Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Fuerteventura, November 2017 - Kite festival and some other things

The octopus keeps turning up every year. He is one of the biggest kites at the festival.

Every year, in November, мы с друзьями ходим в баню I go to Fuerteventura to see the kites. There is a festival in the dunes, and I have covered it already a few times. It started when we were living on the island, and that was when I got hooked.

I missed the year when we were living in Finland, but apart from that I always caught the festival, at least partially.

Sharks are beginning to fly in the morning
This year I went just for one day, without staying overnight. (I didn’t want to do two days in a row, but with residential travel discount it is cheaper to do two round trips than to stay a night when you travel on your own).

Festival usually runs from Thursday to Sunday in the beginning of November, first day in El Cotillo and the others — in the dunes of Corralejo. I flew in on Saturday morning, sometime before nine, shopped for water and some fruit and headed to the dunes. One change I’ve noticed this year — because the new stretch of motorway is now opened in the north of the island, the signs to “Corralejo” that used to lead you right to the dunes (and, eventually, through the dunes to Corralejo), now, predictably, point to the motorway. So, instead of looking for the signs to Corralejo, just follow the coastal road straight. So far the roundabout layout hasn’t changed — it’s straight all the way. Eventually, a white-on-brown sign for “Parque Natural Dunas de Corralejo” will appear, dispelling any doubts you might start experiencing.

Cheerful sealife and some post-apocalyptic black pig or something (bottom left)
I was at the festival site (still the same, Burro beach, you can’t miss it) quite early, before ten, so many kites were still stretched on the ground and in the process of being lifted. I spoke to a guy I distinctly remember speaking to before (one year ago, two years ago...). He told me — check it out, there is a veritable shark fest going that way. And indeed it was. There was already a couple of garlands in the air and few more being lifted.

I was told that one of the sharks carries “No finning” message, so I looked around for it. It was not in the air yet, but I spoke to a guy who, as it happened, was the one who made it. He told me it will fly eventually, but not for a little while, so I headed to El Cotillo to have a look at the area around Toston lighthouse.

Faro de Toston
Ever since I took this photo I try to catch the small lagoons around the lighthouse in the same state — clean water, ripples in the sand left by the tide. No joy. This time the water was clean at least, during some of the other visits it was full of black seaweed.

After wandering around the lighthouse for a while I went to to dunes and got the only bad surprise of the day — I just couldn’t park anywhere reasonably close. I never ever had problems parking at the festival before. I am very much a walker, but there is a limit to how much you want to walk on the sand (and then back). Maybe the local authorities should set up a special bus service from Corralejo, I am sure it'd be very popular.

So (after some thorough searching) I went to the Flag Beach closer to Corralejo for a quick dip and then hurried to Puerto del Rosario, where I was supposed to meet with beautiful Anna for another photosession. Anna now has a dance school in Puerto del Rosario, Espacio Danza Fuerteventura, and I can heartily recommend it (no, I didn’t attend it, but I do know Anna).

Flamenco witch

Low Key Portraits

This time, mostly because of my time limitations, there was no plan, we just went down to restored lime kilns by the promenade and made a few pictures against the black stones of the kilns and against the ocean.

“No Finning” message

After saying goodbye to Anna, I returned to the dunes once again. It was about four in the afternoon and some of the kites were already being taken down. But the sharks were still flying in force, and this time I found the one with “Stop Finning Sharks” message on it. Macabre, but efficient, I think.

Octopus being brought down. Here its size is much more apparent.

A vague bird, that one
After taking last pics of the kites I went into the dunes to catch the wind patterns revealed by the low sun. Dunes never stay the same. Last year I got rather concerned by what I thought was their diminishing height and spreading of gorse, but this year they (dunes) seem to be back to their former glory.

crystal ball dunes

And that was my day on Fuerteventura.

The crystal ball in the last picture caused an amusing little episode at the airport security. When going through the security, I always take my laptop out of the bag, but I always leave all the photography stuff in the bag. This time, it included the camera, two extra lenses, flashgun and the crystal ball, plus a battery-operated Christmas garland (long story). It was a very full and very bloody heavy backpack, I can tell you that.

Anyway. I am sure it was the ball that triggered something — first time in all my travels I was asked to take absolutely everything out of the backpack and spread it on the table for inspection. The security guard pocked at the ball and said “but what is this?”. My explanation involved a lot of hand-waving. I am sure the guy was interested in photography, because he was asking questions for much longer time than it was necessary to establish that I am not going to do anything funny with all these bits and bobs.

Pictures of Fuerteventura on Shutterstock — here
Photos and text by Tamara

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