Friday, 19 April 2013

Fuerteventura, part four - car touring begins.

This morning, after breakfast, we were picked up by a Range Rover vogue, and whisked away in air-conditioned luxury to the airport offices of Cicar, where we took delivery of our hire car. After a bit of confusion as to how you start the thing (depress the clutch), and get the instructions on the dashboard from Spanish to English, we set off for our first port of call, Pajara. Cicar had kindly given us a brilliant CD that covers most things on the island. We listened and took note as we gleaned what extra information it had to offer. We'd already done a lot of research on Fuerte', but anything else was welcome.

Eventually, after a very pleasant and spectacular drive through the volcanic hills, we reached this charming sign on the town outskirts.

Don't forget you can click on any picture for a larger version, or a slide show.

 We parked up (free, as usual) and walked into town. It felt lazy and quiet (but then, it WAS Sunday). Our pace slowed as the mood took us. We saw the beautiful church, and the other lovely buildings in this place. It was another warm, and perfect day. We were really lucky.

A short walk through a palm grove brought us to a little picnic spot the locals used. The oven was being stoked to cook the food, it was another of the ovens we'd seen on the beach near Las Salinas.

This was an overflow for when it rained heavily. We know from our experience in Madeira that these are really needed as the rains, when they DO come, can be torrential. The lovely Bougainvillea plants lined the walls

 Spectacular colour in places.

 Also, more of the huge Hibiscus we'd seen elsewhere.

 On the walk back, we found this exercise playground. Not sure if it's just for the kids, or the adults - whatever, it's a GREAT idea. Sue just HAD to try it out! 
Click on any of these links (or all of them!) to see her working out.
(Click the 'back' button to return to this blog after clicking each link)

Some very skillful carvings on the benches and seats too.

This lovely-looking restaurant caught our eye. We weren't hungry, but it was really tempting. If the food is as good as the decor', we'd be happy.

Then there was this. Look, I didn't WANT to do this - Sue MADE me (honest). ;-)

Even on a small traffic island like this, in a quiet backwater, they had taken the trouble to have a sculpture done. A meaningful local scene.

We got back to the car, and set off for our first coastal rendezvous. We'd heard a LOT about this (unpronounceable) place called 'Ajuy' (say aye-whee). There were some volcanic sea-caves there, but lots more - as we were to find out.
WHAT a sight greeted us as we rolled onto the clifftop car park - MASSIVE Atlantic rollers crashing in onto a black sand shore. The noise was awesome, we just couldn't wait to get down there on that beach!

 All around us, the waves were thundering in from America. We really felt alive and excited by the sight, sound and smell of this place.

See a video of the huge rollers by clicking  HERE (again, click 'back' to return to blog)

Photographers can be caught out by the waves - if they're not careful (Sue). click HERE to see her almost soaked.

I was a lot more careful (but just as overawed) as I took my pictures. God, I wish I could just put you where I'm standing - a great experience.

You can see the Atlantic rollers crashing on Ajuy beach by clicking HERE

 It was hard to leave the beach, but we eventually set off up the cliff path to be greeted by even MORE spectacular sights and sounds. It really was RAW nature up here, and this wasn't even what they would call a high sea!! 
We spent a LONG time on the clifftops, just taking all this in. We even decided to eat our packed lunch here. You can see what a good job they've made of a walkway to the caves.

Two caves on the far side (which were not accessible by foot). That little sign on the bottom right points down to the caves.

We took a photo of a couple on the clifftop, and they reciprocated.

This looked very much like a lime kiln. We have them in Derbyshire too. I'm not sure if that's what it was (the info' plate was in Spanish).

There were steps and a walkway to the bottom of the kiln - this is looking out.

An angel in heaven!

At this point, we reached where the path led down to the caves. There was 'prohibited' tape across the top of the steps, but there was no notification that the caves access was closed at the beginning of the walk on Ajuy beach.
Feeling a bit cheated, I ducked under the tape and dropped into the caves.
This was what awaited me.

  Not what I'd call amazing, but I just HAD to see for myself. The sea was crashing into the cave mouth though, and that was pretty good.

Feeling a bit naughty, we scuttled back to Ajuy beach. On the way, we passed these severe volcanic rock faces. Strangely, the colour of the rock is white, as opposed to the black of the beach??

At the bottom of the steps were more examples of rock balancing.

And yet more amazing waves coming in.

Then, we decided it was time to head on further, to Betancuria, to be precise.
See part five!

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