Sunday, January 30, 2011

Furtaventura (the Canary Islands)

HI all

As I am sure you are aware of Mom and Dad arrived in Amsterdam on Jan 15 and since Dad seems to be allergic to the cold we only hung around Amsterdam until Jan 18 before heading off to warmer climates.  The flight was actually on Jan 19 but since the flight was really early in the morning and from Brussels, and since mom and dad have never been to brussels, we decided to head up the day before to explore around brussels a little and then get ready for the flight.  We took an early bus from Amsterdam to Brussels and ended up getting in around 12 or so, after arriving we promptly got lost a few times but ended up going to see a comic museum (which was really interesting) and then starting our way to the airport.  Since the airport we were flying out of was about a hour outside of the city and the flight was early (6:30) we decided to spend the night sleeping at the airport.  I honestly thought that we would be the only ones there but apparently it is fairly common to sleep at the airport (they are building a hotel outside the airport but it is still not yet completed but I am sure that it will be very successful).  Anyways after a less then restful night we boarded the plane and were off in true Ryanair fashion to warmer climates (it was only about 3 degrees in Brussels and rainy), after a 4 hour flight we arrived in sunny Furtaventura (A island just north of Africa) to a clear sunny day with a temperature of about 24 degrees. We arrived a little after 10 and after getting our bearings we were off, since we had a little time before we could check in we decided that lunch was in order and in the time when we were sitting outside and being happy in the sun I managed to get myself a slight sunburn (stupid cloudy amsterdam weather has made me more sensitive to the sun).  After a bit to eat and a little more sun we made our way to the apartment (which was really nice and congrats to mom for getting such a great deal) and made ourselves comfortable (in my case this was taking a small nap because I was absolutely exhausted) and then changing into shorts, t-shirts and sandals (no need for jeans and hoodies here) and were off to explore our little city a little.

Just a few pictures from the little town we were in and as I am sure that you can see it was certainly bright and sunny.  We were there in Winter but the difference between the weather in winter and summer is only about 5 degrees (we were told) and it rarely rains (sounds like heaven).  Anyways after a little exploration we were off to bed early (dad was falling sleep mid-sentence)

The next morning we were up bright and early,  when on holidays with mom and dad they like to get up early, and decided to explore the main city (I don't remember the full name but there was a rosa in there somewhere).

 The goat is the national animal here on the Island so dad and I decided to pay our respects to the goat in our own way.

 Mom being much more civilized then dad or myself decided to engage in a conversation with a lovely but quiet gentleman on the side of the road (neither dad nor myself had the heart to tell mom that it was a statue)

 You will see lots of pictures of shorelines because I like the shoreline but also it makes me feel happy to see large open expanses of water.

After the day in the city we headed back to our little abode and retired for the evening.

The next day we spent preparing for some activities that we were interested in doing while we were on the Island (this took us to an internet cafe where I could finally check my email and we discovered a wonderful pastry shop which made killer chocolate croissants).  Anyways we also scouted out a car to rent for a few days so we could explore the island to a fuller extent and I set up a time to go snorkeling (sorry no pictures from this day).

On Saturday we picked up the car (since my drivers license has expired I was unable to drive so this responsibility fell on dads shoulders and I became the navigator (I guess I was the lessor of two bad navigators as mom kept on telling us to look for the railway tracks (we never did find those railway tracks))) and started exploring the Island.

 the annual cactus harvest is looking excellent this year

 One of many windmills on the Island

 Hey cut that out folks there are impressionable young people around

 Ask mom about the prickly pear story

 Yes the sand on this beach is black

 We thought that we found a cave with a bear but it turned out to be just a grumpy dad (close enough)
 We found another cave but there was no way that mom was going to explore this one, I actually couldn't make it that far in as I didn't have a light and simply taking a picture with flash didn't provide me enough light to see what was going on.  Also the cave smelled like pee and I didn't want to find out who or what was peeing in the cave.

So on Saturday we explored the south end and central part of the island.

On Sunday we were originally scheduled to go snorkeling but we were slow getting moving (the time was at 10 in the morning and this just didn't work with our 2 hour breakfasts complete with copious amounts of yogurt).  However this was alright as it gave us a chance to explore the sand dunes and the north end of the Island.

 Mom and I beginning a race down a dune (you can kind of see it here but it was a pretty steep dune)
 Mom and I racing back up the dune (on the way down it was generally agreed that it was either a tie or mom won but on the way up Mom couldn't quite keep up)

 Mom and dad pretending that i was not there

 Mom tired to storm the castle but gave up quite quickly (I was trying to urge her to scale the side and attack the roof as that seems to be the weak spot but she didn't think that it was a good idea)

 You can't really see it here but it seems that when people are bored on this island they build rock walls as there were rock walls all over the island.

 And more windmill action.

On monday we finally got our buts in gear early enough and managed to get to the gas station where we were being picked up to go snorkeling.  Mom had decided that she was not really too keen on going so it was just dad and I who went (sorry no snorkeling pics as water and cameras don't really get along too well) but both dad and I had a wonderful time but mom had the best time being rid of dad and myself for a morning.  Anyways after we got our fill of the water and dried off it was off to explore the rest of the Island, we managed to make it to almost every city, town and village on the island (mind you this is not too hard when the Island in only 130 kms in length and 30 kms in width)

 Our chariot
 Some pretty sweet graffiti


 They also have rocks on this island, lots and lots of rocks.  If there is ever a rock shortage in the world this is the place to come.

 A weird upside down tree that we found (kind of like a charlie brown christmas tree)
 The view from a mountain top

 Mom and dad pretending on being invaders (either that or they were trying to intimidate me into giving them the last chocolate danish I can't really remember)

 Papa bear roaring

Anyways it seems that I can't remember where the cut off time was between sunday and monday so these are both of the days combined.
 Tuesday was a super windy day but we were able to find a sweet mini golf place (because of course no family time is complete without a little mini golf, and the obligatory cheating).

 Awww matching shirts and shorts and everything it is almost like they are from korea

This was the end of Tuesday and then on Wednesday we were up early so to get to the airport on time so we could catch our flight back to Belgium.

I don't have any pictures for the last little part of the trip but if I did it would just be dad complaining about how cold it is and bothering mom and I because he was bored.

Well that was our trip,  All in all it was a fantastic time.



1 comment:

  1. Oh the prickly Pear!!!. I still have spots on my belly where they punctured me.

    Thanks Wes. You did a great job!