The First Trip After the Storm

So I swore that I wasn’t going to embark on a sailing boat ever again so that was it and I took the ferry… 

Nooo! Wait! I haven’t actually kept that promise. After 3 weeks in Lanzarote, it was time to go. At midday we filled up the tank and left to Gran Tarajal. I was a lovely trip without any healing because the wind was in all directions so we used the motor. We constantly went at 7 knots with the motor. However the waves were a bit uncomfortable as they were a bit bigger than usual.

I sunbathed all day going into what my Tia would describe as ‘a lobster’ making my mum laugh at me because I got sunburnt. However, I looked better as a lobster than as the sun deprived Andra I was in England. That was the only time I got sunburnt this year as I am not prone to sunburning but living in cold England takes a toll on one’s skin.

Fuerteventura’s coast looked very different from Lanzarote. The buildings were taller and they were covered. There was also more hills than in Lanzarote. It looked more than a home for somebody than a holiday destination.

When we arrived, a guy called Ben helped us park Mistress in Gran Tarajal. We were starving so my mum quickly prepared some pasta. My dad went to thank Ben and ended up staying for a beer.

After we had dinner we went out for a walk to find a shop to buy food and beer. Gran Tarajal instantly had a different impression on us. It felt more homely than the whole of Lanzarote combined. We soon found a supermarket and started shopping.

Ben and Tes

After I had my meal, I went to see who my dad was talking to – actually I went to overhear their discussion. My dad told him that we went to Puerto Calero and we really liked it. He told us that yes there are a lot of English people and restaurant there.

“We’re not originally from England.” My dad replied.

“Where are you from?” He asked.

“Romania” My dad replied again.

Then Ben said to us “Ah ce faci?” which is “Oh how are you?” in Romanian.

In that moment we were speechless. Ben had took us by surprise. How did Ben know Romanian? Romanian is the hardest latin language to speak as nearly all the verbs are irregular and it’s also a very uncommon language for somebody to speak. My dad invited Ben and his partner for a drink and went to have his dinner.

Later that night Ben came with his partner Tes and surprised us with some Mici which is a Romanian speciality made of minced meat and herbs shaped like a finger. We had a great time with them.

That night I had trouble sleeping because I got sunburnt and my dad had trouble sleeping because of the strong calima winds. Calima is when there is strong wind from the sahara that brings sand. We lost a fender as well because my dad can make the most reliable knots as well.

When we woke up we started looking for the fender, for a car and we started making a Romanian speciality called Boeuf Salad which is a salad containing mayonnaise, pickled vegetables and chicken (I know right! No beef!) to thank Ben for the Mici the night before. We found a car in Las Playitas and a guy from the marina found the fender so I laughed at my dad with the fishing net trying to fish the fender out.

We were supposed to pick up the car the next day from the neighbouring resort town of Las Playitas. In order to get there we needed to walk for an hour and I didn’t want to be stopped by every Spanish Rozzer asking me where my mask is because I’m not wearing a dirty cloth on my face in twenty-odd degrees! So we decided to take an hiking path to Las Playitas over the 2 sets of red mountains. We were on the 1st set of mountains where we saw a familiar face. It was Tes hiking with a friend. When we told her that we were going to get the car, she started laughing. The 2nd lot of mountains were a nightmare: it was too hot and too abrupt.

We finally got the car for a week and went back to Gran Tarajal by car. We saw all of Fuerteventura and it was very interesting. The island is flatter than the western counterparts which I prefer, however, it’s a bit too red for my liking. Coming from the UK, I am used to an abundance of grass with parks that have a lot of green (and when I say green I mean green) spaces, which doesn’t exist in Fuerteventura.

Fuerteventura is the home of some of the most beautiful beaches in the Canary Islands. Being so close to the sahara desert – Fuerteventura sometimes gets sand storms called Calima where strong winds brings sand from the desert. Over time the sand accumulates and you get beautiful white sand beaches. There are also sand dunes in Corralejo where you can drive on a road full of sand to see them.

Now I did say that nearly all of the Canaries have one thing in common and that’s their volcanoes. In Fuerteventura there is a place in the Malpais Grande reservation where there are lava fields and you can find an archaeological site called La Atalayita. This used to be a Guanche settlement with houses dating back to before the Norman Conquest established by the majos. The village is made up of nearly 115 houses that are built up of volcanic stone.

Eric and Karin

One day we were enjoying the sun on Mistress when we saw a boat come into the marina. My dad helped the people park the boat. We had a conversation with the couple after they parked and then we got invited at theirs and saw their beautiful boat. We found out that they were called Eric and Karin and that we had similar views. We invited them at ours as well and soon realised that we always had a topic to talk about. They’re fun people that know how to joke and have a laugh. 

Joel, Ari and Noe

We would all gather on our ‘pantalan’ (pontoon in Spanish) at night where we met a lot of people visiting the Canaries just like us by boat. We met this really nice Spanish family. This was a wonderful excuse for learning to speak Spanish because they knew English and were overall really nice people.

We met some fantastic people in Gran Tarajal who we still keep in touch with. This was just the beginning of our friendships, we became even more closer in Gran Canaria. I still believe Gran Tarajal was one of the best marinas we went to (not because of the facilities as we had cold water showers) but the friendships we made there. It made us realise that we’re not the only people doing this – there’s a whole community!