Surfgirl Fuerteventura

Finally March 7 came, the day Veronique and I departed for Fuerteventura. Veronique was already wearing sunglasses at 6 am on the train and while it was still dark and I decided to leave my winter jacket at home: we were ready for the sun. We landed around 1400 in Puerto del Rosario on a runway right beside the ocean…and immediately had to take off our jumpers because it was so nice and warm. We were met at the airport by Sara, the 7 island surfschool lady who turned out to be Belgian so we got an introduction to the island in Flemish on the way to the hotel in Corralejo. The landscape is very interesting, dryer than anything I’d seen before, especially the dunes, which are a nature reserve have a very desert-y feel around them. At the hotel we immediately realised we were (probably) the youngest and most active people, as there were a lot of “hamburger tanned” people on sunbeds around the swimming pool. But the apartment was nice, and next to us was the apartment of the other surfgirls, Lucy, Jilly and Demelza, whom I’d already met at a surfgirl weekend in Newquay. We had a quiet afternoon, Veronique and I went to the beach on the way to the (hideously expensive) tourist supermarket and in the evening we met Tom, our surf instructor to discuss our surfing experience & skill level over a couple of cocktails. Our first stop was the Bar Blanca, where I had a lovely Sex on the Beach, though all our cocktails were nothing compared to Jilly’s gigantic Long Island Iced Tea. We then explored Corralejo a bit further, played table football and pool at Corky’s and went to bed not too late to be fit for surfing the next day.

The first day was a bit tough because of course we had to get back into the hang of surfing, and because it was very windy. The wind was so strong that it blew me off my feet, which made me let go of my board, which then in turn punished me for this stupidity by smashing me in the face, resulting in a lovely blue nose and a thick ‘Angelina Jolie’ lip. But 5 mins later I’d forgotten about it already because I was so happy to be in the gorgeous water again. The colours of the ocean are breathtakingly beautiful around Fuerteventura, that alone would already be a good reason to go there, just to see that. But we had more to do. On Friday we didn’t surf, we had one day off, and decided it should be Friday because of the weather conditions (even windier). So Demelza, Lucy, Veronique and I climbed a volcano near Corralejo while Jillly took a ferry to Lanzarote. We should have gotten a decent map instead of a rough overview map of the island. The volcano was pretty much in our face, but we thought it was another hill, closer to Corralejo so we took a few wrong turns and ended up in Tamaragua, about 2 hours away from Corralejo (not before numerous cars had signalled and beeped at us, we’re still not sure why that was). The good thing about Tamaragua was that there was a proper supermaret, even though we only bought some nibbles and ice-cream. It’s good to know where to get food for the next time though 🙂 I managed to find out where Montana de Bayuyo was (left at the previous roundabout, about 1.5 hours walk away), and the number of Fuerteventura taxi (we asked someone who was waiting at the busstop when the bus was coming, but he said it could be 5 mins, or an hour, so we decided to get a taxi in order to make it to the volcano before the end of the day).

After a very cheap taxi-ride we were dropped off at the foot of Montana de Bayuyo around 1600, which was a quarry/construction site. Luckily we were shown the way to the volcano by a friendly goat herd (so far we hadn’t found an indigenous bar, but at least now we’d found an indigenous person). The ascent was really cool, lots of rocks, but great views, and the weather was just great. At 3/4 Lucy decided to not go any further because she was wearing flip flops. So Demelza, Veroniqe and I went a little bit further to the actual summit. The only other person we met there was a guy from Reading, other than that it was just rocks, a couple of goats the wind, some tiny plants and great views.

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When we were almost back down we saw lots of goats. Veronique wanted to pat one, but the goats didn’t want to be patted 🙂 They did like Lucy, who they were following. Near the quarry the goat herd found us again. We ‘communicated’ with him for a bit. He turned out to be deaf since birth, and could thus also not speak. We did our best to interpret his signs though, and we found out they’re building a lot of houses near the volcano (we interpreted correctly as we later saw a big sign) and the goat herd was not happy with that at all. He showed us the way to Corralejo, and his billy goat, which was pretty cool. On the way back to the apartment there was this car full of supercool surfdudes who were beeping and whistling at us. Which made us very happy, as no matter how dusty and tired we were looking, we were still getting attention from triangular guys. Fuerteventura is quite good for that matter anyway, in the Netherlands builders are for instance not allowed to whistle at women anymore because it would be sexist. But every woman likes attention, as long as it doesn’t get too creepy. Anyway, we got back at the apartment around 18:20, had a quick shower and went into town to meet Jilly for dinner who was waiting at a restaurant near the harbour.

On Saturday and Sunday Playa Blanca was completely different from Thursday, the ocean was actually quite friendly. I started doing some turns. Although I do have to pay more attention to my popups, especially when I’m tired. But I had a couple of very, very nice long rides. On Sunday there were basically only green waves to catch, but very friendly ones. I even wore my shorty in the morning, but in the afternoon I decided to put on my fullsuit again, not because of the temperature though, rather as protection from the sun 🙂

Saturday evening we had a crazy evening in town. It turned out to be the last big day of the carnival in Corralejo. Around 6 the carnival parade started in front of our hotel so Veronique and I watched the floats come by. Around 19:30 we went into town to dance at the carnival site and get some food. Things went a bit differently. About 200 metres away from our hotel Demelza got onto a parade float, 50 metres later they invited me up as well. So all of a sudden surfgirls were part of the parade too 🙂 We danced the whole evening, we were only disturbed by a drunk guy on the float who showed a particular interest in our feet (we were wearing flip flops). Somewhere in the main street Veronique, Lucy and Jilly joined us as well, they’d gone out for food first though. At the end of the parade most floats go to the carnival site, but we happened to be on the only float that went to the harbour to go to Lanzarote the next day. After saying goodbye to all the Hiawathas on the float we walked back to the Carnival site, where I had a late dinner (chips) around 22:00 and did some merengue dancing. Not too much later Veronique and I decided to call it a day, all for surfing the next day :).

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On Monday and Tuesday we surfed at El Cotillo, a place with some serious ground swell. It is nicer in a way because there is more time between the waves, but it was also quite messy because there was so much water coming towards the beach, that it also went back to the sea in waves, which would collide with the incoming waves creating interesting bumps. I managed to survive some bumps on some rides which was quite satisfying though, rodeo-surfing :). It was quite heavy though, so on Monday we ended the day with some paddling exercises in a breathtakingly gorgeous lagoon (with an audience of fat naked people). On Tuesday we did a little competition, and even though it really wasn’t my day I managed to get a 7.5 ride (on a scale of 1 to 10) and a 6, which got me the highest score :D.

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After surfing, but before showering to maintain our wild looks, Veronique and I went for a walk in the dunes near Corralejo to get a real desert feel. We then went out for dinner in an awful tourist restaurant. The food was alright, just the guy playing all kinds of cheesy easy-listening songs on his keyboard wasn’t….We wanted to go out on our last night, but there weren’t many people around on the Tuesday after the carnival, so we had a couple of drinks at “Tattoos and Booze”, whilst witnessing Corralejo’s only prostitute we came across during our week, and ended the night at a lovely cocktail bar called “Bougainville”.

On Wednesday Veronique and I first said goodbye to Jilly and Lucy who were picked up by Sara at 10:45, and then we walked along the beach to Corralejo. Sunglasses, barefoot, feet in the sea, you know 🙂 (how different from the hailstones here in Holland today). Veronique kissed a seahorse and I bought a tile to put up on my ‘travel wall’. Around noon we said goodbye to the hamburger tanned people at our hotel and went to the airport with Demelza who’d fortunately found back her tickets. We were supposed to take off at 14:50, but that turned out to be 16:00, because there was someone on the plane without the proper documents (Veronique and I still don’t understand how he got that far and why we had to wait for an hour being exposed to ‘lift music’ before they decided to take him off the plane). So we could still have surfed that day….but anyway. Our flight to Amsterdam in Madrid was delayed as well, so we managed to get home on Wednesday, where Steve was already waiting, undoubtedly to admire our tans 🙂

Now it’s time to save up money for a surfgirl reunion, I’m thinking Portugal in Summer, Fuerteventura in December and perhaps Newquay sometime in between….

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Offline..

I don’t expect to be able to update this blog the next week because I’ll be in sunny Fuerteventura (Water temperature is a comfortable 18°c-20°c,  air temperature 18°c-30°c during the day and 12°c-17°c at night) doing this:

Wed – Arrivals day, settle into apartments. Welcome meeting in the evening.
Thur – All day surf tuition
Fri – All day surf tuition
Sat – Morning at Health Farm, afternoon,  free time (shopping, site seeing, sunbathing)
Sun – All day surf tuition
Mon – All day surf tuition
Tue – All day surf tuition
Wed – Departure day, going back to rainy Holland 🙁 (probably with a nice tan though :P)
See you all next week 🙂

Redecorating Etten-Leur

wallpapering

This afternoon dad and I put wallpaper on the last wall in the guest room/my bedroom at my parents’ place. Dad already did the other walls some time ago with ‘ordinary’ (but cool) blue wallpaper, but putting on ‘poster’ wallpaper is a job for two people (three if you count mum’s support). It’s also a job you do once in your life and then never again because it’s thinner than ordinary wallpaper, thus it tears more easily and when it gets wet it stretches so it’ s virtually impossible to get the different pieces aligned properly.

But after a few hours of hard work, the result is worth it:

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(I only hope it doesn’t shrink when it dries up :S)

‘New’ CD

Via Amazon I bought a secondhand copy of the very first Frames album, which was released in 1992 🙂

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It’s quite an interesting CD, I haven’t listened all of the tracks yet, but I like it so far. They have definitely grown over the years, although the sound (Glen Hansard’s sound) is definitely there already, only still in a rough, wilder way. The members of the band have also changed a lot over time. Only Glen Hansard and Colm Mac Con Iomaire are left (hardly recognisable from the pics though ;)).

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