to move anywhere for a goodish while or by something else. Doesn't matter really. This weekend we finally took advantage of yet another religious celebration that shut both schools for two extra days and went to the other end of the island, to a small village Morro Jable.

It takes less than three hours by bus to cross the whole island. Big road ends in Morro Jable. There are smaller roads afterwards, one of them leading to the beautiful Cofete beach, but I don't like the look of those roads. I learned to drive in East Anglia, I like my roads straight and flat, and roads past Morro Jable don't satisfy either of those requirements

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Suzi Q by a sandpiper and other sandy things


Small local sandpipers (or are they turnstones, maybe?)  look quite amusing when caught in mid-step. This one looks like he's doing a Suzi Q. He's running around a beached jellyfish - we a have a small-scale plague of them at the moment.


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Floral Betancuria


I've just looked in Wikipedia and discovered that Betancuria proudly bear a "city" label in there. Well, I don't know. The population of the whole province was 721 in the latest poll, and not all of them live in Betancuria, so calling it a city seems just a tad excessive.

It's a pretty place, whatever it is. There aren't many real sights to see, and they've been photographed to death. You can hardly blame the photographers - apart from scattering of windmills, Fuerteventura doesn't have many historical architectural landmarks, compensating, of course, for this lack with its natural beauty. In any case, I decided to sort of skip photographing architecture - after playing a bit with a borrowed wide angle lens around the church.

So, here are just some floral things from Betancuria.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

wide angle mirador, spirit of the stones etc


Today I went around with friends who are here on holidays in their rented car. While fully understanding the benefits of not having a car (we all are a lot healthier after those six months for a start), sometimes I really miss driving. It gets you there a lot faster than public transport, biking or walking, and sometimes it just gets you there, full stop. I am not about to bike to Betancuria, for instance, while I am still sane.

On the other hand, once the car is there, you feel tempted to drive it even for small errands, and that's not that great.

Anyway. The view above is taken from Mirador de Morro Velosa with Sigma 12-24 borrowed off one of my friends. I know what to add to my (suddenly almost-empty) wishlist now (benevolent universe: hint hint?)

Monday, January 09, 2012

school schedule and full moon


The calendar on the Yuri's school website displays, among other things, stuff like full moons. Reasons for that are best known to the developer, but that means that we are less likely to miss it.

Kids are back at school finally and the moon is full. Overall, a good day

full moon pics at shutterstock

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Lucky king

Yesterday a friend of ours gathered a few people in her new dance studio to celebrate its approaching opening. Since it was also King's fiesta, she bought special ring-shaped cakes - called rosco de Reyes, that you are supposed to have on the day.

The guy who was cutting the cake told us to be careful, as there are two small hard objects in each - a little figurine of the king (or a wise man), bearing gifts, and a bean. If you get a king in your piece, you are the lucky one, get a little paper crown and, far as I understood, will be lucky all year round. If you have a bean though, you have to pay the price of the cake to the person who bought it originally - something that our hostess immediately dismissed though saying- no, that was her party and she was paying.

It was good that we were warned - Kirill found this cute little king in his piece. Despite the warning, he almost did some damage to his teeth. He was lucky that it was only "almost", so I suppose the sign works in a way. He also got the paper crown.


Friday, January 06, 2012

Timur's abstract and things


Yesterday me and Timur went to the post office to pic up yet another parcel from Amazon - two more Terry Pratchett's books for Yuri and me, we have the full Discworld collection I think.

Picking up stuff in the post office is a sort of quest here. I really miss UK in this respect - I loved it when my parcels turned up at my doorstep, accompanied by a cheerful postman and his wireless digital signature panel. Now I go to post-office, take a ticket out of the machine and wait till my number comes up. Yesterday the waiting list was over 60 numbers, so we walked around with Timur, making little purchases and trying to occupy ourselves as best as we could. At some point I gave him my camera and he made a few snaps of a windmill - and above is the close-up of its door

Monday, January 02, 2012

Fuerteventura snowflakes and noodle soup


There is very little chance of real snow here, although you never know of course.  We made this  garland before Christmas and it was hanging for a while over TV. Today I decided to take it off and throw it away, but first we went to the roof to photograph. Presence of one unwalkable shoe in the picture is explainable, but it will take too long, so let's say it's just holding the garland in place


Sunday, January 01, 2012

New Year fireworks in Corralejo


We all like fireworks, and there were some planned, so we debated for a while were to go for New Year midnight, and eventually decided to go to the tip of the pier in Corralejo. I was hoping to get some nice "across the water" shots. We took the essentials - grapes (Timur hated them and Yuri loved them), tripod and cameras.

The position we choose was probably the best one - we could see all Corralejo fireworks, plus Playa Blanca and Puerto del Carmen displays on Lanzarote - but I must say that it was not really impressive. I don't know what is the reason - lack of money seems like the most likely one though - but the only place that put up a longish display was RIU hotels, far way away from where we were. I got just a handful of good shots, one above being my favourite. It it was nice low-key New year though, something different for a change.

Now I am seriously considering going to Madeira for next year. Their fireworks is something else altogether. We saw them once and I didn't take any pics, but if I ever going to be there again, I will :)

Happy New Year :)