Wednesday November 12, 2014
For a town that we only stopped in to check into the country, we spent way too much time in it. Being an industrial town that drops off loads of cruise ship passengers each week yet we have no idea what they do because we spent 8 days and couldn’t find anything to do other than wander the mall, we really spent to much time here. But so it goes.
When Matt asked what our next destination was after Playa Papagayo, I looked at my trusty map drawn up by Island Drifter and saw that on the neighboring island of Fuerteventura there were two ports of entry and only one of them was suitable to anchor in. No more marinas here for quite awhile, thank you. It was a windless day as we sailed down, until we were only a few miles from the port and the clouds rolled in and winds kicked up. We were both thankful to find a calm spot to drop anchor and just prayed that winds would not shift to the east during our stay there.
Getting off the boat and going in search of the port official and then the Policia Nacional, I found that it is indeed impossible to check in to the Canary Islands. Just don’t even bother until you get to Gran Canaria, it’s not worth the trouble because no one will have any idea what you’re talking about. But the good thing about the whole debacle is that I spent about an hour in the tourist information station talking to an extremely helpful man named Jose who gave me all the ins and outs of Fuerteventura. And suddenly it became clear of why a cruise ship comes here. This is the only port that can handle a ship of that size, and everyone is immediately shipped off to other parts of the island where there were more interesting things to do.
I loaded myself up on brochures and bus schedules and planned our week here although Matt was planning to get out, with the boat, asap. The other good thing about stopping in the information booth is that Jose gave me the low-down on his favorite local restaurant, a place that served tapas for only 1€ on Mon-Fri.
As it turned out, every day we were there we thought we’d be leaving the next day so we never took one of the tours by bus although there were plenty of things we would have liked to see. Instead we toured the town which had some parts that were actually pretty nice, and wandered the giant mall where it felt to strange to see Christmas decorations already going up. We did manage to find the tapas restaurant, El Expresso, and twice in the week sampled random items off the menu and enjoyed beers, usually ending with only a 10€ tab including the tip.
In the afternoons, if the sky wasn’t completely overcast, we sat in the cockpit and watched all the local children partake it the town’s yacht club where they’d learn different water activities. In droves we’d see them launch themselves out into the water in kayaks, sailing dinghies, and windsurfing boards. Sipping on wine and nibbling on bruschetta we’d look on as they’d skim by our boat, laughing and yelling in Spanish. It was really great not only seeing an opportunity like this offered to the local children, but to see how many were taking advantage of it.
The week we ended up staying in Puerto Rosario was still lazy and relaxing, but in a completely different way than we had been enjoying in the Papagayo Peninsula. Here our days consisted of taking advantage of the incredibly cheap groceries at the local Hiper Dino, about 60% of the price of the same chain in Playa Blanca, and sitting at the local cafes to enjoy some tapas or coffee & milk while playing around on our computers. I am sad that we didn’t get to explore more of the island, maybe check out the northern coast where they filmed the movie Exodus last year, but I know there’s still plenty more sights in store for us in our time in the Canaires.