We decided not to stay at Croydon on sea as the stopover opportunities weren’t that great, either a car park near one of the hotels on the beach or a windy headland, the kind of wind the daily mail would advise nobody go out in and predict many wind related deaths, the met office might even issue a yellow warning but round these parts it’s mild wind, nothing for concern…
Our next destination was the mountain town of Betancuria which is the original capital of Fuerteventura. The fact that it’s a mountain town should have given us a clue that it was in the mountains…
Usually we travel by day as you can appreciate what’s around you on the journey and scout out stop over prospects with ease.
We set off at approx 20.00, the clocks had since gone forward and we had about 30 mins or so of daylight left, we were also at sea level. The Satnav indicated the journey should take about 35 minutes but it didn’t take into account that we where driving a whale. Had the road been straight then it would have taken the approximated 35 minutes but it wasn’t, it was a long and winding road into the mountains with sheer rock on one side of the road and certain death on the other, honestly, it doesn’t bother me, I’ve driven in worse but Lolly was not impressed and basically bricked it from the time we hit the mountain road until our final resting place. I really felt for her but there was nothing I could do except get us to where we needed to be in the shortest and safest amount of time possible.
We arrived in Betancuria and Lolly remembered some advice about parking just outside the village, we’d seen a parking sign on the way on so turned round and followed the road into what was indicated as a dead end. We found a flatish spot overlooking Betancuria and fairly tucked away from the main streets and settled in for the night.
The only person that slept that night was Stella, Lolly and I spent most of the night being woken up by gale force winds battering the van, it never let up and even when we got up in the morning we were still being battered, there was also a great deal of passing traffic for a dead end. We grabbed a shower each and walked down into the village which is much more sheltered that where we had parked, the wind subsided and it was shorts and t-shirt weather. As we descended into the village the air was filled with Spanish guitar which was being provided by an old dude with a fag permanently on the go which he never let get in the way of his excellent guitaring….
I didn’t take a picture of him as lots of other people were, I did take a picture of the entrance to a museum we didn’t visit.
There were lots of nice views to enjoy as well as no wind which on this island is a massive bonus.
In the middle of the town there is a nice spot for a drink and some tapas. It was midday so we figured we’d stop and have a beer, every one around us ordered coffee and tapas, only the English ordered beer.
Stella had a lovely time standing on a chair and then migrating to the floor and quickly realising she could see people below through the decking, easily pleased is Stella.
We left our spot and continued wandering around the village, we popped into the church which had an amazing altar dating back to the 1600’s.
There is a second room to the left which has an impressive display of ceremonial silver wear and robes dating back hundreds of years, there is also a magnificent ceiling that I lay on the floor to get a picture of.
We had a nice time in Betancuria but didn’t fancy a second night of howling wind so hit the road to a beach town called Ajuy. This involved another mountain road far precarious than the first mainly because it was quite narrow. Every now and again a car would approach us and I’d have to slow our whale to a halt while the other vehicle squeezed past us, as it was daylight Lolly bricked it far less. Along the way there a couple of places you can stop to admire the view and take a picture.
You can see the thin road to the left with the massive lumps of concrete to stop you tumbling off the edge. While I was taking this picture a quite magnificent crow stopped to say hello.
He was a very pretty bird and quite forward, we gave him some bread.
The journey down to Ajuy was uneventful, we found a spot to park and made a plan to grab some food, we walked passed the first food place which didn’t look all that, walked across the beach and saw the signs for the caves so thought we would take a look at them.
Any time we visit a Spanish island it seems the done thing is to make little piles of stones.
This does not go down well with the coastal cleaning society who turned up the next day and dismantled this lot..
The path to the cave is fairly tricky and accompanied by gale force winds, we decided to walk it in flip flops or thongs to any Aussies that might be reading this. At one point the wind was so strong it nearly blew us over so we did an about turn and retreated back to town, I did get a picture of the caves we were trying to reach.
Time for some food, there is a nice little place in the bottom of the village looking out to the sea, it doesn’t look like the rest of the restaurants who clearly cater for the coach brigade, unfortunately I only got a picture of it when it was closed.
They do a fantastic tapas of local meats and cheese, incidentally I declared the cheese here the best cheese I’ve ever eaten only to find out it was goats cheese which I cannot stand, they don’t do this goats cheese in the UK, if they did I would eat it, the waitress is great too, she’s like a female version of Manuel from Fawltey Towers but in a very lovely way, also there are no high chairs for little ones, but that wasn’t a problem for us, Stella is great at eating on a lap or in a high chair.
There is a small car park by the beach, as it emptied out we moved the van down to our spot for the night.
No wind bouncing the van about and a lovely spot to watch the sunset.
We were joined by another smaller van and a car two girls were staying in so it seems this is an OK spot to spend the night.
I was conscious the following morning that the car park would fill up and we’d be stuck in a corner so I moved the van to another location, if you go out of the village to the roundabout, turn back to the village but take the dirt round instead of the tarmac round (second exit if memory serves me right) follow it down and chuck a right to what looks like a dry riverbed, this is also a popular spot for overnighters.
We left the van here for the majority of the day while the three of us went to the beach.
There are. a few sheltered coves you can hang out in and there was very little wind so our beach brolly stayed with us.
This is a lovely black sand beach and didn’t come up in any of the guide books other than to visit the caves, the sea is pretty fierce, not suitable for little ones.
There are also pigeons on this beach, I’ve never seen pigeons on a beach.
In no time at all it was time to head out, one of the latches on the cupboard had broken so I needed to visit a hardware store to try and repair the latch, we also needed to do another round of emptying and filling, I’ll add all the spots we went to in my last post but this time round it didn’t take half as long and was kind of on the way to where we were going, Costa Calma.
We arrived and I stopped at a supermarket to grab some beer, we had a look on google maps and found a place to stop.
As you can see one of Bumblebee’s older relatives has stopped for the night here too. It’s a quiet spot with little to no wind, there are no shops so make sure you are well stocked, there is also an army of mosquitos so make sure you have repellant and don’t leave any doors or windows open for too long, Lolly and I have spent about an hour hunting them and must have killed at least 15, I hate mosquitos.